Creative Soccer Culture

Laced Up: adidas Predator 20+ Mutator Review

Five years ago the Predator was retired with no plans in place to bring it back. Now, in the year 2020, we’re looking at a Predator that looks every bit from the future and every bit worthy of its aggressive name and nature. This is the next-generation and we’ve been putting them through their paces a few weeks ahead of launch to see what they’re all about.

We know what some of you are thinking… It’s got an intimidatingly high collar and it’s laceless. How can it possibly be called a Predator? Alright, alright, chill out. Let us help with that. Firstly,  we’re regretting calling this review feature ‘Laced Up’ what with the lack of laces these days, but that’s not what you’re here for. You’re here to find out what the Predator 20+ Mutator is all about and if it’s a worthy addition to the iconic Predator timeline.


On first look, there’s a lot to take in. If you’re from a generation that drooled over the ‘glory years’ of the Mania, Accelerator and Precision then yeah, it might be a bit intimidating but let us reassure you quickly, the Predator Mutator is the most Pred-like-Pred to hit the market in a long time, whisper it quietly but we’re saying since the Predator Powerswerve in 2007. The identity of the silo is back.

We’ve bigged that up a bit haven’t we? Probably best that we try to back that up now. When the Predator 18+ came back in late 2017 it was essentially an evolution of the ACE series with a few Predator characteristics in place. Don’t get us a wrong it was good boot, but now we’ve seen the Predator Mutator we can’t help but think the Predator 18+ was built as a transitional project to help get players on board with the laceless and collared design. This right here feels like the real comeback of the Predator series. The OG colourway, genuine rubber elements that allow you manipulate ball spin, control and power. Yeah, this is your comeback.


Still not having it? How about if we tell you that adidas have also launched a laced edition with a shorter collar AND a laced edition with no collar? Yeah, yeah, there’s no tongue, but which boots do have a tongue these days? There’s a reason why technologies evolve, because better ones replace them. This here is cooked up from every ingredient that adidas had in their kitchen to serve up the perfect shooting and control football boot.


We’re basing our review on the laceless, higher-collared Predator 20+ Mutator edition. So let’s get started. What are they like fresh out the box?

Honestly, they’re a sight. It feels like you’ve opened something from the next decade, let alone this new one. Are they a bit intimidating? Yeah, they are to be honest at first, mainly because of that extended collar which is a fair bit higher than the previous edition. But that’s where our concerns stop, because once you feel the rubber elements placed across the striking zones of the boot you quickly realise this is unmistakably Predator. There’s a sudden urge to grab a bag of footballs, set up camp on the edge of the 18-yard box and launch a curling assault on both top corners. For us, that’s a feeling every Predator release should give you, and a feeling that has been missing for too long.

One final mention for the stripes. They feel like the silo is owning a look. They’re positioned uniquely and just like the Predators of old which can instantly be identified by the stripes pattern, this has a strong identity. Feeling it.


On Feet

They actually slide on pretty well, which we were surprised about considering how long it takes to get some laceless boots on. Once in you do feel that snug, harnessed fit that you’d want to feel, and although the collar rises a little further than you’re used to you quickly forget about it. It might look a little odd at first (unless you're wearing black socks), but as with any new technology it quickly becomes the norm.

The overall fit is an improvement on the Predator 18 and 19+ boots for us. We often felt the laceless editions of the previous generations were narrow and pushed quite firmly on your toes, often maybe overcompensating for the lack of laces with a tighter fit. The odd bruised toenail wasn’t uncommon, so it’s a personal relief to see the thicker material over the toes has been thinned down to a more comfortable fit. The Chrome split-soleplate feels a tad more flexible straight out of the box than the stiffer one found on the previous generation, so all good news there.


Balls out

We’ll start with one small negative as we’ve been so gushing so far. The only thing we would call out is that when you fully extend your foot by pointing your toes you can feel the collar creases inwards on the heel a little. Obviously, the lower collar and collarless versions wouldn’t do this but it’s something worth mentioning. The increase in collar height has come directly from professional player feedback, so it’s hard to argue too much with that.

Agility wise the Predator 20+ Mutator provides a snug fit, albeit a thinner one than the previous edition. You’re not going to find your feet slipping inside the boot when changing direction, it really does feel moulded to your foot, and while the thinner feel perhaps feels less warm than the previous generation we genuinely see this as a positive as your touch is noticeably closer to the ball. The 406 spikes that sit on the Demonskin upper are positioned tactically and perform depending on how you position your foot: i.e. if you're cushioning a pass they absorb the speed, but if you're striking through the ball they add a blast of extra power.



Yeah, this is what you came for. The biggest compliment we can give the Predator 20+ Mutator is that this feels like a Predator. The rubber elements that are tactically scattered across the upper genuinely influence the way the ball spins and moves when you strike across the ball. While the previous generation was decent for a bit of power, the Predator Mutator gives you tools to add that extra injection of spin and curl on your shots. Bending the ball around targets at goal or around players on a long pass down the line or in behind is genuinely aided by the technology on the upper. Not many boots can actually improve your ability and that’s always a dangerous way to describe a boot as ability obviously takes precedent but if you’re curling a free kick or spinning a pass around a defender you aren’t gonna find a better boot to do it in – it feels easier to do so. The Mutator is a reminder of why adidas invented the Predator technology in the first place. It works. It’s fun.



In short it feels like the identity of the Predator is back. The rubber element on the striking zones alone make it. When the Predator franchise was created it was genuine innovation that allowed players to maximise their influence on spinning the ball. It was, and still is, one of the greatest boot innovations of all time, and now that it’s back it seems even madder that it disappeared for so long. The only thing that could put you off the Mutator is that higher collar, which makes us think the laced and no-collared versions might be more popular. But this is every bit a Predator and more. A new animal.


Shop the full adidas Predator 20+ Mutator football boots collection at


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