Every so often you come across some extremely in-depth commentary from boot fans that is very difficult to ignore because of how much sense it makes. Case in point the below comments that we were tagged in on Instagram. The comment came from @solecorea and covers two highly coveted power boot releases in recent times.
“Taking a break from NikeFootball, here comes the million dollar question I’ve wanted ask experts and brands for a while now since the launch of PumaFootball’s #EvoPower 1.
Two different boots from different launch periods, the obvious (colorways) is the least contradicting aspect of these boots.
When Predator X was launched, they brought back #Zizou to showcase the boots, celebrating the 10th model of the Predator line with the legendary #10. With videos still floating around web, @adidasfootball claimed #PowerSpine was proved to contain the momentum and energy when shot was taken in the lab. Made much sense at the time and it’s still considered the most ‘solid’ pair of Predators released to this date.
A couple years later, more recently, @Puma have updated the classic EvoPower line with technology that completely went against the above.
The G.S.F. (Gradual Stability Frame) technology that was applied on the new #EvoPower1 model that really took care of both speed and power with one boot. Not only this outsole was advertised to be more flexible, but also it considered the natural motion of the foot bending backwards when it strikes the ball (for more power). To my knowledge, no in depth discussion has been made or put online regarding these two very interesting concepts… but seems like the EvoPower 1 has received more praises all around with less weight and “powerful sensation” in each shot. Did you ever think about comparing these two boots? Do you think these German brands are simply trying to find the best solution for the most powerful boot in the market?”
It is a completely valid question and once you think about it, how do two boots featuring very contradictory technology speak both focus on the same type of performance? Power is the key fundamental attribute of both the Predator X and the evoPOWER, but how does that make sense when one boot features a stiffer soleplate and the other is intended to bend in a fashion that goes against the norm?
The key element to answering this question as best we can is by considering the the era that both boots were released. When the Predator X was introduced, there was no immediate focus on “lightweight” designs, instead it was about producing a sturdy, protective boot that focused on giving players the ultimate strike. Everything on the upper was designed for extra rebound and by placing a PowerSpine through the soleplate, “momentum” became the key focus. As you unleash into a strike, the added weight drove your foot through the ball. When you think about it, that makes complete sense.
But, and here comes the big BUT, the market has shifted dramatically over the past 24 months, and now creating lightweight releases is the focus. Puma has taken a very progressive stance and placed a dramatic emphasis in giving players a completely different type of lightweight power performance. They have continually pushed the boundaries of SL releases and the evoPOWER is no different. Across the forefoot, you get a very light memory style foam that acts as a cushion to reduce impact while striking the ball. Then the GSF soleplate mimics the natural movements of the foot. Rather than placing the concept of momentum on a stiffer soleplate, it transitions to your foot and how you flex through a striking motion.
Realistically, the evoPOWER provides a much more subtle striking experience with the benefit of providing a lighter experience for players. That in turn makes them a complimentary option for more explosive players. The Predator X was perfect for players that really appreciated the added rebound on shooting, those that liked to position themselves around the box and impact the game through their shooting prowess. “Give me the ball and I will score every time”, they screamed!
Which boot provides the better option? That comes down to personal playing style, but given the fact you can’t readily avail of the Predator X (except for searches on eBay), it seems like players need to adjust to the style of performance provided by the evoPOWER. Or maybe not. Adidas has transitioned back to what seems like a more sturdy design with the Predator Instinct range. All is not lost if you want a boot that helps with the momentum dilemma!
What is your take on both boots? Would you choose the Predator X or evoPOWER if you had a choice between both? I’d love to hear your thoughts on both releases and if you can see the differences in their performances. And, if there are any similar questions that you want our take on, let us know!