Creative Soccer Culture

Taking You Inside The Recent adidas F50 Launch Event

Welcoming back the F50, adidas recently held an exclusive two-day event, which took place in Protein Studios, Shoreditch, followed by a play test at the Emirates Stadium. The event featured an in-depth presentation featuring legends Alessandro Del Piero, Djibril Cisse and Zinedine Zidane, customisation and fitting stations, as well as samples from the Three Stripes’ extensive archive.

How do you welcome back a friend that’s been missing for the last 10 years? To start with, you throw them a huge party celebrating their return, and that’s just what adidas did for the F50 recently. Thankfully, our invite did not get lost in the post, meaning we were on hand to take in the two-day event, which started at Protein Studios in London. The venue had been taken over by adidas, who transformed the space into a homage to all things F50 – from the selection of premium archive picks to a specialised fitting station with top-of-the-range technology providing a 3-D map of your feet. The space was a-buzz with excitement at what was to come, as the 150 or so guests arrived, lapping up all that adidas had to offer on the F50. While the lights were set low, the anticipation was high.

F50 26 Min
F50 10 Min

The question that I was hoping to get answered in the next couple of days was why are we now welcoming back the F50? To begin, lets lay down a bit of context for those not in the know. The F50 was the speed specialist in the Adidas setup, but after 10 years of presence in the game, it was retired in 2015 as part of the ACE and X revolution that brought the curtain down on not only the F50, but the Predator, Nitrocharge and adipure 11Pro as well. While the Predator’s hiatus only lasted for a couple of years, the F50’s departure has lasted a lot longer…

Now, 20 years on from its original debut and almost 10 years on from its “retirement”, the F50 is back. And it was to coincide with the 24/25 season’s climactic conclusion at Wembley that adidas chose to stage their event, welcoming back the boot that would feature in the Champions League final.

F50 24 Min

From the moment I rocked up to Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London, it was clear that this was set to be an exclusive event, emphasised by the presence of the security personnel, stationed outside the bespokely decorated facade that hid the secrets within. Whilst waiting to be admitted we got a little tease of what was to come, as none other than World Cup winner, Alessandro Del Piero was ushered quickly in; the former Juventus man displaying the effortless cool that seems to be in the very DNA of most Italians. Not that I was jealous or anything. Then, the doors were opened…

F50 13 Min

Within the immersive space that I was greeted with was an archive corner, taking in the full evolution of the F50, and that’s fittingly where I began my journey. For the event, adidas had transported 10 of the key releases from the F50 line’s history from within their archive at the brand’s HQ in Herzogenaurach, including the original F50 from 2004, the F50+ Tunit from 2006, and the revolutionary jump that was the F50 adizero from 2010. It was a journey from the past to the present, culminating in the latest ad for the return of the F50, featuring perennial F50 poster boy, Lionel Messi.

Continuing to explore the space, it was a short walk past the main stage through to a second room where a DJ was set up, laying down the soundtrack for proceedings. On closer inspection though, it was no ordinary DJ…it was, in fact, none other than Djibril Cisse, the former Liverpool striker that had been one of the key athletes used for the launch of the original F50. Once I’d shaken off the shock and amusement of that sighting, beyond the Frenchman’s typically vibrant pink hair, my attention turned to a customisation station where the opportunity to create your own F50-emblazoned apparel was on offer.

Given that the event was taking place on the same weekend as the Champions League final at Wembley, where the returning F50 would be back in the spotlight once more, the space also celebrated that occasion with a replica of the Champions League trophy flanked on wither side by the UCL Final official match ball.

F50 8 Min
F50 12 Min
F50 4 Min

As well as the decor and the undoubted presentation that was incoming, the immersive experience featured the opportunity to get a professional fitting, with top-of-the-range technology providing a 3-D map of your feet, showing exactly what size boots you should be wearing. It was a step up from the days of getting measured with tape in Clarks, that’s for sure.

