adidas Copa 19.1 Tango Turf Shoes

The newest battleground for soccer equipment is definitely in the short-sided realm. For years, we’ve been able to quickly (and without much doubt) give the short-sided crown to Nike and all of their turf/indoor options. However, within the last two years, there’s been a significant shift from both adidas and Puma to test the waters outside of the firm ground world. While Puma has since cooled on the whole scene, adidas now has the bulk of their top-tier options also available in turf and indoor options. With our newest foray, we’ve found our way into the newest COPA, and the highest COPA option in the short-sided world: the adidas Copa 19.1.

The waters of the Copa 19.1 TF would absolutely terrify us if we hadn’t already fallen in love with the FG options long beforehand. Since we were such big fans of that, we were actually quite excited to see what was on offer from the short-sided adidas option. With that in mind, it also means that the bar for this short-sided offering is a little bit higher than most. 

The Look

The Copa 19.1 TF is a classy looking boot. The waves of the leather in the forefoot make the boot look comfortable from a mile away, and that’s exactly what you’re going to be searching for with a leather boot. If you went with the launch colorway, then you’re going to be rocking the pearl and red that saw the newest Copa splash on the scene. If you waited around a little while, you’d find yourself rocking the black/green of the most recent TF Copa. While the pearl Copa doesn’t succumb to the discoloration issues typically associated with white boots on turf, the black/green combo would be the safer choice if you’re looking to put some serious time in on your boots (and you want them to still look sharp).

Perhaps the only negative in the looks department is how disjointed this boot actually looks up close. The forefoot looks like a luxurious Copa, the midfoot looks like a more modern burrito tongued boot, and the heel looks like a mesh build that makes up the back portion of the boot. We’ll discuss how adidas has, somehow, made all of it come together in the performance department, but the looks of the boot certainly feels like it’s tough to truly blend these three sections effectively. Once again, it’s purely visual, but it does feel disjointed in your hands.

Underfoot, you get the flash of color on both options. Adidas has traded out the BOOST that we see on most of the other options for adidas Bounce. It sits a little lower than BOOST, and (since adidas is willing to actually color Bounce to match with the rest of the boot. We love BOOST, but having that bright white contrast on every boot starts to get a little bit old after a while. You also notice under the boot that adidas has gone with semi-circle nubs for the traction, meaning that each of their turf options take a unique approach to the underfoot set-up.

The Touch

The demands and speed of the short-sided game don’t immediately make you search out a boot with the Copa moniker, but this is 2019 and every boot has to be well equipped with the modern game. With the waves of leather in the forefoot and a build that makes it at least look the part of an updated Copa, it will all come down to what happens when the moment comes for you to make the turf pellets fly in every direction.

The beauty of a Copa is always going to be the silky smooth feel on the ball. Nice, cushioned touches that are derived from the layered looking leather rolls on the forefoot absolutely define most of your time with this boot. There’s never going to be a moment where you don’t feel like you’re able to feel every slight twist and flick that you’re going to attempt gussied up with soft feel of leather. Although you’d be way off-base to expect a barefoot feel from this type of build, there’s really not a surprise in the actual play you get from a leather turf boot. The midfoot, while not being made of the same material, actually offers a bit of a thinner feel, which we thought would have made the boot feel like two different boots that have been Frankenstein-ed together, but it works out well.

Whenever you’re passing or receiving in the midfoot, you feel that this area of the boot feels a bit more crisp whenever addressing the ball. It definitely doesn’t make the boot feel disjointed, but actually brings the best out of a short-sided boot option. The ball smacks right into your instep with you having to take all the heat off the zipped passes of a 5-a-side game and you can quickly shift the ball on to your closest teammate as you weave through small spaces on your way to goal. This feel extends around the burrito tongue, so shots feel like they absolutely launch off of your foot. In games with incredibly tight windows to place passes, smaller windows to place shots, and the smallest windows of time to make these plays, having a boot that is able to provide the best benefits of leather and still have you feeling like your boot is going to be perfectly poised to help you take full advantage of every single one of those windows. It’s a great feeling and a testament to a real, winning combination.

