adidas has taken the Copa silo to new heights by creating the first ever laceless version. It is a wild concept to grasp; one of the most traditional boots on the market taking on one of the most modern technology elements. It all comes together in the form of Copa 19+ and visually there is a lot to take in with these. How do they fit on foot? And how does a k-leather boot perform without laces in play? Everything you’ve ever thought about the Copa changes now!
Find all the latest Copa 19+ colorways at WeGotSoccer.com.
Like most of you out there, my mind went immediately to how can you effectively combine a supple k-leather upper into a laceless design? It just seems wild to mix a truly traditional element to what is modern innovation without dramatically hindering performance. The tiered forefoot vamp is also pretty exciting; does it provide the same cushion without any stitching in play? A lot of key questions to be answered through testing.
Is It Actually a Copa?
It is a valid question, does this release really qualify as a Copa? The answer is a solid yes. Everything about it falls right in line with expectations for the brand. There is a direct focus on comfort and touch. The only difference is the fact adidas has elevated the release with modern technology in the form of a laceless design. In saying that, the Copa 19.1 qualifies even more as being a true Copa release.
Breaking In and Comfort
The biggest challenge I faced with these was getting them on for the first time. It does take a minute to squeeze into them. In comparison to other laceless boots, they don’t create anywhere near the challenge of the Nemeziz (the “impossible”) but you will need to take a minute to work your foot into them. Once on, they do feel pretty snug starting out as you’d expect. Any laceless boot needs to be ultra snug in order to work effectively. Give them a few wears and they loosen up to provide a very efficient fit.
In the run of play, they are a nice boot to wear. Notice I said nice and not great. Inside, the materials are very soft, and thanks to the stretch you get from the k-leather upper, they are very responsive. There is no unnecessary tightness, instead there is a feeling of natural adaptation. Think of your foot as being a caterpillar and the Copa 19+ being the cocoon you form yourself into over for a period of time.
Lets build off the whole caterpillar and cocoon analogy for a minute. There are some caterpillars that love the experience of being inside the cocoon, comfortable, snug and safe from the elements. Then there are others that feel trapped, a little claustrophobic and out of sorts. They need a set of laces on the cocoon that they can loosen up to breath more naturally. I am the latter, this was the one pair that I felt most trapped inside, needing the release of some laces. They are comfortable, but they are equally as snug. That sounds like a contradiction, but when you are wearing a k-leather boot that has natural movement, your foot gets this satisfied sensation in play. A boot that is equally as opposite in both respects is the X19+, which has a synthetic upper and a more spacious fit on foot.
First off, lets talk about the implementation of K-leather. It comes together as a super supple, one-piece upper that is finished with Fusionskin, an innovative leather treatment that allows for seamless construction and decreased water uptake. It is incredible! We are talking about the fact you won’t find a single layer of stitching through the upper of a k-leather boot. How does that even work? Pretty effectively, actually.
In creating a laceless design, adidas has fused a Purecut laceless sock – that expands to supports your foot through quick movements – to the k-leather upper. This is the key element to making everything work in unison, leaving you feeling like a g6 during play. The sock has a very unusual cut around the ankle that matches the wildly unique collar to forefoot angle.
First time wearing them, it did take a second to get them on, and once I did I found that the collar fit extremely snug across the front of my foot, so much so that there was tremendous stretch in the Purecut material. After some time wearing them, they stretched enough to feel comfortable without feeling loose. That is actually one big concern that players have with these; will the collar overstretch? In my opinion and from experience through play, I’m pretty confident that the material won’t overstretch through play. The knit is pretty dense, so they only seem to stretch to a certain point.
Touch, Control, Shooting
The most important aspect of any Copa release is how do they feel on the ball, especially on that first touch. They come with the pressure of having to live upto every fleeting touch leaving a lasting impression. With no edges, overlays or laces to get between you and the ball, the Purecut laceless sock forefoot provides a soft touch on the ball. There is no stiffness or unnecessary material that gets between you and the ball. That tiered forefoot design is part of an integrated X-Ray vamp that adidas has designed to give you greater control and reduced ball slippage.
Normally, it would be layers of strategic stitching that produce the ridged style definition across the vamp. But with the Copa, adidas has pressed the material under extreme heat to produce an almost cushion style definition. It provides a clean touch and enough dampening to keep the ball close to your foot even in tougher playing conditions.
As much as I could talk here about touch and control, there isn’t much point other than to say they feel great on the ball. They are a Copa after all. What seems more relevant here is trying to match them up to the correct player time. Are they an attacking style boot? Well, yes to a certain extent. But that is not what they are designed to be. Think comfort and players that like to dictate the game through possession; players that like to get on the ball and use vision to create; someone that wants to put full focus on their performance and not their boots.
How do they Fit?
As laceless goes, this is another very decent showing from adidas. That is especially true when you factor in these are a k-leather boot. That upper is designed to stretch, yet they stay on comfortably true wear. In saying that, I did find that they didn’t give me the level of security I desire while playing, making quick cuts and chops across the pitch. As you change direction, there is always a little bit of give that doesn’t allow you to push off at that exact split second like you would be able to do in a laced boot. It was fine in practice and scrimmages, but when it came to competitive games I found myself switching out of them for laced options.
Size wise, they are a very accommodating medium/wide option, right on the spectrum of being a wide fitting option thanks to the pliable k-leather upper. In terms of length, I found they were a touch longer than I’d expected. But not like a size larger, more like a pinky finger to allow for a roomier fit.
Traction and Soleplate
Underfoot, adidas use a lightweight Exoframe outsole that has been optimized for firm ground surfaces, in other words natural grass pitches. But, since they feature a conical stud pattern, they are a solid option for use on turf surfaces also. I had the opportunity to wear them on both, and they easily transferred as a comfortable, effective option. What I really like is the even distribution of pressure right across the surface of your foot, so there are no unnecessary pressure points underfoot. Where I did have some discomfort was on the lateral side of the boot, through the midfoot, where my foot was pushed up against the outer wall. Again, this comes down to how snug the fit of a laceless boot needs to be, rather than the width of the soleplate. With laces, I could have gently loosened the laces and felt more naturally comfortable. Just something to take note of!
They are laceless and cost more – that is again my one criticism! If you have experience with laceless boots and enjoy that snug as-one feel on foot, then have at these. But I believe that having laces to dictate your own fit is far more valuable performance wise. Other than that, they are a very solid release from adidas.
This version of the Copa has been on the market a while, so there are several colorways you can choose from. The original retail of the silo is $275, but you can find pairs available on sale for under $200 right now.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: adidas mix the qualities of a super supple k-leather upper with the modern innovation of laceless performance.
Category: Heritage, with an emphasis on touch and control.
Would I Buy Them: They perform well, but I’m all about laces. As a laceless option, they are actually a decent entry option for players that are new to the technology.
Player Position: I’d put these down as a “creators” boot, the type of player that likes to get on the ball and dictate a game.