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Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 Review

Adidas Nitrocharge Review

With the release of the Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0, we were introduced to a boot that has been tailored to a very specific player – the Engine. This is the first time we have seen Adidas take this approach, although it is not something that is new to the market. All previous Adidas releases have focused on a style type, like power or control. This release moves away from the category dynamic and places the shift more on the players actual playing style.

Seeing as I am a more offensively minded player, I have been sitting on this review for a longer period than I normally would, in an effort to really get a feel for how they perform over time and in an extended period of play.

The Nitrocharge is currently available at WeGotSoccer for $179.99.

Nitrocharge Defined

A new soccer cleat silo designed to retain energy, improve lateral movement, sharpen on field reactions, deliver added sprinting power and increase protection specifically for players who are tirelessly on the move.

Has there ever been a more perfect definition for a new boot released on the market? It is important to bring this up as it defines the boot and gives you something to base my review of them against. Honestly, I can’t say that I disagree too much with how they have defined it.

Nitrocharge Performance

Adidas Nitrocharge  Upper

Breaking In and Comfort

Even with a pretty consistent base, Adidas has modified several key elements of these boots to really differentiate them from other releases, and in turn that has affected how they break in. For example, the soleplate is the same one used on all other modern Adidas releases – except this one features EnergyPulse technology built into the sole. Its purpose is to provide rebound (you can read more about that in the section below) but it starts out extremely stiff. Bending the boots actually proves extremely difficult to do and that transcends into play. It took a few wears before they loosened up to a more natural state, but even at that they still help a stiff feel that Adidas has intended.

Then there is the addition of Mesh through the midfoot and around the heel. I love this addition as it allows the boot to envelop around your foot. When you bend a leather or synthetic boot, there is always another point where the material produces a fold. With a mesh it is completely different as the fibers are much more flexible and independent of each other. We also seen this in play on the Adidas adi5 X, although the downside to those was the fact that it ran through the strikezone and proved problematic under impact. On the Nitrocharge it is very complimentary to the make-up of the boot and proves comfortable right from first wear.

Inside the boot, Adidas use a material with a sort of suede feel. It is very soft to the touch and makes the boots very nice to slip into. Definitely makes the Notrocharge one of those boots you could wear bare-feet without stressing about any areas that might rub or cause problems.

[See: Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 – Unboxed Style]

Nitrocharge-Energy-retention

Nitrocharge Energysling

EnergySling – What is its Role?

The EnergySling offers a completely new dynamic in boot creation. In all of Adidas advertising, this is the addition intended to improve lateral movements and help retain energy. At times, there are additions to boots that leave us a little confused as to how it works or why it is added. This is the case with the Energysling.

For example, if the band is intended to improve lateral movements, shouldn’t it run right across the forefoot keeping your foot in place? Instead, there is 80% separation across the lace region, with only a small layer attaching boot sides of the boot. I received a lot of questions about how it impacted shot power and if that was one of its purposes. With all the questions in mind, I’m just going to write my exact experience with it and whether it adheres to Adidas specifications or not is arbitrary. This is simply what you can expect from my personal viewpoint.

The material used is a rubber compound, so it has limited opportunity to stretch. It sits very snugly right around the forefoot except across the lacing, where there is about 80% separation. This is actually key and allows the boot along the lacing system to really stretch up around your foot shape. The remaining 20% then holds the EnergySling in place across your foot. Where Nike Flywire failed, Adidas seems to have picked up some bonus points and created a system that works more effectively without pinning your foot into the boot. The EnergySling also runs underneath the soleplate on both sides, so as your foot moves into a forward position, it automatically pulls the sole up against your foot and keeps everything securely in place.

Energysling

The real benefit, in my opinion, is the dampening provided by the rubber. In similar fashion to a suspension system, rubber actually soaks in energy and reduces the amount of vibration. What you get is a more smooth and comfortable ride without unnecessary movement. This is something I definitely noticed as the boots seem to really sit closer to your feet right through wear. Compared to other boots, there is a difference, even if it is very minimal.

In terms of shooting, it really is in the right spot across the strikezone and it is in a position where you can strike the ball with it. Does it add more power? That is definitely not definitive and it would be extremely difficult to prove. But because it is a rubber material, there has to be some natural rebound effect. Realistically, I’d say there is a lot more of a placebo effect to this one – so I will leave it to individual players who wear the boots to determine!

Striking Shots, Playing Passes

Along the forefoot, Adidas has added a region of slightly raised panels. You can really see the region thanks to the layer of stitching that Adidas has implemented, with each panel feeling about twice as thick as the normal leather region. In reality, I don’t see this playing any role in strike power, but I do see it as a complimentary addition for players that want to control the ball closer to there feet. You see, the more you learn about the boots, the more you understand how they have been crafted to be a more defensive minded players boot, for the player that doesn’t really get forward a lot and doesn’t rely on striking many shots.

