So you’re a footballer (yes, this is ⚽️ a football; follow the world) and you are into ball control, possibly a midfielder. Maybe you like elasticos? You want a boot that’s relatively light and badass looking. Maybe you play on artificial/turf fields. Well search no more and let me introduce to you to Adidas Predator Edge.3 turf shoes!
We’ll go over category by category so let’s get into it. Let’s start with the easiest:
10/10. Well, for me at least.
I got the all-white one with colour streaka. It just needs a bit of love and cleanliness every now and then. The stretchable fabric in the middle is…well, a fabric. It’ll get dirty and will probably need cleaning later on, just like the laces.
I love the colour. At first I thought it was too pale but it’s actually an awesome colour way with my kits and outfits.
Looks-wise, the laces look good when they’re flat on your boots, but it’s tough to actually keep straight/flat. First, when you loosen your laces and then you tighten it up on the next game, no matter how aligned you pull it, it just has that tendency to twist before you completely tighten your boot.
Next is, even if you manage to tighten it flat, it gets twirly when it loops after the next hole.
Functionality-wise, this is the most comfortable and practical lacing format I’ve tried so far. I have two problems with these nudged-to-the-side lacing systems.
First, I find that some nudged-to-the-side laces has a narrower space between the lace holes/where the tongue is
sometimes the tongue are actually stitched/not separate from the boot!
What ends up happening to me is that it’s hard to put my foot in and there’s no give!
If the tongue is separate, sometimes the tongue slides more to the side or to the top still, even if the lacing layout is offset already resulting in a weird look and feel.
Some laces are high up
Second, sometimes I find that boots with “side laces” have their laces very high up the boot.
Combine this with the tongue area being narrow, it becomes difficult to open up the shoe, both to put your foot in and also to give some space for your foot inside for a better feel.
Most importantly, when the laces are high, sometimes it doesn’t align with where your toes bend. This results in excruciating pain and tightness around the ball of your feet when you’re running. Combine that if the boot is made of not-stretchy upper, it then offers ZERO give.
I’ve sent back several boots already just because of this.
None of these happen with my Preds
With this pair of Preds, I didn’t have this problem. First the “tongue” is made of elastic material so it’s easy to pry it open to place my foot in. It snugs itself to the shape of my foot after. The space of that tongue area is big too. It then lies on my laces on how to secure that snug feel.
Second, I find that the material of the upper itself (it feels like it has rubber mixed in it) has give so there are lots of accommodation without making the boot too loosey-goosey.
I was actually used to Nike Mercurials so at first I found that the height of the heel was too tall. It’s not that it was chafing off of anything. You just feel it’s different and higher than Mercs. It doesn’t affect your motions or skill. In a sense there’s a mental reassurance of: less turf pebbles coming in, more padding if you get kicked there, some mental guard from rolling your ankle (that may be stretching it).
Specific to this being a turf shoe, I really, really, REALLY love that your weight is equally distributed across the shoe. This is my first turf pair and I’m loving it. Compared to FG (even MG) where if you stepped on concrete or if you’re on a thinning turf field, you can feel the pressure points on your foot. With turf shoes, oh man…that feeling is negligible with no sacrifice to turf traction.
Fit and Sizing
They say this is for wide foot people, I don’t think that’s the case (anymore?). I’m speaking at least specifically of this version number. I consider myself to be a wide foot person too, not too intense but wider than most.
I went for my size (mind you when I select sizes, I don’t even go US/UK/EU, I use centimetres) and with my size, it still felt cramped width-wise still.
The space inside
After swapping it with a size up, I had a little bit of extra space (length-wise) due to needing something wide. It’s not that I have lots of space that I can feel my socks sliding inside, but rather, it’s almost snug, there’s just a 1-2cm space from my toes to the toe box. So I only/mostly feel it when you’re doing full sprint and then you have to throttle down real fast to go the opposite direction. That abrupt stop causes your toes to slam to the toe box hard, no matter how small the space is.
The pain is maybe 2-3/10? It’s negligible for me, but maybe if you do that at least 5x (not to mention that motion is tiring) and you don’t have your toe nails tidied up, oof…
Width-wise though, it was better. There was this thing happening on my right foot. I don’t get to tie my right foot really tight actually. I don’t’ know if it’s a boot or a foot thing.
My pain problem
What happens is if I tie it too tight, my right foot gets cramped (as in it feels that my bones in the ball of my feet are being squished together and if I stand and do tip-toes, I can feel the ball of my feet clicking). This happens too if I tie it a little bit loose but shove my foot against my heel. BUT if I tie it a little bit loose and shove my foot to the toes, I have 0 problems and it’s perfect!
I’ve learned to live with it and place my foot inside accordingly. Maybe it’s due to the width of the shoe or where it folds/creases. Either way, I’m mentioning this to you to show that even if I do a full size up, it seems to be not enough. I know I can’t get any further than this or else I’ll have clown shoes and I’ll be slipping and sliding inside and tripping myself. It’s the bullet we have to bite, us wide foot people lol.
