Since their release, the actual purpose of the Adidas Ace 16+ TKRZ has been something of a vague mystery. Yes, adidas list them as a turf shoe and state they are designed for street style players that need a shoe to master the tricks and boss the cage. Unfortunately, most of us are not looking to invent new skills for others to copy. So, that leaves us to figure out where they are most useful and how universal their overall performance goes?
The first thing to note about TKRZ is that they provide one of the most unique visual designs you will see on any soccer shoe. Realistically, they really aren’t that pretty to look at, with a very dark and unbalanced appearance throughout the upper and soleplate. It has a lot to do with the materials used and how they are pieced together. The addition of Shock Pink detailing does add a little extra pop and takes some of the focus off other areas. They are officially listed as Black/Shock Pink/Dark Grey.
Available at soccer.com.
TKRZ Skin Upper
And that leads us to the overall performance of the upper with it’s synthetic/rubber mix. To the touch it has a lot of texture, with both materials forming different height levels. It also generally feels a lot thicker than you’d expect, taking away from the general pliability of the material. Out of the box they do feel stiff and are not the type of boot that you want to wear for an hour first time out. On the ball, you get an extremely clean touch and plenty of grip to keep the ball close to your feet. If you are looking for optimal control and the ability to have the ball looked against your shoe, this is a quality option!
The important thing here is not to assume the additional rubber means these are intended to be a power boot. When we think of a rubber compound added to boots, we are immediately drawn to visuals of boots like adida Predator and Warrior Skreamer. But these do not fall anywhere within that bracket. The material here is a lot more uniform with a light texturing. It feels a lot more compact and doesn’t feature definition, providing more grip and control than rebound.
Turn them over and the soleplate throws out even more interesting results. In order to really define what they are about, lets break them down into three separate areas, starting with the lowest profile first. This would be the rubber region toward the front of the boot, that black stripe sitting between the top layers of pink studs. It is in place to provide extra grip as you place your foot on top of the boot, a staple for quick paced, short sided play. In general, players that like to create tricks are going to use the region more, but as an everyday player they still provide something a little extra it tight spots. On a standard boot, studs can cause conflict with that initial touch on the ball, but with TKRZ its position and the overall profile of the soleplate allows it to have a valid purpose.
Next would be the actual soleplate and its wild pattern and definition. it is seriously wild, with the center circular regions action as mild nubs for added traction. Well, that might be so if the material was a rubber. Instead, it feels a lot more like a plastic and as a result it doesn’t grip the surface as you’d expect.
The final level is the pink conical studs, with 4 up front and 3 in the back. I say studs, but they provide one of the lowest profiles of any stud I’ve ever seen. There is less than half an inch difference between the soleplate and the level of the studs.
Where They Perform Best
Traction wise, they really are not the best boot out there. In fact, if you are looking to wear them as a game day boot on artificial turf, I’d recommend against it. I’m talking modern artificial turf here, where it mimics a natural grass surface. When adidas state “cage” they really mean these boots are intended for short sided cage play. Over the past few weeks, I’ve worn them in many different situations, including trying them in game. It didn’t work out so well. On one occasion, the artificial surface was slick from some rain and I felt very wobbly on the surface. In fact I switched them out after 10 minutes. Personally, I don’t see these as a game time boot and I recommend they only be used on what many would define to be astro-turf. Anything that is low to the ground and intended for extremely swift, close ball movement is where they are most useful.
How Do They Fit?
In order to create a competitive trick style shoe, you need them to fit snug with plenty of feel right across the upper. There can’t be any excessive space where you lose much needed touch. As a result, TKRZ fits reasonably tight. It is the type of shoe that you need to completely loosen the laces on in order to get your foot in. There is also an internal strap that locks the tongue down across your forefoot. It wraps around the midfoot and under the footbed of the boot. In terms of length, they are very much true to size, so you should have little issue with fit in that regard. But, I’d be a little wary if you need a wide fitting shoe. And because of the rubber material through the upper, I see little stretch with them over time. The pair I’ve been wearing feel exactly the same now as they did when I first wore them.
Adidas Ace 16+ TKRZ Review
As it comes about, this is an extremely tough boot to review. It sits in a bracket all of its own and as a result, this is our best take of how they perform and what you can expect. Are they worth investing in? If you are a “creator” who likes to use tricks in your game, they are worth considering. Again, the surface you play on is HUGE here. Their overall purpose is exactly as adidas state – for short sided play where you can dictate the tricks you invent! But in general, the difficulty of defining where they are best used leaves you wondering if that has more to do with the lack of pizzazz (and traction) when using them in game. Lets make this a little easier to decipher using a summary:
- feature a rubber material in the upper, but they are not intended to be a power boot.
- they provide excellent upper grip to keep the ball in close control.
- traction wise, they are not intended for 90 minute games.
- right across the soleplate, the profile is extremely low.
- adidas ensure they provide a locked down fit, keeping your foot feeling secure.
If you are interested in a pair, they have a retail of $149.99 at soccer.com.