Adidas Reviews, Latest Reviews, Predator Reviews — August 18, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Adidas Predator LZ 2 Review

by



Adidas Predator LZ 2 Review

The Predator LZ 2 series has been taken in a completely new direction with the release of the original LZ model. Some loved the new design, while others weren’t so pleased. With the release of the 2nd generation Predator LZ, the overall concept behind the boot hasn’t changed much. The 5 Lethal Zones remain in place, and while they have changed in appearance, the difference is more of a tweak rather than a complete redesign.

Comfort/Fit

The Predator LZ 2 is a definite improvement over the original model when it comes to fit and comfort. The upper itself is made from the same Hybridtouch synthetic used on the original, offering a very soft and flexible feel on foot. Hybridtouch is a synthetic material designed to mimic the feel of natural leather, while still maintaining the benefits of a synthetic and it does exactly that. There’s nothing in particular that has actually been changed in the makeup of the synthetic, but due to the redesigned elements, the shoe overall feels much more flexible and less restrictive in comparison to the original LZ. The synthetic upper is relatively soft from right out of the box, so very little break-in time is required, although the shoes will soften up even further after a couple hours of wear.

The cut of the shoe around the laces has also been tweaked on the LZ 2. Instead of being cut in a straight line on both the lateral and medial sides of the boot, the edge around the main striking element, also known as the “Drive Zone”, features small extensions at each of the lace holes. While this might not seem like much, when you pull the laces tight, the upper wraps your foot really nicely, which is not only great for striking the ball, but it also makes for a very secure fit.

The heel is lined in a perforated synthetic material, with a slight grip coating over top to allow for better grip between your foot and the shoe. That, along with a deep fit, make for a shoe locks your heel in place quite nicely, as well as provides a more supportive feel. The removable, EVA foam insole features a smooth nubuck finish, which provides great step-in comfort. The insole itself is on the thinner side, and although I didn’t have any issues with it, if you did want to swap it out for something with a little more padding, you do have that option. The tongue is made from the same Hybridtouch synthetic as the rest of the upper, with a strip of memory foam running through the middle to eliminate any kind of lace bite.

The major difference that you’ll notice going from the original LZ to the LZ 2 is the fit of the boot. The problem that I had with the original, keeping in mind of course that this wasn’t a major issue, is that the rubber Lethal Zones felt a little too restrictive. What I mean by this is that the shoe itself was too structured due to the pattern of the rubber, not allowing the upper to stretch naturally, most noticeably in the forefoot and toe box. With the LZ 2, the Lethal Zones are much more flexible and are more heavily segmented, allowing the upper the stretch and bend much more freely.

In comparison to the original LZ, the LZ 2 feels a little wider all the way through. It’s not so much that the shape of the boot has been changed, but has more to do with the rubber elements being less restrictive. The “Sweet Spot” element, located on front, medial side of the shoe, was an element that felt very restrictive on the original LZ, mainly because it didn’t allow that section of the boot to expand, and was cut somewhat awkwardly. While the same element on the LZ 2 is still in the same position, the shape of the boot itself seems to have been expanded ever so slightly to allow for a more comfortable fit. The mid-foot area of the boot also feels cut a little wider in the LZ 2. Not to the point where the boot feels sloppy, but to allow for a wider variety of foot shapes to fit comfortably in the boot. The memory foam, passing element on the instep has been removed on the LZ 2, giving the instep of the boot a much cleaner fit. It’s nice that the LZ 2 has the ability to stretch, and although it won’t stretch very much, it’s just enough to give you that custom fit.

Sizing for the LZ 2 is exactly as it was on the original LZ. I wore my usual size 9US for review, and the fit in the length was absolutely perfect. So, if you’re looking to order a pair, I would strongly recommend going true to size for the most comfortable fit.

Weight

The Adidas Predator LZ 2 weighs in at 8oz, which is exactly the same weight as the original. With a Sprintframe base, full synthetic upper and thin rubber elements, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the LZ 2 is lightweight. Overall, if you’re looking for a lightweight feel, while still maintaining a more solid feel, than you’ll definitely get that from the LZ 2.

Traction

The soleplate and stud pattern combo has not changed at all on the latest LZ model, so the overall performance and feel will be exactly the same. The studs themselves are triangular in shape, which provide a good mix of grip when pushing off and maneuverability when planted. In the forefoot, you’ll find three studs running along both the lateral and medial sides of the boot, with one support stud in the middle, along with four studs under the heel, two on each side. This is a proven layout from Adidas, which is most likely why they have implemented it on every model that they make, excluding the Copa Mundial of course. The studs themselves have a fairly large surface area, so they don’t penetrate the surface of the ground particularly well when playing on harder, natural grass surfaces. For the most part, you’re going to get great performance out of the firm ground stud pattern on nearly any type of natural grass playing surface, even on softer ground. If you’re playing regularly on natural grass, then you’ll be very happy with the traction that you’ll get from the LZ 2.

