Creative Soccer Culture

Ranking The adidas Predator Releases of 2020

2020 saw one of the most radical overhauls of the Predator line, with the return of rubber also bringing with it a new aggressive aesthetic for what was dubbed the ‘Mutator’. But as the year closes out, so to does that line, and it’s seen some amazing releases.

From regular drops to limited and signature editions, the Predator has had some outstanding releases through this year as the silo moved from strength to strength. Now though, with the next-generation prototype of the iconic silo being spotted on the feet of the pros ahead of what is likely to be an early 2021 launch, it’s time to say goodbye to the Mutator, and to do that we look back on and rank all the Predator releases from 2020.

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17. Locality Pack

Bright block colours were the order of the day for the Locality Pack, as adidas wrapped its four silo setup in vibrant hues in May. For the Predator, that meant an all-over coating of red (bordering on orange, let's face it). It represented the first time the Predator Mutator was seen in a single colouring... didn't quite work for us.

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16. Archive Mutator

Adidas's first launch of the year was at once a throw back to the impressive heritage of the Predator line, whilst it also heralded bigger things to come. Real marmite one this though, as adidas experimented with their Predator archive, amalgamating old models to create this Frankenstein-esque monster mash-up. Pulse, Powerswerve, Absolute, X, LZ... it's all in there. Lot to take in...  

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15. Tormentor

Landing as just the third paint job on the new-generation Predator 20+, adidas introduced the "Tormentor" edition in March. The colourway paid homage to one of the Three Stripes' rarest but most sought after designs: the Predator Mania colourway worn by a selection of Japan players at the 2002 World Cup which they co-hosted with South Korea – more on that later. As for this, while a nice gesture, the colour combo just didn't quite translate to the Mutator mould.

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14. Dark Motion Pack

For the Dark Motion Pack in July, adidas wrapped three of its main four silos in black, providing each with a hint of identifying colour. For the Predator that was a hint of pink flashing through the heel. And that was it. A simple affair that was always going to appeal to the grassroots game. Simple and stylish, but nothing else to really shout about.

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13. Precision to Blur

While we wait to see if 2020 features any further surprises up its sleeve, the Precision to Blur Pack looks set to be the last major colour-up of the year. Combining a black base with "Signal Green" in a 50/50 split, this was a look that worked the design of the Mutator well, as it played supporting role to the latest Nemeziz model.

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12. Glory Hunter Pack

Launched in October, this two-piece pack saw the Predator and COPA taking a design inspiration from the design of the Champions League's new match ball. A clean white base joined by pops of red and blue – not much to not like about this. 

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11. Shadow Beast

Darkness reigned supreme in February as adidas rolled out their customary black out editions. This meant a lights out version of the recently launched Predator Mutator, for an understated serving of shadowy goodness that placed the emphasis squarely on the silhouette of the new beast.

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10. "Black/Fluro Pink"

The first release following the grind of lockdown saw a colourway that nodded to the light of the beautiful game emerging from the darkness of that difficult period, with stealth-like style interrupted by flashes of “Fluro Pink”. A restricted release, it offered more than that of the 'Dark Motion' pack, not restricting the pink to a cameo in the heel, instead having it play a full supporting role through the Three Stripes and Primeknit collar.

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9. Atmospheric Pack

You file this pack under classy. The "Black/White/Gold" combo always hits that sweet spot between premium and low key, and that's exactly what we got with the Atmospheric Pack. For the Predator, that saw a classic black base and white Three Stripe combo, topped off by a flash of gold in the heel. Tidy.

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8. Uniforia Pack

This is the look that we should have seen on pitches across Europe as Euro 2021 entertained the masses. Alas, that was not meant to be, and instead the Uniforia Pack Predator, with its fiery flashes on that clean white canvas, was present for the return of the game, with players donning it to finish the season.

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7. Pogba Signature Edition Season 7

For his seventh season, Paul Pogba was gifted a change of pace with his ‘PP’ logo getting an upgrade to luxury gold in a repeating pattern across the upper, a look inspired by the signature design of Louis Vuitton. 

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6. Predator Mutator 20+ Launch 

To introduce the world to the revamped Predator, adidas went with a classic colour combo of black, red and white, but in a fresh execution. Packed with modernised Predator technology while respecting genuine Predator DNA, this was the perfect way to welcome the new breed.

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5. Inflight Pack

Arguably the standout of the Inflight Pack in August despite the fact it was built around the newly release X Ghosted, the Predator took on a luxurious white and black graphic fade across the upper, and as if that aesthetic wasn’t enough, it was further embellished by the introduction of gold details through the Three Stripes and heel.

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4. adidas x Reuben Dangoor

Created to spread a positive message of unity, the adidas x Reuben Dangoor Predator featured a black base that was lit up by an eye-eye-catching graphic of orange, violet, yellow, and teal stripes that stretched across the entire boot, bringing together handshakes, heart signs, and fist bumps, all hand-drawn by Dangoor as part of the bespoke design. Special edition class.

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3. Predator Mania Tormentor

See, where the Predator 20+ Tormentor didn't quite get things right, the Mania Tormentor got it spot on. The "Japan Blue" edition was a modernised version of the boot worn by adidas-contracted Japan players at the 2002 World Cup, which they co-hosted with South Korea – a boot that had an added desirability factor due to its rarity in Europe. Re-releasing the most loved Predator of all time is a pretty route one way to guarantee success, but adidas absolutely nailed this.

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2. Dragon Predator

Arriving with some serious Game of Thrones vibes, the Dragon Predator was a beast like nothing else you’ve ever seen before. Evolution in the most primal sense, the Dragon Predator mimicked the look of the mythical creature, right down to a scaled upper. And the uniqueness didn't stop at the boot itself either. Completing the package was one of the most unreal boxes you’re ever likely to see, created to simulate a dragon egg. Unreal on so many levels.

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1. Human Race

A fresh twist on the classic Predator Accelerator aesthetic, courtesy of Pharell? Oh go on then. Launching as the headline footwear piece from the wider adidas x Humanrace collection, the Predator Mutator took on an instantly recognisable aesthetic with those chunky Accelerator stripes hugging the boot from underneath, all presented in that unmistakable hand drawn look.

Daniel Jones

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