Along the side of the boot, Adidas has added another small control element. It is one that I hadn’t noticed before receiving the boots and I am not really sure if it is an intended strategy by Adidas. Each of the signature 3-stripes has been covered with a light layer of ridges. It adds a light grip effect and in play it provides more traction as you come in contact with the ball. This is not the type of addition that could compete with other energy control zones on other boots (notably Nike and Umbro) but it is a very welcome addition.

[See: Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 Released]

EnergyPulse and Stud Configuration

Again, Adidas has gone with its tried and trusted Traxion stud configuration on a SprintFrame soleplate that has been so successful on all their recent releases. The difference on this version is the EnergyPulse, as seen on the soleplate. It is the yellow zig-zag region that sits along the forefoot. its purpose is to add spring and it really does. There is the stiffness as described in the break-in section, so it does come with faults. But its purpose is to be stiff and add a rebound as you push off the ground.When you hold a normal pair of boots in your hand and bend the soleplate, it will slowly come back to a straight position after you let go. The difference with these is the fact that when you let go it immediately springs back. You can definitely feel this in action as play, especially when you take the immediate, quick step. it does serve a purpose, but again it comes with that slightly stiff soleplate feel.

Nitrocharge Energypulse

Nitrocharge Tongue

adidas Nitrocharge  heel protection

Protective Mesh Layer

Protection is a big selling point behind these boots and again Adidas has got it right. In fact, there are several elements on this shoe that I would really like to see on my attack minded shoes. For example, the protection on the heel is an exciting addition. Players in the Engine room position like to tackle a lot, so protection makes sense. But as a winger, I also want that protection on my heels for when I caught by tackles from behind! And lets be honest, the extra weight that is added to the boot is really very minimal – especially since these weigh in at 8.4oz. Adidas, give me some more of this please!

How do they Fit?

In true Adidas form, these are consistent with the rest of their boots and very much true to size. The mesh are from the midfoot around the heel provides a sneaker like fit, where the upper has the ability to really form naturally around your foot. Because of the addition of the EnergySling, you get a slightly different fit through the forefoot, as the opening between the lacing and EnergySling creates a sort of wedge effect across your foot.

Adidas Nitrocharge Profiled

Nitrocharge Padded Forefoot

The Engine

So, everything about this boot caters to the Engine, or the busy player who tries to rule the center of the pitch. It comes together nicely and I really do think that Adidas has created a winning formula with this boot. In saying that, there is no reason why these won’t suit other players like outside backs and wingers. Don’t become offset by the labeling behind the boot as they are equally adept at suiting other styles on the pitch.

The Critic’s Notes

My only real concern lies with the soleplate and the addition of EnergyPulse. It could be that I don’t quite understand or need its inclusion as a winger, but the stiff feel out of the box really set a negative tone in that area. If you consider yourself to be part of the Engine category, let me know below if you agree or disagree that it is a feature you need.

>> The Nitrocharge is currently available at WeGotSoccer for $179.99.

The Skinny Summary

Highlight: A highly efficient boot that caters to the more defensive styled player on the field, or the Engine. There is a lot of technology that specifically focuses on creating a boot that provides energy retention and added protection.
Category: Even if Adidas categorizes them as the “Engine”, I see them as a boot styled toward Control.
Weight: A very, very impressive 8.4oz.
Would I Buy Them: Even as a winger, I would definitely consider these boots. My only issue is the higher price tag. In my opinion, these should sit in around the same price range as a boot like the adiPure.
Player Position: Obviously, Adidas is labeling them as a boot for the Engine or midfield general who likes to run a lot, but I see them offering many positives for other players such as all defenders, wingers and even goalkeepers.

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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26 comments

  1. Nice review!

  2. I find them weird. Boot companies are trying too hard to produce new boots too often. Gone are the days of focusing on a great upper to focus on touch and long lasting quality. Let the player speak for himself, not his boots

  3. In my opinion its a gimmick boot.

    Adidas are late to the stiff soleplate game.

    In fact Nike n Puma have used carbonfibre in their boots for better energy return n spring in the last 4-5+ years but have now moved away from it.

    Moreover the energypulse reminds me of when players of old taped their boots across their forefoot to prolong the life of their boots.

    In short other than adding protection n coat of paint.

    This boot is just a gimmick boot.

