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News; LACED UP: ADIDAS X15.1 football boots

Published: Friday 07 August, 2015

The first few moments that the world experienced after being introduced to the X15 was a mixed bag of “chaos” that adidas claimed the boot to be about. With a host of players that were merely curious to see what the boot had in store, the bulk of the world seemed to still be caught up in the loss of adidas boots gone by (RIP) and unable to think that the X15 could be of any value to the boot world. A boot without any hint of adidas branding outside of the heel, the first Adidas X 15.1 FG/AG collared boot from the German brand, and another step towards an FG/AG hybrid stud-pattern, but the X seems to be carrying a little more pressure on it as many see the ACE15 as a “safer” release. The question that will be answered over the coming season is whether the X15 will bring chaos to the pitch, or just chaos to a brand attempting to reinvent themselves.


The X15 might be one of the brightest boots on the pitch as we approach the 2015/16 season, but it will not be the biggest advertisement for its parent company. With the complete absence of a logo on the side of the boot as adidas went with the X’s odd design on the instep and lateral side of the boot, fans will only notice the adidas call-out on the heel - a spot that doesn’t get a lot of air time during the world’s biggest games.


The design on the sides of the boot mask a large portion of what the boot has on offer, and we had to wait until we had the boots in hand before you can really tell what the adidas X15 is all about. Much like the ACE15, pictures gave us more questions than answers. If adidas was going for intriguing, they certainly hit their mark. Around the ankle cut, we find the new TechFit collar that gives the synthetic version its unique shape. Much in the same vein as with the ACE15, it seems that adidas is done with building up boot silos to stand almost as their own brand (i.e. Predator, adiPure, adiZero) and is now focusing on the three stripes being the main focus of their boots and advertising.


While looks, build, and comfort are big factors in the decision for many players, the biggest question is always about how a boot performs on the field. For players, the adidas X15 is going to be made for people that are look for a responsive boot, thin upper, and a locked in feeling. During testing, we really loved the clean touch we got while dribbling or zipping a pass, and the odd look of the sides of the boot (though looking somewhat thick in photos) doesn’t have a negative effect on that.


Shooting is very similar to what you would get from an older F50 or the Umbro Velocita, but the TechFit near the top of the tongue provides a slight cushion when you catch the ball higher up in the strike zone. While the boot has a central lacing system, adidas has gone with a thinner lace to make sure that the ball is unaffected during play.


Now, the biggest question that is involved with the adidas X15 is the introduction of the new TechFit collar. The first thing we found is that it has a much easier learning curve than our first few experiences with Nike's Dynamic Fit Collar, and we never really struggled to get the boot on. Coupled with the tongue, you can get a very secure and tight fit from the X15. However, the positives for the collar end there. The TechFit is so forgiving that we never really felt that it added much to the boot. We let one of our “husky” buddies try the boot on, and the collar was still fairly loose on his ankle. We like the idea Adidas Samba Primeknit FG of the shorter collar - the techfit ensures that your foot doesn’t get too hot - and it does feel like there are some added benefits in the heel area. But we can certainly see why adidas didn’t go with the collar on all their boots or on the leather version of the X, and this feels like a decent first outing that will definitely be improved upon in the future.


The build of the X15 is actually fairly familiar to many adidas fans once you get the boots in hand. Although the X15 has been given some extra bulk, the boot has many similarities with F50’s that have come and gone. The forefoot reminds us of a mix of a few F50 generations, the midfoot is built to provide the ultimate set-up to keep your foot locked in and prevent rollover, and the heel is built to accommodate the newest toy from the three stripes. A super thin tongue sits below the laces, and the TechFit collar is stitched into the boot (not seamless like the Dynamic Fit Collars).


One oddity is that, because the tongue and the collar aren’t completely attached all the way around, there are actually openings at the bottom of the TechFit at both sides of the tongue (about halfway inside the boot). We did enjoy being able to shift the tongue around to help our fit, so it didn’t change the workings of the boot, but we were expecting the collar to be locked down everywhere - much like Nike’s outings.


Where the adidas ACE15 shines in terms of out-of-the-box comfort, the X15 takes some coercing before it becomes a smooth ride. The soleplate is extremely stiff right out of the box and the material, while thin, takes a session or two before it really softens up. After our first few sessions, the boot feels great once you get the laces tightened up, and the soleplate does find a balance between being pliable enough to avoid foot pain and rigid enough to give a high level of responsiveness.


Adidas Samba Primeknit 2.0 FG Football Black/Solar Green/Multicolor