On the back of the Predator Zones World Cup Goalkeeper Gloves launch adidas have turned to their Senior Product Manager Frank Weigl to explain exactly how close they worked with professional 'keepers to deliver a glove fit for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

How did you collate the information regarding the three zones of the gloves?

Frank: We started by thinking of all the elements a great goalkeeper would need in their gloves. We then approached all the great adidas goalkeepers, including Manuel Neuer and Iker Casillas, asking them what they look for from their gloves. We also sent them each a blank glove so they could mark and illustrate the areas that were most important to them when they are playing.

From this exercise we found ourselves with a selection of gloves marked with key zones according to the players who were ultimately going to wear the product. By overlapping these zones, we identified the sections most important to our goalkeepers - this is how we identified the three zones of the adidas Predator Zones.

What goalkeepers have you worked with on adidas Predator Zones?

Frank: We have worked with a number of goalkeepers on adidas Predator Zones including Manuel Neuer, Iker Casillas, Réne Adler, Marc Ter Stegen, Sven Ulreich and Petr Cech.

When will these gloves be worn?

Frank: The gloves will be worn for the first time by Iker Casillas during the Champions League final. After that, the gloves will be worn by all the adidas goalkeepers at the World Cup.

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What makes the glove component parts special? What is each zone designed to achieve?

Frank: Each of the component parts is specifically designed to optimise the attributes that goalkeepers need most.

The punching zone is designed to give the goalkeeper maximum force, while still maintaining the flexibility required. The key to this was creating a surface that was 100% even, and ensuring the material was perfect for the job. Using latex material absorbs too much force and limits the punching power, but by building up layered plates the punching zone provides power with no compromise in flexibility.

The grip zone is the most important area and uses a latex mixture unique to adidas to deliver the best grip possible in the key areas of the glove. Using a unique formula we added glue to the latex mixture, giving the gloves a great level of grip even when wet. We used our special latex recipe on all areas of the glove to guarantee excellent grip and great balance.

The abrasion zone is designed to protect the palm from damage. To offer this extra protection the abrasion zone is made of latex that has been compressed using intense heat. This provides a density and complexity to the material that ensures strength as well as the flexibility – essential attributes that goalkeepers need from their gloves.

Where does the name adidas Predator Zones come from?

Frank: The name ‘Predator’ is clearly an existing one that we have used for many years. ‘Zones’ comes from our three zones concept. The focus is on the three zones that cover every element in the life of a goalkeeper.

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Why have you chosen the colouring - predominantly black and white?

Frank: The colouring of the gloves is designed to tie in with the Battle Pack range of boots worn by adidas players at the World Cup. The return to classic black and white ties into the wider adidas “All in or Nothing” World Cup campaign. The black and white pattern on the gloves represents the stark choice that players will face in Brazil, the choice to go all in or achieve nothing. Everyone is expecting a tournament covered in bright colours. We thought this was too predictable. Our return to a classic black and white colouring will truly stand out on the field.

What testing does the product go through?

Frank: We started working on the adidas Predator Zones gloves all the way back in August 2012. In our experience, there is no substitute for on-field testing. Therefore we have put the gloves through several rounds of on-field testing. We provided the gloves to amateur goalkeepers in Germany and of course to our professional goalkeepers across the globe. Through the rounds of testing we managed to perfect a design which suited exactly what goalkeepers need and look for in their gloves.

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