BOOTHYPE.com gets up close with the Predator 20 at its global launch in Singapore.
The online leaks have been circulating weeks but that didn’t dampen our spirits when we finally caught a glimpse of the adidas Predator 20 in person at Weston Corp, Vivocity on 17 January. A big kudos to Weston Corp and adidas Singapore for staging a kick ass event and bringing back all the iconic Predators of yesteryear. It was a big shame that they missed out on my favourite Predator Pulse but I’d settle for the appearance of the likes of the Predator Mania, adiPower and Instinct.
Bringing back the aggression
Many old-school fans of the Predator were divided on the relaunch of the brand with the adidas Predator 18. It looked like a beast but as many claimed, it was a beast without its fangs as it only had a full knitted upper. Nostalgia dictated that the adidas Predator needed to bring back its classic rubber zones that traditionally helped with grip, control and adding a little spin when hit just right.
With the adidas Predator 20, the three stripes is showing the finger to the haters with the return of the rubber elements – specifically in the form of 406 rubber spikes all across the boot.
From a distance, the Predator 20 carries the same silhouette as its predecessor. The sleek lines and modern look remain but adidas has added a feral and animalistic touch to the design. The “sock” is now much taller, especially around the Achilles heel area, in somewhat exaggerated fashion. The upper is still made from adidas’ Primeknit though it feels more raw to the touch – something I really liked in another one of their boots, the adidas X18.1. The soleplate’s also been switched out and it’s now carrying the same one as the adidas Nemeziz 19 – a split sole design with a mix of rounded and oval-shaped studs.
We can’t talk about the adidas Predator 20 without discussing the spikes. Gone are the ribbed textures across the upper in place of numerous “rubber spikes” that adorn the upper. It covers the entire instep and forefoot while it peppers the lower areas of the lateral part of the boot. The spikes also make an appearance on the external heel counter. It’s a bit over the top but I guess adidas really wants to add some oomph to your back heels.
To the touch, they were really rubbery which I know will go a long way to provide an exceptional amount of grip and possibly rivalling the Nike PhantomVSN 2 for the grippiest texture on a football boot.
This return to the “rubber zones” will go down well with old-school fans who love the idea of bending it like Beckham but I am genuinely curious how the spikes will look like after many hours of playtime. Let’s just hope they still look as aggressive after some wear and tear though the big question on many of our followers’ lips have been, “Will the spikes drop off”?
I can’t say for sure but knowing adidas’ worksmanship, they’re bound to last you for some time. Still, there’s only one way to find out and it’s to run it through a play test.
We’ve got ourselves a review set from the good people of adidas and we’ll be testing it over the coming weeks. Until then, follow us on Instagram to follow our journey with the adidas Predator 20 as we take them through the paces.