Football boot playtest review: adidas Nitrocharge 1.0

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With it being less than a week away from the start of a new football season, everyone here at Sport-locker.net is quite understandably chomping at the bit for it all just to get underway.

But we’re a little bit more excited than usual this campaign.

Why? Because adidas have released a new football boot, of course!

The nitrocharge 1.0 is a completely new silo from adidas and over the past couple of months, our editor Sam Van Gelder has been putting them through their paces.

Here is how he got on…

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The introduction

Ever since I got my greedy little paws on these adidas nitrocharge football boots, it’s safe to say I’ve been a little giddy.

It’s been a while since any of the big brands have released a completely new boot (the Nike CTR360 Maestri springs to mind) so this really is big news in the football boot world.

And what great timing. Pros can have a whole season in these before jetting off to the home of football to showcase the boots on the World Cup pitches in Brazil.

But would this bold move from adidas pay off? Let’s find out…

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The initial impression

These are a visually striking boot. It’s not the first time adidas have used the blue and yellow launch colourway – they did so too with the adidas adiPower predator. They’re certainly an eye-catching sight on the green stuff!

They immediately feel like a cross between an adiPure and a predator, something which I feel adidas have been crying out for in recent years.

The Nike CTR360 Maestri took Nike to a new level. Could the Nitrocharge be about to do the same for adidas?

The marketing

The marketing campaign around the Nitrocharge was monumental – the hype surrounding the release was insane.

It was all based around the hashtag #TheEngine. So it was no surprise to see the likes of De Rossi and Javi Martinez moving across to wear the boot.

However, Dani Alves is also donning the Nitrocharge – now he’s a completely different player to those just mentioned.

And with the likes of David Silva and Joao Moutinho flirting with the Nitrocharge in pre-season, I’m starting to think maybe adidas have marketed these boots at a too specific type of footballer.

Again, similar to Nike targeting the ‘midfield maestro’ with the CTR, surely adidas want as many players wearing the boot as possible?

*UPDATE* Since writing this review David Silva has moved to the adidas Predator LZ football boot, but Steven Gerrard now has ended his career long stint in the adidas Predator and now wears the Nitrocharge – a HUGE move for the silo!

In hand

That said, these are a mightily impressive football boot in hand.

Firstly, the performance mesh is an absolute joy to behold. It looks like it belongs on a running shoe, but it gives off the impression that the ankle, heel and collar will be extremely comfortable in these boots.

The EnergyPulse on the soleplate is something else that immediately jumped out at me. It is so stiff! This strikes me as quite unusual as the current trend seems to be flexible soleplates so I was interested to see how this panned out once I started running in them.

The other noticeable feature of the boot is the yellow rubber band that wraps across the boot – otherwise known as the EnergySling. This is an extremely interesting part of the boot and again I was excited to see how this reacted on the green stuff.

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On foot

So it was then time to test all of the above – and boy the Nitrocharge didn’t disappoint!

As expected the performance mesh worked like an absolute dream. This feels like a strong, powerful and robust boot, yet the mesh brings the weight down and makes for a really comfortable ride.

The lining in the heel collar gives off an almost suede like feeling – we’re calling these the Rolls Royce of the football boot world!

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The EnergyPulse wasn’t actually as stiff on foot as it was in hand. Although there is a firmer feel to them than say the adizero or Predator LZ, they just feel like a more stable boot, rather than an overly rigid and uncompromising sole as I first thought.

But my favourite part of the Nitrocharge without fail is the EnergySling. Despite wrapping around the forefoot and under the soleplate in an almost rigid manner, the feeling you get when moving your feet in tight spaces, when you turn and change direction quickly is more tangible than I’ve ever felt in any other boot.

The EnergySling seems to pin the soleplate to the underside of your foot, making the turning motion feel so much more responsive than ever before.

The Nitrocharge is absolutely winning so far!

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With the ball

And the boot continues to impress after the introduction of the football (a Tango 12 no less).

Similarly to the Predator LZ, the upper is superb. The fact that there are no Lethal Zones on the Nitrocharge (why would there be?!) means that we can see the benefits of the HybridTouch synthetic leather in all its glory.

The leather like upper makes for a very natural feel on the ball – something that benefits any footballer, in any position.

Adidas have also stitched in some quilted ‘pockets’ on the forefoot of the boot – this offers that little bit more protection for your toes (which comes in very handy on a Sunday morning!)

I really get the feeling that this is a hybrid adidas boot – I can see and feel a bit of the adipure, adizero and predator in the nitrocharge – again cementing the impression that it’s certainly a boot for any position.

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Passing and shooting

The rubber material on the EnergySling does provide some friction, which I found both a positive and a negative when on the ball.

Sometimes, when dribbling in the heat, the ball can stick to this which can be slightly off putting.

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However, it can then turn into a positive when passing and shooting. It can almost act as a Predator zone and the grip can offer a nice surface area for which to curl the ball. It also comes in hands when controlling the ball as it’s a nice padded area of the boot.

Whilst the Nitrocharge wasn’t built for the out and out striker, the boot does still pack a punch when shooting.

The slightly offset lacing makes for a decent sweet spot and the rigidity of EnergyPulse soleplate means that you’re guaranteed (DISCLAIMER KLAXON) a true strike.

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Any other business

It may sound as if there are no negatives to this boot. In terms of performance, I can find very few faults in the Nitrocharge.

However, the biggest issue I have with the boot is keeping it in pristine condition – they’re an absolute nightmare to keep clean!

I’d be very surprised if these boots can survive the English winter. You’ll need plenty of toothbrushes and elbow grease to maintain them.

The performance mesh seems to attract dirt, whilst the EnergySling is very hard to keep gleaming yellow. But they’re certainly worth the effort…

Another thing to note is that these aren’t for those with wide feet. These have very high shape retention and although the leather has given a little bit in the toe box area, the EnergySling is not to be moved.

On the plus side, once you get the sizing right, you’ll have a snug boot for life!

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The Conclusion

In short, the adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 is an AMAZING addition to the adidas family of football boots.

I’m still unsure whether adidas have marketed the boot correctly, but it’s safe to say that this is a football boot that any footballer can enjoy.

Extremely comfortable, incredibly good looking and fit for a long season ahead, I’m putting it out there and saying that the Nitrocharge will be the most successful boot in 2013/14.

This powerhouse is here to stay folks…!

What do you think of the adidas nitrocharge 1.0 football boots? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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