Adidas Reviews, F50 adiZero Reviews — May 23, 2014 at 1:42 am

adidas F50 adiZero Messi Battle Pack Review

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This is the 2rd new colourway released for the 2014 Fifa World Cup for the current generation of the adizero f50 Messi soccer/football boots. The theme is called Battle Pack and features black and white patterns of the boots have been inspired by the warpaint of native warriors and the iconic pavement patterns of ancient Mesopotamia perfected on the Copacabana beach.

Comfort/Fit

Considering the weight of the latest F50 adizero, they’re surprisingly comfortable. Unlike the standard colroways of the F50 adizero, the Messi variation features an upper that is made 100% of HybridTouch synthetic, with not SpeedFoil whatsoever. When it comes to fit and comfort, I found that the difference has no real significance on the overall feel of the shoe. What I’m getting at is that whether you go for the Messi or standard version of the F50, it really doesn’t make much of a difference when it comes to feel.

Other comfort elements of the boot include two sets of removable insoles, one lightweight and one comfort. The lightweight insole is extremely minimal, made from a thin layer of foam with perforations throughout, nearly identical to previous lightweight adizero insoles. The comfort insole is slightly improved, with higher quality foam being used, as well as a synthetic suede liner on top. Both insoles offer a comfortable feel, and its nice that you get some options right off the bat. The heel is lined in a smooth synthetic material, with slightly more padding than past adizeros. I also found that the new forefoot stud pattern better distributes pressure across the bottom of the foot, making for an overall more comfortable feel.

From right out of the box, the adizero is more or less ready to go. The HybridTouch synthetic is surprisingly soft and flexible, much more so than the SprintSkin synthetic featured on past models. It rivals the very popular Teijin synthetic found on the Nike Mercurial Vapor 9, which says a lot about the jump in quality that Adidas has made here with the synthetic adizero. The flexibility of the upper in combination with the flexibility of the SprintFrame outsole gives the adizero a very natural feel when running, which is slightly unusual as most ultra-lightweight cleats tend to be a little more rigid. Since the HybridTouch synthetic is so thin and soft, I found that it did stretch ever so slightly, so don’t worry if they feel a little tight from brand new, because they will stretch a little. Overall, I had no issues with discomfort or blistering, and honestly found the adizero to be surprisingly comfortable for being such a lightweight and minimal soccer cleat.

The fit and shape of the new adizero isn’t too far off from the previous model, but due to the softness of the HybridTouch upper, the fit is dramatically improved. For the first time ever, I can lace up a pair of synthetic adizeros and achieve a skin tight fit, with no extra space in any part of the upper. Like most lightweight boots, it has a tighter than average fit, making it less than ideal for wider footed players. The boot hugs the entire foot all the way through, making it best suited for anybody with average to narrow shaped feet.

When it comes to sizing, the adizero runs true to size, but like I just mentioned, has a tighter fit overall. I wore my usual size 9US for review and the fit was pretty much perfect, leaving me with no extra space in any part of the boot. If you want the best possible fit, with no extra space, I would recommend going true to size, where as if you prefer to have a little wiggle room, you can safely go half a size up.

Weight

The latest version of the F50 weighs in at an incredibly lightweight 5.3oz, which is about half an ounce less than the previous synthetic adizero. Both in hand and on feet, the adizero feels incredibly light, almost weightless, which is what made the adizero so popular in the first place. The main reason for the shoe being so lightweight is the one-piece, SprintFrame outsole. The outsole is made from a fairly thin and flexible plastic, which also includes an external heel counter. The heel counter seems to have been reverted back to the original rounded shape, which doesn’t make for any noticeable difference in feel. It’s also worth mentioning that the SprintFrame still features the miCoach cavity, so if you have been using the miCoach chip, know that the latest adizero is still miCoach compatible.

The adizero has more or less hovered around the same weight ever since its original release, and even though the latest model is half an ounce lighter than the previous model, its almost impossible to notice any kind of difference. With that being said, if you’re looking for the lightest possible boot, than the synthetic adizero is not only one of your best options, but also the lightest.