Touch

The whole concept behind the Lethal Zones design is to have five individual areas on the boot that are each designed for a certain type of skill. While it might be marketed as a control/power boot, no shoe is actually going to improve your skills. When you look at a shoe like the LZ 2, don’t look at the zones as “ability enhancers”, but instead view all five lethal zones for what they actually are, additional grip on the ball.

The names and placements of all five Lethal Zones remain the same on the LZ 2, just as they were on the original LZ. The Drive, Dribble, First Touch and Sweet Spot Zones have undergone redesigns from the original, while the Pass Pad has been completely removed on the LZ 2 and replaced with several strips of rubber. The major difference with the Lethal Zones on the LZ 2, is that each zone now features its own unique pattern, with different textures and thicknesses, instead of being flat strips like they were on the original. While this might not seem like much of a difference, it actually makes a pretty significant difference in how the shoe feels.

To start off with the Zone that is going to be making the most amount of contact on the ball, the Sweet Spot is a lot more complex in its design this time around. The original Sweet Spot was completely flat and had no texture or dimension, which was fine, but it made for an incredibly sticky feel against the ball. Some people loved this feel, but I wasn’t one of them. The LZ 2’s Sweet Spot features a very light dimpling, along with a 3D geometric pattern throughout. You still get plenty of grip on the ball, but because the surface isn’t completely flat, the element doesn’t feel too sticky. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of grip provided by all of the elements on the LZ 2, but I felt like there was more of a break in the grip this time around, which made me feel a lot more comfortable controlling and dribbling the ball.

The next two Lethal Zones that I would like to cover are the Dribble and First Touch zones. Both zones feature a similar “X” pattern, but are different in texture, thickness and finish. Again, they provide plenty of grip on the ball, but in comparison to the same zones on the original LZ, the LZ 2 zones are a lot more flexible, as well as a little bit thinner. Instead of feeling too bulky, which was the impression that I got when making touches in the original LZ, the LZ 2 feels a lot more natural, along with all of the extra grip of course. Having all of that extra grip across the entire forefoot area of the boot really allows you to control the spin on the ball, especially when juggling. Since the rubber is so heavily segmented and a little bit thinner, the natural softness of the Hybridtouch synthetic upper really comes through. This sense of softness is really what sets the LZ 2 apart from its predecessor.

The last “control” element on the upper is the Passing Zone, located across the instep. Like I mentioned earlier, the LZ 2 has been stripped of the large memory foam pad that was found on the original, and replaced with several long strips of rubber. I personally preferred the feel of the memory foam pad, as it gave a nice padded feel, but I can’t say that I dislike what Adidas has done on the LZ 2. Again, just like the rest of the boot, you’ll get plenty of grip on the instep, just as you will across the front of the boot.

Whether or not you’re going to like the touch of the LZ 2 is really down to personal preference. If you’re somebody who doesn’t like a lot of grip on the ball, and tends to drag the ball when dribbling, as opposed to pushing the ball, than you probably won’t like the feel of the LZ 2. With that being said, I was not a huge fan of the original LZ, but I really enjoyed wearing the LZ 2. The elements have been modified to where you still get plenty of grip on the ball when making passes and controlling, but not too much when dribbling and making softer touches.

Shooting

Any shoe bearing the Predator name should have a great feel when striking the ball, and the LZ 2 definitely met my expectations in this category. The main striking element, or the Drive Zone, has been completely redesigned from the previous model, and is actually very unique. Instead of being completely flat, like the striking elements on the last couple of Predator models, the element features a geometric pattern, which varies in thickness. The element itself is glued directly too the surface of the upper, making for very little added bulk and an overall responsive feel. The rubber itself is fairly soft, allowing the raised parts of the element to compress, making for tons of grip on the ball when striking with this area of the upper. An off-centered lacing system leaves you with a very clean striking surface, which is only enhanced by the rubber elements.

The front of the shoe is also covered in rubber, and although they may not be intended as striking elements, they certainly provide plenty of extra grip on the ball for shooting. Striking the ball with different spins feels effortless in the LZ 2, and that’s not to say that you’ll be able to bend the ball “better”, but I would say that you will be able to generate spin more efficiently due to all of the extra grip. For shooting, the extra grip feels fantastic, and I really missed it when I stopped using the LZ 2 and started wearing other boots. The feeling and performance when striking the ball is definitely similar to the original LZ, but I feel like the redesigned elements give a more responsive feel overall in the LZ 2, which is a very good thing.

