Whenever a boot shows up for testing at Instep HQ, there is always some serious excitement. When one of the SL series from adidas shows up, there is practically a small brawl to decide who gets to test it. Luckily, after making Jordon and Drew familiar with a few right jabs to the face, I got to bring the massive LZ SL box home. Considering there is practically zero player uptake, no major marketing campaign, and a higher price-tag, there are a lot of questions about whether the LZ SL is worth the money. How will they turn out?
After the original SL Predator with the adiPower SL release, adidas have continued to release a super-light Predator with each incarnation. After a few hours of testing, we are not yet prepared to offer our full verdict (the Instep has one rule for when to write a full review: whenever you have completely rubbed off the branding on the insole, it is time for the review), but we are ready to let everyone know what to expect with the LZ SL and share our initial thoughts on the boot silo.
The very first thing you notice is the enlarged adidas box that you receive with the SL. Upon first glance inside, you notice that the SL comes complete with several goodies. Although originally laced up with black laces (we had the black colorway for review), there are some green slime laces included if you want even more color to this LZ SL (I laced one up with the black and one up with the green laces for the full effect). You also get a pair of comfort insoles (which I definitely prefer to use) and a Predator string bag so that you do not have to carry the big box around with you everywhere you go. Are all these goodies worth $30 more than the standard LZ? Personally, I would think no since I would like for a $200 boot to already include all these extras.
For sizing on the LZ SL, I was able to wear my normal size but it is certainly a tighter fit with significantly less stretch (practically ZERO stretch) than the normal LZ. Because of this, most people will probably end up needing to go up a half size in order to have the best fit. I did find that the insoles that came with the boots allowed more wiggle room than the comfort insole, so make sure to try the boot with both insoles if you are trying these boots on in a store.
The upper on the SL, unlike the LZ, is a SprintSkin synthetic with a slightly different SprintFrame soleplate. With the change in upper, the “pass” zone on the instep of the boot is a little less pronounced than on the normal LZ. However, unlike on past Predator SL’s, the rubber elements on the boot seem to be almost the same as the non-SL version. The tongue is also void of any substance as it is one thin layer of synthetic and this has proved slightly annoying. Why? Well, the laces on the Predator SL are extremely short and having enough to tie a double knot meant that I kept attempting to pull the laces as tight as possible, and this resulted in a slight bit of lace-bite. When it comes to laces, I have found that it is better to have more than you need instead of too little.
Keep an eye out for the full review within the next few weeks, but the LZ SL has definitely been a fun boot to test. The next few testing sessions will certainly begin to tell whether the price difference is justified or if the normal LZ is the better option. Stay tuned!