Everyone has their own favorite Adidas Predator release and there are reasons behind their choice. For me, the Predator Precision has always stood out as one of the most iconic versions in the range and even now they still hold that “true power boot with extreme attitude” feel about them. From the floppy, fold over tongue to the elongated Adidas stripes on the side of the boot, they represent an era when players wanted a heavy duty boot that worked in unison with their footwork and stood up to any challenges the game had to throw at them.
Adidas released the Predator Precision in 2000, right in time for the Euro Championship that summer. It was the fifth rendition of the Predator boots to be released and it ended up being the first version where we really saw Adidas modify the shooting technology. Rather than the block rubber panels, they switched to a more trimmed down rib design. Separate panels were placed across the forefoot surface with the intent of providing extra spin on the ball. The fins offered some flex and could easily mold around the shape of the ball as it impacted the boots surface.
According to Adidas, the Predator technology was “composed of rubber areas anatomically formed and strategically positioned to increase control, swerve and power.”
The fold over tongue was another interesting aspect of this boot and Adidas managed to get the functionality right. It was there to cover the laces and provide a larger, more uniform strikezone. What was so unique about it was the length, with the Velcro sitting right at the bottom lacing rung. I do remember hearing friends at the time complain that the Velcro stopped sticking over time, but then you had the option of tying the lacing over the tongue to keep it locked down in place.
When you look at the images, it is amazing to see how much stitching Adidas placed across the K-Leather upper. When they were released, brands like Adidas were more focused on creating a heavy duty boot that would last the rigors of long seasons. On this version, the Kangaroo leather was advertised as being “very thin with high tensile strength and strong durability”. The stitching added another level of support by allowing the boot to gently stretch in specific areas while keeping the boots natural shape.
[Also see: Adidas Predator Accelerator]
As a result of the heavy duty nature of the boot, they weighed in at a pretty heavy 13oz – oh how times have changed. As a comparison, the current Predator Lethal Zones (seen in the image below in a bright green colorway) weigh in at a lightweight 8oz. Obviously, that is a pretty substantial difference but it shows how technology upgrades have advanced and the direction companies are taking with their development processes.
This version of the boot was designed for FG surfaces. I also unearthed a pair of the SG configuration, which features Adidas first exchangeable Traction blades. These were the ones that you needed a small screwdriver to loosen and fasten, something that proved to be a hindrance for fans as they loosened a lot during play. It was a novel idea but it didn’t provide the results fans were expecting. The blades themselves caused controversy, with Sir Alex Ferguson pointing them out specifically as a danger for players to wear.
Anyone intrested in finding a pair of Adidas Predator Precision, an eBay Search is the place to look.
If you do find a pair that you like there, don’t expect the boots to be listed at an affordable price! Initially, these boots retailed for $150 but now they have doubled in value since they are so rare to find. I’m thinking this pair might have to sit on my display shelf, front and center in a nice shady spot, for a few more years.
The Story of this Pair
This pair, along with several other classic boots, ended up in my hands thanks to a friend by the name of Derk Droze. Derk is a coach with a team in Europe called FC Nordsjaelland – you might remember them as the team in Chelsea’s Champions League group from this past season. He is originally from DC, and a few weeks back when he returned to clean out his basement, he came across this hug stash of boots that had been sitting, waiting for the right owner, for the past 10 years. They are brand new and still feature the original tags, as you will see in the video above.