The Bounce on the Copa TF feels more responsive than BOOST and actually lets the boot seem like it sits a little bit lower in turf. It doesn’t give the same cushion as BOOST (we’ll discuss that later), but it actually all comes together to make a boot that we think is better suited for short-sided play. The traction provided by the Copa 19.1 is top notch. In fact, the weather had been quite terrible during testing, and there was never any moment of slipping during any of our sessions. It seems that by adidas simply putting more well-shaped nubs in as many places as possible made sure that we never had to worry about our footing. I would say that the nubs are rather small, and I’d worry a bit about my traction if I was playing somewhere with thicker turf or a massive build-up of turf pellets.

The Copa 19.1 is absolutely prepared to last you more than one season and is built to make sure that you’re not hunting down a new option after only a few short weeks on the turf.

The Feel

If the Copa isn’t going to be bringing the heat in the comfort department, then there’s going to be some blasphemy placed directly at the feet of adidas. It’s quite difficult to muddy the leather waters provided by the adidas godfather silo, but dressing the boot up with a burrito tongue and sitting it on a turf build was always going to be one of the more difficult journeys that a boot is going to travel. The 19+ in FG form got top comfort marks from my review, and Heather Tierney praised the 19.1 when utilizing FG studs, so I had very high hopes for what we would get from the turf 19.1.

The forefoot of the 19.1 is soft out of the box, but is only going to soften with each successive wear. If you are going to experience any type of break-in issue or problem, it’s going to come where adidas has experienced problems in the past: where the forefoot is attached to the midfoot. On older versions of the X and a few other adidas models, we’ve seen some tightness and a bit tougher break-in right at the stitching that sits where these two parts of the boot meet. While it’s just a bit tight for us, I think that wider feet might really suffer in this part of the boot. The second part to be aware of for break-in is the burrito tongue. Still not quite sure why adidas insists on this style, but it has a nasty tendency to bunch oddly (especially nearest to the forefoot). It feels fine during wear, but it just feels like this part of the boot could have been better.

The heel is nicely padded and was actually the easiest portion of the boot to deal with out of the box. It creates an extremely locked in feel throughout wear and combines with the squeeze you get in the midfoot. Adidas has placed an elasticated strap to the tongue that makes your foot feel wrapped tightly, and the boot only gets better once you get everything laced up and ready to go.

The Bounce material on the outsole does feel a bit stiff, especially in comparison to the cushion of BOOST. It’s something that doesn’t become uncomfortable during wear, but a fairly obvious departure from what you get from every other adidas turf model. We mention many of the benefits of the Bounce during play, but this aspect does lower the comfort a little. It’s going to be the price you pay for a slimmer build on a boot, and the performance aspects make us a willing party to the sacrifice, but the cushion on the upper isn’t matched 1-to-1 by the outsole. After you’ve broken the boots in, it does soften some, but it will feel more like when you wear a shoe that’s known for being thin (old school Chuck Taylor shoes and the like) than the modern sneaker experience, an experience that you typically find on turf and indoor models nowadays.

Bang for Your Buck

All of the turf options from adidas are much cheaper than the top tier adidas counterparts for use on firm ground pitches. With the COPA 19.1, you get a leather boot with a great fit and feel for around $120. It’s a set-up that’s tough to beat at that price point, but this is the upper echelon of cost for turf boots. Before buying something at this level, I’d definitely want to make sure that I was going to be consistently playing on artificial grass. These boots are amazing, but (unlike some indoors) you can’t quite transform these into house shoes or use them every day as a sneaker.

Who’s Wearing Them

For indoor boots, you’re going to have to do a bit of a deep dive on YouTube or begin researching some of the indoor leagues around the globe to know if any professionals wear the 19.1. Sadly, while we love the boots and have run the gambit on indoor boots to test, We have no clue about how many players tend to wear certain boots in the short sided game.

Final Verdict

The Copa 19.1 is one of my favorite options for short-sided games. The days of clunky short-sided boots to handle the rigors of turf have long gone and even the leather options are high quality, comfortable, and sacrifices haven’t been made to allow the boot to be a bit lighter. If you’re wanting a touch on the ball that only high quality leather can provide, a low ride to help with all the intricate cuts and scoops of short-sided play, and comfort that only the Copa can provide: you’ve arrived. adidas continues stepping their game up for this play style, and the COPA 19.1 has quickly jumped into an irreplaceable spot in our boot bags. Competition has certainly brought about many positive changes for anyone who finds their playing days primarily on turf or inside a gym, and there’s no doubt that the COPA 19.1 should be one of the first boots that you consider using. If adidas would just toss that burrito tongue, we’d really have something incredible.

 

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