Since the initial release of the F50 adizero line in 2010, the boot has been in constant evolution, with each model truly getting better and better. With that said, up until now, there has never been what you might call a major change. For 2015, Adidas has ditched the signature adizero SprintFrame and stud pattern, for something totally new. Change is always nice to see, but how have these changes impacted the F50 adizero? Let’s find out.
While the soleplate and stud pattern has been completely overhauled, the upper and overall fit hasn’t changed all that much in regards to fit and feel. The upper is made from a single piece of HybridTouch synthetic, with the laces running down the middle. There have been some obvious changes made to the graphics and texturing on the surface of the upper, but none of these changes impact the fit or comfort of the boot.
The HybridTouch material itself is pretty similar, if not identical to what we got from the 2014 model, minus the SpeedFoil of course. It’s quite thin, and surprisingly natural in terms of flexibility, making for a comfortable fit from right out of the box.
Like past synthetic F50 models, the 2015 edition is still a tighter fitting shoe, providing a one to one, barefoot sensation on feet. With that said, the 2015 model definitely fit a touch wider all throughout the foot in comparison to the last couple variations. By no means is this a wide shoe, but it certainly isn’t a narrow one either. They’ll fit most people comfortably, and if you fit into previous F50s, you won’t have any issues with these either. After a few hours of wear, you’ll find the upper will stretch a little in width, but not much.
As far as other comfort elements of the boot are concerned, Adidas now only includes one set of insoles with the F50, as opposed to two sets that we’ve come to expect. The insoles they include are the new version of what were the “comfort” insoles, but actually a little nicer. The insole is fully removable of course, features a synthetic suede lining, and is made from a slightly thicker denser foam than what we’ve seen on previous models, which feels great and provides really good step in comfort.
The inside of the upper is lined in thin, synthetic suede, just like the 2014 model, which adds minimal extra bulk and just feels great in general. The heel is lined in a smooth synthetic material that has a shiny finish to it, which feels a little slick from right out of the box. I found that for the first half an hour or so of wear, I had some minor issues with heel slippage, but once the shoe warmed up and became softer, the heel slippage went away completely.
The new soleplate also impacts the overall feel of the F50 on your feet in comparison to past models. The hard plastic SprintFrame has been replaced by a more traditional, slightly thicker, more flexible plastic material that I personally prefer. While it isn’t as light, more on that later, I do feel that it makes for a more solid, and more natural feel in general. This is all a matter of preference of course, so while I prefer the feel of the 2015 soleplate in comparison to previous models, it isn’t necessarily an improvement.
As far as sizing goes, nothing has changed. Just like the last couple of F50 models, the 2015 version also runs 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 for yourself, I would strongly recommend going to true to size.
By far the most surprising change that Adidas has made with the 2015 F50 adizero is in regards to the weight of the shoe. The main reason why the F50 adizero launched with such a splash in 2010 was due to the insane 5.6oz weight of the boot, with every model after it weighing between 5.6 and 5.8oz. For 2015, Adidas has ditched the SprintFrame, which based on the appearance of the boot doesn’t seem like a big deal as they still look sleek and lightweight, but when you put them on a scale and even hold them in your hands, you might be surprised. In a size 9US, the 2015 F50 adizero weighs in at 7.1oz, which is still very light and on par with competitors like the Nike Mercurial Superfly 4, but in comparison to previous F50 is over a full ounce more!
In the grand scheme of things, a single ounce is not a lot of weight, but it’s enough weight to really take away from the weightless sensation that the F50 adizero line has always provided. The 2015 model just doesn’t feel as light on your feet, and that’s because it isn’t. It’s still a lightweight shoe, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re coming from an older model, you’ll definitely notice a difference.
While they aren’t as lightweight as previous models, I will say that I really like how these feel. They have a much more solid, robust sensation on feet in comparison to previous F50 adizeros, which some people, like myself, actually prefer. What I’m getting at is that the boot isn’t heavier without offering a more solid feel, which is good.
If having one of the lightest shoes possible on your feet is a priority, than you’re better off with the 2014 F50 or even the Nike Mercurial Vapor 10. The 2015 F50 adizero is not going to provide the weightless sensation that you might expect from an adizero shoe, but it’s still light, and that’s good enough for me personally.
The 2014 F50 adizero saw the first major redesign of stud pattern, and the performance was great. One year later, Adidas has completely changed it again, opting for something much more aggressive, both visually and in terms of actual performance.
According to Adidas, the new stud pattern has been modelled after a sprinter’s spike, with the goal being to provide as much traction as possible when accelerating. Visually, the stud pattern is quite a bit different than pretty much everything else currently on the market. Under the heel, you’ll find three total studs, with a light that reminds me a lot of the Nike GS Concept boot. You’ll find two angular, bladed studs on either side, positioned more towards the back of the heel, as opposed to in the middle as seen on the Nike Mercurial Vapor 9, with one smaller support stud positioned under the middle of the heel.
In the forefoot, despite how it may look, the core of the stud pattern is similar to what we saw on the F50 adizero CrazyLight, with 6 of the same smaller size, triangular bladed studs. Around the main studs, you’ll find a ton of sharp, thin, tooth like studs running through the middle of the forefoot, along the front edge at the toe and in between the regular studs along the sides.
