adidas mashes the adizero and X Ghosted into one amazing package
Despite not getting as much love as adidas would probably have wanted, the limited-edition Predator Archive was my boot of the year. I absolutely loved the story behind it, how they gathered two of the biggest Predator collectors on Instagram and gave them free rein to create their love letter to the Predator silo.
For this same reason, I’m giving big props to adidas for their F50 adizero remakes. Instead of just selecting one colourway, or one generation of F50 adizero to remake, they reached out to six of the biggest retailers in the world – Pro Direct Soccer, Unisport, Niky’s Sports, Futbol emotion, 11teamsports and Soccer.com to recreate any F50 adizero from the past.
Interestingly, despite the respective designs belonging exclusively to the retailers, adidas Singapore had a limited drop of the F50 Ghosted Adizero in Neon Pink which was meant for Soccer.com. And so when the clock struck midnight, I braved an annoying bout of stomach flu to snag a pair in my size.
A gorgeous box for a beautiful F50 adizero
adidas have always developed great packaging for their limited edition models and this definitely continues the high standards they’ve set in recent years. The clever use of an F50 cut out to allow the pink and blue graphics on the inside to peek through and break up the monotony of a black box was an inspired move. On the front of the box you see the adidas/soccer.com logo, signifying this to be soccer.com’s exclusive.
All in all, one of the nicest boxes around, and if not for that amazing dragon egg box that came with my adidas Dragon Predator 20+, this would have been the best boot box I’ve had the pleasure of owning. I was slightly disappointed though that this did not come with a custom designed string bag. A beautiful football boot like the F50 Ghosted Adizero deserves a custom string bag.
Painted for war
Fresh off a very successful 2013-14 season where the F50 adizero topped the goal scoring charts in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Premier League AND the World Cup, the Neon Pink F50 adizero was launched for 2014-15. The boot utilised the “Battle Pack” graphics, adidas design language for their silos during the 2014 World Cup that was inspired by the warpaint of native warriors and the iconic pavement patterns of ancient Mesopotamia. adidas switched out the white and black colours for a coat of bright neon pink and blue for this colourway.
As a boot nerd, it strikes me as a strange decision to pick this Neon Pink design, instead of the much more iconic Battle Pack, which took the 2014 World Cup by storm. I would have loved to have seen the classic white and black design with a fierce orange warpaint pattern remade instead. Or better yet, the remake could have taken inspiration from Lionel Messi’s signature colourway from that Pack, which featured extra blue elements to honour his Argentinian heritage.
The best of F50 adizero and X Ghosted
When news of the F50 adizero remakes first leaked, this soccer.com remake was the boot I had my eyes on, and for good reason. While I’d loved the X Ghosted.1 Speedframe tooling (that’s the technical term for soleplate), its narrow fit and less forgiving upper meant that I was never quite able to enjoy it fully. Enter the Hybridtouch upper – adidas’ (very successful if I may add) attempt at creating a synthetic leather upper.
I was extremely hopeful that the more pliable and comfortable Hybridtouch upper would combine with the Speedframe tooling into one amazing package and boy, worked like a treat. Despite the boot following the tooling’s narrower fit, the forgiving and soft Hybridtouch upper moulded easily to my feet. 15 minutes into my first training session in the boot the boot began to feel one with my feet and that’s when the magic began.
I’ve raved about the Speedframe tooling previously, so I’ll keep it short. This is the best soleplate available in the market right now if your game is all about speed. The lift in the tooling, combined with the carbitex insert, means that you get an extremely efficient sprint, with the tooling forcing your foot back into the optimum landing position to begin another sprint.
Combined with the Hybridtouch upper which has that goldilocks balance of light padding and close touch, the F50 Ghosted Adizero is adidas’ best boot at the moment, and arguably the best speed boot around.
The balanced upper also means that you get an immaculate touch and feel of the ball, giving me the confidence to pull of those Messi-like dribbles where he takes many quick touches of the ball to quickly turn and spin defenders. I’ve sorely missed the Hybridtouch upper and while I’ve enjoyed my fair share of knit and mesh-based uppers, I do hope adidas brings back the Hybridtouch upper, especially on the Nemeziz silo.
The F50 Adizero was the right boot to remake
Making limited edition boots is never an easy task. Despite the Dragon Predator and the Predator Archive objectively being some of the most innovative boots produced in the market, they never quite flew off the shelves in the same way that the X99.1g and the Predator Remakes did. It proves that nostalgia is still the most efficient route to sell a limited-edition boot.
Or maybe there’s another route instead. My favourite sub-story of this entire F50 remake series was the Unisport remake. Instead of just plonking on a straight one-to-one upper, JayMike and the Unisport team went the extra mile, combining the OG chameleon upper with that iconic Crazylight colourway into one incredibly mad-looking, yet strangely gorgeous mish-mash of a boot that sold out almost instantly.
This was followed up by the boot community’s collective interest in the North London derby where Son Heung Min opened the scoring in the boots with an absolute peach of a goal. You could feel the outburst of joy of every boot head when he had that magical moment in those boots.
And for me that’s the magic of this “Memory Lane” pack. It’s the story of adidas bringing boot nerds and various partners together to appreciate one of the most iconic silos of all time.
More of these collabs please, adidas.