Adidas Copa 19+

Welcome to the madness of 2018! Somehow, adidas has decided to provide the world with a laceless Copa! Despite us only being a few years removed from people discussing how angry they’d be if some of their beloved boot silos decided to take a laceless route, adidas has now run the gambit across the entirety of their boots. However, there might not be a silo from the three stripes that will face more pressure for stripping the laces away than the storied Copa.

We’ve seen what can happen when adidas spreads themselves too thin and tries to execute four proper soccer boots all at the same time: it is a massive task, and so there’s a bucketful of risks that can be associated with this type of move with the Copa. In order for this move to be received in the proper light, the leather’s going to have to be ridiculously comfortable, the touch is going to have to live up to the decades of buttery smooth moments on the ball that the original Copa Mundial provided, and the lack of laces is going to somehow NOT have us immediately begging for our laces to come back. It’s a tall order, but, if adidas pulls this off, the potential payoff could be massive.

The Look

Outside of sharing a name with the Copa Mundial, there are not very many aspects of the 19+ that would lead you to believe that this is a descendant of the original Mundial. Outside of the forefoot looking to possess phenomenally supple leather (even in pictures), there’s not much outside of the three stripes that has been retained from the seasoned veteran. An upper that has a sheen to its entirety, the color is closer to a cream or off-white than just a stark white (far cry from that original black, too). It’s a look that makes the boot look unique, and the sheen actually seemed to keep the boot from falling into the trap that white boots so frequently stumble into: immediate grass stains. The three stripes on the instep of the boot sit a bit closer to orange than red, but adidas has called it “solar red.” There’s also a COPA callout on the base of the heel, but it’s not something that most would see unless they get close up on the boot.

The most intriguing part of the upper’s designs has to be the waves of leather that appear to roll out towards the forefoot. There aren’t any seams, but holding the boots in your hands has us thinking that adidas has sealed each section of supple leather via some type of heat seal to create those sections. About five leather “rolls” up, you can notice a seam that sits under the upper if you look very closely. This is where the boot starts to fade to FusionSkin and then into the Primeknit that sits around the low-cut collar. One of the easiest statements to make about the new Copa has to be that is just looks like the most comfortable boot we’ve seen from any of the big brands in a long time.

Underfoot on the Copa 19+, we see a set-up that is almost conical in nature (it’s closer to teardrop studs, but with the same feel as when we’ve used conical studs) and actually possesses more color than the rest of the boot. While adidas didn’t boast AG/FG capable stud patterns anymore, the Copa 19+ and the current MESSI Nemeziz seem to have the patterns most likely worth using on multiple types of surfaces. Considering this boot is the current flagship for adidas innovation, it’s actually surprising that the adidas stripes on the instep of the boot are the only thing you’d really associate with the three stripe brand. Still, it’s a build that looks great with the launch colorway, but has the potential to look incredible with the bevy of color set-ups adidas probably has planned for the new boots.

The Touch

We are purists in many ways so the Copa 19+ is a boot that, out of the gate, was going to have to hit a litany of boxes on our checklist for it to ever even have a chance. The boot needed to possess touch that was somewhere in the same realm as its namesake (a hard ask), it needed to be able to stand up against other leather options on the market, and it needed to reach the standards that can be found on all the current adidas releases. Everything about this boot before wearing it looked like it should have a premium touch, and comfort isn’t usually too far away from quality leather releases. It’s been a long time since there was a boot that we were as excited (and nervous) about testing, and we quickly discovered that there was quite a bit of magic hiding underneath those leather waves.

This boot was absolutely built to craft quality time on the ball. From the soft pillows of the forefoot to the Fusionskin on the midfoot, there isn’t a section of this boot where the ball doesn’t feel amazing at your feet. The parts near the forefoot, where you’ll be dribbling at speed, bringing the ball out of air, or hogging the ball to simply spend more time using this section of the boot are extremely cushioned, but the truth is that the look of the boot is actually deceiving. When you have the boots on, the thickness is perfect and doesn’t harm your feel for the ball in any way. Moving back to the midfoot, the boot is actually built a bit thinner and utilizes the Fusionskin to great effect.

Whenever you are passing the ball, you’re going to get some crisp feels whenever you use the instep because of the Fusionskin’s build. If you strike the ball closer to where the top of the laces would be, that thin nature gives you the crisp pop that you’re looking for when you drive through the back of the ball. It’s a top-tier experience that shows that the Copa 19+ is more than ready for its time in the spotlight. The one thing that this boot does have that some might find odd is that each section of the shoe does have a different feel. They all are impressive and it all combines for a quality boot, but it would be intriguing to see how this boot would function if it was able to give a uniform feel across the entirety of the boot.

