A few months back, Adidas introduced us to a concept boot that they were working on developing, where a partial sock was attached to a boot. It is called the Primeknit FS and the initial images created a serious WOW effect.
Given the fact the Primeknit FS was released right after Nike introduced us to the Magista, it is safe to state there is a definite competitive nature behind this design. It is safe to assume that Adidas wanted to let boot fans know they were working on a similar boot to the Magista and they didn’t intend to miss out on the release hype.
The idea of a high sock design is definitely new to the market, something that goes against the normal expectations of soccer players. Bear in mind that this boot remains in design phase and is essentially a “concept model”, but the goal for adidas is to have something released by the end of this year. The one piece design and strong light yarns of the Primeknit FS is expected to provide new levels of flexibility and comfort with stability and strength equal to that of conventional boots, as the story goes.
There is sure to be more development to improve the overall boot performance before release, but what we have seen to date about this concept boot has been pretty ridiculous and it has the appearance of something thrown together in a very short space of time. Trust me here, I am not oblivious to the amount of time that is spent by educated researchers in developing boots like these, but from a boot enthusiasts perspective it looks like these were designed by a non-soccer player. The Nike Magista features a similar design, but the difference between both designs is the fact Nike cut it relatively low and this helps the boot avoid several problematic areas.
For example, how is a half sock design going to function in multiple games? Many players wear different colored socks, so a black design like the concept, is not going to work for a team that wears a different color. Unless the design features an interchangeable sock, it is only going to suit players who wear one color consistently.
Another issue is sizing, where different players will need different sock sizes. Some players have large calves, while others need a thin sock. Anything on the opposite spectrum is going to create a very uncomfortable fit, case in point the images the were posted on SoccerBible last week. In the image below, note the extreme sock creasing that is definitely not going to make for enjoyable wearing through a game. Rather than looking like a knit sock, it has more of a leather boot appearance.
The final problem conforms with the issue we encountered while testing the Nike Magista – how they smell after several wears. Because the high sock collar is not removable, it tends to pick up unwanted scent during wear. It is very unlikely that you will wear your socks for 3 or 4 games on the trot without washing, so why would a boot with a sock be any different? This is not the type of boot you are going to want anywhere near you after several wears!
Ultimately, Adidas has a lot – A LOT – of work to do even if they tout this boot as being a concept. Knowing the three-stripe, they probably already have a new, more advanced version in the works, with plenty of pro players offering feedback on their performance. But when it comes to this concept boot, when you take a deeper look at the way the boot was introduced to the market, it really doesn’t add up and they can’t be taken seriously.
When a final model of the boot is released to market, I will be the first to hold my hands up and admit I was wrong if the performance is in any way impressive. But as it stands, there is too many question marks to the current concept.
Agree or disagree – what was your initial reaction when Adidas released details on the Primeknit LS?