The end result of this very interesting firm ground stud pattern is actually really good, multidirectional traction. When on your toes, the stud pattern feels very close to the ground and stable, due to the studs not being particularly long, but because of the layout and the claw like design of the pattern, it grabs the playing surface and really provides tons of bite when pushing off. The combination of outright grip and stability really is what sets this stud pattern apart for me.
As far as how the three studs under the heel feels, no complaints. It doesn’t lack stability, and honestly isn’t all that noticeable when wearing the shoes. I also found that the new soleplate is more flexible and just feels more natural underfoot in comparison to the more rigid feel of previous SprintFrame soleplates.
If there’s one aspect of the F50 adizero that I have never been crazy about, it’s the traction. The 2014 redesign definitely brought us a very good stud pattern, but for 2015, I have to say that Adidas has really done something fantastic. You gets tons of grip, it keeps you low to the ground, it’s stable and the more flexible soleplate ensures that you have as much grip under your feet as possible at all times, no matter which way that you twist or turn. If you were a fan of previous F50 stud patterns, I can’t say that this new one will feel familiar, but if traction is the end goal, this is the best version that Adidas has ever put out.
Like I mentioned earlier, aside from looking dramatically different, the upper itself isn’t actually much different when compared to the Messi variations of the 2014 F50 adizero or even the Messi 10.1. The upper is made from the same thickness and quality of HybridTouch synthetic found on the 2014 model, offering a truly premium barefoot feel for the ball, with a very slight amount of padding to it. It softens up really nicely after a few hours of wear, moves nicely with the bend of your foot, offering a very natural barefoot experience.
The big change with the 2015 model comes in the form of the texturing on the surface on the upper, which gives the boot its unique snakeskin look. The texturing is nothing new really, it is still the same DribbleTex texture that was found in various different forms on the 2014 F50, but implemented in a much more significant manor on the 2015 model. When you run your finger along the surface of the upper, you can very distinctly feel the DribbleTex coating, which is there to provide added grip on the ball. The extra grip is fairly noticeable at first, although nowhere near what you might get from something like the Adidas Predator Instinct, but after a few hours, as you start to get used to how the shoes feel, it isn’t as noticeable. While it may come across as something that will have a big impact on the feel, in reality, the impact is quite small.
Based on feel, Adidas hasn’t changed much coming from the 2014 F50, and that’s OK with me. If you’re looking for a premium barefoot touch on the ball, with just a touch of extra grip on the ball, you’ll love how these feel.
Shooting the ball in the 2015 F50 isn’t anything you wouldn’t expect. 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.
If you enjoy that barefoot feel that thin shoes provide, you’ll enjoy striking the ball in the 2015 F50 adizero.
Like any thin shoe, protection is something that you give up in order to have that barefoot feel. Should you get stepped on, the thin HybridTouch upper provides very little protection, so you’ll feel every bit of the blow. The external plastic heel counter is also absent on the latest F50, as that element was part of the old SprintFrame design. Instead there is an internal heel counter which is quite as solid, but honestly doesn’t feel any less safe.
When it comes to lightweight soccer cleats, you can’t really complain about protection. If protection is a priority, these probably aren’t for you, but if you don’t mind being a little more “exposed” for the sake being a little lighter, you shouldn’t have any issues.
The F50 adizero has always been pretty solid when it comes to durability, despite them always being one of the lightest boots around. Being that the 2015 model isn’t quite as lightweight, they just feel more solid overall. Throughout testing I didn’t run into any issues at all regarding the durability of the boot. Nothing jumped out at me as a potential concern and the shoe just doesn’t show much wear at all. They’ve held up great, and definitely seem like a shoe that can easily get you through at least a season’s worth of use, if not much longer.
Keep in mind that the firm ground version of this boot, or any FG boot for that matter, is designed for use on firm, natural grass playing surfaces only. Using any FG boot on artificial grass/turf will surely have a negative impact on the durability of your shoes and will decrease its lifespan significantly.
The 2015 F50 adizero is a great shoe, but it does not fit the ultra-lightweight F50 mold that you were perhaps expecting. The fact that these weigh over an ounce more than the previous models, could definitely be viewed as a negative, and may even push people away from the F50 line and into different models all together. If the weight isn’t a deal breaker for you, it isn’t for me, this version of the F50 is the best one that Adidas has ever put out as far as performance is concerned.
The thin HybridTouch upper feels great, and provides a tight, yet comfortable fit, while the new stud pattern and soleplate combo provides awesome traction, while keeping you nice and close to the ground. They also feel a little more rugged in comparison to previous F50 models. Not to mention that I’m a huge fan of the new look, although not everyone shares the same opinion.
If you’ve been a fan of the F50 line, and don’t mind the little bit of extra weight, you’ll love these. If you want something thin, light and comfortable with tons of traction, that’s what this boot is all about. If you like what you hear, I can strongly recommend the 2015 F50 adizero.
|Comfort/Fit||10 out of 10|
|Weight||8 out of 10|
|Traction||10 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%|