After spending a little over a month getting some serious shtick for my purple Samba edition 11Pro, it is time to lay down the review. Here at the Instep, we make sure that our reviews are more than just boot specs with some added flourishes. You have already read the specifications several times if you are interested in the boot, so it is time for something that actually helps with your decision. We do real testing, offer real advice, and make sure that you know everything you need to know in a short and succinct review. So how did the 11Pro turn out with adidas giving the adiPure another update? Let’s take a look.
The Look: Trying to look past the garish purple that makes the “Barney” and “Grimace” comments rain down from everywhere possible, the new 11Pro has taken a huge step back towards a heritage look. With other colors now available, the added leather to the boot gives it a major boost in the look department. Adidas have also jumped onto the bandwagon of other brands by slapping a huge logo across the heel of the boot that signifies the boot that the wearer is using. The boot also shows up in the box with the leather having a really bright sheen to it that starts to fade after a lot of use, but the boot stays looking great if you take proper care of the leather. The only issue I have here is that the heel looks like really cheap plastic…but that is merely cosmetic.
The Touch: The new 11Pro does provide a better feel for the ball than its predecessor, but it can be a bit different. By “different,” the padding gives a great touch but it is a bit thicker than most top tier leather boots on the market right now. Considering I swoon over memory foam inserts in a boot’s tongue, I also thought that I would love this 11Pro even more. However, the foam in the tongue is also just the slightest bit too thick…it prevents pain during the lace-up, feels good when striking the ball, but it could be better. The touch on the instep is a big improvement with this release switching away from the build of the original 11Pro, and you end up feeling that the overall package with this boot is an improvement over the original. For any fan of the adiPure series before the move to the 11Pro, this incarnation might be time for you to come back once again.
The Feel: As with any heritage boot, the comfort is great. The additions to the upper help with the comfort and the break-in is a smooth ride. I personally went a half-size down with this boot but since the boot forms to your foot in the way that it does and after talking with some others here at Instep HQ I actually believe you can get away with either a half-size down OR true to size. The soleplate, despite adidas claiming a “change,” is too similar to old adidas sprint-frame releases in the past. Although it is missing the miCoach slot and has been given a new name, it still performs just like the older models of the LZ in terms of traction – dependable but not going to make headlines. (note: This is an FG boot and should not be used on AG/Non-firm ground pitches…that type of use VOIDS the warranty and greatly decreases the chance of your boot lasting a full season)
The Verdict: The newest 11Pro has survived the first few months of its existence without receiving the same type of hate and player exodus as the original 11Pro, and I can attest that it is definitely down improvement in this boot. Although I still believe there are better heritage options available, the low price point of this adidas top tier and the recent price-hike on the Nike Tiempo will help it appeal to many in the market for some full-leather/heritage love. A final note for the 11Pro would be that it is the best non-Copa adidas option for wide footed players (although it should not scare away people with normal feet or narrow feet as the leather WILL form to your foot). For the best price on the web for the newest 11Pro, head over to the good people at SoccerPro.com and snag you a pair.