What can we say about the adidas Predator that hasn’t already been said? Now in it’s twentieth year, adidas most storied football boot range has undergone a superlative overload in the last few months as adidas have turned up the style to celebrate the ‘Pred’.
It’s just as well, then, that the new Predator Instinct is living up to that legacy, making it’s own mark in adidas history as a superb boot in it’s own right.
The Instinct, of course, follows up the Lethal Zones – a concept which, despite being a solid boot, did seem to divide opinion a little. A narrow, form-fitting boot, the LZ felt a bit none-traditional in terms of the Predator.
Old-School fans, then will be pleased to hear the the fit has been evolved again on the new Predator Instinct; Finding a sweet-spot somewhere between the wider, softer fit of boots like the Predator PowerSwerve with that control-enhancing lower-profile fit.
That said, there are a few quirks with the fit, too. The new ControlFrame creates a more rigid toebox, with a more ‘pinched’ shape. If you found the Lethal Zones boots to be a snug fit, or generally that the toes on a lot of boots are snug in this area, then you might want to consider going up half a size as we have chosen to do.
But that fit is well worth experimenting for – the adidas Predator Instinct is a wonder of tactile ball feel teamed with the flexibility to let your foot do what it needs to.
The Hybridtouch upper feels thinner this time out, but is cleverly augmented with velcro in the heel and tongue to keep the foot where it needs to be inside the boot.
The new Predator elements are a real step-up too. The Instinct’s design and layout of these key pieces of tech finally feel like the finished article of the Lethal Zones concept.
Responsive and ideally placed, there’s a convincing level of grip and traction between boot and ball, without being in any way intrusive, there’s a genuine feel of bit on the ball when passing and receiving.
In terms of the new features on the boot, thePredator Instinct’s new Control Frame doesn’t make a difference worth noting on our feet, but the welded-gel pass-pad on the instep is a killer new app, with a decent level of ‘ping’ on the ball when making passes and through-balls.
With a design based on the SprintFrame of the last generation, adidas’ new Predator continue to have excellent traction, with the slightly tweaked layout providing minimal stud pressure, comfort and grip on the green stuff.
Stability is also a by-product of the soleplate, and that pays dividends in the striking department. As expected, the Instinct’s side-offset lacing and purpose-built stile-zone team up to make for a wonderful area to ping shots and set-pieces from.
All in all, the adidas Predator Instinct’s headline changes aren’t all that much to write home about, but the continued refinement of the Predator formula in a post K-leather era has resulted in a raft of smaller changes that you won’t see on any tech-sheet or press release… but you’ll definitely feel on your foot.