Youth boots are definitely a, shall we say, quirky area of the shop because they’re theoretically all within the same quality of make and design. I mean they’re all within the same general price range, save a couple, so why wouldn’t they generally be the same quality? Well, through some sort of sorcery, adidas came out with an incredible shoe after totally overhauling the Youth Predito X without making it more expensive. Don’t ask me how, though. Adidas is the one to ask about that. These new adidas soccer shoes are seriously top tier youth boots at a steal of a price, so let’s get to it.
Alright, first things first. Last year’s Predito was a certifiable disaster. It looked cheap, plastic and it looked like it would unravel after three games. The studs looked weak while the upper looked rigid and weak. To be completely honest, the upper of last year’s Predito had a plastic luster to it. Even the heel cup seemed like a specter of protection—there was stitching implying that the heel cup existed, but one touch dispelled that notion. ANYWAY, now that I’m done ripping apart last year’s boot, let’s build it back up with this year’s rendition.
The studs on the 2011 Predito x are bonded into the midsole, whereas last year’s was just a part of the midsole. They’re sturdier, stronger and more durable this season. The upper is made of synthetic leather, but it’s legit this time. Gone is the plastic luster of the boot as it’s been replaced by the luster of durable synthetics. The heel cup is actually a legitimate protective cup as well. All you have to do is compare the two to notice the massive difference in give. Last year’s boot almost caves in before you touch it (well, okay not that bad), while you’re actually met with resistance in this year’s boot. Protection is highly important in any boot, but it’s all the more important with young players whose bones are still growing and developing. They’ll be fine in these boots. Even the inner lining is an upgrade. It’s not as stiff, a little thicker, and, most importantly, far more comfortable. It doesn’t feel like a burlap sack. I honestly cannot say enough about the improvements adidas with these boots—it’s absolutely a 100% upgrade from last season. Alas, I have limited space, so allow me a couple words on the boots’ look.
The look of these boots is the same as the adult Predator X adiPower boots. The current colorway in front of me is a “fresh blue splash,” which is basically a highly saturated blue, with electricity stripes, and we ultimately end with a black and white heel. I’ll admit that the look took a bit to sink in, but I think it’s a good medium between the current trend of flash and the past look of simplicity. You’ll notice your kids on the pitch, but it won’t be like their boots are light houses demanding your gaze. Thankfully they aren’t boring, either.
It seems that adidas took their time in producing a truly great youth boot with the Predito X boots. You can tell they went back to the drawing board and made sure they didn’t just put a shoe out for the sake of putting it out. I know it’s basically a scaled down Predator X, but they could have made it a lot cheaper looking. The good news is that they didn’t. For $31.49, these shoes are a steal, and I highly recommend them as the first pair you look at when shopping for new youth boots.
Written by: Kris Dyer, co-editor, soccerprose.com
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