nemeziz 19+

adidas Nemeziz 19+

On the eve of the Champions League Final, adidas decided to treat us to a bit of pre-match fireworks with the launch of the 302 Redirect pack. On the heels of some incredible domestic seasons and made sufficiently loud with loads of silver, chrome, and red, the Redirect pack will certainly look to make their way into boot bags over the summer. For the Copa and Predator, it’s merely a cosmetic update, but the Nemeziz and X have been brought into the 2019 fold. While the X looks to be, at least visually, quite similar, the new Nemeziz 19 looks to have gotten a complete overhaul.

Always the easy choice as the most unique of the adidas fold, the Nemeziz trades in the odd collar of 2018 for an even more interesting collar this go around. While it still looks like medical tape, it’s been given a new name called Tensiontape. adidas has also decided to slice the soleplate in half and see what the Nemeziz can do with a split-sole look. The Nemeziz style stripes are retained, and we’re certainly hoping that adidas has been able to keep our favorite pieces of the Nemeziz while continuing to move forward with their wild child. Can we finally claim laceless lockdown? Will the Nemeziz be worthy of housing the best player in the world with Messi? Can the Nemeziz have us walking back our love of the Copa 19+ and pushing the herald of “Pure Agility” to the top of our adidas charts? Let’s hop out of our space ship and find out!

nemeziz 19+ looks

THE LOOK

Without a doubt, the new Nemeziz is the most unique looking boot on the market today. With the escalating Tensiontape straps leading up to an ankle collar that looks unlike anything we’ve ever seen, the Nemeziz 19+ is going to be a boot that definitely divides opinions. Fans of the Nemeziz from the past won’t be too surprised by the tape-like straps that go across the entirety of the boot, but we’re anxious to see what adidas does with future colorways on this particular silhouette. The launch colorway (the 302 Redirect) is much closer to red in person (we were expecting pink/bright orange from launch pics), but it is still loud. Don’t go rocking the newest toy from adidas if you aren’t wanting to stand out from the crowd.

The soleplate is another wearable chrome finish, and it 100% blends with the upper to make this boot look very futuristic. It is worth noting that the chrome will chip and peel after you give these a thorough break-in, but it doesn’t hurt the look of the boot. The silver three stripes on the heel are interesting to me, especially as I have a hard time seeing it mesh well with the main colors of the upper. However, a closer look shows lots of detail in those stripes, with “adidas” hidden in the stripe along with circuitry style etchings to look like the inside of a motherboard. You also instantly notice the split soleplate design, but don’t be worried about that changing the performance underfoot.

We also love that adidas has given us a string bag to tote our newest addition to our arsenal, and the shoehorn is always welcome to aid us on our journey through laceless waters.

adidas nemeziz 19+ fg soccer cleats

THE TOUCH

For us, it doesn’t matter if adidas gives us a boot that looks like a carnival clown threw up on a soleplate; if the boot performs when we hit the pitch then we’re going to be fans and offer the proper amount of praise. The Nemeziz is plenty unique, but just because something is different doesn’t necessarily make it a better product. It was time to see if the Nemeziz 19+ had brought the lockdown to match the clean touch that we’ve always enjoyed from the Nemeziz. If the 19+ falls flat, the look of the boot ensures that it is going to go down in spectacular fashion. Let’s go…

After getting this boot slipped on, you do feel that the boot gives a nice squeeze and is very tight to your foot. It’s an attribute we’ve long enjoyed with the Nemeziz, and the Tensiontape is still able to provide that. However, we started to notice in our first few steps that the Nemeziz 19+ might have a few warning signs that could keep it from being our favorite boot. You immediately notice the Tensiontape in the area where you’d normally have laces creases and folds when you walk. This is because the actual attempt at lockdown is provided by a strip of Tensiontape that sits underneath what you see when you hold the boots in your hands. From right where the front of your foot is to about 2.5 inches into the boot, this piece of material tries to keep you locked in the boot. This is because the material that is what is seen is far too loose to keep your foot locked in place.

Still, one piece of material trying to cover up for a lack of laces makes us feel that the 19+ is actually a step backwards in terms of lockdown. We still aren’t sliding around inside the boot and the build of the collar means you would never even dream of the boot slipping off, but you just don’t feel as secure as a boot that gives you laces to make sure your foot sits firmly against the sole of the boot.

Even with that, you do notice that this Nemeziz is built to offer a much more barefoot feel than previous models. The upper and lining are thin and your first few moments on the ball showcase a very thin and clean touch. The boot never feels like it has any piece that has too much grip, and dribbling at speed or making slow pirouettes as we look for a killer pass felt extremely crisp. There’s truly nothing that dampens your touch or your attempt at any type of skill, and the 19+ just makes you feel as if you’ve got a few extra tricks in your locker simply from how simple and smooth the boot is on the ball.

Shooting and passing are extremely straightforward with such a thin feel on the ball. You do notice a slight difference when you catch a ball on the part of the boot that hasn’t been given the slight layer of treatment, but it’s still enjoyable. Bringing the ball out of the air, pinging a pass across the field, taking the heat off a pass with your instep, or trying to blast through the back of a ball are all going to offer the crisp feel you’d want from an upper of this construction. Don’t expect any excess padding or any real negatives that will hurt your time either on the ball or trying to make a forward run. It’s odd that something so crazy looking would leave us constantly labeling moments as “simple,” but that’s exactly what we have with the Nemeziz 19+.