Protection

One might assume that all of that rubber would provide some decent protection, but in all honesty, the LZ 2 is not overly protective. Yes, the rubber does add some rigidity and protection to the upper, but the Hybridtouch synthetic is on the thinner side, so should you get stepped, you’ll still feel most of the blow. The shoe does feature an internal plastic heel counter, but other than that, there aren’t any other notable protective elements. The Predator LZ 2 is not going to leave you completely exposed, but it isn’t the most protective boot either. Durability Durability is not a concern with the LZ 2. I have been wearing the LZ 2 for the last two months or so, prior to the official release, and have had no issues at all with durability. Sole separation is not a concern, mainly because the rubber Dribble and Sweet Spot Zones are directly attached to the soleplate, making for a very strong bond between the soleplate and upper in the high wear zones. The Predator LZ 2 is definitely a pair of shoes that you can count on to last at least a season’s worth of play. Keep in mind that the firm ground version of the Predator LZ 2, or any FG soccer shoe for that matter, is for use on natural grass playing surfaces, and not artificial grass or turf. Using any FG soccer shoe on an artificial playing surface will have a major impact on the longevity of the boot.

The Verdict

Visually the LZ 2 looks like a slightly modified version of the original, and I expected the same old thing. With that being said, after wearing the shoes, I have to say that the LZ 2 is a definite improvement, and a shoe that I really enjoyed wearing. The grip has been tweaked just a little bit to where I find it a lot more manageable, while the new elements and improved fit, make the shoe feel a lot more natural. The Predator LZ 2 is not for everybody, but if you’re looking for something different, than I would definitely look into getting a pair. There really isn’t anything else like it on the market.

Comfort/Fit10 out of 10
Weight8 out of 10
Traction8 out of 10
Touch9 out of 10
Shooting10 out of 10
Protection8 out of 10
Durability9 out of 10
FINAL SCORE62 out of 70 or 88.5%
Joshua Vujovic (1051 Posts)

My goal is to provide the most detailed, in-depth reviews on all the latest soccer gear. Its very easy to get caught up in all of the hype around the latest soccer equipment, but we're here to point you in the right direction. As a product tester, I always give my honest, unbiased opinion on everything that gets tested, ensuring that you're always getting the most accurate information possible


67 Comments

  1. Hey josh I was wondering for the lz 2. Right now I have them but they are a little to big. how much room should I have in the shoe. or what is the maximum room I should have

    • Its a matter of personal preference. Personally, I don’t like any space at the end of my shoes at all, but ideally you don’t want anymore than a very small gap at the end, almost to the point where you’re lightly brushing the end of the boot.

  2. Josh, between ctr 360 maestri and predator lz 2 which did you prefer?

    • My preference is irrelevant simply because of how different both of these shoes are from each other. If you’re looking for a slightly more traditional, leather-like feel, go for the Maestri. If you like having a ton of additional grip on the ball, go for the Preds. Most people would prefer the feel of the Maestri, but that’s not to say that the Preds aren’t good, they’re just very different in comparison to everything else.

  3. Hey Josh can you please do a review on the blackout version of these? There aren’t many videos up on YouTube of these and I think they’re really cool!

  4. Hi there, I’m usually a size 11 and tried a pair of these on in a store. While the fit in the length was fine I found the toe box pushed down on my big toe quite a bit but if I went half a size up they were too big. Can you let me know what areas of this boot will stretch as I would love to buy a pair in the hope they will loosen up for me but if not I will steer clear.
    Your help is appreciated.

    • The shoe isn’t going to stretch nearly as much as a natural leather shoe would, but it will give a little bit in toe box area. The two areas on either side of the forefoot that are covered by rubber elements are not going to give much at all.

  5. Josh i’ve never had a pair of “high end” soccer boots and I was wondering if the lz II would be a good place to start?

  6. Does the grip on the lz II ever “run out” or wear away?

  7. Hey josh, would you recommend this boot for a goalkeeper? I’m thinking of buying these or the nike tiempo V

    • It all depends on what you’re comfortable with, where as your position has very little to do with anything.

  8. Hey josh,
    I have the predator LZ’s not the LZ2 but I was considering upgrading to the second generation but I am on the fence. How different is the second LZ compared to the first LZ’s?

  9. Hey Josh
    Will i get any blisters wearing these?

  10. Are these shoes good for a CB?

  11. hey josh. I use a 7.5 size in legends , what size should I use for this predator

  12. Hey Josh, I have a wide flat foot, and was wondering if the mid foot of the cleat is decently wide or if it will stretch. Thanks

  13. Hey josh, how sticky are the elements in terms of dribbling? and does the grip of the elements wear quickly?

    • Check out the touch category of the review. It explains in great detail the overall feel of the LZ 2.

