The summer football boot releases continue with the limited edition adidas F50i TUNiT Messi - designed and created especially for superstar Lionel Messi.
This special release features a few significant enhancements and cosmetic changes to the regular F50i - most notably the Navy/Gold/Argentina Blue colourway and a leather upper favoured by Messi himself.
Keen boot spotters and SoccerBible regulars will know that Messi chooses to wear a customised F30i on pitch, but with this release adidas are looking to keep up the F50i momentum with Messi as their global F50i superstar - and there is arguably no one better in the game at the moment who can lay claim to his own boot range!
The upper of the F50i Messi is crafted from k-leather which makes it soft, supple and highly flexible. Many players (and indeed SoccerBible fans) will debate the merits of synthetic versus genuine leather, but the F50i seems to suit both by offering something for everyone. The raised stitching on the instep hints at Predator-style vamps, with a bold red "i" the only interruption on an otherwise clean instep.
The Alles-Klar section of the heel and soleplate is not as transparent as on other editions, this time more smokey and frosted with a soft cyan colouring disguising the chassis choice. The gold three stripes wrap around the boot and blend into the F50 logo that is present on all the bases of the uppers. The heel counter has also been made more dense to add to the support and stability of the boot.
As always the F50i TUNiT component system aims to provide players with the complete season round, any condition set up. Existing F50 players can benefit from snapping up a new upper, or upgrading their chassis and insole to suit their game and style. For the F50i adidas have re-designed the studs making each surface pack colour coded, with the intention of making "tuning" your boot quicker and easier.
The adidas info goes into some detail about the design and significance of the symbol on the lace cover. Inspired from the flag of Argentina and Leo Messi's home town of Rosario, the town where the country's flag was founded. Also featured in the design is the Sun, which is not only a homage to the Argentina flag but also "a reference to Leo's playing style: Just as the Sun gives light to the World, Leo's playing style lights up entire stadiums worldwide."
A bold claim that would be laughable on any other boot other than one endorsed by Lionel Messi!
The comfort pack is ideal for the season ahead, with studs packs
included for soft, firm and hard ground conditions and pitches. Those put off by the price of a Nike Superfly will find the Comfort Pack represents excellent value, with
the inclusion of a pair of comfort chassis and insoles giving the boot
a superb fit and unrivalled comfort.
The new F50i's are also presented in a classy new box (if packaging can ever be described as "classy") with neat compartments for each of the components - including a slot for the gold stud key that the Messi edition comes supplied with.
The adidas F50i Messi Comfort pack is available from 1st July 2009 for pre-order, with the boots hitting the shelves on 1st August 09. In the UK you can currently pick up the complete Comfort Pack for around £125 GBP, with selected retailers offering the upper only for around £60 GBP.