I know, I know, it’s November and I’m talking about Adidas Adilette sandals. Obviously it’s not exactly sandal season in most places anymore, but they’re still worth discussing. The sandals have been around since 1972, so, yeah, I’d say they’re a pretty classic sandal. Though I haven’t been around since ’72, I can still remember seeing these sandals being around since I was a wee little kid. If I remember correctly, they’re even shown in the movie Dazed and Confused. Don’t quote me on that, though.
Anyway, I picked up a pair of these sandals about 2 months or so ago, and it was easily the best sandal purchase I’ve made. It’s absurd how comfortable these things are right from the start. I seriously think it took me about an hour to get them broken in. The footbed is wicked supportive and comfy, and what I especially love about it is the contour made for your toes. It fits right into the arch of your toes, so they stay put with every step. As a pigeon-toed (that’s right) dude, I often have problems finding a sandal that stays with my awkward way of walking, and I’m so happy I picked up a pair of Adilettes. They stay with my foot while I’m walking or jogging to beat the meter maid, but they are still super easy to slip on and off. I wear them pretty much every morning to put change in the meter and get coffee. The only “drawback” I found with the sandals is that the upper strap kind of digs into your foot for a day or so. It’s not painful or anything, but you can just feel the stiffness of the upper until you get it broken in. Like I said, breaking them in doesn’t take long, so the stiffness really isn’t an issue. These sandals aren’t necessarily the best at keeping your foot absolutely dry, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had a sandal that did well in that department. All in all, these sandals are a classic in style. I’ve received many a compliment from buddies of mine because they had no idea you could still get these sandals. Rest assured, guys (and girls), these sandals are very much alive. Oh, and as I said earlier, I know it’s not exactly sandal weather anymore in most places. Still, the sandals are totally affordable at $22.49 per pair, and I think they’ll make a great gift idea. I’ve only had mine a couple months, but they show no signs of falling apart on me. I’ve stubbed the front of them on the sidewalk so many times, yet they still remain sturdy and in form. Definitely worth the twenty bucks.
Oh, right, they also come in other colors than navy, if that happened to be your hang up!
Written by: Kristopher Dyer from soccerpro.com
Nike has created an affordable, intimidating cleat in the Nike Total 90 Shoot III that is both high performing and sexy (yes, I said sexy, deal with it). The younger brother of the Total 90 Laser Elite, the Shoot III is a surprisingly comfortable shoe (I’m normally an Adidas man myself), as it runs wider than most Nike shoes. If you have wider feet, fret not. The cleat fits on like a glove. Synthetic leather helps makes the shoe both durable and lightweight, a priority for most player in this day and age. Though not as lightweight as its older brother, the Shoot III has a superior touch over most other boots available today, thanks in large part to the “strike” material on the instep of the cleat.
The rubbery insole may feel like a cheap add-on to the similar styling of the rival Adidas Predator material, however, this could not be further from the truth. When testing the boot, I found the boot’s accuracy, power, and swerve to be quite comparable to that of an Adidas Predator style boot, if not better. Plus, the shoe runs for under $100, something that Adidas cannot brag about with its shoe. Other parts of the shoe are designed for performance as well. Strategically placed studs optimize traction and increase stability so you can cut with pinpoint accuracy and speed. The molded EVA sock-liner also increased comfort and reduces any pressure the studs may place on your foot. A contoured arch helps comfort and the shoe includes solid heel support for further comfort. Not only does the shoe perform well and feels extremely comfortable, but also the Shoot III looks fierce.
Coming from an Adidas shoe lover, the fact I’m giving the Shoot III a ton of credit for its looks should say a lot. The red color will make your feet pop on the pitch instantly. The grey/black color mixed with the challenge red and the black laces help make the entire shoe stand out even more. My one issue with the boot is the big T90 near the heel. It looks slightly gaudy to me, but is hardly noticeable and in reality, a ridiculous complaint. Overall, this shoe is a terrific value for all you get.
