When I saw the Messi 15.1 online, I thought this was going to be an evolution of the F50. But actually getting the boot in hand, it is not really anything like the F50 other than the shape of the cleat. The top of the MessiFrame is not glued onto the boot, which surprised me at first. The frame wraps your foot tightly and keeps you locked in the boot. The upper is called MessiTouch, which is a takeoff of the popular HybridTouch that feels a bit thicker than what I would like from a speed type of cleat. Let’s see how the boot gets on through out my testing.
The most deceiving part of the Messi 15.1 is the look. From all of the photos online and even when you first open the box, the boot looks fantastic. I have the white and blue colorway and I love the look since my high school colors were white and royal blue. The colorways are really nice so far and I have no doubt that we will see some solid additions to the Messi 15.1 color palatte.
The Messi 15.1 gave me one of the most interesting tests I have had to date. I found myself at crossroads with the Messi and how I felt in the end. During my first few sessions I thought the MessiTouch upper felt a little too thick for my liking. Now if you were someone who wanted an F50-type of cleat but wanted a little bit more material between your foot and the ball, then the Messi 15.1 is for you. I, however, did not like the upper and the touch it provided for the ball. It felt similar to the Black Pack 11Pro with a more textured feel.
At one point I slipped on the 2nd generation of the Nitrocharge 1.0 to compare the cleats and I was shocked at how similar the uppers felt. The Messi is ever so slightly thinner than the Nitrocharge but the fact that MessiTouch is comparable to the thicker HybridTouch is not something I thought would happen in a speed boot. While playing, it is not something you really notice in the end. I was not hindered in any way when I controlled the ball. The Messi is not something I would choose over the Vapor X or X 15.1 but still, the cleat is not a bad option for attacking players.
While striking the ball, you really appreciate the bit of extra protection. I did not feel much sting at all when hitting the ball with some power. Passing is a breeze in the Messi and really, you will not feel any problems when playing. The MessiFrame actually did a solid job locking my foot into the boot. I never had a problem with discomfort from the frame or any slippage in the heel. The frame does exactly what it says it will do and I think adidas could implement this type of frame on future cleats.
The GameTrax outsole is another FG/AG mix from adidas. I was able to test on both surfaces and the soleplate performed well no matter the surface. It is more suitable for FG, but if you play more on AG then you should be OK.
Something I did not have problems with that I thought I would is the cut outs on the plate. The outsole is more just a frame for the boot. I thought that the cut outs would have some durability issues since it is not protected at all. I found no problems in the end but it is something I will be on the look out for.
The Messi 15.1 fit me rather odd and seems like it is made for someone with a normal width and longer foot. If you have wider feet, you probably won’t be able to fit super well into these. The midfoot was very tight while the toebox was somewhat wide. But it isn’t like there is an abundance of room as the upper sits right on top of your toes. The last is rather snug for anyone that has wider feet. I will say, once I was playing and the boots were laced up, I had no problems. They felt like a normal football boot. However, I felt that the upper never really softened up and that was something that hurt this boot, in my mind. The MessiFrame does keep your foot locked in and I had zero problems with slippage or blistering.
Bang For Your Buck
This is a section that has become a bit of a struggle for me as of late. The Messi 15.1 did not really feel much like a top end boot. As I mentioned before, when I played in these, I found myself not having really any problems but it really was not something that felt premium. My brother happens to have the 15.2 so I did a little comparison in hand and I found the 15.1 thicker and more padded. If you were a fan of the F50 but craved a little more protection, then you may be able to justify the price, other than that I would say look at the X 15 or a Vapor to get a little more bang for your buck.
Who’s Wearing It?
Of course, Messi wears the Messi 15.1 as it is his own signature line. However, 10 young players who were specifically chosen by Messi will be wearing the Messi 15.1 in whatever colorway comes out at the time. If you want to see whom Messi picked, look no further than the Backed by Messi campaign. I was actually lucky enough to receive a reply on Twitter from one of the players picked by Messi, Marcos Lopes, on his thoughts on the Messi 15.1
The Messi 15.1 is a bit of a disappointment for me. The upper was thicker than I would have liked. The last was tight for someone like me who has just slightly wider than average feet and I even had some extra space at the end of the boot. Now I know that the Messi is not technically being called a speed boot, but for the type of cleat it is, the Messi fails to live up to the F50 of old. The Messi isn’t all bad in the end, but for someone who has been able to play in the other top offerings from adidas, the Messi 15.1 is definitely my last choice of the three.
Sizing: I had a little bit of extra space at the end of my toes. For a tighter fit go half a size down.