It’s that time again… time for a new beast to be unleashed upon the world, and hype levels have been switched to highest thanks to a bit of tongue action. Yep, the new adidas Predator’s on the way, so what better time to look back at every Predator model from the last 30 years…

Anyone with even a passing interest in football boots will know what’s coming… that’s right, as displayed by Jude Bellingham, Trent Alexander-Arnold and co. there’s a new Predator on the way from adidas, and it looks like it’s one that’s going to strike that perfect balance of pleasing purists (thanks to a hefty blast of nostalgia, not least that returning fold-over tongue), and offering technological innovations that will see it performing on professional pitches across the world. So, while we patiently await its arrival, we’re taking a look back at 30 years of the Predator, starting in 1994 and taking in all 20 models to date, charting the journey and ongoing evolution of the beast ahead of the latest incoming instalment. 


1994 OG

The beast that started it all. This was a complete shake up to the boot market, bringing in a revolutionary new tech in the rubber elements, designed to improve power and swerve. This is where it all started, ladies and gents. Proper bastard of a boot.

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Rapier (1995)

The first Predator with a fold-over tongue – a staple in Predator design for the next 15 years.

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Touch (1996)

Done with the upper for now, save for some minor tweaks, notably to the tongue, and the bigger influence of the red colour, Adidas turned their attention to the underside, with the introduction of directional Traxion blades for the first time.

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Accelerator (1998)

And here we go. The Accelerator just screams peak-era Zidane. That new signature Three Stripe execution is simply iconic. Don't need to say anything else, simply admire...


Precision (2000)

Two years on the Predator Precision arrived, once again providing yet another iconic execution for the Three Stripes – one that was prominent in the launch of the Sobakov trainer line recently. For the first time we got Velcro on the fold-over tongue to hold it in place. Memories of David Beckham scoring that free kick against Greece to send England to the World Cup and the multiple spilled pints that followed.


Mania (2002)

Has to be a top down view to show off those sweet swerves. Yep, the rubber elements took on a more specific positioning, aligning with the contact zone. Famous for the “champagne” colour worn by Beckham at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, the 2002 Predator Mania saw the fold-over tongue held in place with a strap that wrapped underfoot. 

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Pulse (2004)

Another significant redesign came just in time for Euro 2004, with the main calling point for the Pulse being its new insole feature, the “Power Pulse System”. This sock liner shifted weight in the boot to help offer more power upon impact.


Absolute (2006)

Ahead of the 2006 World Cup in Germany the Predator Absolute strolled onto the scene. It brought with it the Power Pulse System from the Predator Pulse, and it also featured interchangeable sock liners. Most notable look was the stunning, all-gold version made exclusively for Zinedine Zidane, one that was recreated on the Accelerator for the 25 years of Predator collection.


Powerswerve (2007)

Built to increase swerve and power on long balls, the PowerSwerve featured new technology in a new Smartfoam material. The last proper Predator? You said it... not us... Oh, and apolgies for using the SG version.


X (2009)

Long before the X that we know today, we got the Predator X. So named as it was the tenth iteration, it came with radical changes, most notably in the lack of a proper fold-over tongue. Instead adidas introduced a Tauras leather which supposedly offered a thinner material between the foot and the ball. Mmm, we weren't convinced either.


adiPower (2011)

The Ugliest Predator? Quite possibly. The AdiPower Predator saw the introduction of a SprintFrame outsole, originally built for the F50. It was designed to reduce the overall weight, offering a lighter fit for the modern player.


LZ I (2012)

Predator LZ featured five "Lethal Zones" on the boot, which consisted of strategically positioned areas of rubber to help improve ball control: First Touch, Dribble, Sweet Spot, Drive and Pass. Not fondly remembered on the whole, thanks mainly for its choice of launch colour.


LZ II (2013)

A year year on and adidas upgraded the Predator LZ and released the second iteration. The Predator LZ II featured a HybridTouch upper and reconfigured Traxion 2.0 outsole. Proper Pred DNA in here, despite the outward impressions.


Instinct (2014)

20 years on from the release of the original we got the Predator Instinct. It featured rubber elements that were slightly raised to improve power and control along with a passing pad on the inside of the boots. HybridTouch was built into the upper to once again keep weight minimal for the faster, modern game.


Predator 18+ (2018)

After a brief retirement, the Predator was back, but it followed on more from the ACE that came before it rather than picking up where the last Predator, the Instinct, had left off, with ridges in the forefoot emulating the signature rubber elements in look alone. The main feature of note on the Predator 18 was that it took the key innovation from the ACE in going laceless.

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Predator 19+ (2019)

Not a lot to report on here, with only some very subtle switch ups from the 2018 model. Firstly, the plastic heel finish was replaced by a ridged rubber design, and secondly the Forged Primeknit ridges (the shooting technology, if you like) was emphasised with black colouring to give the overall design a more traditional Predator vibe. Yeah, basically the same.

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Mutator (2020)

If someone showed you a photo ten years ago of a what a Predator in 2020 would look like, this probably wouldn't be far off would it?Absolutely radical and absolutely divisive, the Mutator saw the welcome return of rubber and the introduction of DemonSkin – 406 spikes deliberately crafted to wrap the front and side of the boot in a formation that aligns to key contact points with the ball.

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Freak (2021)

Ramping up the aggressive aesthetics with an all new layout for the DemonSkin spikes. 11 colourways released of this beast, but not one of them was in the traditional black, white, red setup.

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Edge (2022)

The Predator Edge paid homage to the original Lethal Zones in terms of aesthetics and approach, but it brought modern technology into the design. A pretty big departure from the Freak and Mutator, but with some serious logic behind it.

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Accuracy (2023)

And that brings us to the current incarnation, the Accuracy. Created with the aim of providing precision and consistency, mainly to the goal scorers out there, it features minimalistic rubber elements strategically placed in the kicking zone for grip to the ball, providing it with a look that is more in keeping with the Freak and Mutator.

Got a favourite Predator? Of course you do. And which one that is will probably say a lot about you...

Shop the adidas Predator Accuracy at