Given Adidas’ recent introduction of two entirely new boots to the Ace silo (PURECONTROL and Ace 16.1 Primeknit) you’d be forgiven if you thought the updated version of Adidas’ original control boot has fallen a bit by the way side; because it definitely has. While everyone and their dog has been wearing (and raving) the knitted versions of the Ace silo, there hasn’t been too much love for the update to the original Ace boot.
However, Adidas has sought to rectify that with a cracking blackout release for their control boot as part of the limited release Ace 16.1 Fluid Pack. While they’re officially listed as Black/Black Green Metallic/Black, they’re a blackout release plain and simple, and they’re currently the pick of the litter across the entire Ace 16.1 silo as far as looks go for me. I know that Bryan has these boots in hand and is chomping at the bit to get them fully into testing to see how they compare to the original.
Speaking of looks, the design of the Ace 16.1 has been completely updated and streamlined, while the Ace 15.1 looked a heavy duty boot, the updated version resembles a rakish racer in comparison. This is down to the technical changes changes made to the Ace 16.1, the most prevalent weight shedding one being the introduction of the mesh tongue which has been “borrowed” from the Ace 15+ Primeknit and features a lacing cover which helps give the boot the laceless feel, which is all the rage these days.
Also on the technology side of things the 3D Control Web system which comprises the upper has been completely redesigned and now covers practically the entire upper of the boot, giving the boot a more refined look than the original Ace. While the honeycomb pattern of the Control Web still remains it is definitely a more aggressive looking boot this go around.
The biggest change with this season’s Ace release is easily the most surprising. The soleplate has been completely redesigned; the TotalControl soleplate is dead (long live TotalControl), and has been replaced by the new GroundCTRL 2.0 which sits on an updated model of the SprintFrame chassis. I was a massive fan of the TotalControl system on the Ace 15.1 Leather I tested, it enabled the boot to be truly all purpose when it came to playing on artificial ground and firm ground, and for me it was the best innovation in the boot world for 2015, so I am very sad to see it retired so quickly. It seemingly signals this new Ace is going to be very much a firm ground boot that can play on an artificial surface as opposed to the original remit which was a boot designed to perform equally well no matter the surface.
That said I am sure many people will be super stoked (that’s right I am very down with the kids) for the return of the SprintFrame chasis, which while not as versatile as the TotalControl system is still definitely a proven performer, and has been updated to feature conical studs. The original system was a beloved feature of the F50, Predator, and Nitrocharge lines and if Adidas use it on their upcoming X 16.1 boot (which fits to be released around Euro 2016), it could be a financial boon as it’s more cost efficient to produce one system for two boots as opposed to two radically different soleplate combinations.
While Adidas haven’t been as quick or boisterous in promoting the new Ace (all their ads focus purely on PURECONTROL) the boot still carries a premium price of $219.99 which is right in line with the original Ace, and is available in somewhat limited sizes at soccer.com.