Football boot playtest review: adidas f50 adizero Samba/Messi (& Brazuca football!)

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When the adidas Samba pack was released back in November last year, Sport-locker.net couldn’t help but notice that the new f50 adizero went a little unnoticed.

Granted, the crazy colourways of the other adidas silos was enough to distract even the staunchest football boot fiend but the revamp of adidas’ signature speed boot was a huge deal.

The introduction of SpeedFoil, SpeedTraxion and DribbleTex technologies (all will be looked at in more detail later) as well as a HybridTouch upper and a completely redesigned soleplate had us frothing with excitement…

 

So we were absolutely delighted when adidas sent us a pair of the speedsters in an #allinornothing presentation case!

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First Impression

The Solar Blue colourway is a thing of real beauty. The blue is brilliantly beautiful. The orange laces are fierce – what more could you want from a lightweight speed boot for the summer months?!

We’ve tested a couple of adizero football boots in the past (the original and then the first with miCoach) but these Samba versions feel completely different.

The HybridTouch upper is a lot more supple than previous versions (very similar to the Predator LZ) and the weight is yet again phenomenal – these tip the scales at a mere 150g!

Anyway, enough of this preamble, it was soon time to but these through a Sport-Locker playtest…

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On they go!

As soon as you slip your feet into these speedsters, you immediately know you’re in for a comfortable ride.

Speed boots are not often known for their comfort traits but these fit like a boss straight out of the box.

This comfort can be further emphasised if you opt for the comfort innersole that comes with the boots – the suede like material makes for a slipper like feel on foot. Incredible scenes!

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Fit and Feel

The HybridTouch upper is one of the main technology updates in the latest f50 adizero. It’s a very similar feel to the Predator LZ which can only be a good thing.

The upper is much softer and supple when compared to previous models and moulds to your foot in a much more natural way. The fact that the upper sits slightly lower on the front part of your foot is also an added bonus, as it creates the sense that your foot is ‘locked in’ to the boot.

The only slight negative I’d comment about the fit is that it might be a boot to avoid if you have wide feet – these are fairly streamlined…

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Performance

As mentioned earlier, there are three main technology updates in the latest incarnation of the f50 adizero Samba: SpeedFoil, DribbleTex and SpeedTraxion.

It’s the first time an f50 boot has had a split material upper. Inspired by racing sail boats, the SpeedFoil material at the back of the boot is mesh held inside a plastic covering.

This is incredibly durable and it is also used to reduce the weight of the boot. Yet you still feel very stable in the heel department – despite the fact that it feels like you have a light pair of plimsolls on your feet!

Another addition to the new f50 model is the introduction of SpeedTraxion and the surprise omission of the successful SprintFrame outsole.

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I was surprised to see the change but I must admit, it’s an absolute masterstroke from adidas – SpeedTraxion has taken the f50 to the next level!

The positioning of the studs are perfect for when changing direction quickly, in that ‘chopping’ movement.

Just having a look at the stud formation, it’s easy to see why they perform so well. The central stud is much higher up the boot than before, which is a much more natural pivot point.

So making that initial stride using your forefoot is an absolute dream in these!

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Dribbling

If the likes of Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben feedback that there should be added material on a football boot to enhance dribbling capabilities, then you’d be stupid not to take note!

And thankfully, adidas have done exactly that with this f50 with the addition of DribbleTex.

It’s only a small and nonintrusive inclusion, mind (there’s a slight textured patch on the front of the boot).

I can’t say that the results are completely tangible, but then I’m no Leo Messi or Robben so what do I know?! It’s nice but not something remarkably ground breaking in my opinion.

But something that is a game changer is the HybridTouch upper. Wow what a difference it makes to these f50s!

I’m a huge fan of the Predator LZ, so these feel just like an extremely lightweight version without the rubber zones – an absolute win for those who love that leather like feel on the ball yet still want a real lightweight boot.

These are ruddy marvellous!

Shooting

It may feel like I’ve mumbled on about the technology in these boots a little too much but they really are very different from any other f50 that I have tested.

However, there is no specific technology used in them to increase your shooting prowess.

Not that it matters. You can experience a clean, true strike in these and despite smashing plenty of shots at goal (all nestled in the top bin obvs) I had no bruising on either foot.

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Conclusion

Adidas have completely and utterly nailed it with the adidas f50 adizero Samba – the modifications from the previous model are absolutely bang on.

The fit, upper, stud configuration and addition of SpeedFoil make for a superior speed boot and one that its competitors will find difficult to better.

If I was wearing a hat right now, I’d certainly be doffing it in the direction of those at adidas who played a part in creating this speedy thing of real beauty!

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Brazuca ball

You may have also noticed the use of a certain World Cup football within the photos -the adidas Brazuca is the official match for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

And I’m a big fan.

The first thing adidas would have wanted to do with their newest World Cup football is to forget their last one – the Jabulani!

It was an absolute nightmare of a football and caused havoc out in South Africa. A football that gets that many headlines is never going to be a good one…

However, I predict that the Brazuca will go down an absolute storm this summer. It’s very similar to the Tango 12.

The six identical panels are slightly odd in terms of their shape but it makes for an awesomely cool looking football!

The dimpled texture creates extra control on the ball but they are aimed more towards improving the aerodynamics.

And after hitting several shots at goal, our in house ‘keeper reports back that the flight is very true and one that those between the sticks shouldn’t be too worried about…

Prediction: The Brazuca will be a huge success in Brazil and there will be very few column inches written about it. Which is a good thing. Honest.

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It’s all gone a bit Lionel

Some months after launch of the Samba f50s, we were lucky enough to also receive a pair of the very colourful Messi f50 adizero football boots!

They’re supposed to be a “visual representation of all the positive energy Leo takes on to the pitch…”

To be honest, the technologies included are the same as the Samba versions, although there are a few differences that are worth pointing out:

  • There is no SpeedFoil – instead adidas have opted for a single piece HybridTouch upper. Instead, the SpeedFoil is used in the tongue of the boot to further reduce the weight.
  • There’s a slightly more embossed finish on the boot which creates a slightly different feel.

I certainly got a few looks (/extra late challenges) when I donned them on the pitch – you certainly stand out in them!

That said, I’m a huge, huge fan and these feel like I need to keep them stored in a safe place. They won’t be forgotten about in a hurry…

What do you think of the adidas Samba pack? How about the Messi version? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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