New Balance has upped their ante in the sports world by jumping into football full bore. They have a couple of different shoes that we have featured on The Instep, while also sponsoring multiple clubs and athletes to increase exposure. The American company has obviously seen football as a valuable entity, and they are investing in the sport.
As Drew pointed out in an earlier post, New Balance has a couple different silos that they are releasing. The Visaro is more of a playmaker boot, while the Furon is designed for more straitline speed boot. New Balance has already secured some pretty big names who will be wearing their boots. Aaron Ramsey has been the focal point of their marketing campaign for the shoes, and the Welshman has been wearing the Visaro for months.
Some of the other footballers who will be wearing New Balance boots are Adnan Januzaj, Samir Nasri, Fernando Reges, Vincent Kompany, Jesus Navas, and Marouane Fellaini. They represent some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, and the world. They will also have Tim Cahill and Nikica Jelavic in their boots in other leagues around the world. In addition to some of these awesome players, they have decided to sponsor some clubs and national teams.
On the club side, the biggest team they are sponsoring is Liverpool. They also sponsor Stoke City in the Premier League. Bury FC in England’s Football League One and Celtic FC in the Scottish Premiership are also going to be sporting New Balance jerseys. They also have Porto in Primeira Liga, Sevilla FC in La Liga, and Club Sport Emelec in the Ecuadorian Serie A. The national teams that they will be sponsoring are Costa Rica and Panama. Panama and Costa Rica will be wearing these New Balance at the Gold Cup this summer.
Liverpool is obviously a huge get for New Balance, and will be very important to exposing the Newbie brand to the footballing world. As for other teams in the Prem, they have Adnan Januzaj and Fellaini on Manchester United, while Vincent Kompany and Samir Nasri are at Manchester City. Considering they are some of the biggest names in the Premier League, it is exciting for the brand as a whole to have that level of talent promoting the New Balance name.
New Balance isn’t new to the shoe game overall. They have long been an American favorite, especially with their New Balance numbering system, namely the 990 model. They have sponsored other sports teams in the past as well. Australian football, cricket players, cycling, and tennis have all seen New Balance as a sponsor at one point or another. They even sponsor a host of skateboarders too! The company has grown so much in the past 40 years, but they recognize they have plenty of room to grow more. This jump into the football scene will really be an exciting saga to follow.
You can look at all of the latest New Balance products right here.
While the adidas NitroCharge may never truly feel like a proper member of the Adidas family, there can be no doubt that many have found the newest adidas silo to hold everything that they look for in a boot instead of finding their joy in the Predator/F50/11Pro. The original Nitro actually provided a place for everyone looking for an adidas release that had some semblance of the older Predator releases or for a non-speed boot that took full advantage of adidas HybridTouch. Jordon and I often talked about how underrated the original NitroCharge was and we had high hopes that the newest version would only continue to forge ahead in terms of quality and comfort.
The Internet may be rife with rumors that all of the current Adidas boots that we love are soon to become a distant memory with a possible three stripes reshuffle on the horizon, let that take nothing away from the current NitroCharge. The EnergySling and EnergyPulse return to the Nitro, mixed with a new lacing system, some different upper texturing padding, and some tweaks to old aspects that we enjoyed on the original Nitro. However, did it all add up to a winning combination? We take a look under the hood of the Nitro and emerge with a verdict…
Adidas learned from the original NitroCharge that the fans of the boot and decent colorways did not enjoy the same color EnergySling slapped on every boot. Within the first two releases, Adidas showed that they would make the Sling match the overall aesthetic of the boot and show that they may have used all their stores of “slime” that had adorned so many Nitro releases in the past. The mixture of Nitro releases have avoided the loud nature of the Samba Pack Nitro and it seems that Adidas are hoping for the boot to always look a bit classier and more understated than its counterparts.
For our money, the black launch colorway and the current black/orange look are both big winners in terms of looks and appeal. It is tough to compete with any boot presented in a mostly black package, and both colorways allow the quality of the boot to speak out instead of the colorway…but what did the quality have to say?
