Chaos is defined as “complete disorder and confusion,” and adidas attempted to create a boot that allows players to fit that billing. With the X 15.1 showing up on the feet of the world’s most unpredictable players, we took a look under the hood to see if this whole “chaos” idea turned into something beautiful when we got the boots on our feet...can the revolution handle a bit of chaos?

The first few moments that the world experienced after being introduced to the X15 was a mixed bag of “chaos” that adidas claimed the boot to be about. With a host of players that were merely curious to see what the boot had in store, the bulk of the world seemed to still be caught up in the loss of adidas boots gone by (RIP) and unable to think that the X15 could be of any value to the boot world. A boot without any hint of adidas branding outside of the heel, the first collared boot from the German brand, and another step towards an FG/AG hybrid stud-pattern, but the X seems to be carrying a little more pressure on it as many see the ACE15 as a “safer” release. The question that will be answered over the coming season is whether the X15 will bring chaos to the pitch, or just chaos to a brand attempting to reinvent themselves.

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The X15 might be one of the brightest boots on the pitch as we approach the 2015/16 season, but it will not be the biggest advertisement for its parent company. With the complete absence of a logo on the side of the boot as adidas went with the X’s odd design on the instep and lateral side of the boot, fans will only notice the adidas call-out on the heel - a spot that doesn’t get a lot of air time during the world’s biggest games.

The design on the sides of the boot mask a large portion of what the boot has on offer, and we had to wait until we had the boots in hand before you can really tell what the adidas X15 is all about. Much like the ACE15, pictures gave us more questions than answers. If adidas was going for intriguing, they certainly hit their mark. Around the ankle cut, we find the new TechFit collar that gives the synthetic version its unique shape. Much in the same vein as with the ACE15, it seems that adidas is done with building up boot silos to stand almost as their own brand (i.e. Predator, adiPure, adiZero) and is now focusing on the three stripes being the main focus of their boots and advertising.

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The build of the X15 is actually fairly familiar to many adidas fans once you get the boots in hand. Although the X15 has been given some extra bulk, the boot has many similarities with F50’s that have come and gone. The forefoot reminds us of a mix of a few F50 generations, the midfoot is built to provide the ultimate set-up to keep your foot locked in and prevent rollover, and the heel is built to accommodate the newest toy from the three stripes. A super thin tongue sits below the laces, and the TechFit collar is stitched into the boot (not seamless like the Dynamic Fit Collars).

One oddity is that, because the tongue and the collar aren’t completely attached all the way around, there are actually openings at the bottom of the TechFit at both sides of the tongue (about halfway inside the boot). We did enjoy being able to shift the tongue around to help our fit, so it didn’t change the workings of the boot, but we were expecting the collar to be locked down everywhere - much like Nike’s outings.

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Where the adidas ACE15 shines in terms of out-of-the-box comfort, the X15 takes some coercing before it becomes a smooth ride. The soleplate is extremely stiff right out of the box and the material, while thin, takes a session or two before it really softens up. After our first few sessions, the boot feels great once you get the laces tightened up, and the soleplate does find a balance between being pliable enough to avoid foot pain and rigid enough to give a high level of responsiveness.

While looks, build, and comfort are big factors in the decision for many players, the biggest question is always about how a boot performs on the field. For players, the adidas X15 is going to be made for people that are look for a responsive boot, thin upper, and a locked in feeling. During testing, we really loved the clean touch we got while dribbling or zipping a pass, and the odd look of the sides of the boot (though looking somewhat thick in photos) doesn’t have a negative effect on that.

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Shooting is very similar to what you would get from an older F50 or the Umbro Velocita, but the TechFit near the top of the tongue provides a slight cushion when you catch the ball higher up in the strike zone. While the boot has a central lacing system, adidas has gone with a thinner lace to make sure that the ball is unaffected during play.

Now, the biggest question that is involved with the adidas X15 is the introduction of the new TechFit collar. The first thing we found is that it has a much easier learning curve than our first few experiences with Nike's Dynamic Fit Collar, and we never really struggled to get the boot on. Coupled with the tongue, you can get a very secure and tight fit from the X15. However, the positives for the collar end there. The TechFit is so forgiving that we never really felt that it added much to the boot. We let one of our “husky” buddies try the boot on, and the collar was still fairly loose on his ankle. We like the idea of the shorter collar - the techfit ensures that your foot doesn’t get too hot - and it does feel like there are some added benefits in the heel area. But we can certainly see why adidas didn’t go with the collar on all their boots or on the leather version of the X, and this feels like a decent first outing that will definitely be improved upon in the future.

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Despite the soleplate of all the new adidas boots in the revolution advertising themselves as FG/AG hybrids, the adidas X15 falters a bit in this area. While the traction was impressive on FG fields, we found the outside studs to be a bit too long for our comfort in the AG fields that we encountered. It might come down to personal preference, but a few too many knee issues in the past means that the X15 will only be getting use from us on FG pitches in the future. As we mentioned previously, the boot’s soleplate is very stiff for the first few experiences, but it does loosen up and really helps the build and performance of the boot. Where the ACE15 actually was flexible enough to bend in either direction, the X15 will take a few run-outs before you are getting the best from the boot in terms of comfort and traction. The one AG positive is the small band running across the edge of the boot that connects to the soleplate, as we think this will ensure a high level of durability on either surface.

The adidas X15 is not built for anybody that can’t stand up to a few tackles, but the additions from adidas and the materials have us firmly believing the boot can last for several seasons. While the AG tag isn’t for us, the boot is built to perform on either FG or AG surfaces, so many players will find the X15 works for them on either. While not on the same level of accommodation that the ACE15 has, the adidas X15 can fit most foot types easily and we found it to be true to size.

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To be perfectly honest, our first experience with handling the X15 had us a little worried about the ACE15. After testing, we actually were quite impressed with the ACE15, but our experience with the X15 left us wanting more. As we’ve mentioned on other publications, we really think that adidas has set themselves up perfectly for some great boots and innovations in the future with their revolution, but the X15 was merely "good" and not the "great" that we were wanting. We can definitely see a lot of players enjoying their time in the adidas X15, but we don’t think the world is going to be blown away by what they find. However, as we’ve said, the releases for the revolution have been solid and have set the German brand up to give us some great boots in the future. For a first step, the adidas X15 has us very excited for what’s to come.

The adidas X15.1 is available at select stockists including Pro-Direct Soccer. Will you be wearing them this season? Drop us a line below.