adidas Predator Instinct 2014 Football Boot Review
The adidias Predator football boot is probably THE boot of the last 20 years. Yes, 20 years! Originally launched in 1994, the original predator was made famous by no other than David Beckam and was the must have boot for all of us when we were at school. To mark the 20th anniversary, the latest incarnation has been developed and released, hoping to push technology and boundaries like its predaccessor all those years ago. The adidas Predator Instinct is all new for 2014, so we laced them on and put them to the test.
Pulling the new Predator Instincts out of the box, you will be hard pressed to find a player who does’t like the look. We were surprised, yet delighted with the aesthetics of the boot, it looks and feels like a predator again. The use of the iconic black/white/red is superb and the famous 3 stripes are back on the boot towards the heel and just like on the predator manias the stripes elegantly flow onto the sole of the boot which is visual through the new transparent sole plate.
The Sole Plate
This is one of the big changes with the new predator instinct, the new outsole is transparent and comes with much improved flexibility in the forefoot. The predator had previously been designed with the ‘sprintframe’ on the sole, which made it feel very stiff and had an unnatural feel whilst playing. This is a stark contrast to the new ‘Control Frame’ as the replacement and the boot instantly feels more responsive and has eliminated that area of stiffness. The new design is slightly wider but still offers the snug fit that the previous model possessed.
The traction on the boot is very similar to previous versions and is still very effective. We have tested this pair on natural surfaces as well as artificial turf and have been impressed with the traction that they provide whilst still maintaining a snug fit.
Straight out of the box, the Instincts are very comfortable and didn’t need a huge amount of wearing in. You could instantly start pinging the ball about the park and dribbling around in them without issue. There are lots of factors which make this boot very comfortable but one of the main ones has to be the new style tongue. On the underside of the top end there is a velcro-like material which the top of the boot to grip to your sock, locking the tongue in place and preventing slide over while playing. The upper part of the boot is made from extremely soft Hybrid LS synthetic which has that leather softness whilst maintaining it’s strength, more water resistant and also a lot lighter.
The ventilation of the boot was not a problem and again was perhaps improved without leather,even playing 90 minutes on artificial feet did not start to burn up and dispersed the heat well.
The weight of the boot made it feel more like a Predator than the previous model. This boot is surprisingly light for a comfort boot, but does still possesses the ability to move sharply when playing, especially in midfield when needing to intercept passes and quickly bursting onto a 1-2 in an attacking position. They don’t have a heavy lethargic feel that can be found in some comfort boots that seem to just carry extra weight. The weight and design has improved the overall stability as well as being able to withstand a tackle.
As the Predator Instinct is dubbed a control football boot, the new pass-zone which is found on the instep of both boots has been enlarged. It now covers a larger part of the boot and is designed to aid in accuracy of passing and cushion the first touch on the instep. The new feature isn’t something that you will notice during game time or that is going to dramatically improve your playing style but the concept of it is fitting for the type of boot and it certainly will not worsen your performance.
Another standout feature of the new predator instinct is the improved ‘lethal zones’. The new design increases the friction between the boot and the ball which will provide more control, curve and accuracy. The new design has these particular areas more raised which offers the ability to strike the ball with more accuracy, control and power.
Despite the Predator becoming more of a control boot in recent years, the new Instincts still provide a solid shooting platform. Whenever you have confidence in a boot you want to striking the ball about as soon as you lace them up, and this boot gives you that confidence. The signature predator rubber panels have been increased in size to make striking the ball even more enjoyable, and whilst we didn’t see a dramatic improvement in the accuracy, you certainly feel a little more when connecting with the ball enabling you to strike more aggressively to create that extra power.
This was the same for when whipping the ball into the box, with the grip feature surrounding the soleplate on the boot it helps to generate that curve but with a little more confidence and power than you normally would.
adidas Predator Instinct 2014 Football Boot Review Summary
The new adidas Predator for 2014 has come on leaps and bound in development from the LZ and has become a boot suitable for all players/positions. This boot is light but has still maintained the perfect balance of comfort and performance. For us, it ticks all the boxes and we would recommend this boot to anyone that prides themselves on the first touch, retention of the ball and the ability to really work the keeper, so if you are in the market for a new pair of boots I would instinctively go out and purchase the all new ‘predator instinct’.