Adidas F50 adizero miCoach 2 Synthetic Firm Ground Review
Part of the reason why the synthetic model of the adidas F50 adizero has always been considered second best to the leather version, at least for me, was the fit. It could be argued that up until now, the synthetic adizero has more or less been the same for the first three “redesigns”. While the last version, which was the original adizero miCoach, did feature Adidas’ SprintWeb technology on the outside of the upper, the fit was still nothing special. With the release of the adizero miCoach 2, Adidas has finally changed the fit of the synthetic model to where it is now up to par with the likes of the Vapor series from Nike, which is the main competitor of the adizero.
So, what has changed? There have been a couple of changes, but the most significant change has to be the actual shape of the upper. The beauty of a leather soccer shoe is that you can buy them to fit tight from right out of the box, and the shoes will stretch exactly to the shape of your foot. Synthetics, especially thin synthetics, don’t have the ability to stretch to your feet, so the fit of the shoe is solely dependent on the actual shape of the upper. This predetermined shape is what has always been the issue with the synthetic adizero, until now. The fit of the new synthetic adizero is significantly slimmer than any of the previous models, making it one of the best fitting, thin synthetic soccer shoes on the market. The heel, mid-foot, forefoot and toe box wrap your foot really nicely, giving you that sense of having zero space inside of the shoe when you pull the laces tight.
Other changes to the shoe include a brand new heel liner. The heel is now completely lined in synthetic leather, with no stitching or seems at all, making for a more comfortable fit, as well as reducing the chance of getting a blister. I also noticed that there is just a little bit more padding in the heel liner, which only adds to the comfort of the shoe. It is also worth noting that the synthetic model is shipped with two sets of insoles, one set of Lightweight insoles, and another set of Comfort insoles. Both are fairly minimalistic, but it is nice that Adidas includes an extra set and it allows you to get the most comfortable fit possible. Due to the tight fit of the boot, I found myself mostly using the Lightweight insole over the Comfort insole, if you were wondering.
The last major change to the fit of the shoe has to be the newly redesigned internal SprintWeb, which is only featured on the synthetic model. The idea behind SprintWeb is to provide structural integrity, or to reinforce, the single layer synthetic that is SprintSkin. Since the upper is so thin on the adizero, it is required to have some kind of internal reinforcements in high stress areas of the boot, in order to prevent the upper from ripping. Every single synthetic adizero, up until now, has featured SprintWeb that never went down to the base of the shoe, so while it did reinforce the upper, you could still feel the upper move a little bit when pushing off side to side. The newly redesigned SprintWeb is much larger, and wraps from under the foot, all the way to the top of the upper. This makes for a much more structurally stable upper, not allowing the upper to stretch at all. The new SprintWeb also plays a major role in ensuring the tightest fit possible, giving you that true one to one feel.
I would say that the overall fit of the shoe is not all that wide. The entire shoe is a touch narrower than past adizeros, but I wouldn’t label the shoe as narrow. Adidas have made the shoe as wide as it could possibly be, while still ensuring the tightest fit possible. In order to achieve a skin tight fit, the shoe has to be slimmer. As far as sizing is concerned, the synthetic adizero miCoach 2 fits very true to size. I wore my usual size 9US for review and the fit in the length was perfect. If you’re looking to order a pair, I would strongly recommend ordering your normal size for the best possible fit.
The miCoach 2 weighs in at a very lightweight 5.8oz, making it one of lightest soccer shoes currently on the market. There aren’t too many shoes below the 6oz mark, and when you pull the laces tight and start running around, it truly feels like there’s nothing on your feet. For how lightweight the shoe actually is, it feels surprisingly solid. The shoe doesn’t feel flimsy, and the fit does not all suffer given the weight of the shoe. While weight is not everything when it comes to soccer shoes, it is one of the main selling points of the adizero, and is part of the reason why the F50 line has become so popular. If you’re looking to be as light as possible, than the adizero is a great option.
The F50 adizero miCoach 2 features the exact same soleplate and stud pattern combo as the previous model of the adizero. Adidas have more or less standardized the adizero stud pattern across all three of their “modern” shoe lines, so if you have worn an Adidas shoe with the last 6 months or so, you have probably used this particular stud pattern. 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, with four studs at the heel. The studs themselves vary ever so slightly in size, but for the most part, each studs feature a larger surface area than your average firm ground stud. For that reason, the ground penetration that you get with the adizero 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 F50, or any of the current Adidas models for that matter, on an ideal playing surface, the traction that you get from the shoe is fantastic. The studs offer a good balance between grip when pushing off, and maneuverability when twisting and turning. Overall, this is a stud pattern that performs really well, but is better suited for slightly softer, natural grass playing surfaces.