One of our favorite aspects of the original NitroCharge was the slight padding given to the HybridTouch that was lacking with the F50 and we could not feel on the Predator (because of the elements all over the upper). This incarnation gave us the same style upper that gives a great leather-like touch while still giving a great leather-like padding on the ball. The EnergySling has actually widened a bit on this release, but it never changed how the ball felt and is a great benefit to the fit (which we will discuss later).
The tongue on the NitroCharge combines with the upper to make a great boot to drive through a ball with. Hard strikes and defensive stops with this boot give that fantastic warm feeling that you only get from a properly padded boot, and the Nitro remains one of my favorite boots to blast a shot with. The protection elements from the last incarnation return, but not in identical fashion as the mesh in the midfoot is adorned with some ribbing and the adidas three stripes. The heel pads return, but (once again) in slightly different fashion than the original Nitro.
Our only qualm with this Nitro is something that we felt with the original: we wish that the whole boot was the hybridtouch instead of having the mesh along the back half of the boot. I understand the protection properties that these materials bring, but the boot could really shine if the whole boot was covered in the high quality adidas synthetic.
This area is where the NitroCharge shined brightest. The lacing system of the boot allows for one of the best fits that can currently been found on the market. Adidas decided to couple the EnergySling up with the lacing system so that the entirety of your foot feels secure with the type of squeeze that you can completely dictate by how tight you pull your laces. The break-in was relatively quick with the only pain experienced derived straight from cramping from just wearing a new boot for too long on the first outing.
The soleplate is nothing new from adidas. The very dependable and oft-used Traxion 2.0 has been slapped on the bottom of this boot and coupled with the EnergyPulse to provide some stiffness to the soleplate and make this a very dependable boot. (Note: despite using a very dependable soleplate, these boots should only be used on firm ground surfaces)
While I have no doubt that this NitroCharge will also get very little focus, very little press, and very little love, it proved to be a quality release that has taken a positive step forward for Adidas. The quality of the upper, the touch on the ball, and the impressive fit that the boot offers makes this an impressive release for Adidas. The biggest qualms that I still have is the mesh sections and how little it seems adidas seem to value this release…why launch a boot if you do not put any of your support behind it? No matter if they don’t believe in it, we certainly have enjoyed our time in the Nitro and believe that, given the chance, you will too.
This boot has been tough to nail down for any player wearing the Nitro as many have either opted for the redesigned 11Pro or jumped back to the Predator ship that they left in the first place. However, you will probably see it being used by at least one player on the pitch every time that you tune in on the weekend for a major game. Once again, this area falls away as adidas really has not given a big face to this boot to help with attention…despite it being a decent value as it is a cheaper option than its fellow Adidas boots.
SIZING INFORMATION: True to size (great fitting no matter your foot type)
Considering how big a fan the entire footballing world has always been of the adiPure range from adidas, every incarnation of the boot has large shoes to fill. Although a good boot, the original 11Pro left many longtime fans of the adiPure range unsatisfied and became one of the few boots to see professionals actively leaving the silo for other boots. With the newest release, adidas will be looking to improve the 11Pro while attempting to bring back old fans and bring in new fans. Did they succeed?
After nearly 2 weeks with most of the Samba collection, we are not yet prepared to offer our full verdict on the new adidas boots, but we are ready to let everyone know what to expect with these new releases and share our initial thoughts of the boot range. First up, the 11Pro II:
The first thing to note for anyone hoping to bring in the new 11Pro would be the sizing. Although the final review will also mention this, going a half size down in this range offered a perfect fit. Especially considering the fact that any natural leather will stretch a bit, ordering your normal size will probably result in an awkward fit and will prevent you from enjoying the boot properly.
The second thing about this 11Pro has to be the inclusion of more leather, more stitching, and memory foam inserts around the primary use areas of the boot. The addition of the leather where the last 11Pro had a very plastic feeling band around the midfoot has been a massive improvement. For 99% of players, we love stroking around pass with the instep of the boot and the leather on this boot allows you to make those passes with ease. The extra stitching seems to be primarily for the inclusion of the memory foam in the upper, both of which seem to make for a much more cushioned area on the toe box. Although I expect this area of the boot to continue to soften with use, much like a higher quality leather, the initial softness is very impressive.
