With its explosive Red/Core Black/Solar Red design, the new adidas X Speedflow+ is the type of release that breathes dynamic speed. adidas has looked at ways to enhance overall support by evolving its predecessor – X Ghosted – with an updated upper design and a carbon fiber modified soleplate design. The result is a dynamic boot that will excel through intense, instantaneous directional changes.
We have had several colorway releases helping players reach “speedfullness” – what adidas has labeled as the new state of speed – since their initial introduction earlier this Summer. As part of the releases advertising campaign, speedfullness is a key term that describes what connects player’s with the natural nature of the tech advanced boot.
You can find all currently released colorways of X Speedflow at SOCCER.com.
The decision to switch from X Ghosted to X Speedflow seemed to happen pretty rapid, something we normally don’t see from adidas. It is clear that they wanted to add some modifications that deserved to exist along with a fresh new title. Why the decision was made, we really don’t know. But in hand, the materials used through Speedflow seem a lot more responsive and fine tuned. Visually, the design evokes a connection with explosive speed, exactly the type of message that adidas is trying to convey to fans.
Breaking In and Comfort
Some sources have quickly labeled these as “one of the greatest speed boots ever released.” Honestly, those opinions need to be tempered, especially when it comes to initially breaking them in.
As laceless boots go, there is a lot to like about these. Visually, their risk red coating screams pure speed. Slipping them on is actually decently easy compared to their peers. And the upper material has a responsive feel to it.
But, I don’t feel like most will want to wear them in a competitive environment right out of the box. They are the type of boot that take a few wears to really open up and adjust to your natural foot shape and movements. You are going to want to gently stretch them out, allowing the snug upper materials to loosen and breath in the most effective manner. Underfoot, they also have a semi rigid feel, something that I address a little more below.
After spending some time breaking them in, they are a very efficient laceless release that fall somewhere inside the top five all time bracket. My approach was to initially wear them around the house, before taking them out for the first half of a practice session. I then eased them into a full wear at practice, before taking them into a game. So, I’d say I wore them for 2-3 hours before actually putting them on foot in a competitive environment.
Incredibly, this is the lightest upper that Adidas has ever placed on a readily available market release! It is built using several micro thin layers. It starts with an internal Agility Frame that connects player to boot. It is a lattice structure that wraps around the foot, providing lockdown and stability in every direction while staying as light as possible. Over that is the Primeknit base, which ensures you get a responsive and naturally stretching fit. And finally, this is all coated with a lightweight synthetic skin overlay that keeps you locked into the laceless boot without distraction.
From wearing them, I can tell you that the internal Agility Frame is absolutely key to the design and how they play on foot. Without it, the upper with be too flimsy and your foot would slide in the boot. The upper is extremely thin with a translucent effect under the right lighting. So, you can expect a barefoot like feel on the ball with a light texturing that helps with initial control. The latter is very minimal, but does provide some added impact as you move quickly with the ball at your feet.
Soleplate and Traction
Underfoot, adidas go with what they are calling a Carbitex SpeedFrame. It is essentially an upgraded version of a fan favorite, with the SpeedFrame serving as the primary component and carbon fiber inserted in the forefoot of the soleplate creating some additional spring and snap as you release off the surface. It plays off well, although initially I got similar vibes to the old Nitrocharge soleplate. It will take a few wears to loosen up what is a pretty rigid plate, gradually transitioning to a more uniform bend that matches your foots natural movements. Don’t be surprised if you feel some cramping along your sole over the first wear or two, it will subside as you gel with the boots.
adidas has strategically positioned Chevron shaped studs in the forefoot, with four blades on the heel for ultimate traction. They are the type of boot that you can wear on FG or AG surfaces without impacting performance, although…..adidas has also released several AG versions of the boot! This will be a breath of fresh air to fans that want something specific for wear on artificial surfaces, something that gives them the best opportunity to excel on hot turf fields.
Designed for Speedfullness
Ultimately, what are you getting performance wise from the Speedflow+ is a super lightweight boot that will compliment quick turns, cuts and lighting acceleration. For players that base their style off of these types of ideals, there is a lot on offer that you can take advantage of. A light boot won’t make you noticeably quicker, but in those dramatic movements where you need to make the most of whats on offer, having something geared to match your playing style can’t hurt. In fact, just having that extra level of confidence can help you get the most out of your game.
They are not designed to be a power boot, with the upper creating more of a barefoot like sensation on the ball. This makes them ideal for creative players who want to know where the ball is at all times, creating a natural feel while dribbling and offering a connection between foot and ball. But, don’t be surprised to feel the full impact of your opponents studs in crunching tackles. It is a trade off, and one that you need to understand when considering a boot like these. Can a defender wear them? Yes, absolutely, for sure. I mean, why not. You just need to weigh up your overall expectations and when you look for in a boot. Ultimately, I’d summarize them as being an option better suited to pacey wingers and creative midfielders who rely on quick touches and dramatic changes in speed/direction.
How do they Fit?
When it some to laceless boots, you have to expect a vacuum-fit in order to keep you locked into the boots. So, don’t ever expect a laceless boot to provide a “natural” style fit. What you get is a very tight ankle opening that gradually opens up into a deep hollow gully through the forefoot. What is nice is the fact that upper material is responsive enough to allow for wider fits inside the boot.
In fact, these are actually one of the better wide fitting laceless boots we have seen released to date! You just have to get through the tight ankle opening, and there is hope that they will feel comfortable to wear. I’m a medium-wide fit and overall I felt comfortable wearing them. Length wise, they are as you would expect and very much true to size compared to other adidas boot releases.
Laced vs Laceless
I did get a chance to wear and talk about the laced X Speedflow.1 recently, and from my experience found that they had a lot more to offer performance wise. It will ultimately come down to personal preference and what you as a player expect from each style. But having the opportunity to tighten up the laces makes them a more functional option in my opinion.
There are already several colorways in the range available, highlighted by the recent highly colorful “Numbers Up” edition. That has definitely been the standout version to date, like a boot abstractly painted by a animated artist. This solar red version pictured was the intro colorway for the silo.
Find all the latest colorways available at SOCCER.com.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: adidas evolution in speed, a laceless boot intended to take players to a new level of Speedfullness. Designed to enhance key elements of playing fast soccer; acceleration, agility and instinct.
Would I Buy Them: If I was after a laceless boot, then yes, these would fall into definite consideration
Player Position: Ideally, wingers or pacey attacking mids who rely on deft touch and fast excelleration.