The 11Pro, formerly known as the “adiPure” line, is a line from Adidas that is all about providing a blend of classic and modern styling. The Copa Mundial is and will always be one of the greatest kangaroo leather soccer cleats of all-time and if you’re looking for that classic, comfortable leather feel, it should always be taken into consideration. With that being said, not everybody wants what has been labeled as an “old school” boot, and that’s where the 11Pro line comes in.
If we’re honest with ourselves, the 11Pro line up until this point has been somewhat disappointing, mainly due to the lack of kangaroo leather. For 2015, Adidas has given us the 11Pro 3, which is a boot that not only gives us a full kangaroo leather upper, but it’s also one of the most modern, interesting leather soccer cleats that we’ve ever seen.
Kangaroo leather and comfort go hand-in-hand, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the 11Pro 3 is a comfortable boot. The leather is soft, and relatively thin which is great, but that’s not what makes the 11Pro 3 special. Normally with a leather soccer cleat, the upper is stitched as a way of reinforcing the leather. The stitching allows the leather upper to maintain its shape a little better and prevents the upper from over stretching. If you look at the 11Pro 3, you’ll immediately notice that the upper does not feature any visible stitching, which gives the boot a very distinctive look and feel. Many have compared the upper of the 11Pro 3 to the Nike Hypervenom Phantom’s NikeSkin upper as well as the upper of the Nike Tiempo Legend 5, but what Adidas has done here is entirely different, and unlike anything else currently on the market.
In place of stitching, Adidas has developed a unique way of reinforcing the leather upper without taking away from the soft feel of the leather, while also allowing for a more secure, and responsive feel than you would normally find from a standard leather soccer cleat. Instead of stitching, the upper is internally reinforced by what Adidas calls the “Engineered Support Skeleton”, which is what gives the upper its textured appearance. Inside the boot, directly attached to the backside of the leather upper and beneath the interior liner, is a criss-crossed synthetic material, which acts as reinforcement for the upper in both the forefoot and rear portion of the upper, with the mid-foot being left with no reinforcement at all. This feature is really only noticeable in the forefoot, mainly because the rear portion of the upper features an internal plastic heel counter, so you aren’t in direct contact with the upper. With that said, it is still a highlight feature of the 11Pro 3.
The thickness of the support skeleton is more substantial than you might expect, but certainly doesn’t feel uncomfortable or bulky. At first, I will say that I was skeptical of it, simply because the support cage itself is not as soft or flexible as the actual leather from out of the box, but after some wear time, it softens up significantly and once you get used to the shoes, you stop noticing it all together.
Another concern that I had was that the support skeleton would restrict the upper from stretching, and again, after some wear-time, I found the upper did stretch, almost like any other leather shoe would. So, all of my worries about the support skeleton taking away from the natural feel and comfort that you would expect from a kangaroo leather shoe turned out to be non-issues after some break-in time. The shoes fit and feel great.
The support skeleton has also been marketed as a better alternative to traditional stitching, and while I will say that I’m both impressed and intrigued by the support system in the 11Pro 3, I can’t say that it’s significantly better or worse than the average leather soccer cleat, just different. It’s very difficult to describe, but if I had to put it as simply as possible, the 11Pro 3 feels like a thin synthetic soccer cleat, with the softness of a kangaroo leather upper. It provides a traditional feel in that the upper is leather, but the support skeleton definitely adds a very modern sensation that I haven’t experienced from any other leather boot.
The shoe features a very deep, central lacing system that allows you tighten the boots really nicely. The tongue, unlike the rest of the upper is made from synthetic, with various padded inserts to cut down on lace-bite, something that was not an issue with the 11Pro 3. If I have one complaint about the tongue, it’s that it tends to slide over to the side while you’re playing, something that isn’t uncommon for any soccer cleat really, but I did find it to be a bit of an annoyance with the 11Pro, but of course sliding it back over every once in a while solves this problem completely.
One design aspect of the upper that is worth mentioning is the small synthetic strip that that divides the two sides of the forefoot, in between the two pieces of kangaroo leather. There’s no explanation from Adidas as to why the synthetic strip is there, but my concern was that it would cause some kind of discomfort, especially once the shoe began to stretch, but fortunately that was not the case. It softens up just like the rest of the upper, and is minimal enough to the point where you don’t really notice it all, so if it was a concern for you, I wouldn’t worry about it.
