It has become almost a tired cliché at this point, but the modern leather boot is arguably the toughest space to exist in right now, to the point that two of the biggest three brands have thrown in the towel and given up on natural leather boots in the name of “sustainability”. Despite this, adidas have persevered, launching the new Copa Pure 2, their 2023 take on the legendary Copa Mundial.
The modern Copa silo has been the very definition of a mixed success, with very high highs such as the Copa 19 and 20+, and less convincing lows with the Copa Sense which was alright, but lost a lot of the Copa’s soul.
With the adidas Copa Pure 2, adidas have gone back to the basics, following much of what the Copa Pure 1 was, but with some tweaks with one direction in mind – comfort.
New upper pattern, same luxurious Fusionskin
When the adidas Copa Pure 2 first launched, my football boot group chat burst to life with one theme – “It’s surely the return of the adiPure!” The adidas Copa Pure 2 has a much cleaner looking forefoot, with a pattern that reminiscent of arguably the best modern leather boot adidas has made – the aforementioned adiPure 1.
The adidas Copa Pure 2 also puts an end to the laceless model, which was a bit of a shame for us considering how incredibly good the Copa 19 and 20+ laceless were.
In its place, the + model now has a one piece construction with a Primeknit collar and tongue that’s further secured with laces. The .1 model continues what the Pure 1 started with a traditional u-throat construction, but with a more padded heel, akin to what many pros customize their boots to have.
The adidas Copa Pure 2 is all about comfort, comfort, comfort
As a leather boot aficionado, I’ve come to expect out of box comfort as a given. But despite having worn some of the best leather boots on the market, I continue to be surprised at how comfortable the adidas Copa Pure 2.1 fit out of the box on my feet. I went true to size in my usual US9 and my feet felt like they were in a warm hug despite being a tad bit snug.
As you would expect, touch on the ball was excellent, with that nice velvety padded feel on the ball when it comes to controlling and passing the ball. You also get a satisfying oomph when striking the ball hard, with the thicker upper taking away much of the sting of the ball.
Run the midfield in the adidas Copa Pure 2
Here at BOOTHYPE, we’re not fans of the whole “boots by positioning” spiel, but even I had to acknowledge that the boot’s characteristics shines brighter in certain play styles. When I played my usual game as a defensive midfielder or a box-to-box midfielder, my touch and passing felt enhanced by the padding and comfort of the boot.
I was also happy to scrap into my robust tackles thanks to how protective it felt.
On the flip side, when I did a job on the wing as a left winger and then a left back, I started to feel some of the weaknesses of the boot. The lockdown wasn’t bad, but I could definitely feel that bit of sloppiness and sluggishness when trying to make quick cuts – a trait reminiscent of the legendary Copa Mundial as well.
And in many regards, it really does feel like a modern Copa Mundial, with all its strengths and weaknesses. A nice comfortable, and padded upper that trades off on aggressive lockdown and responsiveness.
Get the HG tooling for multi-ground use
The adidas Copa Pure 2 continues to carry the Lightweight TORSIONFRAME tooling that’s adapted from the Nemeziz Line. The half-moon shaped studs provide a nice aggressive grip on natural grass, but I did find them on the longer side for AG surfaces.
Instead, we went with the HG (hard ground) tooling which has a more traditional conical stud pattern that will work on both natural and AG surfaces.
What’s next for natural leather boots?
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed at the general trend of brands moving away from natural leather in general.
While that creates space for boutique brands like Mizuno and Adler to carve out their own identity as having expert leather craftsmanship, but there’s also that danger of what we saw with mobile phones, where brands moved away from a headphone jack after Apple led the way on that front.
I really enjoyed the adidas Copa Pure 2, I can’t help but wonder what its role is in the current adidas line up. I love the comfort and padded-ness of the boot, but could that not be something that’s built into their Gloro silo instead?
The Gloro comes in at a more affordable price-point that appeals to the type of no-nonsense player who’d go for such a leather boot.
In today’s market where much is expected from brands to constantly innovate, perhaps adidas could consider retiring the Copa silo, or making it into a more budget friendly silo replacing the Gloro.
A full leather option could instead be part of limited-edition packs that feature on their other silos, the X and the Predator. This would retain the mystique of leather and comfort, without over burdening the brand to constantly update and innovate on a leather silo.
A win-win situation for both leather lovers like myself who still want to experience the latest technologies, while keeping things fresh for the next generation. And ultimately, it relieves adidas of the burden of having to over-complicate their leather line.