The new soleplate seems like a step back towards the original adiZero soleplate with a slightly wider base. Gone are the conical studs, replaced by the almost-triangular studs that adidas has been fiddling with for several boot incarnations. With the new F50 studs being a completely new set-up, it seems like adidas might have made a good choice with the 11Pro II, but to claim it as new technology seems a bit of a stretch.
Keep an eye out for the full review within the next few weeks, but the new 11Pro definitely seems like a better mixture of past, present, and future than the original 11Pro. Although the bright purple color may not suit the average footballer, the boot beneath the paint job is certainly worth your time.
Nike have just released the first update to their Nike5 line combining births colors and new technology to create some the sharpest and most advanced soccer shoes on the market today. The first one of the sick new pairs of boot worth a look is the new Nike5 Elastico.
At the highest level, the Nike Elastico Finale II features a brand new upper material, called Nike Skin, which follows the shapes and contours of your foot as you move, and features dimpling to maximize surface area when striking the ball. It also fits like a dream, and has to be the thinnest Nike synthetic upper ever released. In terms of looks, the bright green tonal base color with and black and pink speckled swoosh will definitely get you noticed, but not be for everyone.
The Nike Bomba Finale II is another top end model, build for turf surfaces, and featuring a black and orange color scheme. Its upper is also made from Nike Skin and is sure to make a statemtn for the coming season.
The biggest change, integrating some of Nike’s running technology and a new leather, has to be the Lunar Gato. This pair of indoor soccer boots features goat leather, which feel like a dream, and LaunrLon to keep your feet cushioned in any street game.
Overall, this is a sweet new offering from Nike, and we can’t wait to try them out.
As you may have seen earlier today, Nike has released a brand new jersey to celebrate 100 years of U.S. soccer. In addition to the jersey, Nike has also released some other great looking products as part of its USA Centennial Collection. Since we’ve already taken a look at the jersey, we are now going to take a look at two other great products: the Nike USA authentic N98 jacket and the Nike5 Gato USA 100 leather indoor soccer shoe.
The Nike USA authentic N98 jacket looks spectacular and is comfortable as well. This jacket is perfect to keep you warm while still remaining stylish. It is predominantly navy blue with a single red stripe going down each arm to tie in the country’s colors. Subtle vertical stripes also run up the front of the jacket to provide a little more style instead of plain navy. It’s a minor detail but it looks awesome.
Since this jacket is part of the Centennial Collection, it features the Centennial crest on the left chest. The Centennial crest, unlike the modern USA crest, has thirteen stars and stripes to represent the original 13 colonies. It is a great looking crest and, in my opinion, should become the regular crest on all USA soccer gear. It is simplistic but looks fantastic. Finally, we move to the back of the jacket where we see “USA” pressed on so everyone can see where your support lies.
This jacket is a cotton/polyester mix, which is very comfortable. It is also fairly thick to provide enough protection from the wintery weather to keep you warm. The neck of the jacket goes a little higher than most jackets. It almost provides a turtleneck look, which is nice to keep wind out and provides warmth.
Even though there are currently some cool looking USA jackets, this is my favorite. I like the combination of red and blue and the Centennial crest. The combination of great design and comfort make this jacket the perfect option for any USA fan.
SoccerPro does not normally carry shoes; therefore, Soccerprose does not normally look at too many shoes. However, as part of the Centennial Collection Nike released a pair of great looking shoes.
The Nike5 Gato USA 100 leather indoor shoes are off-white/cream, which should help make them a little easier to keep clean than pure white shoes. These shoes also feature navy blue to tie in the national colors in the design while also maintaining a stylish look. The shoes tongue features the Centennial crest above the laces to show that these are part of the Centennial Collection. However, the coolest part of these shoes is the outsole. The outsole has stars and stripes to, once again, tie in the United States flag. It looks awesome and is a nice touch by Nike.
As the name suggests, the upper is made of leather to make these extremely durable since they are built for indoor soccer. With durability in mind, these shoes also have toe and medial overlay to help keep the toe from tearing up with tough indoor surfaces.
Not only do these look great and provide great durability, they are also very comfortable. These shoes feature soccer specific Cushlon technology that helps with cushioning and stability. Style isn’t the only nice thing about these Gato’s. These shoes have an articulated gum rubber outsole, which is non-marking but also provides great traction on indoor surfaces.
