Lotto are back on the market with a new boot having taken some time off recently from innovative releases. The Lotto Solista is a boot that steps up innovative techniques and brings an all new type of technology to the table – reflective visual cues. This new boot is intended to light up and produce a dynamic new look on the pitch.
Rather than choosing a flashy color for the upper, Lotto has created the boot with a dull grey but upped things with a reflective effect. Of course, they is always more to a boot than the technology that a brand advertises and promotes, so we took the opportunity to put a pair through their paces in several games.
For those interested, the Lotto Solista is currently available at Soccer.com.
Like most people, I wanted to know more about the Solista and the reflective upper right after they were released. The concept is very unique but it is tough to actually comprehend without seeing it in action, especially since they have that natural grey hue. I’m also interested in seeing how the smooth looking upper feels on the ball.
Breaking In and Comfort
These were a solid, clean boot to break in with little to no complaints. I have encountered some issues with Lotto boots in the past, but these work very effectively from first wear. I’m a fan of the fact Lotto decided to trim down on the funky soleplate technology. We have seen everything from Twist n’Go studs to ReactiveArch and everything else they advertised. The Solista features the tried and trusted Punto Flex technology – simple, yet it is all that is really needs. If you compare them to something like the Lotto Futura, the comfort offered by the Solista is 10x better. Mind you, the performance is also 10x better!
Puntoflex is a special technical device in the soleplate which allows the foot to flex correctly and gives an excellent elastic return.
Lotto employ a soft suede inner lining to add a firm, locked and secured, fit. It works effectively to keep your foot in place. It is a simple touch but one that bodes well with the overall make-up of the boot.
Lotto has gone with a single piece of microfiber for the upper. It is actually quite soft considering the fact it features a reflective smear. Just a word of warning here, don’t get too caught up staring at the cool, sparkly upper – it is kind of mesmerizing and can cause hypnotic trances under the right light! In all seriousness, I had expected it to feel pretty tough, but they are decently flexible from first wear with a faux leather feel. The only stitching that exists throughout sits along the heel, where both sides of the upper meet and are attached in at an off-centered angle. Visually, this adds a pretty effective appearance.
Given the fact that the forefoot is a microfiber and there is no stitching, everything is very clean and smooth in the region and that causes some concern – as covered below.
Under normal daylight conditions, the boot has a grey toned look to it. It is almost like the color of clouds on a stormy day, a very deep shade. Although it isn’t bright and funky like most boots on the market, it does have a decent look to it because they are so different. The addition of Green and Blue detailing throughout the upper also helps spice things up. During day games, this is how your boots will look and there won’t be much to change that.
But, when the sun goes down or you are playing indoor under lights, the boot changes dramatically. Up close, they still have a grey look, but as the light hits the reflective surface from different angles, they really do light up. It is a very trippy effect and I had a lot of people asking about them and why they were flashing as I moved. It has that sort of disco ball effect, where light shoots off the surface when it hits it at the right degree. The result is a very clean, white upper as seen in the image above.
I had the opportunity to test these in both indoor and outdoor conditions and the reaction from fellow players was pretty much the same “those things light up!” When you look down at your own boots, you can see the difference as you move but you definitely don’t get the same effect. That is why I passed these over to one of my fellow players (who also wears a size 9US) so I could personally see the effect from another players perspective. The results were conclusive and I myself found the look to be extraordinary. In terms of visuals, you can see them change very clearly and it happens quite often. Did it help me pass the ball to this player more? Not really, but at least it caught my attention and I knew where he was running at different points of the game.
Now, where it might go pear-shaped is if several players are wearing them in the same game. It would kind of get confusing and complicated to be dribbling with the ball and be only able to see several bright shining targets in your way.
In Game Performance
First thing is touch and control. As pointed out above, the microfiber upper features no stitching or other type of technology on the forefoot. This means you are getting a very smooth, even surface. This might sound well and good, but it does have implications on how it feels to control the ball. As you contact, the smooth surface offers no real sticking element and the ball can run away pretty easily. There is always a tricky balance involved when creating an upper, between that sticky, tacky feel on the ball and ensuring you are not tripping over yourself. Lotto has taken the latter approach but taken it a little too far. In other words, they are lacking some sort of control element. I love the concept of a smooth, clean surface but it does hamper performance wise.
When it comes to the soleplate and traction, Lotto has got things spot on. The soleplate features Punto-Flex technology and definitely has enough flexibility to allow them to be worm comfortable from day 1. This is something they have continually got right. Then triangular stud shape takes an assist from the F50 adiZero, and like the adizero it works very effectively on the majority of surfaces. I wore them primarily on turf and they worked out really well, definitely no drag on sharp cuts.
How do they Fit?
This is a very much true to fit size, with a medium/wide fit through the forefoot. They worked out perfectly for my foot shape and were right on target for what I expect from a size 9US. They have a similar shape to the Nike Vapor VIII, minus the snug cut fit across the top of the laces. But that is the type of boot you can compare them to.
I did notice that the upper tends to pick up some scuffing. You won’t notice it so much during day games, as it is hidden by the grey color. But, when you are under lights and they are in their luminescent glory, you will see where the nicks and scrapes are. Another negative is the lack of a control aid or some texture through the forefoot. Just that little extra tackiness on the ball would add some much value to these boots – maybe on a future edition!
For those interested, the Lotto Solista is currently available at Soccer.com.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A conversation starter from Lotto that does exactly as they advertise – lights up! One-piece, lumeniscent upper gives them a unique visual appearance.
Category: This is one of those releases that really doesn’t have a home – it sort of sits in the “creative” category! I’m going to place them in Speed even though that is not completely accurate as they are not a comparable market “lighteweight”.
Would I Buy Them: I was fascinated when they were released and made sure we got a pair for testing/review. In hindsight, the visual effect is very entertaining, but I wouldn’t pay for them at full price due to the touch/control issue.
Player Position: They are a boot marketed more toward attacking players, but technically they have the mindset of an all-rounder. I’d love to see some keepers wearing them in pro games!