I truly wish that I could sit here and tell you that adidas has discovered the formula for flawless laceless lockdown. However, I can actually write, with complete honesty, that this boot continues to show adidas moving in a positive direction. Will laces still get you the best lockdown? Absolutely. The Copa 19+ doesn’t have you slipping around like you’ve slipped on a cartoon banana peel, but there’s that ever-so-slight movement during extreme cuts and changes of direction that the boot has that would have you tightening the laces on any other boot. Once adidas finds the lockdown that could be with boots like this, it will be smooth sailing for all of their boots on their way to world domination.

One of the best things about modern soccer boots is that brands have made sure that your stud pattern is capable enough to allow the boots to shine without you having to worry about the traction underneath. The COPA 19+ is no different, with a set-up that allows you to always stay up on your toes, keep from slipping all over the place, and be utilized when the ground is a little bit harder or a little bit on the muddy side. It’s been built to handle the responsiveness that a boot without laces is going to need, but is going to flex to allow the boot to not feel like you’re attached to a 2×4.

When it comes to durability, there were not too many questions about the Copa during testing. The only thing that we were worried about was whether or not the leather might start to overstretch during testing. While we didn’t experience any overstretching (the boot does mold to your foot), we’ll be sure to let you guys know if we find any issues after several months with the boots.

The Feel

After we received these boots and saw our fingers immediately sink into the leather on the forefoot, we were already drooling about getting these on our feet. How could something that looked so supple in initial pictures, in the box, and in our hands not provide us with the highest level of comfort that we could possibly want? However, we know that it’s not always just about how the boots look, and giving this boot the COPA moniker meant that it better come out of the box wrapping our foot in warmth and comfort reserved for the adidas legend.

Before we get to the comfort (oh yeah, there’s comfort), let’s start with your first interaction with the boot. Unlike most of the laceless boots we’ve encountered this far, the COPA 19+ is actually a little bit tighter. You can attribute this to the low-cut collar and how snug the FusionSkin fits in the midfoot, but it isn’t something that makes the boot uncomfortable. All of that just makes it a bit harder than the other Adidas + models to slip on, but it will also translate into a high level of responsiveness and a quality fit, so we’re not too miffed about it.

Once you do slip into the driver’s seat, you do immediately notice the upper isn’t the only thing that’s soft. Completely lined in either extremely soft, synthetic suede-like material or PrimeKnit around the tops of the collar, there isn’t a part of this boot that doesn’t quickly absorb your foot in a warm embrace. As we expected, the forefoot does have a light bit of room for the leather to soften up and form to your foot, but the midfoot (all the way across the boot) is built to lock your foot in and give a proper fit without laces. There’s still lots of padding throughout, so even that tight nature isn’t hurting the comfort at all. Don’t worry about the different sections of leather that create the silhouette of this boot create an odd feel wearing the boot. You can feel the sections when you run your hand inside the boot, but it’s barely noticeable when you actually have the boots on your feet.

The soleplate on the COPA 19+ is built for responsiveness and arrives with the slight stiffness to create that. As with every modern boot that the experienced brands are releasing, it will soften up after a few uses, but we never had a moment where it was too stiff to wear. After a few sessions, everything softened up like a dream. It helped that the insole was perfectly padded to aid the soleplate in performing perfectly. If you are ordering the Copa 19+ or any boot that’s laceless, you want to make sure that you purchase the right fit as there aren’t any laces to alter the boot fresh out of the box. With that in mind, we found that the Copa 19+ fits true to size.

Who’s Wearing It

The main man for this campaign is Paulo Dybala, but there are quite a few others who are wearing the newest boot from adidas. Most notably, Toni Kroos looked destined to be drawn out of his beloved 11Pro’s, though we’ve yet to actually see the Real Madrid man finally truly give up the adiPure ghost. It will be intriguing to see what adidas players or otherwise find their way into the Copa.

Bang for Your Buck

Despite being a boot that is a ton of fun to wear and would be a welcome addition to any fan of quality boots or top-end leather options, the Copa 19+ is going to set you back somewhere around $275. Add in that you won’t be getting a string bag or any extras outside of a shoehorn, and it’s a tough sell for the traditional Copa wearer. Still, if you can catch these falling into your budget or if you can justify the price tag, you definitely will enjoy your time in the boot.

Final Verdict

The Copa 19+ is something that we had no clue that we needed, but, now that we’ve got one, we’re over the moon that adidas decided to craft this leather boot. Has adidas perfected the laceless lockdown? No, there is still no direct replacement for a boot with laces, but each iteration of sans laces boots from adidas sees them get a bit better. For the Copa 19+, it’s all about that incredibly soft kangaroo leather upper and the way adidas has transitioned the boot from heel to toe with seamless, comfortable, and quality options. History has shown that there will never be something to replace the original Copa, but the newest version of the boot can truly stand on its own as something special.

 

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