We are only a few out from the official release of the adidas Predator EDGE, the latest generation of power boot from the home of the 3-stripe.
Over the past few years, we have seen different directions taken with the Predator as adidas adjusted to market changes. First, they decided to retire the iconic silo around 2015, before making a dramatic u-turn and reintroducing it to the market in 2018. That 2018 version didn’t seem to hold the true DNA of a Predator style release, instead featuring a tiered dampening style structure across the forefoot. It was the Predator MUTATOR and FREAK, along with their DEMONSKIN upper, that really started to raise excitement levels again.
With the Predator EDGE, adidas decided to take things in another new direction, mimicking a previous versions upper tech (Predator LZ) while introducing a next generation fit. If you are looking for a summary of this post here it is: I just don’t think adidas got this one right, and considering their own high expectations I’m really confused at how this end product made it to market!
If the goal was to stay true to the ethos of the very first, original Predator silo, then they absolutely nailed it. We are talking larger than life, with an internal fit that doesn’t really adjust to your foot shape and a clunky outer shell that feels like it is made of a synthetic titanium. I hate to say it, but you can already place them in the outdated power boot category! On release, there is always a mixed reaction from fans. It is to be expected. Some will love a release, while others prefer prior generations or just other brands. With the Predator EDGE, I expect the overall response a month or two from now, as more people get to test them, will lean much further to the side of negativity.
Why? First, the internal shape and structure of the boots is all wrong. They actually remind me of the original Lotto Zhero Gravity released in 2006. Put them on, and they are not very comfortable, with the internal shape holding firm through wear. It has taken 4-5 wears to get any sort of natural shape and stretch out of them. And that is a huge problem, as most players don’t have that amount of time to “adjust” to a pair of boots, especially a pair that cost $250.
Then there is the upper material – how in the world did it get cleared by pro level players who tested them? I can not imagine a pro player wearing them and responding “yeah, these are the boot for me!” It just can’t be possible. There is very minimal give in the material, so you really don’t get a natural feel on the ball. With all the progressive knit materials currently used in the market, it is hard to accept that adidas thought this type of upper was the answer.
With all that being said, the wave of mass hysteria claiming these are one of the worst boots ever released is all wrong. They are bad, but much of that opinion comes from the fact we have high expectations of adidas and what they produce. We want them to break-in during the first wear and provide us with a natural level of comfort. What I can tell you is that over the last two weeks, my pair has started to become more ‘wearable.’ In other words, they are slowly starting to provide an enjoyable level of performance. They will not become a favorite boot, but I have definitely worn worse. There might even be some players that experience a different reaction – and I’d love to hear from those of you that do. Let me know in the comments if you’ve worn a pair and what your thoughts are on the design.
The entire Predator EDGE line-up can be found at SOCCER.com.