Given that they are a laceless boot, the upper material on the adidas X19+ plays a huge role in its overall performance. It is the single most important piece that makes the boot wearable without the use of laces to tighten up.
On this latest version of X, adidas has incorporated a brand new material that they call X-Layskin. You might recall on the original version it was called Skeletalweave, and the material was pretty rigid. X-Layskin is very different as it is softer, more pliable and lighter, hugging your foot for a streamlined fit and a minimal feel. And as you can see from images, it has a translucent appearance under the right lights. That is how thin the material is! It is pretty insane to see in person, especially since they have an silver outer coating that looks like a solid color.
The actual construction is put into place thanks to a foam inner skeleton that is covered in a very thin upper film layer. That outer material features textured lines to add a little extra grip on the ball with the benefit of maximum feel thanks to the thin nature of the design.
On the outside, everything looks like it is a total win, correct? Well, that is not quite the case. Using a more pliable material actually comes with its own set of unique challenges. I actually found that the added stretch in the material caused more bunching around the top of the toe joints, so right under the bottom of the area where a lacing system would normally sit. Over the first few wears, this caused some discomfort to the point where I actually got a blister on the top of my foot. On the X18+ it was far more rigid, so the material didn’t have the opportunity to crease and fold in unnatural ways. It took several wears before this subsided and the material felt like it fit right around my foot in a snug, yet comfortable fashion.