On March 6th, Adidas lifted the curtain and revealed designs for the Primeknit FS Concept boot. Following the release of the Samba Primeknit, they decided to take the knit football boot design further, and make a sock/boot hybrid. Basically, Adidas designed these boots to act as a second skin. Although this is essentially still a concept, Adidas’ goal is to release by the end of the year after some insight from professional footballers. That is why it is a great time to point out a few things Adidas may need to consider before the release. Catching issues before and during testing is much better than facing them after they are released.
Remember that Adidas didn’t release many details about the boots, so a lot of information in this post is off inferences and speculation. For example, whether you are supposed to wear socks with these boots is unknown. Also, many of these issues may already have been addressed, but the details may not have been released.
Fit and Sizing
The Primeknit FS reminds me of the Lotto Zhero Gravity. Like the Zhero Gravity, they may look basic but I’m sure the fit has a lot more to it (Find more about the Lotto Zhero Gravity’s Fit here). Fit and sizing in a lace less boot is key. For example, if you have a narrow foot then there may be issues with locking down your foot. And even if the boots fit perfectly, getting your feet in could be a challenge. Have you ever tried getting your feet into a tightly tied pair of shoes? It’s almost impossible to do. So Adidas needs to anticipate how a player will get these on and off and still have an ideal snug fit. The socks could also interfere with shin guards. Adidas needs to ensure that shin guards can be easily used with these, otherwise, they will end up being a strict practice/kick around boot.
Protection and Durability
The sock like design may be ideal for comfort, but what about stability and protection? The whole idea of a knitted sock/boot hybrid bringing your foot close to the ball is designed to improve touch. But it leaves defensive-minded players wondering what kind of bruises they will bring out of a rough match. Forwards will have to think about protection too because if a defender comes in hard they may not leave unscathed. In addition to protection, the sock design looks a bit flimsy. Adidas needs to put the whole design through a rigorous testing to ensure they hold up. Because if the socks tear after a few wears, overall response is going to be negative. Because this is a one piece upper, there can be absolute no sole separation. If the intent of Adidas is to allow the player to not wear socks with the Primeknit FS, a tear in the one piece upper or separation would basically make the boots unusable.
The durability/elasticity of the high cut socks needs to be consistent. The socks can’t lose elasticity and slide down, but they can’t be too tight either.
Seeing as how the upper is all one piece, how are you going to wear these boots with the attached black socks while your team wears all whites? If the referee does allow you to wear the wrong socks, you’re going to stand out on the pitch and not in a good way. So what can be done about the color issue? Adidas could consider having custom inserts, to change the color of the socks. Kind of like the inserts used on the Diadora Cambio, but with better lockdown. Custom inserts would also help solve another problem. Whether you like it or not, socks get dirty and after a few wears, they start smelling foul. And you can’t exactly throw this pair of socks into the laundry because that would ruin the boots. If there were custom inserts, both color and cleaning the boots would be solved.
In the end, there are a lot of things that need to be addressed before the full release of the Primeknit FS. It may seem as if all these “things Adidas needs to consider” are too much and we should give up on the idea. However, if Adidas can get it right, they will introduce a boot that could change the future of football boots. Therefore, I encourage us all to keep an open mind towards this concept, and wait until the boot and its full details are released before we write it off.
Are there any other things Adidas needs to consider before releasing the Primeknit FS? Let us know in the comments below!