Other comfort elements of the boot include a smooth synthetic leather or synthetic suede heel liner, both of which are quite comfortable. It seems that the heel liner material will vary with each colorway, but after using both, I can’t say that I don’t have a preference, as both were very comfortable. The insole is made from a single layer of foam with a synthetic suede liner, nothing unusual from Adidas, with the most unique feature being the plush, memory foam insert in the heel. The memory foam seems like a great idea, and is very soft to the touch, but once you put your foot inside the shoe and stand, the memory foam compresses to the point where it is completely flat. Since your heel is locked into the shoe, the memory foam doesn’t get the chance to spring back into shape, so you never really get that “cushioned” sensation. It’s not an issue, but something worth mentioning. Also, the soleplate is quite flexible, so the shoe just has a very natural feel overall.
As far as fit is concerned, the general shape of the 11Pro 3 hasn’t changed much from the previous 11Pro 2, mainly because the 11Pro 3 is still based on the same ComfortFrame soleplate. When you put them on for the first time, you’ll find that the upper is soft, flexible and also has a strangely structured sensation without any pressure points on the foot. You get the comfort of a leather shoe, with the structure of a synthetic, which is great. The shoe has what I would describe as a snug fit that will be suitable for most foot types from right out of the box. As mentioned earlier, the upper will stretch a pretty decent amount, so if they fit a little tight from brand new, just give them some time to break-in, and they’ll stretch to the exact shape of your foot, making for a custom and comfortable fit. It’s the widest boot that Adidas currently makes, aside from the Copa Mundial, and a shoe that will suit just about everybody.
One last thing worth mentioning regarding the fit of the 11Pro 3, is that it has the same low-cut heel that has become a common characteristic amongst every adiPure and 11Pro model. I didn’t have any issues with heel slippage or discomfort, but I know not everybody like the low-cut feel that this line has always had.
In terms of sizing, I wore my usual size 9US for review, and the fit in the length was perfect. I would definitely recommend going true to size for the best possible fit.
The original 11Pro was very noticeably designed around being lighter than any previous adiPure model, while the 11Pro 2 was not quite as light. The 11Pro 3 maintains a similar weight to that of the 11Pro 2, which may seem somewhat surprising considering that the boot has such a sleek, low-profile, almost “speed” boot-like aesthetic. In a size 9US, the 11Pro 3 weighs in at 9oz, which is down about half an ounce from the previous model. The boot does not come across as particularly light, but it isn’t heavy either. For a full kangaroo leather soccer cleat, the 11Pro 3 falls into a nice weight range in my opinion. IF you’re looking for something ultra-light, this probably isn’t the boot for you, but if you’re looking for something that is light enough, and just has a very comfortable yet solid feel on feet, than you shouldn’t have any issues with the weight of the 11Pro 3.
For me personally, 9oz is just about the perfect weight for a soccer cleat, but of course your opinion may differ.
As I mentioned earlier, the 11Pro 3 features the same soleplate and stud pattern combo that was featured on the previous model, something that I’m quite happy about.
The studs are triangular in shape and feature a much narrower profile, similar to the size of the studs on the Copa Mundial. The layout is pretty straight forward with four studs under the heel, four studs on the lateral side of the forefoot, three studs on the medial side of the forefoot and one support stud in the middle.
The narrow profile of the studs allows them to easily penetrate the ground, providing decent grip at push off. The triangular studs feature rounded corners, making for a stud pattern that performs very much like a traditional conical stud pattern. When planted, you still have plenty of freedom to pivot and turn, making for a very manoeuvrable feel. The slightly shorter length of the studs also makes for a very stable feel, keeping you nice and close to the ground, while the flexibility of the soleplate allows the boot to move very closely with the bend of your foot.
Overall, there’s nothing ground breaking about the 11Pro 3 stud pattern, but it works, and that’s what matters. It suits the feel of the 11Pro 3 and is what I would consider to be a modern variation on the Copa Mundial stud pattern.
To put it simply, the 11Pro 3 feels unlike any other kangaroo leather shoe that I have ever worn, and I’ve worn just about everything. What makes it unique is that the upper is soft and flexible, but unlike most kangaroo leather boots the touch is more structured rather than plush, if that makes any sense.
As far as kangaroo leather goes, the 11Pro 3 is thinner than most, so when you combine that with the structured support skeleton lining the backside of the leather, you get a unique sensation when making touches on the ball. I would describe it as a leather Mercurial Vapor, in that the upper is thin, has that slightly padded leather sensation on the ball and has that perfect wrap around your foot. I don’t really know how else to describe it other than saying that it is very good, and I like it a lot.
The finish on the surface of the upper is pretty much completely smooth, with no additional grip on the ball. This is to be expected with pretty much any shoe of this type, and if you’re looking for that no nonsense feel for the ball, you’ll get that from the 11Pro 3, as you would with most simple, leather soccer cleats.
