Adidas adiPure 11Pro SL Review
The 11Pro SL is the newest lightweight model of the very popular adiPure line. If compared to the previous model, the adiPure IV SL, it is easy to see that this version is very different. If we start with the upper, you get a forefoot and toe area made from premium kangaroo leather, while the mid foot back id made from a very thin synthetic. This makes for a shoe that has a feel somewhat reminiscent to the very popular Adidas F50 adizero miCoach Leather. The leather is very soft and offers a comfortable fit, but it does seem to fit on the wider side. Even the toe box is higher than you might expect, and after wearing these boots for several hours, they do tend to stretch, so getting a tight fit from brand new is very important if you want a good fit after break-in. As far as break-in goes, the shoe does require some stretching and forming before it begins to feel like "your" shoe, but what you overall experience is going to come down to is the mid foot of the shoe. The mid foot is is made from a very thin, adizero-like synthetic, but unlike the adizero, the mid foot is cut very narrow. This means that if you have either a wider foot, or even just a flat foot, the 11Pro SL may not work for you. I myself have what I would categories as a narrow to regular width foot, but due to having somewhat flat feet, I did find the instep of the shoe to be a little too narrow, making the shoe uncomfortable to wear. The instep seems to grab the inside arch of your foot more than you might expect, so once you pull the laces tight, the upper will actually pull up the underside of your foot. Again, this is an issue that you are only going to have if you do have flat feet or overly wide feet. If you are not in that boat, than the 11Pro SL should be fine. There are some other issues with the fit of the shoe in that the shape is somewhat unbalanced. What I mean by this is that the shoe has three different widths going from heel to toe. The heel is fairly low-cut, which is not a huge issue, but because of how wide the heel is, I did find myself with some minor heel slippage. Keep in mind that the heel slippage was not to the point where i was getting rubbing blisters, but just a small amount of movement, of which I could honestly do without. Moving on to the mid foot, as explained earlier, is very narrow, followed by a forefoot and toe box that is again, on the wider side. I just feel that not many have feet that are shaped like this, so it is difficult to really get a quality fit.
On a more positive note, I was very happy with the nicely padded, leather tongue. Partnered with a central lacing system, the padded tongue allow you to pull the laces as tight as you would like without any kind of lace-bite. As far as sizing goes, the 11Pro SL does fit a little on the long side. I wore my usual size 9US for review, and I have to say that the shoes did fit a little longer than I may have liked, and after the shoe stretched, the fit did becomes somewhat of an issue. If you are looking to buy a pair of these, I would strongly recommend going down half a size for the best possible fit after break-in. The 11Pro SL is a shoe that fits well enough, but it really depends on the type of foot that you have rather than the shoe itself.
Being that the 11Pro SL is the "super light" version of the standard 11Pro, you anticipate a shoe that is significantly lighter, and that's exactly what you get. The 11Pro SL weighs in at a very light 7.3oz, which is only 0.4oz more than the actual weight of the leather version of the current adizero. There are a couple of things to consider here because you do get a solid amount of quality kangaroo leather, which is good, but there is also a fair amount of thin synthetic on the boot, something that the previous model of the adiPure SL did not have. The main reason for the very low weight of the shoe is due to the adizero Sprintframe, which has become a staple in all of the latest Adidas shoe lines. This shoe also makes you wonder why the adizero does not use a higher quality leather, considering that there is very little difference in terms of weight between an okay quality of leather and a great quality of leather. The 11Pro SL will certainly satisfy your lightweight needs.
The 11Pro SL uses the identical soleplate and stud pattern as the F50 adizero, so if you have used that stud pattern before, this should be familiar territory. There are three minor changes from the previous adizero stud patterns, and when I say minor, I mean that it doesn’t really change the feel of the stud pattern at all. The first difference comes in a slight change in the shape of the front two studs. Instead of being perfect triangles, one side of the triangle is slightly curved. The second change is the stud in the middle of the foot, where instead of being flat, like the rest of the studs, it is angled at about 30 degrees. The last change is the surface of the studs, meaning the part that comes in contact with the ground. There is a triangular pattern on each stud, where part of the middle is slightly cut out. With all of these changes in place, the overall feel of this stud pattern, like I said earlier, is the same. If you have ever worn an adizero in the past, this stud pattern should be familiar territory. They provide decent grip, without locking your foot in too aggressively. It works well on nearly any surface, although I would avoid using them on turf, and it is worth noting that the studs are ever so slightly longer than your average firm ground stud pattern.
