While there may be more marketing to come, and perhaps the odd boot or two to actually be launched in the midst of the World Cup, we have been given a view of what all the major boot companies will have on show during the biggest stage that soccer provides. So, now that we have seen what all the major players will be wearing during their trip to Brazil, it is time to do what people sitting on the sidelines do best: judge them. Which company put their best foot forward for the summer? And which company took a definite step back?
While smaller brands like Lotto, Diadora, Warrior, Joma, Mizuno, and Under Armour will be hoping to merely gain some time on the pitch during the “big dance”, we are going to try and explain how the big boys have fared in the biggest venture since 2010.
For adidas, it felt odd as we saw their rivals unveiling their World Cup ideals while the three stripes remained quiet. A rumored update to the Predator release meant that, surely, adidas would have some real power behind whatever they chose to do for the World Cup. Then, we finally caught a glimpse of the white/black colorways that would make up the “Battle Pack.” While some might complain about adidas not using a classy colorway like they did in 2010, these people need to do some research. Because of the easy ability to spot the Nike boots during the World Cup, prospective boot buyers flocked to retailers to get a pair of brightly colored Nike boot…easily outpacing the sales of their adidas counterparts. So, with 2010 firmly in mind, adidas were keen to make a boot that was easy to recognize when being viewed during live television.
Sadly, after watching too many build-up games to the World Cup, the crazy patterns on the boots from the Battle Pack do not shine through on television. In fact, it is actually difficult to tell which boots they are until a camera zooms in. Not to mention that there is no way to differentiate which silo the boot is from (outside of Messi’s) without being up close to the boots. Sure, you should not buy a boot based on what player is wearing them, but the masses from buying boots by the droves if their favorite player is wearing a particular boot.
We would be remiss if we graded the outing without saying anything about the quality of the boots involved. Adidas really do not have a noticeable “weak-link” in the chain, and their entire line-up is comprised of boots that I would be able to easily suggest to players looking for a certain type of boot. While there is quality with the F50 and 11Pro, the NitroCharge and Predator Instinct are the prize jewels here, with the Nitro being a big staff favorite here at The Instep (just ask Jordon). Another reason why our final grade will not be higher is because the Messi F50 still remains comprised of a material that the Argentine maestro will not actually use…once again…odd.
For adidas, the grades are mixed. We give the general idea (including originality) a B+. We give the execution a C-. And, after testing all of the boots, we give the quality therein an A- (high quality products that do still have some room for improvement). We also have to mention how little the brand has taken advantage of the newest Predator, which seems to be the oddest move of all. Perhaps adidas will take advantage of the lessons they have learned from 2010 and this year in order to create something truly special moving forward.
OVERALL GRADE: B