Even though these are called indoor soccer shoes, they don’t have to be. These shoes are stylish and comfortable enough to wear with jeans while you are hanging out with friends or whenever you cheer the United States on in soccer. You can now be dressed from head to toe with great USA soccer gear.
Of course, these two products and the jersey mentioned already are not the only products available with the Centennial Collection. A retro jersey, t-shirts, shorts, socks and soccer ball are all available. These products were just two of my favorites that I wanted to share. The jacket and shoes look amazing and are a stylish way to support the U.S. soccer teams. You can find the other gear at SoccerPro.com.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
Nike and US Soccer have just launched the new US Centennial soccer jersey and its a stylish mix of classic style and modern attitude. The jersey, which is a celebration of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s 100th year, is designed to pay tribute to a century of American soccer by including several classic elements.
The first one of these elements featured on the kit is the original US Soccer crest. It looks like Capetian America’s original shield, from the 1940′s and 50′s, and is a stunning departure from the anemic modern crest that has sullied to surface of recent US soccer jerseys. The majority of the kit is a classic white design, with this sharp crest on the left breast and the Nike logo opposite. It also features navy trim around the collar and end of the sleeves, with room for official numbering and name sets on the center front and across the back shoulders.
Its constructed from the same Nike Dri-Fit material you’ll see in any other current soccer jersey, and should wick away sweat and moisture from your body. This fabric is also stain resistant, and fits true to size. So if you are a large in a t-shirt, then you’ll need a large one of these kits. The short, socks, and shoes in the rest of this collection look stunning as well, and you can get them all now for 10% off at our favorite partner, SoccerPro.com
The ultrabright red and white colors on the instep and outstep of these boots are stunning. Adidas haven’t done a bright red and white F50 in years, and the three stripes design looks aggressive and interesting in white and red when set against the opposite color on the upper. They also feature Messi’s new log on the top of the tongue, also in red against a white tongue.The soccer shoes feature the same material on the upper, a Sprint Web, that allows for quicker cuts and better stability. Keep in mind, these shoes are built for a speedy striker, and have a foot area built for high-speed dribbling. An internal SprintWeb also gives increased support to the upper, meaning it won’t flex or stretch too far despite being ultrathin when you make a quick turn off the ball. The upper also offers decent ball feel, and while it may not the best after a season, its far more durable than any other speed boots on the market.
The outsole of these Messi F50 adizeros is the same TRAXION™ 2.0 stud configuration you’ll see on the other Adizeros. Its designed for maximum energy return and easy release through the flexibility of the sprint frame construction, and the triangular stud offers decent traction in the wet and the dry. These boots are adidas miCoach compatible, which means you can stick this little device goes into the sole of your left cleat and look at acceleration, top speed, and distance traveled by you post-match.
Overall, they’re a stunning pair of soccer shoes and well worth a look at our favorite partner site, SoccerPro.com.
Nike has recently released some new national team jerseys that look great. Despite some nice looking jerseys, the one that sticks out the most is the new Nike Portugal away jersey. When you have one of the best players in the world playing on your team, you need to have a stylish jersey to match his stylish play.
Portugal’s last away jersey was predominantly white with a green and red cross displayed in the center to tie in Portugal’s national colors. With this new jersey, Nike has kept the same general design. This away jersey keeps the cross design that is predominantly displayed in the center. However, instead of red and green, this has a gray cross. The whole jersey is sleek black now instead of white. This change in color looks fantastic and is, in my opinion, one of the best looking national team kits available right now.
The Portugal crest is stitched on the left chest and the Nike swoosh is stitched on the right chest in white. Not only does this jersey look great, it also feels great so you can cheer your favorite national team on while remaining comfortable.
This jersey is made of 100 percent polyester and features Nike’s Dri-Fit material. This keeps you dry and comfortable as you cheer on Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portuguese national team.
This jersey is currently available at SoccerPro.com, so head over there today if you want this sleek jersey. You can wear this and channel your inner Cristiano Ronaldo as you show your skills on the pitch, or just wear it while you cheer on the national team. The choice is yours.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com