  14. I have the lz 2 in green and I didnt wear them yet because the pre-season didnt start yet… im just wondering if the lz 2 gets dirty really quickly or its hard to clean.. what do u think??

  15. Hey Josh, I’m looking for a new pair of boots and I’ve narrowed down my choices to the Adidas LZ2s, which I have a pair of at the moment, and the Adidas F50 Adizero Messi Edition Skin fit and sprint frame ( the red and white ones). When I play I tend to be the playmaker and pass and receive the ball while having short bursts of speed and dribbling. I know how you say the boots don’t matter on your position, but I wante to know between these two models, what would be a more suitable pair: for comfort, touch and shooting. I have read both of your reviews on the boots and was wondering if you have any additional comments about the differences between the two. Thanks and keep up the good work !!! 🙂

    • I don’t really have any additional comments regarding performance other than what I wrote in the reviews. They’re both great boots, but are very different when it comes to feel. Its your call to stick with what you know is good or to try something new.

  16. hey josh which cleat is better for wide feet adidas nitrocharge or adidas predator lz 2

  17. hey josh can you recommend me some good adidas leather soccer cleats

  18. Should i get the genios for a higher price or the natural 4 for a lower price

  19. Hi Josh,

    If you have flat feet and your feet are semi-wide_wide, would you recommend these pair of shoes? If not, wich pair should I buy then?

  20. hey josh, i wear a pair of absolion 2 in size 8.5US and there’s a little space at the end. If I buy a size 8 in order a tighter fit, it will be too tight in the other areas of the shoe? tks!!

  21. Josh i was thinking about getting the samba pack color way of the lz 2 but i dont know how the vivid berry looks on the boot if its too bright or not what do you recommend?

  22. hi Josh
    i am a forward and i have a doubt on which boot should i buy in samba collection the f50 or the predator. And does the samba predator have any other colour?

  23. what is the difference between adidas samba predator lz 2 and predator lz 2?

  24. Hey Josh, if I fit in the Nike Premier perfectly with a 8.5 (as far as length goes), what size would I be in the LZ 2? please respond. Thank you

  25. Hey Josh, have you had any problems with the durability of the boot, especially the rubber zones cracking? I am just asking because I have just bought a pair and they have a small crack in one of the rubber zones and was wondering if this would be cause me any problems later or be regarded as faulty? Thanks

  26. Hey Josh, just wondering is there a big difference between these lz 2 and the new predator instincts? & Since I play in a mens league only 2-3 times a week, should I invest in getting these boots or will I be fine with the absolion model?

    • Its definitely different, but they aren’t going to make you play any better. If you want new shoes, then go for it. That’s a decision that you have to make on your own.

  27. Hey josh, I have a pair of the absolions of the first lz’s and over time they have stared to give me blisters on my feet. I have feet on the wider side. Would the lz2 be wider than my predators I have now? Or should I go for somthing like the nike tiempo legends?

  28. Would you recommend this or the EvoPower 1?The only big difference is that the EvoPower has a barefoot feeling when shooting?

    • I prefer the evoPOWER 1 personally, but they’re both great boots, just very different when it comes to feel. The deciding factor is grip. If you want a lot of grip on the ball, go for the LZ 2, where is if you prefer very little grip on the ball, go for the evoPOWER 1.

  29. Hey Josh, im really confused about the wide feet and narrow feet thing. i dont even know if i have a wide feet or narrow feet. So its really hard to me to pick a boot that suits my feet. Could you the definition of wide feet?

    Thank You Josh!

  30. hey josh, which one is wider, the LZ 2 or LZ 1 SL?

  31. Hi Josh! I have a US9.5 vapor 9, and it’s a very little bit long (like 0,5 cms), but it’s perfect in width. Do you recommend buying these in the same size or going down to 8,5 (they don’t have size 9 and I can’t try them on). Thanks!

  32. Hey Josh,

    I have narrow feet which makes me a perfect fit in the f50. Are the predators LZ 2 good for narrow feet?

  33. Hi Josh, I was considering purchasing a pair of these however my last high end boot was the v1.11 synthetic pumas in US 10.5 and I was wondering if I should stay true to size (10) when I get myself a pair? or would the fit be too tight in the size 10 LZ2s? or should I still go half a size up?

  34. Pingback: Adidas Predator Instinct Review | SR4U News

  35. Hey Josh i recently purchased a pair of LZ II TRX and I don’t notice any grip when make touches, or shooting the ball. Any suggestions to why this may be?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

%d bloggers like this: