Adidas F30 MiCoach II (Leather) Review
The Adidas F30 leather is the first takedown model in the very popular F50 line of lightweight soccer shoes. While the F30 shares very similar styling to that of the top end F50 adizero, the shoe itself couldn’t be more different. This time around, Adidas has made the shoe available in both leather and synthetic upper variations, just like the F50, in an attempt to make the F30 a more attractive package.
The F30 is one of those shoes that I’ve never been a big fan of. While the latest model gives you the option to have a Goleo calfskin leather upper, just like the F50 adizero, it is still the same flawed F30 that has been around for the last couple of years, if not worse.
From a comfort standpoint, the F30 isn’t necessarily uncomfortable, but the poor fit can cause some issues. The upper is made from the same Goleo calfskin leather used on the F50 adizero, which feels relatively soft from right out of the box. Unfortunately, the shape of the boot is nothing like that of the leather adizero. Unlike the F50, the F30 has a very wide fit all the way through, giving the boot a very sloppy fit, especially after the shoe is broken-in and the leather has stretched. Most leather shoes have a slightly tighter fit from right out of the box, so that when the leather stretches, the fit will be perfect, but the F30 starts out wide, and ends up wider. Other comfort elements on the boot include a thin EVA Foam, non-removable insole, and heavily padded synthetic leather heel liner.
The fit is just such a let down on this boot, as well as past models of the F30, that its hard to even justify purchasing a pair. The boot is really wide all the way through, allowing your foot to have lots of extra wiggle room to slide around inside of the boot. The heel on this boot is extremely shallow and fits really wide. When you partner that with a heavily padded heel liner, you get some pretty extreme heel slippage. Heel slippage, and movement in the shoe in general, is exactly what you don’t want if you’re trying to avoid any kind of blistering, something that can be an issue in the F30.
As far as sizing is concerned, the F30 in leather fits true to size in the length of the boot. I wore my usual size 9US and the fit in the length was perfect. You could try to go half a size down for a slightly tighter fit, but I would just avoid the shoe all together if it has to come down to that. The F30 is one of the worst fitting shoes currently on the market, and its shocking that Adidas would put out a product like this year after year.
One of, if not the biggest reason why so many people are attracted to the F50 line is to get that lightweight feel. The top end F50 adizero is very lightweight, both in the synthetic and leather upper variations, but when it comes to the F30, it isn’t lightweight at all. Weighing in at 9.8oz, which is about average weight for a pair of soccer shoes, the F30 is not exactly in “Speed” boot range as far as weight is concerned, so if you’re looking for that lightweight feel, you’re not going to get it from the F30. The F30 is not a heavy shoe, but it certainly isn’t a light one either.
The F30 features the exact same stud pattern as the top end F50, with the major difference being the soleplate. Normally the soleplate plays a very small part in the overall performance of the stud pattern, but in the case of the F30, the soleplate actually has a major impact on the performance of the stud pattern. The major issue that I have with the soleplate is the lack of flexibility in the forefoot. If you hold the shoe in your hand and flex the forefoot of thesoleplate, you’ll notice that there’s only one flex point on the soleplate. Its not uncomfortable to wear or anything like that, but when your making hard cuts, the soleplate doesn’t flex enough, not allowing the studs to dig in as much as they should. What I mean by this is that the soleplate doesn’t flex with your foot, making it difficult to feel the traction beneath your feet. The poor fit of the boot also makes for tons of roll over in the upper when making quick changes of direction, giving the shoe a somewhat unstable feel.
The stud pattern features triangular studs all throughout, with three studs running along the inside and outside of the forefoot, with one support stud in the middle, and four studs at the heel. The studs themselves vary ever so slightly in size, but for the most part, each stud has a larger surface area than your average firm ground stud. For that reason, the ground penetration that you get with the F30 is not going to be the best, unless you’re playing on slightly softer, natural grass playing surface. With that being said, you can still get away with wearing this stud pattern on slightly firmer natural grass playing surfaces, but of course the traction will not be as good. The problem is that the stud pattern is designed for use on a premium firm ground playing surfaces, where the ground is a little softer and is easy to penetrate. When using the F30, or any of the current Adidas models for that matter, on an ideal playing surface, the traction that you get from the shoe is great. The studs offer a good balance between grip when pushing off, and maneuverability when twisting and turning. The traction that you get is OK, but it certainly isn’t as good as the F50 adizero, even though it’s the same stud pattern.
The main attraction of the latest model of the F30 is definitely the leather option for the upper. The leather itself is exactly the same as the top end F50 adizero. Made from the same Goleo calfskin leather, the quality and thickness is pretty much identical to what you get from the top end model, which is good. The downfall of the F30 Leather is the fit of the boot. Once the shoe is broken in and the leather has stretched, the fit becomes very sloppy, making the touch feel sloppy as well. Since the leather upper is not tightly wrapped to your foot, your ability to feel the ball isn’t all that great. Every touch on the ball feels almost delayed, simply because the upper doesn’t sit directly against your foot, as it should. I was excited that Adidas put a leather upper on the F30 model, but the brutal fit of the boot really hinders your ability to get a good feel for the ball.
Striking the ball in the F30 doesn’t feel all that great either. Again, the poor fit of the boot does not properly lock your foot in place, so when you strike the ball you can feel the shoe moving around on your foot. There’s just too much movement of the boot on your foot for these to feel good when striking the ball. You will still be able to strike the ball, it just won’t feel that great.
The natural padding of the leather upper covers pretty much your entire foot, giving you some decent impact protection should you take a blow to the foot. The internal heel counter will also provide some decent protection, should you take a shot to the back of the foot as well. For the most part, the F30 will provide some decent protection, and won’t leave you feeling overly exposed.
The leather quality on the boot is pretty good, and while the rest of the materials aren’t exactly premium, they do feel durable. One thing that worries me is the leather upper and how much it stretches on the F30. I would almost say that the shoe overstretches to the point where it almost feels un-wearable. If overstretching is not something that you’re worried about, than I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t able to get at least a season’s worth of play out of the F30. Also keep in mind that the firm ground version of the F30 was designed for use on natural grass playing surfaces. Using the firm ground F30, or any firm ground shoe, on artificial grass/turf, will have a major impact on the overall durability of the boot.
I can’t believe that Adidas has been putting out the same flawed product for three straight years now! If you have owned a pair of F30s in the past and liked them, there’s nothing wrong with that, but trust me when I say that there are much better options available. Takedown or not, the F30 is just not a good soccer shoe. The fit is terrible, it overstretches, it isn’t lightweight and while Adidas has added a decent quality leather upper, the fit just ruins what could have been. You have to be absolutely crazy to pay the $110 retail price for the F30, and even for half that price, I still wouldn’t buy a pair. If you were thinking about picking up a pair of Leather F30s, don’t. Take a look at your other options, because there are so many options that are better in every way in comparison to the F30, especially for the price.
|Comfort/Fit||3 out of 10|
|Weight||7 out of 10|
|Traction||7 out of 10|
|Touch||5 out of 10|
|Shooting||4 out of 10|
|Protection||8 out of 10|
|Durability||7 out of 10|
|FINAL SCORE||41 out of 70 or 59%|