ADIDAS X 16.1 FG VAPOUR Colourway-Green/Black Test - Wet Grass

The new Adidas X 16.1 FG Vapour Greencore Black Colourway
is designed to bring an unusual look and a form of chaos to the
pitch with its unusual look and the more down looking colours
that are becoming more favoured by players instead of the pinks
and neon greens that were once popular some years ago. The
Viper Pack is the latest 2nd Generation Adidas X model. This
shoe is designed for a snug fit and has a new and unique bottom
plate on the adidas X 16.1, this shoe is suitable for playing on
natural grass as well as artificial surface. The space frame with
high torsional strength makes this shoe for optimum maneuverability and helps a player turn and move when playing soccer. Unexpected and fast movement is designed to be absorbed fully and properly when putting the boot against the grass surface. The Adidas X 16.1 includes the new TechFit Collar technology which makes sure the shoe and a sock on the foot combine as one. The top layer of the Adidas X 16.1 includes a ridge structure which Adidas terms Zerotex which is a nonstop grip (NSG). This Zerotex provides grip in all weather conditions at high speeds and the synthetic upper layer of two micro layers makes for a great fit and perfect touch especially when striking the ball.  ​This boot gives the similar appearance of one of the new age of concealed lace or  laceless boots but due to the almost snakeskin like colour and texture the laces are not highlighted and the look just seems understated in a similar way that people buy adidas world cups or puma kings, the boots exude quiet quality in both design and performance even when used on a soaking wet pitch such as this. Despite the mud build up on the pitch, grip was excellent as well as being impervious to clogging on the stud configuration, in a way the soleplate seems to feature a No Mud technology very much like the lauded Australian Nomis boots that have been reviewed elsewhere on this site. Perfect striking of the ball saw clean purchase when addressing the ball and passing and holding the ball was good. Overall, they may be expensive but they are a well made boot (they should be for the price!) and anyone receiving them will be chuffed.

​Players - Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)
RRP €250


ADIZERO F50 FG Mi Coach Colourway-Red/Yellow/White Test - Dry Grass

​​Adidas have brought us the adiZero F50 miCoach boots, an intelligent boot that incorporates a small receptacle in the bottom of the soleplate that can accommodate their small mi-coach microchip. This interactive device featuring miCoach technology has transformed the F50 football boot into a computerized training aid that lets you now track and upload your performance data which includes such stats as speed and maximum speed, the number of sprints, distance covered and also distance covered at very high intensity levels and it also records the times achieved. The mi-Coach Speed Cell has an on board memory that stores info during games and can then wirelessly transmit the data to your tablet, PC or MAC. But that's the technology which is very interesting but what about the boots? This boot even taking out the micro chip speed cell is packed full of technology featuring Adidas's SprintWeb, SprintSkin, SprintFrame and also an all new stud configuration that gives an excellent pressure free stability with the boot being one of the lightest on the market. When tested the boot was extremely comfortable upon first fitting and as stated before despite its lightness the boot felt secure and in the tackle gave a certain amount of protection, however this boot will undoubtedly be one for the speed merchants and wont feature to high on the list of wants for a centre half! Turning was very good with the stud layout contributing to a quick change of foot when needed and although it was a dry day we bet that they will perform exactly the same in the wet. Passing was crisp and efficient with the instep but we did find a tendency for shooting the ball to sometimes veer of a bit wildly until we got to know the boot and its ideal sweetspot location. Good quality provides a high price tag also if bought with the chip but these boots are an all round excellent performer that will turn heads constantly.

Players - Messi (Barca) Luis Suarez (Barca) Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
RRP €250


