I finally was able to get my feet in a pair of Adidas TopSala X shoes as the new electricity and black colorway came to the shop this morning. The last rendition sold out of my size so fast, I couldn’t even get a pair to try and review. In any case, there’s a lot to like about these shoes, but there is also plenty of room for improvement, which wouldn’t really necessitate a complete overhaul—just a couple of tweaks here and there.
Let’s begin with the pros of the shoes, because there is plenty to like. The profile of the shoes is somewhere between an athletic shoe and a street shoe. That isn’t to say it’s more a street shoe than an athletic, but the profile is streamlined and sleek while also having that nonchalant quality to it that you see in many Adidas casual shoes. The shoes also have mesh fabric in various areas that really ups the appeal. The sides, top of the heel and toe all see mesh stitched into the shoe, with the toe having a rubber kind of brick grid overlaid. Not only does the mesh allow for a lighter shoe, but it also creates a very cool look that you absolutely couldn’t attain with regular fabric. The color of these shoes, which is more or less a highlighter yellow, isn’t my cup of tea, but it isn’t off-putting, either. If Adidas had made them any other bright color, I think the appeal sinks a bit. However, despite my personal bias, I can still see the appeal. Once they’re on your feet, they look pretty suave. Maybe the biggest upside to these shoes resides with the toe. While it isn’t stitched, the toe is double reinforced and the molding seems solid. There’s no evidence of preliminary separating or anything, so you should be good.
In a tenuous segue from the upsides to the not-so-upsides, let’s talk about comfort. The heel is fine the way it is; it’s supportive without being too giving, yet firm without being too solid. However, problems crop up when you reach the middle of the foot. The shoes are simply cut too narrow, and, combine this with fairly rigid lacing, and the shoes feel abnormally tight around the top of your foot. I know my foot is on the wider end of the spectrum, but I don’t feel this amount of pressure even in a Vapor or other narrow boots. There may be some loosening after breaking the shoes in, but I can’t see it being too much. The fabric just doesn’t allow for it. When we reach the toe, the shoe is slowly creeping back to the comfortable level. I think the toe alone is on the same level as the heel—it’s comfortable and supportive. I honestly think that if Adidas widens the mid-foot out maybe a quarter inch or so and made the lacing structure a bit more flexible, the pieces will all fall into place. That drawback is really the only thing keeping the shoe from being perfect for wearing on the street and in games.
Okay, despite that somewhat gutting paragraph, I’d still say you need to try a pair on for yourself rather than take my foot as a perfect benchmark. Everyone’s feet are different and this really could just be a case of my foot being the exception. In any case, expect these shoes to cost in the neighborhood of $60, which is definitely worth it if they feel right on your feet because they’ll double as street shoes as well.
Written by: Kris Dyer, moonlighting herpetologist, soccerprose.com
Recent posts in Product Reviews