Well there were no pleasantries exchanged in this years El Classico between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Almost immediately Cristiano Ronaldo found himself firmly planted on his backside as Pique ran through him after the ball. Ronaldo’s play today was shocking, mostly for his trademark flair that bordered on the absurd at times, and possibly led to the first Barcelona goal scored by Xavi. Having gotten the ball in the middle of the pitch, Ronaldo must have done 15 step overs before he finally put the cross in to Angel di Maria. He waited so long in fact, di Maria could;’t even get a shot away before the ball was played back up the other end of the pitch ending on the toe of Xavi who put it straight into the back of the net. Only a few minutes later, he was guilty of the same type of selfish play. It seemed he actually stopped to watch himself on the big screen, glorying in his own narcissism, before putting in another harmless cross. However,r the most shocking scene was when he forcibly took the ball from the hands Pep Guardiolo, leading to a scuffle with several Barcelona players. A bit of argie-bargie on the pitch is all fair and well, but there was no, and can be no excuse for his pushing of an old man due to his own frustrations. I for one hope he receives a lengthly ban.
The whole Madrid midfield also looked terrible for the majority of the first half and were completely unable to contain Xavi or Iniesta. You can blame it on the torrential lane, but Real looked more like Blackburn Rovers than the terrors of Europe when pitted against the in form Catalan giants.
As for Messi, he had a cracking first half, though not one marked by the inspired finishing we’ve gotten used to. However, he did show hwy he so much more valuable as a player than the selfish and arrogant Ronaldo. He was invaluable as support for Pedro and David Villa on both of their goals. In fact, he played so well Sergio Ramos felt the need to take him out of the match at the end leading to further disgraceful scenes of brawling. Messi’s precise passing made the difference for Barcelona today and gets my vote for man of the match. The match was over on the 60th minute, and honestly Barcelona were only toying with them after that. In the end, it was the atrocious passing by Real Madrid that let the match get away from them. By the time they woke up, it was long gone.
Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
Alright, party people; it’s time to talk about the Adidas Condivo Training Pants. Most of the time, I find training pants to be dull and designed with only usability in mind. I mean you can’t really fault designers for that—they are training pants and need to serve their function properly. However, these training pants by Adidas are awesomely stylish while maintaining superb usability. They’ve got a slick design running down the outside of both legs that combines the classic 3-stripes with some fluid curves and arcs flowing from the hip down to the knee before giving way to the stripes. The Adidas logo is stitched on the left thigh of the pants in a fairly large brand mark, but it isn’t obnoxious. As with many Adidas products, the color scheme is the classic black with white stripes. At this point, at least for me, it’s hard to not immediately think “Adidas” when I see black clothing with white stripes. As far as design and style goes, there really isn’t much more to say—it’s a smooth and simple design with a little bit of elegant edge. On the construction side of things, the Condivo pants offer a lot.
First, let me mention the pockets—They are zippered! Booyah. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have training gear that has open pockets. How am I supposed to take my car keys or cell phone with me when I run? Adidas obviously thought the same way; thanks, guys. The pants are also made with 100% polyester and CLIMACOOL technology that provides heat and moisture management through ventilation, so you’re comfortable all of the time.
The ventilation is no joke, either. Adidas has designed the pants with mesh on the hips as well as the inner thighs, so you get a good amount of circulation to keep you dry in those, ahem, sensitive areas. The price tag on these puppies is $44.99, and you won’t need to replace them anytime soon. They’re a worthwhile investment, even if you only use them to lounge around the house or to go get the mail.
Written by: Kristopher Dyer, soccerpro.com
I’m a person that prefers long sleeve jerseys to short sleeve. I could lie to you and tell you it’s for functional reasons, but it’s really about the style. I just like the way it looks—Doesn’t Fernando Torres seem like a football Fonzie when he’s sportin’ long sleeves on the pitch? That said, I was pretty happy to have the Puma long sleeve Italy home jersey on my desk ready for review.