If you’re looking for a traditional leather soccer cleat, the 11Pro 3 is not it. What you do get with the 11Pro 3 is the softness, comfort and natural feel of leather, with a thinner, more structured feel that you would normally get from a synthetic soccer cleat. It is the most interesting and probably the best modification to a leather upper that I have ever experienced. For the younger generation of players who have perhaps never worn a leather soccer cleat before, the 11Pro 3 would be a good first choice, and for those who have experienced leather soccer cleats before and are looking for a more streamlined, less bulky leather soccer cleat, the 11Pro 3 is again a very good option.
If you’re a fan of leather soccer cleats, you’ll appreciate what Adidas has done where with the 11Pro 3.
Striking the ball in the 11Pro 3 is pretty straight forward, and nothing that you wouldn’t expect. The upper is thin, but at the some time has a padded sensation, allowing for a very clean strike on the ball. The tongue is synthetic, and a little thinner than the rest of the upper, so you’ll get more of “pingy” sensation when striking the ball with the laces area of the foot. The upper is free of any extra grip or texturing, so there isn’t anything that is going to take away from the natural sensation that you’ll experience when striking the ball. For those that are fans of very simple soccer cleats for shooting, you’ll enjoy the 11Pro 3.
Modern soccer cleats are getting thinner and thinner, to the point where something like a Nike Tiempo Legend or Adidas 11Pro is considered to be one of the more protective boot options. In the case of the 11Pro 3, the leather upper does have some padding to it, which in turn leads to some protection, but as a whole, the boot is pretty thin in comparison to most leather soccer cleats. To put it simply, if you get stepped on, you’ll definitely feel it. It is more protective than something like a Nike Mercurial Vapor or Adidas F50 adizero, but not by a whole lot. There’s some protection to be had by the internal plastic heel counter, but that’s about it.
If protection is a concern for you, I would still say that the 11Pro 3 is still “safer” than the majority of synthetic boots out there, but less protective than most leather ones.
As far as durability is concerned, I haven’t has any issues with the 11Pro 3. I’ve put well over 20 hours into the main pair that I wore throughout the majority of my testing, and they have held up just fine. There is no visible wear to the shoe, and apart from the upper having stretched to the shape of my foot, they’re just as they were from day one. This is a boot that should easily get you through a season’s worth of play, if not longer should you take good care of them.
One thing to note that perhaps isn’t crucial to the durability of the boot, is that the upper does not have any stitching. Stitching is normally the first thing to get dirty on the upper, which makes your shoes look dirty pretty much permanently. Of course the laces will still get dirty, but the upper cleans up quite nicely, so for those who like to keep their shoes looking new, the 11Pro 3 is much easier to maintain than just about any other leather soccer cleat out there.
The upper is also made from natural leather, so some regular maintenance is required to keep the upper in optimal condition.
Please keep in mind that the Firm Ground version of the 11Pro 3, or any FG soccer cleat for that matter, is designed for use on firm, natural grass playing surfaces and nothing else. Using any FG soccer cleat on turf/artificial grass will surely have a major impact on the durability and longevity of your shoes. If you’re going to be spending any significant amount of time playing on an artificial playing surface, I would strongly recommend going for an AG stud pattern rather than FG.
Something that is expected whenever we get a new model is improvement over the last, and that’s a tough thing to do when you’re dealing a shoe as simple as the adiPure/11Pro. There’s only so much you can do to modify or enhance that classic leather formula, and with the release of the 11Pro 3, Adidas has really done everything you could possibly do to make kangaroo leather seem like a new an interesting feature.
It is at this point in time the most modern kangaroo leather soccer cleat on the market, with its unique combination of soft leather and internal support system. The 11Pro 3 is comfortable, fits extremely well and offers a unique feel on the ball. Visually, I think that the boot is stunning, offering a classic yet modern look and the overall design will allow for tons of different and unique color combinations.
It doesn’t really compare to anything else out there at this point in time, so if you’re looking for something that feels unique, the 11Pro 3 is it. While the upper is made from kangaroo leather, it’s difficult to compare the 11Pro 3 to shoes like the Copa Mundial, Tiempo Legend 5 or even the Nike Premier. It truly is the most modern leather soccer cleat I’ve ever worn.
Kangaroo leather is often considered to be “old school”. The 11Pro 3 breaks that trend, and that’s what makes it special. If everything you just read sounds good to you, then the 11Pro 3 is a boot that I can strongly recommend.
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