The latest edition of the mi adidas F50 adiZero 2014 is the first major redesign in the series since its original release in 2010. One of the most noticeable changes coming from past adizero models is Adidas’ emphasis on the synthetic upper variation, which has been dramatically improved this time around. The upper is no longer made from Adidas’ single-layer SprintSkin synthetic, but is now made from two brand new materials, HybridTouch and SpeedFoil. The tongue and front portion of the upper is made from HybridTouch, which is the same synthetic material found on both the Predator LZ 2 and Nitrocharge 1.0 from Adidas. Unlike those models, the HybridTouch synthetic on the adizero is significantly thinner, yet still soft and flexible. The back portion of the upper is made from SpeedFoil, a material designed not so much for touch, but more so to be lightweight, durable and supportive. Both materials are fused and stitched together on a diagonal on both the lateral and medial sides of the upper, bringing the two different materials together almost seamlessly.
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.
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 complatible.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 part HybridTouch, part SpeedFoil 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/Fit||10 out of 10|
|Weight||10 out of 10|
|Traction||9 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||61 out of 70 or 87%|