adidas Predator 19.1

Whenever a new generation of soccer cleats comes out, we expect it to be improved from the previous generation. We expect it to offer something new or different from what we previously had. However, Adidas have thrown this notion out the window with the release of the adidas Predator 19.1. The latest generation of Predator is virtually identical to its predecessor, the Predator 18.1, with the exception of added rubber on the heel of the boot. Perhaps adidas views this as an improvement, or perhaps they’re just being lazy. Either way, if you’ve never owned Predators before, is this latest generation worth copping?

Tech Specs

The adidas Predator is known by football fans around the world for three main things: a fold-over tongue, a leather upper, and signature rubber features. However, when adidas revamped it in 2017, it had none of those things. Instead, it received a revolutionary Primeknit upper and a formfitting, sock-like construction. This boot is so modernized that the persistent Predator branding throughout the boot is needed to remind you of what you’re wearing: a legendary and iconic silo with over 20 years of history to its name. It also became laceless, a trend in adidas football boots in this modern era. This was the most drastic change the iconic silo has seen to date, and it defined the way we view the Predator silo. Recently it received a generation update but not many changes have been made, leaving us scratching our heads at why adidas even updated it in the first place.

For the Predator 19.1, Adidas didn’t put much effort into refreshing the iconic silo. This could be because they believe they already have a great product on their hands, one that doesn’t need fixing, or because they’re simply being lazy. I prefer to believe the former. However, the latter is highly possible. Adidas have made very few changes to this new generation, and it’s hard to consider them “improvements.” They added thin colored stripes to the upper, merely a cosmetic change, and a piece of rubber onto the heel of the boot, an area that doesn’t receive much attention during play. Therefore, it’s easy to dismiss that as a cosmetic change, too. Granted, the added rubber does provide more grip when kicking the ball with the back of your heel, but in the grand scheme of things, this is a very, very small improvement. The upper, soleplate, and stud pattern all remain the same, begging the question whether adidas expects people to go out and buy a boot that’s nearly identical to what they already have.

The upper of the Predator 19.1 (and Predator 19+, its laceless counterpart), is made of Primeknit, an innovative, knit textile material that offers a sock-like fit. Covering it is Controlskin, a material that “keeps the ball feeling like it’s glued to your feet,” according to Adidas. Essentially, it’s a grippy, textured coating that gives you extra grip on the ball. The Controlframe soleplate and hybrid stud pattern (a mix between triangular and conical studs) provide traction on firm ground surfaces. The laces, of course, aid in lockdown, something the Predator 19+ lacks. If lockdown and extra adjustability are important to you, you’ll want to nab the Predator 19.1 instead of the 19+.

Fit & Feel

The Predator 19.1 is a great fitting boot. The Primeknit upper feels on the thinner side, but it’s soft and provides a sock-like sensation. You don’t really get a Predator-esque feel from these boots. They’re comfy, lightweight, and updated for modern day football; there’s no leather, fold-over tongue, or rubber elements, three things that made the Predator silo so iconic. Since the 19.1 has laces, you can achieve a better, tighter fit with the extra adjustability. This is something you can’t do with the 19+ since that boot is laceless; if you prefer a tighter fit, laces are the way to go.

The elasticated Primeknit collar that hugs your ankle is simply there for looks—it provides no ankle support whatsoever. If anything, it makes the transition from your foot to leg all the more seamless, but it doesn’t provide any performance benefits or enhancements. The internals of the 19.1 are no different from the 18.1: you have the same synthetic suede internal liner with a great amount of padding at the heel for comfort. The 19.1 fits a little bit tighter in the forefoot and toe box area than you might expect. These boots are not particularly wide so as long as you don’t have excessively wide feet, they should fit you just fine. As far as sizing goes, these boots run true to size.


The Predator 19.1, although largely unchanged from the 18.1, is an impressive boot when it comes to performance. If you’re familiar with the Predator 18.1, the 19.1 is no different in terms of touch. You still get a soft, confident touch on the ball. On feet, this boot feels identical to its predecessor…when was the last time you could say that about a new generation of soccer cleats?

The Controlframe soleplate also remains the same and feels very solid underfoot, quite contrary to the soft, flexible feeling you get from the Primeknit upper; the soleplate is slightly stiffer than you might expect. The stud pattern is composed of hybrid studs, where each singular stud is a hybrid between a triangular stud and a conical stud. Eleven of them make up the soleplate and offer a mostly conical feel in terms of traction. The stud pattern provides good traction on firm ground, but I wouldn’t call it aggressive; you don’t get much of an extra bite from these studs.

Due to the presence of laces, lockdown is great. Once you tie the laces tight, your feet are locked in and ready for 90 minutes of play. During testing, I enjoyed wearing these boots because of the impressive lockdown and soft, flexible upper. Adidas hit the nail on the head with how a modern Predator should look, feel, and perform, and I’m a big fan of the outcome.

The Verdict

The fact that the adidas Predator 19.1 could’ve been a new colorway for the Predator 18.1 and no one would’ve noticed a difference says a lot about adidas’ latest generation update. Was it necessary? Considering the lack of improvements, definitely not. Is this still a good boot nonetheless? Most definitely. If you currently have the 18.1, spare yourself the money and stick with what you’ve got. There’s not much to upgrade to.