The synthetic adizero, as stated earlier in the review, has always had its issues, which is why the leather model has always been more popular. The synthetic upper is still made from a single layer synthetic, called Sprintskin, but because of how much tighter the shoes fit, the touch on the ball feels much less sloppy. When you pull the laces tight, the upper hugs your foot very closely, making the upper feel like a second skin on your foot. To say the least, the shoe feels very thin, giving you that sense of not wearing anything at all, but since the upper itself is still not the softest, there is still that sense of rigidity to the upper, which is gives you a very responsive touch on the ball. I personally really like the touch on the ball, and I’m personally not a big fan of thin synthetic soccer shoes.
Another new feature worth mentioning is the new texturing on the upper. This 3D Texturing runs the length of the upper and actually raises off of the shoe a little more than you might expect. It is hard to see in some of the stock photos online, but if you check out some of the close up images above, you will get a better idea of what I’m talking about. The texturing itself doesn’t add any kind of grip on the ball, but it does offer something when it comes to ball feel. It is hard to explain such a subtle texturing, but what I can tell you is that it adds an extra element of quality to the upper. I think that without the texturing, the upper would feel much cheaper, so all in all, I like the 3D Texturing.
If you were thinking about getting the new adizero, I strongly recommend taking a look at the synthetic model. I feel that a shoe like this is supposed to have a thin synthetic upper, and if you want a true barefoot feel from your shoes, I would go for the synthetic model over the leather.
Striking the ball in the miCoach 2 feels great. The Sprintskin upper is super thin, and provides just enough protection for your foot to where you have some impact protection, while still allowing for that barefoot feel. As far as the 3D Texturing is concerned, it doesn’t add any kind of extra grip at all, so the overall feel when striking the ball is pretty barebones. The solid nature of the synthetic gives the shoe a very responsive feel when shooting, as the ball flies of your foot really nicely. It also must be said that the shoe feels surprisingly solid for how light it is. At no point does the shoe feel like it is flexing or is not reinforced enough when striking the ball. Again, if you like that barefoot feel, than the synthetic adizero is going to be right up your alley.
If you’re buying a sub 6oz soccer shoe, don’t expect much in the way of protection. Protection-wise, you get an external plastic heel counter, to protect from kicks to the back, but other than that, you’re left pretty much completely exposed. The ultra-thin Sprintskin upper does not offer much impact protection, if any at all, and should you get stepped on, you will feel every bit of it. Obviously you can’t get that barefoot feel from a protective soccer shoe, so if you choose to have an ultra-thin, minimalistic feel, just know that you’re giving up a lot of protective elements to get it. If you’re buying this shoe, you know what you’re getting into as far as protection is concerned.
In terms of durability, the synthetic adizero has always been a pretty reliable soccer shoe, especially considering how light it is. The upper is thin, but feels tough, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it ripping on you. There is an extra ring of slightly tougher SprintWeb material running along outside of the toe and forefoot of the upper, allowing for a very solid bond between the soleplate and the upper. The synthetic model also requires nothing in the way of maintenance, other than a quick rinse off every once and a while. Overall, there just isn’t much that could go wrong with the shoe, and you should be able to get a pretty long life out of these boots. Keep in mind that the firm ground model of the adizero, or any firm ground shoe for that matter, is designed for use on natural grass playing surfaces. Using any firm ground soccer shoe on artificial grass will have a major impact on the durability of the boot.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the F50 adizero miCoach 2. The fourth edition of the synthetic adizero brings the first major changes to the fit of the boot, and that alone makes for a much better experience overall. The solid fit, ultra-lightweight construction and paper-thin upper all make for one of the best “barefoot” feeling soccer shoes on the market. If you are a fan of thin synthetic soccer shoes, or have always wanted to give the synthetic adizero a try, there has never been a better time to give this shoe a go.
|Comfort/Fit||10 out of 10|
|Weight||10 out of 10|
|Traction||8 out of 10|
|Touch||10 out of 10|
|Shooting||8 out of 10|
|Protection||6 out of 10|
|Durability||8 out of 10|
|FINAL SCORE||60 out of 70 or 86%|