While the rest of The Instep staff spends most of their time on firm ground surfaces, working to bring you the best reviews on the web, my time (especially during the winter) can vary from day to day. Because of that, it typically falls to me to bring you the best of what you can find with the indoor game and the gear involved with playing on indoor surfaces. Where the last few years have been dominated by Nike, others are beginning to cut into the Swoosh’s short-sided monopoly.
Is this the year something topples Nike SCCRX?
Adidas has finally brought their top-tier offerings into the indoor game, and the ACE/X have both seen almost four different versions available for playing on any short-sided surface. After testing, we actually really like the way that the indoor X 15 feels, but, unlike the Nike boots, the adidas top-tier uppers change quite a bit from the FG boot to the indoor version. You still get the collar and comfort on the foot of the standard X, but the touch on the ball and the feel isn’t nearly as good as the FG version. The Messi indoor didn’t live up to the rest of the revolution, but we are definitely enjoying adidas pushing into the comfort zone of their biggest rival.
Best indoor option from adidas: X 15.1
Did you think that Puma’s onslaught on the lightweight world was limited to their FG boots? For most of the year, I definitely did. Then, I was able to get my hands on the Puma Lite 2.0. The lightest futsal boot that is even available, Puma has finally started throwing their hat into the ring with the other two members of the “big three.” Utilizing a mass of breathable mesh on the upper, the boot keeps the material between your foot and the ball to an absolute minimum. If you’re hunting for something to keep you light as a feather, but with the responsiveness of an indoor shoe, the hunt is over.
Best indoor option from Puma: Neon Lite 2.0
Despite the indoor footwear world growing more and more competitive, the top of the heap is unchanged. Nike, by bringing their best boots directly into the indoor world (by only changing the soleplate), is letting their innovations in their FG boots shine on all surfaces with their SCCRX gear. The Magista and SuperFly might be the best two boots that have ever been available for those who prefer 5v5 to 11v11. Nike also brought the Venom into the indoor world, but, for us, it didn’t quite make the shift as well as the other two. Any fans of the classic Elastico or Bomba could find a home in the MercurialX Finale, which will also win over anyone that doesn’t want the collar on their indoor offerings.
Also, Nike’s movement of their FlyKnit creations into lifestyle wear (Mercurial Free, HyperVenom Free, and Magista Free) shows how big an impact they have off the pitch…something no other brand has been able to replicate.
Best indoor option from Nike: it’s close, but we can’t get enough of the MercurialX Proximo
The best part about other brands attempting to take Nike’s crown is that the indoor market is only going to improve and expand as the years go on. If you shine off the pitch, then there are plenty of options to snag as you take your game to the next level. 2015 took indoor gear to another level, and we expect 2016 to do the same…no pitch, no problem.
Find all the best indoor shoes at SoccerPro.com.