Traction

Finally, some variation! It took five models, but we finally have a stud pattern that isn’t made up of just triangles, sort of. Under the heel, you’ll find the same four triangular studs, but under the forefoot, everything has changed. Instead of perfect triangles, the studs are still triangular in shape, but more bladed with longer edges. There are three bladed studs running along both the lateral and medial sides of the forefoot, one support stud in the middle and one small bump right at the tip of the toe.

The new bladed studs are all positioned at different angles, designed to provide grip when accelerating, pushing off, cutting, as well as slowing down. The longer, more narrow profile of the bladed studs allows for much better ground penetration than the old layout, and is a huge improvement when it comes to pure grip in almost every situation. I also found that the new stud pattern is much better suited for a wider variety of natural grass playing surfaces, mainly because the studs are slightly lower to the ground, providing a more stable feel. Considering the new layout is made up of all blades, it still offers decent maneuverability once the foot is planted, allowing you to maintain the ability to pivot. I also like the small bump positioned at the tip of the toe. While it doesn’t make any significant difference in the feel of the stud pattern, it’s a small feature that doesn’t get in the way of anything and just might prevent a slip here and there.
Overall, the new stud pattern is great, and is in my opinion a major improvement over the original, which I personally wasn’t a huge fan of. You get some great multidirectional traction, on a flexible yet supportive SprintFrame base.

Touch

The HybridTouch synthetic is definitely the highlight of the adizero this time around. Its thin, soft and flexible, which is really all you can ask for. It perfectly suits the ultra-lightweight feel of the boot. The upper itself features a smooth, artificial leather-grain finish, which feels great when making touches on the ball. Covering the top of the toes and medial side of the forefoot is a thin, rubberized texture, which Adidas calls DribbleTex. The function of DribbleTex is to provide additional grip on the ball, which it does effectively, without adding any bulk to the thin upper. The amount of grip isn’t anything significant, but is just enough to where its noticeable.

Simplicity is key here, as the touch of the boot is mainly down to the quality of the synthetic upper. If you’re looking for the ultimate barefoot playing experience, there isn’t another shoe that’s this light and this comfortable currently on the market. As mentioned earlier, Adidas has really put an emphasis on the synthetic adizero this time around, and it shows. While the leather upper variation has been more popular in the past, trust me when I say that if you’re looking for the ultimate adizero experience, synthetic is the way to go.

Shooting

Striking the ball in the adizero is great. The ultra-thin upper offers almost no extra padding, allowing you to feel every bit of the ball when striking through it. The thin upper provides this sensation of precision when striking the ball, in that there is no loss of feel whatsoever, again playing into the barefoot playing experience that this shoe is all about. The DribbleTex texturing offers slight amounts of extra grip depending on how you strike the ball, but for the most part doesn’t have much of an impact on the overall feel.

Considering how light the adizero is, the SprintFrame base provides a plenty of rigidity through the mid-foot. You would think that something this light would feel flimsy when hitting the ball with any kind of force, but that’s not the case at all. Overall, if you’re into the whole barefoot feel, you’ll love striking the ball in the adizero.

Protection

As with most ultra-lightweight soccer cleats, protection is sacrificed at the expense of weight. The thin upper provides almost no protection at all, and should you get stepped on, you’ll feel every bit of the blow. The only protective element of the adizero is the external plastic heel counter, which provides some minor impact protection should you take a kick to the back of the heel. You can’t really complain about the lack of protection on an ultra-lightweight soccer cleat, and if protection is a major concern for you, then you most likely won’t be considering the adizero as your next boot anyways.

Durability

The synthetic adizero has always been a relatively durable boot considering that it has always been in the ultra-light 5oz weight range. Since the latest adizero is more or less an all-new design with all-new materials, it’s hard to judge how long you can expect them to last. The HybridTouch synthetic is much softer than the SprintSkin used on previous models, which may have an impact on the durability, but for the most part, everything feels pretty solid. Throughout testing I had no issues at all with durability, and nothing jumps out at me as a potential concern.