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Having spent time soaking up the atmosphere, taking in the history of the F50 line, and getting measured up, it was time for the main event to get underway, so I took my seat knowing that we’d be getting to hear from the likes of Del Piero and Cisse on the history of the boot. And so it proved to be, as both legends strode up onto stage in their colourful clothing combos; Del Piero’s throwback green Originals tracksuit every bit a match for Cisse’s pink hair and hoody combo. The two waxed lyrical about their memories of the boots, backed by images of some of their greatest UCL goals on the big screen behind them. “I wore the F50 at the 2006 World Cup, so it’s very special to me,” Del Piero casually dropped. “You can’t get a better moment than that.” Yeah, fair enough, Alessandro.

F50 9 Min
F50 33 Min

“My favourite memory in an F50 boot was my debut,” Cisse remarked, unable to contend with the heights of a World Cup win from Del Piero. “I broke into the top level of the game wearing that boot, so it will always be special to me. To be fast, you have to be quick, but it also means to think faster than your opponent. The lightness of the F50 always helped back up that speed of thought.”

Their departure from the stage was enough for the past. Next, it was the future, and Keith Chan, Product Manager at adidas Football, was the man to introduce the new F50 to the crowd, talking us through the decision to bring the boot back. “The decision was based off of a lot of insights from athletes and consumers,” Chan explained. “Two years ago, after Covid, we got to travel out and speak to people, and the key message was deep in their hearts. Taking that and looking online, there were still a lot of conversations around it, despite it being off for 7 years [at that time]. All those insights, combined with the fact it was the F50’s 20th anniversary, it was a no-brainer to bring it back.”

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F50 34 Min

That’s all well and good, but I was equally interested to hear about what makes an F50 an F50, particularly with this new incarnation, and he addressed this by saying: “Firstly, the shape stays like F50 – you can recognise it from 30 meters. What we’ve done is make it more modern. Think about old F50’s, they didn’t have this modern mesh material that we have now, while we’ve also balanced the lightweight of the boot with comfort, at the same time really pushing the boundaries of how soft the materials can go.”

F50 5 Min

Having heard from legends, it was then the turn of some of the stars of the future to take to the stage. Chelsea’s Rio Ngumoha, Man City’s Joel Ndala, and Arsenal’s Max Dowman – all exciting talents from the youth ranks – stepped up to talk about the new F50. Despite their obvious nerves, they all commented on the comfort of the boot, having been wearing it for the last couple of weeks. Seal of approval from the stars of tomorrow, although they were always going to be positive, right?

And that, you would think, would be that. Past covered, present analysed, and future looked into. But no. Adidas had one more trick up their sleeve, and it just so happened to be an ace, as they rolled out Zinedine Zidane to a standing ovation. Sure, there’s no real link to the F50 with the enigmatic Frenchman, but this was adidas flexing, and I was not certainly complaining. Zizzou, the king of cool (Del Piero eat your heart out), spoke (in French) about the Champions League final, and about what it’s like to win it, both as a player and as a coach. He’s one of those people that just captures a room purely by his presence. Around 150 people hanging on your every word, despite them having no clue what you’re saying. Impressive stuff. Even Cisse, who played with Zidane, took a seat in the front row to look on in admiration.

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F50 7 Min
F50 23 Min

Next day, following the routine 15th Champions league win for Real Madrid, it was off to the Emirates Stadium to put the new F50 to the test. The Gunners’ home is as impressive from pitch level as it is from the stands, even when you’re being put through your paces by a specialist coaching team. The F50 was up to the challenge, and the lightweight aspect of the boot was apparent from the get-go. From a performance sense, I didn’t find them as comfortable as the Predator, but I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and admit that I have notoriously awkward feet. Once on and broken in though, there was plenty of propulsion, provided by the mix of bladed and conical studs in the soleplate. I still find myself looking on somewhat skeptically at the new F50 in the sense that it feels as much like a follow on from the X Crazyfast as it does a return of the F50 (a rose by any other name?). But if the people want the name F50, who are we to argue, and I for one, am excited to see where adidas take this second innings.

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F50 31 Min

Shop the adidas F50 at

About the Author
Dan Jones

The veteran of the team. It's not the years, it's the mileage. Some of his greatest achievements include playing (and scoring) at Anfield, Goodison and Camp Nou, and he'll happily talk you through all three (in great detail) over a nice cuppa. Specialises in boots and kits and will happily talk you through them (in great detail) over a nice cuppa – although you might need something stronger...

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