So it’s finally here, one of the most eagerly anticipated soccer shoes of 2011, the Adidas Adipower Predator SL. Since the Adipower Predator hit the shelves early this summer, these sleek new boots have been making waves in the soccer community. With their lightweight leather upper providing a great touch, a sprint frame with bladed cleats for stability, and a Predator element on the top for extra power and control behind your shot.
These new Adipower SLs take the concept one step further, and for me, give the more popular F50 Adizero a run for its money. Weighing in at just 7 ounces, the Adipower SL is nearly as light as an Adizero, and successfully combines the best parts of the Predator and the F50. The upper of the Predator SL is synthetic, and made form the same material as the F50 Adizero upper you can see on the feet of Messi and David Villa. This Sprint Skin upper gives superior touch on the ball, and is extremely thin. This gives you a kangaroo leather like feel for the ball, but the light weight you’d expect from an Adidas speed boot. The lacing is little bit to the side, and the Predator element on the top is somewhat different from the one found on the standard Adipower. The modified Adipower SL element doesn’t have the same raised bumps as the standard version, but retains the tacky surface and geometric patterning. It will still help you direct your shot, but for me, I like the heavier element on the standard Adipower better.
These shoes come with two sets of insoles, one set is ultralight, the other is designed for comfort just like in an F50 Adizero. For me, I didn’t need the comfort insoles as the ultralights are more than enough to cushion my feet for a the course of our testing session. Still, it’s nice to have the option to throw in the comfort ones if you’re playing on a hard, dry surface, or AstroTurf.
The sole plate of this shoe is modeled after the same sprint frame technology you’ll find on a F50 and is made from a polymer with smaller plates which form the base of the cleats secured in it. The cleats on the Adipower SL are bladed, and I really like the bite I got off the toe when I went to sprint after the ball. This is ideal for a quick striker, or for any player running forward on the break. I also found them easy to cut with as they are so stable when paired with the Sprint frame that a quick change in direction no problem. One other element they’ve decided to retain from the standard Adipower is the Powerspine.
The Powerspine is the heart and sole of the Predator line of soccer shoes, and has been since they were first released. The Power Spine allows you to hit the ball with the full force of your kick by ensuring maximum energy transfer from the foot to the ball. It also give great energy return when you’re running, meaning the cleats will literally come up to meet your foot no matter how fast you’re running.
Overall, the Adidas Adipower SL is a successful blending of the best parts of the Adipower Predator and the F50 Adizero. They’re ideal for a speedy striker who likes to be able to move fast, but also want the direction and power that a Predator provides. These shoes also come with a shammy for cleaning them, a vented shoes bag, and an extra set of laces in blue. You can pick them up from the same place we did, soccerpro.com, for $250, and they offer free shipping.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
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