Creative Soccer Culture

Laced Up | adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 Review

A new Nitrocharge 1.0 welcomed in the kick-off of the 2014/15 season and now we've laced up in adidas' upgraded version of their youngest silo to see what it has to offer.

The first generation Nitrocharge was a solid, well-rounded performer, but its position in the market left some players unable to identify with the boot. Labelled as the ultimate box-to-box midfielder’s boot for the powerhouse player, the boot targeted a smaller demographic of players than the Predator or the f50 adizero. Even so, adidas’ youngest silhouette is back and still carrying the same mantra (and name - a frustrating adidas trait), but is now equipped with subtle changes that make this a worthy enhancement rather than a complete renovation.

To look at, the second generation adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 boasts a bolder, more dynamic look than its predecessor. Launched in two colourways - "Black/Metallic Silver/Solar Gold" and the featured “Infrared/Metallic Silver/Running White” - the stand-out “Metallic Silver” stripes are a unique aesthetic feature given to the Nitrocharge silo, while the “Infrared” upper is even brighter than you might expect. Better looking than the original? Not for us, but they’re sure to get you noticed.

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Performance wise, the changes build on the key features of the first generation. The ‘EnergySling’ (the rubber material that stretches across the top of the boot) has undergone the most significant change. The original material has been replaced with a stiffer rubber to increase the stability across the mid-foot and offer better protection. The band has also been extended in width by approximately one inch while the angle is now perpendicular to the shape of the boot. The extra space attributed to this feature has given adidas the ability to incorporate an extra lace eyelet on the offside of each boot, allowing for a tighter fit that the previous model.

The upper used on the new model is predominately the same fantastically soft mesh we saw on the first editions, however on this boot adidas have used even more of it. The Hybridtouch instep that was previously used in behind the EnergySling has been replaced with this lightweight mesh material with the three stripes now rising to the top of the boot. Hybridtouch has also been removed from the tongue which is now entirely constructed from mesh. Weight wise, there’s no real difference between new and old, with both models tipping the scales at approx 235g.

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The second key feature of the boot is the ‘EnergyPulse” found at the forefoot of the sole-plate. This feature is essentially a stiffer piece of plastic which is designed to promote a spring-back sensation from the plate of the boot to the player. However, though the theory and the science behind the intention sounds great, in practice it’s something that few players will notice. Underneath the hood alongside the EnergyPulse, nothing has changed from the first model. Adidas have stuck with the same Sprintframe outsole fitted with a miCoach cavity cell (a feature no longer found on the 11Pro or Predator series) and the same triangular Traxion 2.0 stud configuration. 

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The quilted pockets on the leather upper found on the previous model have been removed along with the stitching and have been replaced with a smoother looking leather toe box which makes the boot feel more streamline and further protecton is offered by extra foam pads located around the heel and sides of the boot.

If you’re familiar with the Nitrocharge range then playing in the new boot will not be dissimilar to that of the previous experience. For new wearers it may take some getting used to - on first try the boot feels quite rigid and isn’t easily bent, this is due to the inflexibility of the ‘EnergyPulse’ and also the stiffness of the ‘EnergySling’. However, break-in time is aided by the soft leather at the front of the boot and the mesh material towards the rear; the Nitrocharge should ease up within 2 to 3 wears and, unlike the Predator, it would be advised to purchase the boot true to size.

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The previous model tended to lose its shape after a few wears especially with those who had wider feet, but with the ‘EnergySling’ widened and also made stronger the boot will be able to keep its form for a longer period of time. adidas have incorporated three separate materials that come in contact with the ball, the smooth leather at the front of the toe which acts as a dampener for taking touches, the rubber of the ‘ENERGYSLING’ which gives you more control whilst dribbling and making passes and the mesh material that surrounds the rear of the boot adds to the lightweight feel of the Nitrocharge.

The subtle changes made by adidas to the adidas Nitrocharge are genuine improvements from its predecessor. Built with comfort, stability and protection in mind this is the boot for the player who's in the thick of action, no matter what their position.

The adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 is available at selected adidas stockists including Pro-Direct Soccer.


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