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Last year, adidas started the process of creating a boot that fuses the distinct design, innovation and sustainable values of Stella McCartney with the expressive style and elite performance requirements of Paul Pogba. Introducing the Paul Pogba x adidas by Stella McCartney PREDATOR FREAK.
The origin of the collaboration stems from a conversation between Paul Pogba and Stella McCartney as part of adidas’ “The Huddle” content series, back in May 2020. Hosted during lockdown, their Huddle not only revealed their mutual passion for fashion, sport and brand building, but also served to sow the seeds for this pioneering soccer-fashion co-creation. The end result is the World’s first ever 100% vegan soccer cleats.
And talk about a design that is designed to stand out in the most sensational way. It starts with a white PRIMEKNIT upper and gender neutral colorway, a blended opalescent leopard print finish across key areas, and is complete with vivid orange DEMONSKIN rubber spikes. Added to that you get an ombré rainbow mirror metallic plate and heel logo – the first time a football boot has carried this feature.
Find remaining limited edition pairs available at SOCCER.com.
What makes them vegan?
Well, basically, they don’t feature any products derived from animals. So, the upper is a synthetic and there is no animal products used in any other pieces of the boot, including the glue.
Performance wise, you get everything you expect from a Predator release.
The obvious purpose of the Predator range is to enhance and compliment ball striking, especially for players that like to get extra power behind their strikes. If we are to look at the Predator Freak in terms of power, they fit the bill and provide some extra pop behind shots. That I can completely agree with and it is something you will notice as you are strike shots or long passes.
But, at the same time you give up something else; touch and feel on the ball. For some, the extra tackiness that comes from rubber elements will improve your first touch and give allow you to cushion the ball on impact. Maybe it is something you look for and need in a boot. But, I found that the tackiness affected touch and never really provided the natural touch and feel I expect as a winger. I like to be able to feel the sensation of the ball against the upper of the boot. Each of the rubber elements remove that sensation, creating a thicker buffer, reducing the feel you get on the dribble. So, for what value the elements add in terms of power, I found they detracted in terms of touch and feel.
Lets go back to striking shots for a minute and what you can expect. If you go for straight up power, you will get a little bump in responsiveness off your foot, exactly what you expect from the DNA of a Predator. They really deliver and allow you to ping shots off your foot. The same is true when it comes to placing shows or adding some curl on your strikes. You are able to get some extra spin and curvature after the ball leaves your foot, with the enhanced surface contact creating additional friction with the ball.
Underfoot, adidas again use a ControlFrame traction system, but this time it has been modified with a split-plate design The studs have also been re-configured to reduce weight. Looking at each of the studs, you will notice the design is more of a Hybrid style, amplifying the boot’s level of rotation and traction. Each stud is a lot thinner than you might expect, and this actually allows them to be an ideal option on both FG and AG surfaces. In fact, this is an area of the boot where they really excel and I was more than pleased wearing them on both surfaces. Playing on turf, they give you solid traction without unnecessary bite, so they release from the surface very quickly allowing for quick acceleration.
And of course, there are the words from the man himself, what does he think of the release?
“I am a footballer first and foremost, but I have a huge interest in fashion and design and I’ve always wanted to explore this further. This collaboration has been particularly special for me because I’ve been a fan of Stella McCartney’s work for a long time, so when we came together for The Huddle last year and had this idea, it felt like the perfect opportunity to create something. It was in the middle of lockdown and I was missing playing football so much, so it was an incredible feeling to be able to focus on something that combines my love for the game with my passion for style. The boots we created with adidas are bold and unique, and I can’t wait to wear them when I step onto the pitch.”
Again, find the remaining limited edition pairs available at SOCCER.com.