The jersey is, of course, the same Italy blue as it’s always been. The collar has the same design that looks like it was once a real collar that had been popped and cut off about an inch from the shirt. I suppose there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, though. It also has the green white and red lining the top for an added touch of Italian flair. What I really like about this long sleeve jersey is the shoulder and collarbone area. The shoulders have these sweet little white curves on the front that start from the collarbone, and they swoop down to their end around the elbow. What also adds to these curves is that they are stitched to appear underneath the blue of the shirt, as if they were ripping open the blue part. At the end of the curves, in the middle of both arms, Puma has stitched their recognizable logo in classy fashion. There has to be a word for it that I just don’t know, but the logo adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to the jersey.
The back of the shirt also has the same idea, but the white curves follow the shoulder blades instead of the shoulder itself, you know, for continuity. The chest of the jersey of course has the Puma logo and the Italian crest, which I think we can all agree is pretty suave. The torso also has this subtle design that I think is meant to mimic the muscles of the most cut human being on earth (hint: Chuck Norris). My only beef with this design is that it sort of looks like the face of a Predator, pre duel with Schwarzenegger. Even so, I think the design combined with the shoulder/collarbone look produces a good looking jersey. Most of the time with the subtle torso designs, it pretty much looks like a series of curves and intersecting lines, so I don’t really think people will mind this one too much. It adds some style and modernity to the jersey, which I think is a pretty solid buy at $79.99. It’s a little on the thin side, so you’ll need something underneath if you want to wear it on a cold day, but, other than that, this jersey is a standard, quality Puma shirt that will definitely last and provide awesomeness for years to come.
Written by: Kris Dyer, soccerprose.com
Okay, you want to find out about the Adidas Youth Predito hard ground cleats, and I want to tell you about them. Let’s do this.
Much like the Adult Predator line, this particular shoe is black with yellow stripes and cleats and is also offered in other colors. The stripe pattern is modified a little with a slight arch to each stripe, and each stripe is cut through by smaller, thinner stripes. The inside of the foot is cut by black lines and the outside is cut by silver lines. The striking surface is fenced in by yellow stitching, and the surface itself has this sweet black on yellow design that, to me, resembles the diagram people try and explain string theory with. Of course the back of the heel has the same basic design as the rest of the predator line, so no worries there. I’m not the biggest fan of some color schemes Adidas has produced, but this one definitely works. It maintains the classic boot base color with black, but it works in yellow, or what Adidas is calling “sun yellow,” really well without being obnoxious about it. I like the fact that the cleats are yellow—it just works.
I know, the shoe looks cool, but will it hold up with use? The answer, my friends, is yep. It isn’t made with full calf grain leather like the adult Predator shoes, but it’s still made with decent synthetic leather that will hold up game after game. The cleat pattern on the bottom will keep the little ones from twisting ankles and things of that nature. The insole of the shoe is soft and comfortable without sacrificing support, so, again, your kid’s feet will be protected. At $29.74 a pair, these shoes are a solid pickup for a hard ground shoe. I know it’s towards the end of the season, but, at that price, it might be worth it to pick up a pair for the start of next season!
Written by: Kris Dyer, soccerprose.com
Well it was a performance worthy of the PGA Seniors Tour that guaranteed passage to the last 16 of Champions League for Manchester United tonight as they defeated Rangers 1-0 on penalties. The match itself was atrocious, with both sides sitting on the back foot, and seeming to lack any real interest in winning. You can hardly blame Rangers for sitting back in their now trademark 1-4-5 formation, particularly with the injuries that have been dealt to their first team, but United really should have done better.