The 11Pro uses very high quality materials throughout, but balance does tend to somewhat of an issue. You may have heard me talk about balance, in terms of touch, when it comes to soccer shoes, and the 11Pro SL is a prime example of an unbalanced shoe. Like many lightweight soccer shoes that incorporate leather on the upper, the 11Pro SL uses what is about 40% leather and 60% synthetic. Most shoes like this, like the leather adizero, uses an even smaller percentage of leather on the upper, but the reason why I have an issue with the 11Pro SL is because there is such an extreme between the two separate materials.
The kangaroo leather forefoot and toe is a very high quality material, offering a classic, cushioned feel, the reason why leather is such a popular upper material. the tongue also mimics a similar feel offering a very padded feel that I really liked. The mid foot, an area of the foot the is very important in terms of touching the ball, is made from a very thin synthetic material. The synthetic is not specified, but it feels very much like a stiffer version of the Adidas Sprintskin, the same upper material used on the adizero. While the use of synthetic was mainly incorporated for weight reduction, it majorly impacts the overall feel of the shoe. Neither of these two upper materials is bad, but when you put the together on the same shoe, you get what I would call an unbalanced soccer shoe. Touching the ball on the leather section of the shoe, when dribbling for example, will feel completely different than when you are passing the ball. This is also a problem because the 11Pro SL is supposed to be a classic feeling shoe, while still being lightweight. When you say "classic" one would assume that the feel of the shoe should be one of a leather shoe, but when there is so much synthetic on the shoe, it is tough to call the 11Pro SL a lightweight, "classic" feeling shoe.
The 11Pro SL offers no sorts of shooting gimmicks and because the front of the shoe, as well as the tongue are in full leather, shooting in the 11Pro SL will feel very much like any other leather soccer shoe. The natural cushion of the leather makes for a very nice feeling upon contact with the ball and is again, nothing fancy, but a feel that any classic soccer shoe would provide. The lightweight nature of the shoe does give it somewhat of a unique feel in comparison to other kangaroo leather leather shoes that do weigh a little more, but not light enough to where they are going t offer a completely different feel. The 11Pro SL offers a solid shooting experience that anybody can appreciate.
As stated earlier, the 11Pro SL does feature a fairly padded leather upper in the spots that one would want protection, making it one of the safer shoes in its weight range. The nicely padded tongue will certainly help in absorbing some of the impact should you get stepped on and the leather toe area will also provide a slight amount of padding. The 11Pro SL is light, but it certainly does not feel like you are out of the filed running around in your socks.
The quality of the 11Pro SL is on par with most of the top-end models coming from Adidas. The quality of materials is great and it all comes together very nicely. The materials used are all proven to last and nothing seems to be a weak point of the shoe. Keep in mind that the 11Pro SL does use a natural leather upper, so some maintenance is required is you want the leather to stay soft. Given that you avoid artificial grass, I am very confident that the 11Pro SL will last for quite a while.
The original adiPure SL was a boot that got everyone really excited, simply because it was one of the first boots to offer a classic upper with that ultra-lightweight feel. Since then, we have seem quite a few different shoes like this pop up from other companies, and I am just not sure that the 11Pro SL provides that classic feel that it claims to have. Along with some issues with the fit and the upper being the way that it is, I would not call the 11Pro SL a lightweight "heritage" shoe. If you are looking for something along the lines of a leather adizero with perhaps a little more leather, than the 11Pro SL might be for you. Just keep in mind the fit of the shoe, and I am sure that you will be happy with your purchase.
Comfort/Fit 8 out of 10
Weight 8 out of 10
Traction 8 out of 10
Touch 8 out of 10
Shooting 8 out of 10
Protection 8 out of 10
Durability 8 out of 10
Final Score 56 out of 70 or 80%