With their minds fully focused on next Summer’s World Cup in Brazil, Adidas has added a fresh new version of the F50 adiZero as part of their vibrant “Samba Collection“. There is a lot of exciting updates to this edition and with the likes of Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale currently wearing them, there is a positive vibe reverberating around the speed boot right now.
Even though we have labelled this one the “Samba review”, it actually holds true for upcoming F50 adiZero releases. There is some contention as to which version of the adiZero this is, I would label it the IV edition but Adidas has continued to avoid adding an number to the silo.
The F50 adiZero Samba is currently available to buy at soccer.com.
This latest release was pretty much overshadowed by the fact it was part of the Samba Collection. Adidas didn’t invest a lot of time promoting the fact there was a list of modifications to the box. Odd move, but the Solar Blue colorway certainly caught the attention of boot fans. The textured forefoot and new blade configuration are where the real performance interest lies.
There are several aspects of this boot that Adidas has altered and it only adds extra value to an already quality boot. The one evident change is the addition of SpeedFoil around the heel region and the removal of SprintWeb from inside the boot. It gives you an idea of how much work Adidas has invested in this version and it pays off. The boot is a lot softer as a result and more responsive from first wear. When images were first released of the boots, the heel region seemed like it was a mesh and that made me a little nervous. Instead, it is a mesh held inside a plastic like covering. You get a very locked in feel as a result, and it makes them one of the most secure boots currently on the market. Adidas has added a new stud configuration (covered below) but the soleplate itself remains pretty unchanged and offers a comfortable level of flexibility from first wear.
Inside the boot, a soft suede has been through the forefoot, which also has a light layer of padding behind it. This is the first time Adidas has taken this approach on their speed boot and you have to commend them for doing so while keeping the boot at a lightweight 5.6oz.
Note About Weight
Adidas has advertised this boot as weighing in at 5.3oz. From my calculation, a size 9US weigh in at 5.6oz. I did manage to get 5.3oz by removing the insoles, but that is cheating and although it very well might be the strategy Adidas took, it is incorrect against the market. So, I’m listing them as 5.6oz.
There are three new performance additions to this boot – SpeedTraxion, SpeedFoil and DribbleTex.
We covered SpeedFoil and what it offers above, so next up is the addition of a new SpeedTraxion outsole. This is one of the major talking point about this latest edition. Rather than sticking with the very highly regarded SprintFrame stud configuration, they have transitioned to what they call SpeedTraxion. Adidas seemed very confident with the original configuration and it had been included on the adiZero since its introduction to the market. SpeedTraction offers a different level of performance. It is a high speed stud alignment designed to provide maximum acceleration and pinpoint changes in direction.
How does that translate on pitch? Very well, in fact, and Adidas has definitely improved what it had. It is particularly useful on artificial turf, where you really are able to chop, crop and turn without any drag. With so many pitches turning to turf surfaces, I am sure Adidas spent time ensuring this configuration would be effective to use. Just looking at the positioning and shape of each blade gives you a visual example of why this version of the boot is a more effective speed boot. Rather than the triangular shape, these studs are cover a longer but more narrow surface space. And by moving the center stud higher up on the boot, weight distribution is shifted and more uniform. It actually adds a more natural pivot point for your foot to swivel.
Next up is the use of DribbleTex across the front of the boot. First, it should be noted that the upper on this boots is a HybridTouch material – the same that was introduced on the Predator LZ. The adiZero III featured a SprintSkin upper with similar texture for added control in all conditions. It was very effective but the addition of HybridTouch is a game changer. It is much softer and allows the upper to really mold around your forefoot. In terms of the textured region, that offers a very similar feel on the ball. The only major difference is the fact that DribbleTex covers a much smaller area, defined to just the region around your big toe. Personally, I found it covers enough surface area to be effective while dribbling – its intended purpose!
Striking shots, the upper feels much the same as most other synthetic boots on the market. There is no technology available to aid your strike power, so you feel as much of the boots as you would wearing a Vapor or evoSPEED. Think of it as striking a ball wearing the Predator LZ without the Lethal Zones in place! There is that added layer of light padding underneath the forefoot that might provide a little more cushion on impact but ultimately it is not noticeable enough to make a direct comparison.
Compared to the Previous adiZero
In my opinion, this is a much improved addition and Adidas has hit the nail on the head with their modifications. From the stud configuration to the inner lining on the newer model, everything is geared toward a much more defined level of speed. I also found that the upper sits lower on the front of your fit creating a more secure feel as you move on your toes. Sprintskin (a single layer synthetic) and SprintWeb technology through the forefoot has been removed and Adidas has switched to using Hybridtouch – the same material found on the Adidas Predator LZ. It is another bold move that really moves this boot and silo into another dimension.
How do they Fit?
This version is very snug and really envelops your foot in a tight fashion. But, the difference with these is the fact that all materials around your foot offer some elasticity and it stretches around your foot. This won’t be true for all players, but medium to wide fitting players should be confident in ordering true to size. Players with a naturally wide fit will want to avoid this one, though, as they do curve in toward the toe at the top of the boot. For players who are on the verge of sizes or usually find their size to be closer to tight, go up a half size and ensure there really is no discomfort caused by size.
Ultimately, if you suffer any discomfort in these boots, it is due to size. There is nothing about the inside of the boot that should cause blisters or other similar issues – Adidas has done a terrific job of making the inside of the boot snug yet smooth.
As Worn By
At the moment, there really isn’t a more high profile boot being worn in leagues across the world. Players like Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale, Edinson Cavani and the extremely hot Luis Suarez are scoring plenty of goals wearing them. If you notice anything about those that sport the silo, it is that they are all attacking players who like to score goals. That is who these boots are designed to suit most effectively.
Honestly, there is little to fault on these and I feel like Adidas has done a terrific job to increase the profile and performance of the range. My only complaint is that again Adidas has left the SPEED_CELL cavity empty. So, if you are not using your chip, there is an opening right under the center of your foot. Why they do this, I have no idea. I’ve resorted to inserting the chip just to make the surface more uniform but obviously a lot of players are not interested in buying/using the technology. My advice; fill it up with some cardboard and ensure it sits flush before playing in them.
Pick up your pair of F50 adiZero at Soccer.com right here.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: Adidas latest installment of the F50 series features a ton of new upgrades including a SpeedTraxion stud configuration, SpeedFoil and DribbleTex. Top performing lightweight package.
Would I Buy Them: Yes – this is the best F50 adiZero release to date and Adidas has raised the bar for all other speed boots on the market.
Player Position: Definitely an attacking players boot, with goalscorers top of the list. A lot of wingers are also wearing them, but they are not a good option for defenders.
Video Introduction Plus Giveaway Details
If you have made it here on time, we are having a giveaway for a pair that come in an exclusive Adidas promotional display case. There are very few of these “paint cans” with boots to be found anywhere, so it is a very, very big prize. Please make sure to enter on YouTube rather than here on this post please! Competition is open to entries through next Weekend, and we will update with the winners name.