    • Stiff soleplate?? Have you ever played a Nike boot? Their carbon plate was 1 of the most flexible I've ever played…to the point where it was flexing in the middle area of the sole (behind the sense studs) which is actually not very good from a biomechanical point of view. Fair enough they mentioned energy return but the main purpose of using carbon is lightweight and the energy return mechanical properties of that material are ok but nothing special (read your physics books).

      As for the energy sling looking like a bit of tape acorss your boot, I think that's the point. How many of us have old boots that stretch over time to the point where they're unplayable? Most people I reckon. I personally think this is a very good idea because once again adidas are focusing on quality and durability. Fair enough if you think the rest is a gimmick, personal opinion, but I think there's no question that this is a brilliant release.

    • First of all, nike's don't have a carbon fiber* soleplate, if what you are talking about is the air glass fiber soleplate, your still wrong that is one of the most flexible fibers that you can get so that's why they use dual air glass fibers in the mid foot and heel because that is where you want it to be stiff (just to let you know every cleat is like that including Adidas) and only one air glass fiber on the forefoot becasue that is where you want maneuverability.

      • are you guys kids just born just last year?
        Nike Superfly I.
        Nike Superfly 2.

        the rest of your lengthy paragraphs are pointless.

        • *Facepalm*

          Stifness isn't caused by the soleplate it's caused by the material in the upper and it takes a certain amount of time (longer than the rest) to break in the superfly material so soleplates have nothing to do with stiffness.

          • I'm only learning how stupid, senseless and ignorant you are and who knows how many more ignoramus tools are out there.

            It's good. Adidas has a whole market of fools that they can convince to buy their new boots.

            You don't even have the Superfly I and II, nor worn it, so why bother commenting and posting useless comments.

            Puma v1.10 also used carbon fibre forefoot to keep the energy return high too.
            But in v1.12 they have moved to Pebax instead.

            Dumbasses.

            You've all never even worn those boots in matches.

            Some don't even know about the Superfly I and Superfly II.

            Useless tools.

          • I am a very young player at 15 and have wore the puma v1.10 and nike superfly 2 and i did find them very flexible and though i dont think the energy return technology in the nitrochargre is very signifigant but youre very wrong thinking it is just a gimmick boot because as far as i can tell the most important aspect is the protection they offer, as well as comfort because playing as a engine on the pitch it is one of the most important elements you could look for in a boot

  4. I wish nike or adidas focus more in Comfort than speed. If you are fast, you will be fast in any kind of shoes, but comfort determines how will perform on the pitch.

    • Pred LZ, CTR, Tiempo, Adipure, dare I say it…F50 (leather). These are all comfortable boots. I don't think Nike and adidas focus on comfort because it's already given.

  5. Would you recommend these more or the Adidas Predatr LZ II more? I am a midfielder who will play attacking or defensive mid. I like to take players on and play passes and long balls, I also like to shoot. Also, I am not the fastest. Thank you and great review!

    • Hey Neal
      If u like a more weighty feel then go with predator lz or a nike t90
      If u want more comfort and more passing then go with nitrocharge or nike tiempo, ctr
      Since u say ur not the fastest im not gonna recommend any of the speed boots good luck

  6. Like most people I am looking for new boots for the upcoming season. I currently wear Ctrs and love the touch they offer. But Im looking for that extra spring that you said the nitrocharge offer. So question is should I try to make the switch or stick with something I already know works?

  7. Thanks for the review.
    I got to try them on yesterday and regarding fit, I agree with the review for the most part. What I found most beneficial about the Energy Sling is as Brian notes, the boots seem to really sit closer to your feet, and it helps flex the upper just at the right place.
    I am currently wearing Tiempo Legend IV's which I love but this will be a nice supplement when playing on wet pitches as my pair of Tiempos are so broken in that they soak up so much water and expand in those situations. The synthetic upper on these should keep water intake to minimal levels. I'll just wait until the blackouts are issued.

  8. Where can you get replacement SG studs for the Nitrocharge 1.0 adult boot?

  9. It does not matter what boots a player wears its how he uses it

  10. Buy with caution if you lose a stud like my son has you can not replace them the boots are knackered ring adidas and ask £165 he had id them up the shitter

  11. Adidas has always messed with the sole plates. The powder in predator powerswerves. The ppower spine in the adipower predator. This is simply a new try. The power spine was amazing. This is just a reverse or different Variation of it.

  12. When i put the boot on, it feels like my outside toe is being pushed towards my other toes. Any advice?

  13. Would you say that this or the tiempo Legend V offers more protection. I'm a defender so I value protection and overall control.

  14. One year in and the sling still works like magic. it has retained the integrity of the shoe, what i notice is it keep my forefoot from sliding inside the shoe. The sole still remains rather stiff however i feel like that makes the whole shoe seem as if its a part of my actual foot.

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