A common theme we've seen emerge from the big brands over recent years is the desire to push their top-tier boots even further. We've had adidas, Nike and PUMA add the fashionable 'SL' tag to some of their most popular boots. As the year comes to a close, check out four of adidas' most popular 'SL' boots of 2012.
They're not everyone's idea of a perfect football boot. The price-tag is often a deal breaker. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, 'SL' boots have given us with some of the most unique and ground-breaking designs in the game. Now that Nike have retired their 'SL' category, adidas are the leading players in the game and delivering in style!
One of the selling points for each of the adidas SL football boots is their exclusivity - they won't be flooded onto pitches across the globe, and at the most a handful of players will wear the boots. For their top professionals, adidas don't let them near the SL models – adidas keep the likes of Messi and co. in the standard editions, knowing they offer a more affordable option to most of the boot-buying public!
Unless you've parted with the kind of cash required to own a pair of adidas SL boots, chances are you don't know exactly what you're getting for you money. Well, a swanky new box for a start. Slide it open and inside adidas have packaged a pair of SL insoles, alternatively coloured laces and a branded SL boot bag. All of course alongside the super-charged and super-light football boots of your choice.
Tech-wise, the boots have been constructed as super-light alternatives to their standard edition siblings. The adidas Predator LZ SL weighs just 205g and is adidas' lightest ever Predator – 20g lighter than the Predator LZ. Replacing the HybridTouch upper material used on the standard edition, the boot is constructed using an adizero-inspired single layer synthetic SprintSkin upper.
As for the adiPURE SL, the boots tip the scales at a mere 180g, making them 25% lighter than the standard versions. Adidas maintain the boots renowned quality by featuring a K-Leather upper across the forefoot. The super-soft K-Leather is an upgrade from the Taurus leather used on the adiPURE 11Pro. The leather combines with adidas' SprintSkin material that makes up the rest of the boot to dramatically reduce weight.
It's been a big year for adidas' super-light category. Own a pair of adidas SL football boots? Let us know what you think of what are some of the most luxurious boots in the game. Join the conversation online, on Twitter and on Facebook.