Despite enjoying our time on the ball, it actually raised a fairly big issue with those of us that have spent some time with the adidas models for several years. With the change of the upper, we’re really not quite sure why you would turn to the Nemeziz when the X actually offers a very similar feels but with a better overall build. It isn’t the best look for us when we start to think that the biggest competitor for a boot comes within the same stable and even worse when we all say that we’d prefer that other boot. Remember what happened to the Nitrocharge? We’re simply saying that when adidas starts to find themselves with a boot that doesn’t really find a way to stand on its own, that boot’s days tend to be numbered.

Turning our attention underfoot, the split sole begins to feel entirely cosmetic. You get a quality soleplate that is extremely responsive and combines with a set of studs that might be one of our favorite options that adidas currently offers. A mix of purely conical, ovals, and a central stud cut into the ground with ease and allow you to make quick cuts with zero fuss. It’s always a great find when a brand makes something that feels like it offers strong, aggressive traction with a conical set-up. We didn’t do any testing on AG surfaces, but we’d actually think that the studs might a bit too long to truly classify this as an AG/FG style boot. During one day of testing, the field was quite soggy, but the Nemeziz handled its business and accomplished what every great soleplate does: you can play without ever having to worry about it.

nemeziz 19+ feel

THE FEEL

One of our favorite things about past Nemeziz was the comfort that these unique creations were able to provide. It made sense that soft, slightly padded strips of slightly altered medical tape would be able to bring a feel that we are constantly hunting for during testing. We were hoping that the change to the newly christened “Tensiontape” was not going to change one of the qualities that has always kept the Nemeziz near and dear to our hearts.

One of the shining moments with this Nemeziz model comes from the heel of the boot as soon as you slip into them. The heel is beautifully padded and combines with the squeeze of the Tensiontape to create something really special. It makes us wish that we could actually Frankenstein this heel on to other boots, but it has helped give the Nemeziz 19+ claim to one of the best collars we’ve ever encountered. The insole is also one of our favorite as the synthetic suede makes us wish that we could wear these barefoot. However, all these slight additions to aid in comfort do add up as this boot is almost 10 ounces! While weight doesn’t make or break boots the way it did during the speed revolution from several years ago, it’s still surprising to see a boot built on the principles of quick movement and cuts to be so heavy, especially in the modern boot market.

The forefoot is made from the same Tensiontape as the rest of the boot, but it does have a thin layer of synthetic over the top of the material to aid in durability and helping the boot keep its shape. Sadly, this part of the boot does suffer a bit and was actually the last part of the boot to really feel broken-in. It’s not stiff, but it just doesn’t soften up the way that the rest of the boot does. I’m not quite sure how adidas could remedy that, but it is something that has us reaching for the adidas X or Nike Vapor instead.

The soleplate was a bit stiffer than past generations of the boot, but this seems to have been a conscious decision in order to improve responsiveness and aid the agility style ideals that adidas has tended to promote with this boot. Be prepared for this when you start breaking these boots in, but don’t expect the stiff nature to really negatively impact the comfort. We never really noticed any hots spots or pressure points, and the split sole is not going to ever be noticed because of the Torsion system that adidas has employed between the heel and forefoot.

When it comes to slipping these boots on, don’t worry too much about the way internet pictures present the opening for your foot. The material is very pliable in this area and a simple combination of the shoehorn and stretching the material with your hands makes it fairly easy to slip on the Nemeziz. While this boot isn’t too difficult to put on for us, be aware that laceless boots aren’t going to be for players with exceptionally wide feet. As we’ve said since we tested the first Purecontrol, this is the fit of the boot from day 1. Sure, it’s going to shift and soften a bit with wear, but there aren’t any laces to tighten up loose spots or loosen up tight spots. Buyer beware.

adidas Nemeziz 19+ back

Bang for your buck

The Nemeziz 19+ is a boot that is not going to be an easy move for your wallet to make, especially seeing as it sits right at the top of boot prices that we see here in the midst of 2019. Retailing for a cool $275, there’s no getting around the idea that you better love these bad boys before you decide to slip them into next month’s budget. For us, while we enjoyed the boot, it would be a much easier sell if the 19+ wasn’t quite so expensive. In fact, the amount of impact it would have if adidas took their + models down to the $225 range and let the 19.1 models sit below $200 would be astronomical. Still, until then, it’s going to depend on how flexible your wallet is to take these boots for a test drive.

Who’s wearing it?

It will be very interesting to see who opts for the 19.1 (which isn’t just the addition of laces this time around) over the 19+, but you can look out for Roberto Firmino, Bernardo Silva, and a host of others rocking the Nemeziz through summer tournaments and into the approaching season. As always, Messi will be wearing a Nemeziz, but his version is always a bit too customized to actually list him in with the 19+ crowd.

FINAL VERDICT

While the look and design had us dreaming about the next step of the NEMEZIZ line and a continued improvement of one of our favorite boots from adidas, the end of our testing time has us left with just as many things to complain about as things to praise. The soleplate has improved responsiveness, the fit is a bit improved, and the feel on the ball is extremely clean and smooth. However, the lockdown comes down to one strap of Tensiontape, the forefoot isn’t as soft as past Nemeziz models, and it’s really tough to suggest that the Nemeziz isn’t currently the 4th place boot within their own brand. As a big fan of the Nemeziz, it’s a boot that I certainly enjoyed, but not the boots that I would suggest for your next purchase within the three stripes. If adidas can finally solve the puzzle of the lockdown, make the forefoot a bit softer, and give us a reason to turn to the Nemeziz over the X, Predator, and Copa (not to mention other brands), then the Nemeziz could make a serious challenge.

 

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