The world is only just coming to grips with the newest introduction from adidas, but we are here to take a spin in each of the biggest boots in the silo and let you know what each of them has going on. Taking a trip within the laceless craziness of the PURECONTROL all the way to the standard 16.1, The Instep has all of the high points that you will need to know about the boots that could make or break 2016 for the Three Stripes. Which boot is right for you?
The headline grabber of the bunch, there’s almost too much to tell about this incredible creation. No laces, but there’s so much more to the boot than its lack of strings to tighten. If you snag the right fit, the real learning curve here is simply putting the boots on. It’s taken us a few tries to become “accomplished” at it, but we thank the soccer boot gods that adidas put a shoehorn in with these boots.
The upper isn’t as thin as an F50, the feel isn’t anything like the Nike collared efforts, and the lack of laces means that the fit from the second you snag the boot is going to remain relatively unchanged throughout. It’s tough to step up to the $300 plate and justify anything, but there is something truly special about these.
ACE 16+ PrimeKnit
If laces are required for your boot wearing experience to be at its height, then this is the best option of the bunch. The ACE+ PrimeKnit 15.1 was one of our favorite boots of last year, and the updated version has even more bells and whistles. A PrimeKnit upper with a better feel, a lacing system that allows for you to get one of the best fits on the market, and a new collar to only improve the entire set-up. If there is any boot in the bunch that would be the first suggestion from us to any reader, it would be the 16+ PrimeKnit…we’ll probably need a dozen pairs ourselves.
The standard version of the series, yet the one boot that we really aren’t seeing any on-field or off-field support for. The upper has been given an update to allow for the same great padding found on the first ACE, but with a better feel and touch on the ball. An improved tongue/lacing system comes with this version (from the original), and it seems to be taking a bit of a nod from the PrimeKnit version in order to create a better fit. Where the original was very well received, it looks like adidas has made small improvements to something that was already working. For a company who was so willing to dump their old silos and start over, it’s a bit refreshing to see adidas sticking with what works and only tweaking minor things. Growth?
ACE 16.1 Leather
Much in the same vein as the original, the leather version will never get the attention/praise/accolades it deserves. A kangaroo leather upper and only the colorway to truly connect it to the other members of the silo, expect to see some of the older adidas guard sporting these silky boots on match days. There’s really not much for us to drone on about, as the leather and comfortable build speak for themselves!
ACE 16.2 PrimeMesh
One area where adidas is looking to make major leaps is in their lower tier boots. Where once the lower tier boot market was dominated by Nike, the new ACE 16.2 PrimeMesh shows a serious move by adidas to place more focus on their more affordable offerings. With a PrimeMesh collar that reminds us of what we see on the adidas X 15 (albeit a bit higher cut), the 16.2 still gives a high level of comfort and touch without utilizing the synthetic on the standard ACE or the PrimeKnit on the two top ACE options.
ACE 16.3 PrimeMesh
The next tier down also gives players the ability to test out the collar! The 16.3 doesn’t have an upper that is quite as forgiving or that will provide as good a touch on the ball as the 16.2, but it does give players with a budget an option to see how this style of collared boot performs. Don’t expect many aspects of this one to feel premium, but big kudos for the German brand for taking more interest in their budget boots.
2016 is starting off looking like the year of adidas. We’re sure Nike won’t let the German giants own the day from January all the way until December, but the newest bunch of ACE boots is a great place for adidas to start! We can’t wait to see what else the revolution still has in store! Viva la revolucion!