Keep in mind that the Firm Ground version of the F50 adizero, or any FG model for that matter, is designed for use on natural grass playing surfaces and nothing else. Use of any FG cleat on turf/artificial grass will have a major impact on the durability and longevity the boot.

The Verdict

I thoroughly enjoyed wearing the latest edition of the adizero. Adidas has made some huge improvements to build upon an already successful and proven base in the SprintFrame outsole. The HybridTouch upper is amazing in every way and the new stud pattern offers great overall traction. Not to mention that the boot is incredibly lightweight, while still maintaining a surprisingly comfortable fit. Everything about the new adizero feels fine tuned and I’m glad to finally see some innovation from Adidas on the F50 series. Simply put, this is the best synthetic F50 Adidas has ever put out, and is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for one of the best ultra-lightweight boots around.

Comfort/Fit10 out of 10
Weight10 out of 10
Traction9 out of 10
Touch10 out of 10
Shooting8 out of 10
Protection6 out of 10
Durability8 out of 10
FINAL SCORE61 out of 70 or 87%
Joshua Vujovic (1052 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


10 Comments

  1. hi josh
    i would like to know if the 11pro battle pack features a taurus leather or hiper touch synthetic or both.love your videos

  2. Hi josh, I can not afford two shoes and I play on ag and fg. Would these work on artificial grass?

  3. hey josh, soccer season starts at the end of the summer and i wanted to start playing soccer. i want to buy some AdiZero’s but i don’t know what size to wear. i wear 10.5 but those are Vans so i dunno. what do you think my size would be for AdiZero’s

  4. I looked at these in the store, there is another difference you didn’t mention – the tongue is not speedfoil unlike the non-battlepack Messi version. Although the battle pack upper felt a bit softer which I like, I got the original non-battlepack Messi version as I like the dribbletex lines all around the upper compared with sparse grippy dots on the battlepack edition. Also, I notice you weighed battlepack Messi with the comfort insoles (which add about 0.5oz more weight than the lightweight ones). That means the battlepack Messi shoes with lightweight insoles should weigh only 5.3oz vs 5.7oz non-battlepack version with lightweight insoles, right? So battlepack Messi is actually lighter than standard rainbow colourway Messi then, right? Also, did you do free kicks/play test of Messi vs Standard F50s to see is there is any difference in shooting/dribbling performance?

    • There are some very minor differences, but none that have any significant impact on the feel and performance. You’re not really going to notice much of a difference between the standard F50 and the Messi variation, even though they may seem to be very different.

      • Thanks v much Josh I feel a bit better about my purchase/choice now. Though I have one more question to bring up. These felt noticeably stiff (eg compared with Mercurial Vapor 9) when I first played with them (I was also worried abt the speedfoil on the tongue cutting into my foot at the top edge, which I felt initially but after a few minutes it went away). The stiffness made them feel solid, very stable and responsive and the stud pattern was incredibly grippy. But this stiffness made me feel more restricted in my movements than I expected. Certainly compared with my first game with Vapors 9s on which had zero break in period for me. I was starting to think standard F50s or battlepack Messi would have made me feel more ‘free’ due to a softer/more collapsible Hybridtouch area when I pressed on the uppers of the shoes in store. Do you think these rainbow versions Messi shoes will soften up to feel more ‘barefoot’ with a few more wears? Do they actually break in, or will this stiff, less-barefoot-than-Vapors feel stay the same forever?

      • When will u do the full written review

  5. Hey Joshua,

    I contacted you the other day about deciding between the F50s and the Mercurial Vapor X. I’ve decided on the F50, for the slight padding and natural feel, and im pleased with that.
    My concern is durability, theyre being bought for me as a gift and want to ensure they last. So i was thinking about a backup pair of boots as you suggested.
    Are there any boots that are lightweight, but a bit more durable, as in not ultra-light, but a step down in weight and price that you would recommend?
    Cheers,
    Harry

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