Adidas Predator Incurza Review

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If you’re not familiar with the Adidas Predator Incurza, that’s most likely because it is technically not a soccer shoe. The Incurza is actually a rugby release from Adidas, but like most of their rugby releases with the firm ground stud configuration, they are completely useable as a soccer shoe. Think of the Incurza as an alternate version of the Predator, because that’s essentially what it is.

Comfort/Fit

I was really excited to give the Predator Incurza a try. After the release of the Predator LZ, a lot of people were not happy with the direction that Adidas had taken the very popular Predator series. I liked the idea behind the LZ, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. The Incurza has an appearance more along the lines of the adiPower, a shoe that pretty much everybody approved of, so to say the least, I had high hopes for the Incurza. When I first had them in hand, the quality of the shoe seemed to be pretty good, but once I put them on for the first time, I can’t say that I was as impressed. When I first put them on, there where a couple of major issues that I noticed almost immediately. The first problem was the toe box and forefoot area of the shoe, which fits incredibly small and gives the shoe an overly tight feel. This is a problem that can usually be attributed to an issue with sizing, but the length of the shoe is fine, as the shoe fits true to size, but my foot just felt very cramped. Keep in mind that I generally tend to wear my shoes as tight as possible, to the point where I do not have enough room in my shoes to double sock in most of the shoes that I wear and test. The second thing that immediately jumped out at me was how stiff the upper felt. The forefoot area of the shoe is made from the same Hybrid Leather-Synthetic material that can be found on the Predator LZ, but with the added stitching on the Incurza, it just felt very stiff. The mid-foot and strike zone of the boot is constructed from what seems to be much cheaper quality material, that just feels very stiff and does not flex well when the shoe bends on your foot. The third thing that I noticed when pulling the laces tight was how narrow the shoe actually is. I have a slightly narrow, to regular width foot, and noticed that when I pulled the laces tight, the shoe was almost completely open where the laces ran along the tongue of the boot. This, along with the narrow toe box and forefoot area, makes for a shoe that is not made for wide feet at all. The last complaint that I immediately had regarding the fit of the boot was the heel area. This is an issue that is mainly due to the insole, which features a 5mm heel wedge. Having a heel gradient in a soccer shoe is nothing new to soccer shoes, but every time that I have seen it done, it is through the outsole itself (a good example of this would be a boot from Asics). Instead, the Incurza uses a flat outsole, with the heel gradient being achieved from what is essentially a wedge in the insole. The problem with doing the heel gradient like this is that you end up with a very shallow fit in the heel, which makes for lot of slippage, and an overall unstable fit in the heel area of the boot.  This is a problem that can be helped by swapping out the insole, but even then, slippage is still somewhat of an issue.

While all of these observations were made on a shoe that was brand new, straight out of the box, I had to assume that the shoe would feel better after some break-in time, and unfortunately, it didn’t. Given the very narrow fit of the shoe from right out of the box, I was under the impression that the shoe going to stretch a significant amount, but it didn’t. After several hours of use, the Hybrid synthetic upper did not stretch very much at all, and the shoe remained uncomfortably tight. The stiff upper loosened up a little, but as a whole, the shoe remained pretty stiff and the upper just doesn’t flex very smoothly with the foot. If you wear the stock insole, your heel feels like it is constantly going to fall out of the boot, and even if you put in a regular insole, you still get some slippage issues. As I explained earlier the sizing is true in the length, but the shoe fits awkwardly narrow. One of my number one rules when it comes to soccer shoes is that you should never size up to satisfy your need for width, so while the fit was very narrow for me in a size 9US, I don’t think that going up half a size would help the overall feel of the shoe, other than making them feel too big. Overall, the Incurza was a huge let down in terms of comfort and fit, and is honestly one of the worst fitting high-end shoes that I have ever worn.

Weight

The Predator Incurza weighs in at 9oz, which is just a little below average weight in comparison to most shoes on the market. What is funny about the weight of the shoe is how much of that 9oz can be attributed to the insole alone. The insole weighs in at 1.6oz, which is a lot, especially for a soccer shoe. This is due to the 5mm heel wedge, which is made up of very dense foam, but just to put this into perspective, your average insole in a soccer shoe ranges from 0.5oz on the low end and about 0.8oz for an insole with a little extra padding to it. With all of that being said, weight should never be your main concern when picking out a soccer shoe, and 9oz as a whole is plenty light enough to where you can forget that you’re even wearing shoes on your feet.

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Traction

The Incurza features the exact same soleplate and stud pattern as the Adidas Predator LZ. The Incurza offers a stud pattern that is nearly identical to that of the adizero. The studs are all triangular shaped, offering somewhat of a combination feel between blades and conical studs. The stud pattern is best suited for firm to slightly softer ground, simply because the studs are on the longer side, and because of the larger surface area of the studs, they will not penetrate the ground as easily, unless the ground is a little softer. Given that the conditions are right, the stud pattern performs and feels very good. It offers plenty of grip when pushing off for a sprint, which is great. If you’ve worn the adizero, which many have, than the stud pattern on the Incurza should feel exactly the same for you.

Touch

With the fit of the boot being less than stellar, I hoped that the touch on the ball would be at least a little better. After giving this shoe plenty of playing time to get used to them, I have to say that the touch on the ball that the Incurza provides is just not good. The problem is the combination of materials that are used on the upper. The Hybrid Synthetic forefoot of the boot has a very slick finish to it, making for an almost slippery feel on the ball. If you partner this with the very sticky strips of rubber that cover the top of the boot, you get what feels like a horrible in-balance between no grip on the ball, and tons of grip on the ball. Juggling the ball in a pair of Incurza honestly just feels horrible. Every touch feels like the ball slides up your foot, only to come in contact with the very grippy strike zone, which is a feeling just completely through me off, and was something that I could just not get used too. Not to mention the awkward thickness of the strike zone of the boot, which doesn’t allow for very much feel for the ball at all. The Hybrid Synthetic upper is a very good synthetic from Adidas, and it has been used quite successfully already on several models, but the Incurza just gets it all wrong if you ask me.

Shooting

Striking the ball with the Incurzas is not bad, but due to the poor fit, the overall experience is not the best. The strike zone itself, as stated earlier, doesn’t allow for very much feel on the ball, so you don’t have the greatest feel of control when striking the ball to be honest. The strips of rubber that cover the entire strike zone and much of the instep, are very sticky, and add a pretty solid amount of friction between your foot and the ball, which is good. These are not going to allow you to swerve the ball better, no shoe will, but if you’re looking for that feel of added grip, you’re going to find here. The major issue that I have when striking the ball is the poor fit in the heel area. The heel wedge makes it so that your foot sits to high in the boot, so the shoe does not grab enough of your heel to keep it locked down, which is crucial for both your striking foot, as well as your plant foot, in order to deliver a solid strike on the ball. Again, changing the insole does improve this issue slightly, but only slightly. Striking the ball feels okay, but it could have been much, much better.

Protection

The Incurza was originally designed for rugby, which is most likely why stiffer materials may have been used in the construction the upper. With that being said, the stiffer materials don’t have very much padding to them. The shoe is still a synthetic, and even though it is a synthetic made to feel like leather, I would still say that the Hybrid Synthetic from Adidas is on the thinner side. With that being said, these shoes do provide a fair amount of protection, so you won’t feel like you’re running around barefoot. I would also argue that the unstable fit in the heel area of the boot does not play its part in keeping you safe from rolling an ankle. There is some protection here, but nothing above average.

Durability

The construction of the shoe feels very solid. The materials used feel very rugged, which is part of the reason why the touch on the ball suffers, but it does make for a very durable shoe. This is a shoe that I feel is truly built to last, and with proper care, you should be able to get a pretty long life out of these shoes. Unfortunately, the feel of the shoe does not match the build quality.

The Verdict

Rarely am I truly surprised by a boot, and when I am surprised, it is a usually good thing. Unfortunately, the Incurza surprised me, but not in a good way. I was very excited to give this boot a try, but after using them, there isn’t much good to say. As a whole, you can anticipate a pretty good feel from pretty much any top end soccer shoe on the market, especially one from a very reputable company like Adidas, but the Incurza is a shoe that makes me scratch my head. Everything about the shoe just doesn’t seem to work. The design of the shoe looks good, but that’s about the only thing that’s good about them. This is a shoe that I cannot recommend to anybody, for any reason, and if you were considering getting a pair, either for soccer or rugby, I would strongly recommend looking elsewhere.

Comfort/Fit4 out of 10
Weight8 out of 10
Traction8 out of 10
Touch5 out of 10
Shooting5 out of 10
Protection7 out of 10
Durability9 out of 10
FINAL SCORE46 out of 70 or 65%

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