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)
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.
Messi is better than the CR7. He has won more head to head battles. He has more trophies in the closet. He has more winners medals in his trophy room. His national team looks more poised for international glory in the near future than Ronaldo’s. Messi is better- end of story.
Messi has something that Ronaldo will never have, and something that Ronaldo’s personality will never lend to him. Something that only training at Barcelona from a young age can give. Messi has a propensity to pass. His assist totals are consistently near the top of the charts in the Champions League and in La Liga, almost having the most assists last season (narrowly losing to Real Madrid’s Ozil) in La Liga. Who cares if that is what Barcelona has drummed into his brain, especially since it has carried over into national team appearances and if it creates more goal scoring (and winning) chances for his team.
Messi acts a way that Ronaldo will never act. Despite talent that seems much larger than his 5 ft. 7 frame and much greater than any adjective can describe, Messi is the absolute picture of professionalism. While Ronaldo basks on the beach in a speedo, Messi smiles and works hard to connect with his fans and teammates in a quiet manner. Mannerisms that endear him to millions, and a humble nature that makes it practically impossible to root against the diminutive Argentine. Sure, you will not see these aspects measured on the field, but as past greats like Pele and Maradona continue to add dark marks onto their resume by making stupid decisions or saying stupid things in the press, you really would think that if Messi stays consistent in his personality, he may only add to his legend after retirement.
Sure, you could hee-haw back and forth and say stuff that gets you out of making a definitive decision. You could say that Ronaldo and Messi have their redeeming qualities and that only history will tell which player is the greatest, but that is the coward’s way out. Messi is the best- Ronaldo needs to sit down (and put a shirt on).
Written by: Andrew McCole, writer, soccerprose.com
We all remember that kid in gym class who was always poking fun at everyone, especially the girls, as he was clearly God’s gift to football. You can see one such example of a cheeky little prat in the video below, who stands, head turned to face the girl who is about to shoot the ball toward the waiting victims against the wall. Now we have no idea what prompted this football firing squad, perhaps someone was impersonating John Terry during class. But at any rate this girl didn’t need a pair of soccer boots to show the cocky little fellah what for as she drills a shot at him and applies the ball firmly to his face. The poor little one walks off in tears, but apparently was able to see the funny side of things later.
Xabi Alonso, David Beckham, and Nani all have been wearing the new Adidas Predator LZ cleats and they look great. Adidas has completely redesigned the Predator line and the new style not only looks great but also has lethal zones to help give you the best touch on the ball. The new Predator LZ’s come in many colors but today we are going to focus on the blue, white, and infrared color scheme.
As I mentioned above, these cleats are predominantly blue with infrared to highlight the five lethal zones on the cleat. These lethal zones give great control for dribbling and your first touch, better accuracy for driving and passing and a sweet spot. These Predator’s feature a very soft synthetic upper that gives you the best of both leather and synthetic materials. As with most Adidas cleats that have been coming out, these Predator’s feature a sprintframe that helps give great traction while maintaining their lightweight of 7.9 ounces. These cleats are also miCoach compatible to help you keep stats on the field and compare with others.
These cleats are extremely comfortable in addition to looking great. They feature a pre-molded EVA sockliner to help provide great comfort. They also have anti-slip EVA inserts on the back of the cleat. The lining of these cleats is nubuck-touch heel lining to give even more comfort. As you can sense by now, these cleats are extremely comfortable so all you have to focus on during practice and games is what you are doing on the field instead of worrying about pain and blisters. These cleats run true to size but, if you are still unsure, SoccerPro.com offers a feature on their website called shoefitr. Shoefitr compares the cleats you currently have with the cleats you are planning to buy to give you a better sense of how the cleats run.
The Adidas Predator LZ is one of the best cleats on the market right now. There is a reason so many famous players are switching over to the LZ’s. They are comfortable, look great, and the five lethal zones help give you great touch and accuracy. These are currently available on SoccerPro.com, so check them out today.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
Even though outdoor season is around the corner, there are still plenty of reasons to get a quality indoor cleat. One of the great indoor cleats that has been released recently is the Nike5 Elastico Finale. This shoe gives great control and is sure to help you stand out on the field.
