It's the Play Test everyone has been waiting for! This weekend the latest editions of the adidas F50 adizero Prime football boots were released, leading to increased calls for a SoccerBible adizero Prime review. So with the recent standard adizero Play Test fresh in their mind, the SoccerBible Play Testers took to the field to put the Prime through it's paces to find out what all the fuss is about...
As everyone is probably aware, the adidas F50 adizero Prime is the lightest ever production football boot weighing in at a mere 145grams. That's 20 grams lighter than the standard versions, which as they cost around an additional £70 GBP works out at £3.50 per extra gram shaved off, so what performance benefits can we expect?
There's no question about it, when you first hold the adizero Prime football boots in hand it is truly stunning how little they weigh. And when you compare the Prime with the standard adizero, there are differences to be seen and felt. The upper of the Prime is more textured, and the material is also slightly more flexible and less rigid than the standard versions.
When you first put the boots on, it feels like you could have just applied another pair of socks because it genuinely feels like wearing nothing at all! It has to be said the Prime feels snug and secure when the laces are tied, as the wide lacing system allows for a personalised fit depending on the shape of your foot, although first reaction feels like it will be the sole-plate that dictates the inititial fit until the upper can be broken in.
The upper of the adizero Prime is incredibly thin, about 1mm around the toe area, which means two things. Firstly, there is no boot on the market that can offer the ball touch and feel of the adizero Prime, imagine doing skills in bare feet, well this is the closest you're going to get wearing a football boot. The second point though is that this means you are going to feel the force of every touch, control and strike of the ball, but on the whole this is a good thing as it's better to wear a boot that puts you more at one with the ball.
The fit and extreme lightweight nature of the adidas F50 adizero Prime without doubt has an impact on your confidence, you genuinely feel faster and more agile. And what's good is that adidas have been able to back this up with a sole-plate that responds to your performance.
The adizero Prime, and adizero range as a whole, has a unique stud shape and configuration, and as a testament to this outsole you can scour pitches around the globe and won't find many adizero wearers in a custom sole-plate. The triangular shape seems like a simple idea, but is so effective when sprinting through slalom poles or changing direction. It feels like there is always a flat surface to push off against and to anchor as you slow down, giving you confidence throughout movement.
When attention turned to the goalmouth and shooting, there was a slight apprehension over how hard the balls had been pumped up! But joking aside, this is because the thin upper means your feet feel more of the force from every shot, and due to the light weight nature of the boot it could be argued you lose a slight amount of shot power. But let's be honest, the adizero Prime hasn't been designed for shot power, these boots are designed to get speedsters away
from defenders and around the keeper, plus the thin upper does enable a more accurate touch, finish and ball placement.
As the session continued comfort was an area we were able to address, and after initially feeling comfortable and snug the Prime was starting to feel quite uncomfortable. These boots do need to be worn in, but rather than look upon that as a negative, the feeling amongst our play testers was that once worn in you would have an upper that really moulds to the shape of your feet.
For such a lightweight and thin boot, it may come as a relief to hear that durability was not an area to be questioned. There were no signs throughout the session of wear-and-tear, the quality thermo-bonding and glueing means there are no obvious areas of weakness, and the upper material doesn't seem prone to any tearing or ripping.
To summarise, the adidas F50 adizero Prime football boots have definitely been made to stand-out, we tested the warning orange colourway and as you can see from our photos the boots have a real presence on pitch. Initially we raised a question mark over the £70 GBP price difference between the standard versions and the Prime, and this really has to be a personal decision. Yes, a lot of the tech and performance benefits are present in both versions, but the Prime is a lighter boot with a better quality upper, so you are paying for a more top-end boot. But to evaluate the Prime as a stand alone boot, you have to pay credit to adidas because they've created a pioneering boot, for lightweight speed performance it's a market leader which is going to require a drastic response from the rival brands!