Fun fact: football shoe sizings are all messed up. The Adidas Predators are known to be "more accommodating for wide foot people" (based on experience: not exactly but yes relatively better than Mercs). Nike Mercurials are known to be mostly for narrow/long footed people. This was definitely the case when I did try to order Nike Zoom Mercurial Vapor 15 Academy TF Turf Football and tried it. I ordered for my exact foot size but it was so SMALL, both width and length, that I can't even put my foot in the boot! BUT I actually do own a Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Academy MDS MG Multi-Ground Football Boot and that one's true to size and it fits PUUURRFECTLY for me, no compromise. I know the sizing and accommodation definitely changes year by year, even if you're just comparing the same boot, style, and brand. I don't know if it makes a difference when you're comparing between surface types (e.g.: multiground vs turf shoes)
Maybe I could’ve experimented with just .5 size up but it was really cramped to begin with so I think a .5 up would’ve helped.
I’ve been using this for a year now and 0 slip n’ slide. It has cool shapes to it and traction-wise, it’s 10/10. I’ve played this with some shitty turf pitch where there are some parts that the turf black tidbits where thin and I did a lot of abrupt start/stop and this boot passed with flying colours.
Unlike FG boots especially those with chevron studs, I find that the stuff pattern’s omni-directional (e.g.: equal traction in all directions). The studs are in random patterns and directions and you might notice that it may have lesser studs than other boots, but it doesn’t mean it has lesser traction.
This being a turf shoes too with shorter “studs”, I definitely find that it’s less hooky when you’re grazing lightly on turf or grass.
This is definitely better for the knees and it gives you less worry if you’re going to accidentally do a misstep, roll your ankle or knees. The “studs” are rubber too so it’s even more forgiving if you have to accidentally press on your foot.
Compared to my multiground boots
With my MG boots, whenever I plant my foot I have to do an extra mental awareness which part of my foot should I give what pressure in order to balance myself and not roll my ankle. If you’re running on a proper turf/grass, you don’t have to worry about this since your studs just sinks in and it feels like you’re stepping on a flat surface. But surfaces are not always perfect. So when it’s not, I have to pay attention or I risk de-stabilizing myself, falling to one side, or worse, rolling my ankle.
Also with my multiground or firm ground boots, I now am extra aware and intensional when I’m running. More specifically I now have to make sure that when my step forward, my trailing foot actually dislodges and unburies itself from the turf/grass. This is due to my knee injuries. It happened too many times where you run and then change direction not realizing your trailing foot is still planted and ooooommmg. That’s where knee injuries happen.
With turf shoes, you don’t have these problems.
Control Zone Upper (rubber strips on the upper)
For this boot, it has these rubber strips running along the upper.
It is meant for you to have a rubber/grippy texture for your upper for better ball control.
And yes, control and grip it giveth indeed. I can really feel this feature and it definitely makes a big difference to your grip on the ball.
Coming from a Mercurial (minimalist speed boot with no upper traction), I can definitely feel the traction. I guess to contextualize, if I was doing keep-ups with my Mercs, I had to do an extra effort for flicking the ball for backspin. With my Preds, I probably just need to do 30% effort of how I did it with my Mercs otherwise it will be too much backspin.
If I’m doing an elastico with my Mercs, I had to do the extra effort to “cup” the ball with my inside foot just in case the ball is doing too fast so it doesn’t roll past me. With my Preds, the forward half of your boot is just covered with traction so a little contact and nudge with the ball and you can easily affect the direction of the ball.
For the upper in general (not just the traction strips), I find it useful since it offers more thickness and material to it. It doesn’t add noticeable weight and at the same time it adds padding for when someone inevitably steps on you with their studs.
Added bonus to the traction
The added bonus to this upper that not a lot of people mention is that, it actually adds padding/cushion to your boot. I don’t think this feature of the boot adds considerable weight to it as well.
It’s nice that when you blast the ball, it definitely softens the force on your foot (without affecting the power of the shot/pass)
Given it’s price (~$120CAD) and what I get from it, I’m definitely happy with it. I get some cool features (compared to top-of-the-lines) but most importantly I get the stability and reliability I need.
I’m definitely staying around this price range. I’ve bought the 60-80CAD entry level boots. Those are definitely perfect especially when I just entered the sport, but now it just feels too thin and flimsy for my liking.
At the same time, I don’t think I’m pro enough yet to warrant the $350+CAD boots.
I like it, both in looks and in function. I think it’s good value for money. In the future, I would continue to buy more Preds now most likely even though I like Mercurials. It just fits better with what I want to play (midfield) andI assume the future sizing will still work for me later.
They say the best boot is the boot that fits you well and this one definitely does (with that little caveat above) and it lets me play successfully. 8/10.