Nike have gone with a bold color design for the latest installment of the Elastico Finale. The top part of the upper features volt, which is almost neon while the bottom half of the upper features light green. The light green switches from solid to dots to transition from one color to the other. It helps tie in the colors together and makes the cleat look very good. Most indoor shoes feature synthetic materials and tough leathers. The wonderful thing about the Elastico Finale is the fact that the upper is made of Kanga-Lite material to give you the touch and comfort of kangaroo leather, but makes the shoe more durable. The dots I mentioned above are sticky in order to give you great ball control. The heel and forefoot of this shoe feature court traction, while the middle is textured to give you great control while the ball is under your foot.
Not only are these cleats made with quality materials to give you great control, they are also very comfortable. The kanga-lite material breaks in nicely to give you a comfortable feel. These also have a molded ortholite sockliner that gives full-length cushioning. One problem with these shoes is the fact that they run a little narrower than other shoes. If you are concerned with the sizing, SoccerPro.com offers a feature called shoefitr that compares the cleats you currently wear with the ones you are planning to purchase online.
If you are looking for a quality cleat that offers great comfort and top quality materials, look no farther than the Nike5 Elastico Finale. It will provide all of these things and more. These are currently available on SoccerPro.com, so head there today and pick a pair up.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
The new soccer season is just around the corner and what better time to get a new pair of cleats than right now. If you are looking for an extremely comfortable cleat that gives great ball control, look no farther than the Adidas adiPure 11pro cleats.
The Adidas adiPure comes in several color schemes, however, we are going to take a look at the white with blue and black. These cleats are primarily white with three blue stripes and a black accent throughout. The three colors go very nicely together to provide a calm looking cleat, as opposed to all the bright colors that cleats feature now, but still look great. The upper is made of calf leather, which is abrasion resistant. It also does not take up as much water as other cleats and has a duracoating to increase the durability of the cleat. Not only is it durable, it also helps give you a great touch on the ball. One last great feature that these adiPure’s offer is that they are compatible with miCoach to help you track your stats and compare with players around the world.
As I said above, the calf leather is extremely comfortable and provides a great touch on the ball. These also have soft suede synthetic lining that adds even more comfort for your feet. Adidas has put in a molded EVA insole and flex zones in the forefoot of the cleat. This allows your foot to move naturally while wearing these cleats. These do run true to size, but if you have doubts, SoccerPro.com has a feature called Shoeftr that helps you compare what cleats you currently have with what cleats you are planning to buy in order to give an accurate prediction of the size you will need.
These cleats are comfortable, provide a great touch on the ball and look great. What else could you want? Compared with other cleats on the market today, the price of these cleats is not too bad either. These are currently priced at $134.99 at SoccerPro.com, which is a great price for a cleat of this quality.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
Puma are trying to revamp their cleat lines with their release of the new evoSPEED and now the new Puma Powercat 1.12 has been released and it looks great. The style, feel, and technology go great together to give an awesome overall cleat. If you have been watching Euro 2012, you have noticed that Cesc Fabregas has been wearing these cleats and they have definitely been helping him to get some goals. He already has two goals in two games at Euro 2012, which isn’t a bad strike rate.
These cleats are a mix of white, red, and blue. The colors go very nicely with one another and provide a very visually appealing end product. The upper is made of soft K-leather, which provides a great fit and awesome comfort. A nice feature on these cleats is the Puma 3D PST on the front on the cleat. This area on the cleat features two unique textures that help with power and grip. The Puma 3D PST does not absorb energy when you kick the ball, which helps increase your kicking power. Another feature that helps with striking accuracy is the off-center lacing. This helps increase the striking area and allows for the Puma 3D PST to dominate your striking area. This cleat also gives you great traction with the bladed stud configuration on the bottom.
These cleats feel as good as they look. The K-leather molds to your foot as you break them in, which provides an extremely comfortable cleat. This cleat has a TPU-injected heel counter that helps provide great stability and support. The sockliner is soft, so it helps prevent uncomfortable rubbing on your ankles and the raised heel helps prevent your heel from slipping. These Puma cleats are much more comfortable than previous models as Puma is trying to become relevant again with their new designs.
These cleats are very comfortable. Before the evoSPEED and the new Powercat 1.12, I was not a huge Puma cleat fan. Their shoes have always been comfortable, but their cleats were always a little uncomfortable in my opinion. With the new designs being released, Puma have helped change this and these cleats in particular are very comfortable and durable. The technology offers great features that can help you improve your game. They are on sale now at SoccerPro.com, so check them out today.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com