All credit to the Rangers defense for holding strong for as long as they did, but in the end it was the ridiculous challenge of Stephen Naismith. For some reason he decided to challenge his inner ninja and annihilate da Silva by using his Nike Superfly boot to kick his face within the 6 yard box. Honestly, it seemed more accident than malice, but it was a very stupid decision for a player of his experience to raise his leg so high in the penalty area. I think once he watches the replay he won’t have too many complaints as it looks awful. Wayne Rooney stepped up to take the penalty and slotted it cleanly into the net, wining the game for United. This is perhaps the biggest story of the night as it is the first time he has scored since his recent troubles. He celebrate like a man possessed by, a man possessed by lot of demons both personal and professional who just had a colossal burden lifted off his shoulders. Still, he missed a lot of chances and there still seems to be some rust in that Wayne Rooney jersey he was wearing. Even Sir Alex admitted so after the match, but seemed genuinely pleased that his pet striker was showing signs of life.
Overall, it was sordid and boring affair that only opened up at the end of the match, but the result was good for United, and in the end that’s all they’ll care about. As for Rangers, there off to the local to lick their wounds and prepare for the UEFA Championship.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
This particular version feature the David Beckham sponsored
colorway, which is red on white has red flames all over the
predator element. Also, it has the same metal stripe going along
the back of the heel protector that all of the X verisons of the
Predator have, with the word “Predator,” impressed into the metal.
The cleats are half black but turn to the same red as the stud
plate halfway up.
As for the shoes itself, it features the stand Predator element
on the instep to help you gt greater contact on the ball for those
shots right at the goal. It has asymetrical lacing to further
widen the touch surface, and soft leather on the toe to provide
greater control. Also, it has the trademark heel protector coverin
the back of the shoe in order to give you greater protection from
any slide tackles that might come your way. You may get knocked
over and some dirty on your soccer jerseys, but you’ll get back up. The element on the
front of the shoes helps keep your foot safe which is just not
something you’re gonna find on a Nike Superfly, or any other super
Overall, it’s a great shoe, and at $74.99 you can’t beat the
price. I picked up a pair and I’m pretty happy with them. They’re
comfortable and tghe double-stiching on the toe has helped them to
hold up to the ground and other peoples boots. I’d recommend them
if you want Predator power, but can’t afford to spend $220 for the
top drawer ones.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
A depleted Rangers side will face the big men from down south, Manchester United in the Champions League tomorrow and both sides have a lot at stake. For Rangers, its obvious they need to win and win big to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League. For United, a win is also required in order to be sure of finishing top of the group, but more important will be the return of Wayne Rooney to the starting line up.
Rangers come into tonights match nursing a series of injuries. Defenders Sasa Papac, Madjid Bougherra, and Andy Webster, plus midfielder Maurice Edu and strikers James Beattie and Nikica Jelavic, are all out injured which has some serious ramifications for Rangers formation. Normally, they tend to play a more defensive type of football with 4 men back, but with so many players out they may have to play a more aggressive formation like those they use against there domestic opponents. Now they may have been able to fill out some sort defensive formation by cobbling it together from second team players, but without Papac, the house won’t have any mortar.
The concussion Papac received a few weeks ago during league play was quite serious, and the wound it left required ten stitches, so I have serious doubts that he will have fully recovered. As a recipient of a few hard knocks on the head myself, i know for a fact anything that draws blood and leaves a concussion takes months, not weeks to fully recover from. Balance usual takes 3 weeks, and normal cognition can take up to 9 months to come back. I seriously doubt he has trained much, let alone is fit enough to face the men in Manchester United jerseys.
Manchester United are also dogged by injuries for tomorrows match, but thankfully they have made a dynasty out of playing with a squad of half way broken down squads. United central defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and midfielder Darren Fletcher, will be rested, most likely due to undisclosed injuries, or worries about injuries. Wayne Rooney is set to start, and his performance will most likely tell the tale from Ferguson’s perspective as he needs his former top striker at top form for the more competitive Premier League.
Look for a wide open affair marked by tactical as well as personal aggression as both teams play an attacking formation. Overall, I’m looking forward to it.
Man Utd 2- 0 Rangers
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com