First Impressions: adidas Predator Freak

A few cosmetic updates to the popular Predator line.

It’s been a year since the adidas Predator 20 launched to much fanfare. The highly anticipated boot had the looks to leave tongues wagging with the Demonskin spikes the centrepiece of the entire boot.

The Predator 20 added so much more aggression and grip with those spikes that players had to modify their technique to play with that much grip. We loved that adidas created the grippiest football boot ever made. With the Predator 21, renamed the Predator Freak, launching as a cosmetic update, let’s take a look at what has changed.

A new name

You would have noticed that adidas has been changing its naming convention with their boots. For the past few years, they have had their model names represent the silo and the year of its release (Predator 19/Predator 20 etc.) Because of a 2 year product life span, this has put pressure on adidas to launch small/minimal updates for the sake of keeping its model names fresh. The Copa 19/20 and the Predator 18/19 had almost no changes compared to its previous year predecessors.

  • adidas predator freak soccer cleats football boots

With recent models, we’ve seen adidas slowly pulling back on the year of launch and instead, just stick to the name of the silo. Case in point, the recent Nemeziz refresh is now just the adidas Nemeziz, which each different takedown names attached to each model (Nemeziz +, Nemeziz .1, Nemezis .2 and so on).

It seems the Predator 21, like models of old, is going to get a fresh new name – the Predator Freak. I’m not sure whether that’s a name I can warm up to especially when there have been much punchier names like “Mania, Accelerator and Lethal Zones” coming before it. Or maybe I’m just a little too old to appreciate a name like “Freak” in my boots.

New collar and spikes on the adidas Predator Freak

While we don’t expect to see massive changes to this version of the Predator, the Freak does come with some nifty upgrades. The collar, for one, looks to alleviate an issue many have with “sock” boots. The mid-cut variants on the Predator Freak + and .1 models the tongue and collar slightly split to allow for a wider opening to slide your foot in.

I definitely approve of this tweak though I’ll choose the low cut variant any day of the week as I still prefer my boots that way.

adidas also made some changes to the Demonskin spikes. They seem to be slightly larger (to my eye at least) but are more spread out across that upper. They now stretch to the lateral side of the boot for a more generous distribution of grip across the entire boot surface. You can even find these spikes on the lace area of the adidas Predator Freak + model which is a nice touch.

One upgrade I’m actually looking forward to is on the fit of the boot. The Predator 20 would have easily been our boot of the year in 2020 if not for its oddly shaped fit – a toe box and heel that is just too large and a midfoot that is too narrow. We’ve not tried on the adidas Predator Freak but we hope adidas makes the necessary changes to its cut to make a very good boot one of the best ever.

A fresh new freak

I think the adidas Predator Freak looks to be a fresh update to the wildly popular adidas Predator 20. It’s not a radical change but one that keeps customers interested for the rest of 2021.

Is there something you’re expecting with the new Predator? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll get to your queries if and when we get a set for a playtest.

adidas Predator Freak + FG

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