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)
Recent posts in Product Reviews