Without a doubt, there is not a more advanced boot on the market than the Adidas F50 adiZero with miCoach! There are two parts to this that make it work: the boots and the SPEED_CELL chip. Adidas has worked on improving the overall performance of F50, while creating a cavity in the sole where the chip is housed. Having the opportunity to track your own personal workout data through play allows you to find areas where your game can be improved! Over the past few weeks, I have been testing a pair in the High Energy/Electricity/White colorway along with the SPEED_CELL for Mac/PC. I went with the leather upper in a size 9US.
As with all the F50 adiZero boots I have tested, breaking in was a relatively easy experience. It is one area that Adidas has really perfected. Right out of the box, the upper and soleplate offer enough flexibility to give you comfort right through first wear. I ended up wearing my pair for a light jogging session starting out, primarily to see if the miCoach cavity produced any difference in how they feel. Because of how the sprint frame soleplate is constructed, you will not even notice it is there. I must admit that it was a concern before testing, but I am happy to report it doesn’t affect comfort in anyway. A HUGE positive – Adidas has stuck with including a cushioned insole only rather than trying to persuade players that they need an optional lightweight insole. Trust me when I say there are no benefits to using a thin insole and this new insole offers a perfect balance that will keep your feet smiling through long games!
Through experience with the F50 adiZero range, I have found that the leather version offers more positives through wear than the Synthetics – particularly when it comes to feel on the ball as you dribble. On this latest release, Adidas has trimmed down the area covered by the Galeo full-grain leather. Instead of covering the entire forefoot through midfoot, it now stops just along the strike zone. Personally, I just love the feeling as the ball connects with the leather upper, you can actually feel the ball cushion as it impacts your foot!
I am going to highlight the functionality of the Adidas miCoach website in a future post, but the basics are as follows. Adidas are ahead of the bunch with the technology used in this boot. The chip does a good job of capturing your data through play and the benefits of seeing how you performed can help you improve your game. It sits very comfortably in the cavity of the boot and you will have no idea it is there through wear. But, Adidas still has work to do if they want to be the leader in performance tracking. It probably has a lot to do with “teething issues” but I found there is little data to help you out if you encounter any problems and I encountered plenty of problems! On emailing the Adidas team, it took over a week to get a reply and I suspect many of you will encounter the same issue as I did (“the CONNECT driver was not installed properly”)
When it comes down to it, I love the concept of being able to review data on how I played through a 90 minute game and this leaves these boots miles ahead of anything else on the market. The boot itself manages to live up to expectations, offering players a comfortable and very functional package. Adidas has slightly altered the stud configuration, resulting in better traction in game, and finally a complete resolution to the breaking stud issue seen on the initial release. I wore them several times on artificial surfaces without any problems, while they are a natural fit for grass pitches. Weight wise, they come in around 6.1oz, but take out the miCoach chip and they drop to a fantastically light 6.0oz!
Lets not beat around the bush here – these boots are in no way the best looking you will find on the market. How Adidas came up with a McDonald’s High Energy/Electricity colorway is beyond me but it is not flattering. In saying that, I have found they are better looking in person than images online, and I have had a lot of fellow players comment on how vibrant they look in play. What it comes down to is your taste and what it is you are looking for visually in a boot!
How do they fit?
There is continually conflicting data on how the F50 adizero fits, with some players deeming them to be a half size long, while others find they are true to size. In my opinion, the leather version fits ever so slightly longer than true to size. If you are a natural size 9 (like me) and order a size 9, you will a little extra room toward the top of the boot – but definitely not enough to go down a half size. If you like a super snug fit, you are welcome to order down a half size knowing the leather will give a little – but if I was ordering them again it would be true to size!
I have given you my thoughts on design and the SPEED_CELL, but there is one negative I have about the boot. Over the past week I have noticed some separation between the upper and soleplate. It is probably related to using them on artificial turf, but it is still a concern. As I wear the boots more, I will give further updates.
What you need to buy:
You have choices here starting with the boot itself – you can go for a leather or a synthetic upper. In terms of the miCoach SPEED_CELL, you can choose between one that functions with PC/Mac or iPhone/iPod. You can buy them individually, or some sites sell both together as a package (like soccer.com for example).
There is a lot of oomph behind this release and I applaud Adidas for taking the much needed leap into player performance tracking. It is a bold step that can only help players in their quest to improve what they do on the pitch, whether it be a 90 minute game or a training session. Adidas has not deviated too much from the original adiZero release, so you know that they are confident in the finished article. There are some areas where I have concerns, but all-in-all I would still recommend them as an top purchase. In terms of position, every player on the field can benefit from these boots. My only concern would lie with hard-hitting defenders who might want something with a little more sustenance and protection. If design is an issue for you, watch out for new colorways in the coming months!
(*boots supplied for review by WeGotSoccer)