Saturday , April 20 2024

Up Close – adidas X18.1 “Spectral Mode”

adidas Spectral Mode X18.1

Released as part of the recent Spectral Mode Pack, this newest addition of the speed focused adidas X18.1 goes slightly off white, providing a uniquely different type of clean colorway. It is almost a like a shade of eggshell white with a winter shimmer placed across the surface for added effect.

Right from release, there has been a lot of positive buzz surrounding the X18 series. The designs are slick, and the fact that adidas has placed a direct emphasis on comfort and stability in a speed boot has not gone unnoticed. We haven’t had a true winning speed boot from adidas since the f50 adiZero series was retired, but these have proven potential. So, what else have they got on offer that you need to know about?

Find the X18.1 Spectral Mode at

adidas X18.1 Spectral Mode Upper (2)

SpeedMesh Upper

The upper on the X18.1 is called a SpeedMesh, and it very unique. adidas has created an extremely lightweight material that provides second skin-like fit with a barefoot-like touch on the ball. The upper material is lightly perforated to create a little extra texturing, and it is then placed on a slightly thicker under layer for added durability.

In terms of touch and control on the ball, they are very effective. Creating a little extra texturing by removing some of the material is a simple way to allow for better feel on the ball. The material is naturally lighter, and there is added grip on the ball. As a player that enjoys dribbling on the ball, they felt excellent in game. You really feel confident moving at speed as you get that natural feel you need, with less fear of the ball spinning away from the surface.

Claw Collar

The Claw Collar found on the X18.1 is very similar to what is found on the laceless X18+, only that you have the addition of laces. It provides a very sleek and aerodynamic look. adidas use a compression material called TechFit that is also used effectively in many of their other products. It provides a snug tight feel without being overly restrictive through movement. In terms of where it is actually used, basically the black portion that runs through the lacing area and back around the higher cut heel region. When you pull the material laterally, there is a definite elastic feel that automatically springs back into place as you release it. So, it does its job effectively.

adidas X18.1 Spectral Mode Speedmesh

X18.1 PureSPEED Upper

adidas X18.1 Spectral Mode Thin Upper

adidas X18.1 Spectral Mode Pack Collar

Comfort Notes

Where the laceless X18+ came with a necessary break-in period, the X18.1 absolutely doesn’t. These are a dream boot right out of the box, with adidas creating perfect fit and form throughout. Take the area around the heel, where a memory foam style padding hugs the area as you slip into them. You just have to let your heel soak into the material and enjoy the feel through play.

The addition of laces allows you to really dictate how snug they feel around your foot. Key here is to loosen the laces right up, down to the last wrung, before you put them on for the first time. I’ll always be a fan of laced over laceless just because it allows you to determine how they fit rather than relying on a materials that might suit one player more than another.

adidas X18.1 Spectral Mode Collar

adidas X18.1 Spectral Mode Heel Comfort

How do they Fit?

The answer: very, very nicely. For players in need of an accommodating boot option, these can definitely be added to the list. Once you squeeze your feet in through the tight opening, they deliver a very open fit that allows a wide fitting player to wear them.

The natural shape and contours of the upper hug your foot, with a little stretch to provide a comfortable end fit. I found that the Predator 18 provided a surprising good fit for wider fitting players, these are even better. It seems like adidas has reevaluated the shape of their boots to suit a wider variety of players and it is a welcome change. For those with a narrow foot, you will need to rely on the laces to really tighten up the fit. But unlike other laced boots, the tongue is built in and that means you might not get the constriction you need. Thus, I see them as a more appropriate boot to recommend to wide fitting players than narrow fitting.

adidas X18.1 Spectral Mode


Right around the toe box – as seen in images above – adidas has added what looks like a thin layer of plastic to enhance durability. Thankfully, it plays its role without reducing the pliable feel through the area. So, a welcome addition that should prove useless over time. I haven’t had enough time with them to say they are going to provide players with an entire season of play, but things have been very encouraging to date. The construction of the boot seems solid enough to ensure you get value for money out of them.

Retail Details

There have been several new X18.1 colorways released since this World Cup version hit the market. Each look matches the style of its particulr pack, offering players options based on style.

This X18.1 “Spectral Mode” version is available for $224.99.

adidas X18.1 Spectral Mode On Foot

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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