ACE 15.4 FG (ADIDAS) ​ Colourway-White/Silver/Black ​Test - Wet Grass

The Adidas Ace 15 Football Boots are the ALL NEW latest Adidas football boots collection with the boots coming in 4 versions from the top end 15.1 down to the more affordable 15.4's. The 15.4's which we tested here are a synthetic version. The latest splurge from the company tells us that this boot is for ball control merchants and features the an all-new Totalskin synthetic upper with a 3D Control Web and Non Stop Grip for total control in all weather conditions no less but thats if you have the top of the range 15.1. The 15.4 version has a sort of version of this superficially anyway so it was with this in mind we brought them out on an extremely bad wet & windy day in the back of beyond to test them out!!! Brrrrrr....
The Upper features connected little dots like a spiders web all over the upper of the new Adidas Ace 15.4 for enhanced grip. The sole plate features a mixed FG / AG sole with shorter looking studs designed to give more stud control when standing on the ball for foot rollovers etc. The Adidas Ace 15.4 Boot is the budget version of the 15.1 and on the wet pitch the traction on the sole was a lot better than we thought despite the studs configuration and design really being for HG or AG (Artificial Ground), the upper although relatively thicker than its more illustrious cousins in the range also gave a good account in tackling and protecting the foot at all times. Striking the ball did seem to give some feel of grip and zip and its a testament to the boot that we didn't seem to have any problems when pinging the ball in our 20 meter pass test along the wet bobbling ground. Even though mammy will kill us the predominantly white boot was actually quite white when we finished with the laces maybe needing a wee bit of a clean! A special word here just goes to show that you do not have to be spending four times the amount to purchase the 15.1 version as its certainly not four times better, perhaps a little better for those boot aficionados out there but we were happy with this offering as it stood up for budget boots in all of our testing.

​​ACE Players - Mesut Özil (Arsenal) James Rodríguez (Real Madrid)
RRP €40
Comfort 7/10 Quality 8/10 Performance 9/10 Rarity 6/10


BASARA 101 MIJ (MIZUNO) HAND CRAFTED K LEATHER Colourway-Blue/Black Test - 4G Wet


 The Mizuno boot is the second instalment of their speed boot, 

and boasts a hand crafted style for each pair, maybe not like the Italian Pantofolo D'Oro boot but each pair does get a level of scrutiny unheard of in a mass production model, as such

they attract a premium price. When Mizuno put this boot together they knew it was going to be something special from the premium Kangaroo soft leather to the soleplate everything

oozes quality from the boot. The Basara may not be a household name but it is the lightest Mizuno boot released to date and that did increase our expectation from our tests. When worn for the first time they feel a snug fit and it does take a few periods of training to loosen them up despite the softness of the leather as there is not much stretch across the forefoot but once you get used to them they perform really really well. The test on the upper found the leather to give a superb touch with the ball despite the thinness of the leather this was a benefit as the extra stitching will also help the durability of the boot in the long run. The upper moves like a glove when running and turning and as you strike the ball the K-leather cushions the ball to provide better touch and control. There is a natural feel through the midfoot and the tongue is built in on the inner side which does create a more constricted fit through the upper but it overall works very well with the lacing system which helps lock your foot into place through wear. Traction wise the 101 soleplate is exceptional in terms of beauty, almost looking like diamonds the advanced D-Flex Groove system which is a diagonal groove in the midfoot area that allows the player to turn at maximum speed and power by efficiently transferring natural body movement and shift in direction. So there as Mizuno say! The grooves allow for the studs to get more grip on the ground and as the boot is designed to flex on the middle of the forefoot rather than on the instep the FG configuration easily adapts to the ground perfectly. The conical studs and their diamond structure provided evenly distributed pressure and good traction through sharp turns and this made our day in terms of boot performance. In summary this Mizuno boot is engineered by using incredibly high quality materials and craftsmanship and weighs only 7oz per boot and really could turn out to be a classic.

MIZUNO PLAYERS - Dmitri Kombarov (Spartak Moscow) Erik Paartalu (Melbourne City)

RRP €300


BombaX IC (NIKE) Indoor Futsal Colourway-Black/Photo Blue/Wolf Grey Test - Wood Floor


These indoor football shoes have been designed and engineered by American manufacturer Nike to make a player feel comfortable and to give an excellent touch in the ever demanding world of indoor sports. The BombaX Indoor boot which incidentally is a name derived from the Portuguese slang meaning 'big shots' features a lightweight, synthetic leather which has been made with a specialized rubber 

compound for the soleplate especially designed for the smaller sided 

games such as five a side and the ever growing sport of Futsal. The shoe/boot provides a larger ball striking area and it features lacing system that is popular with a lot of boots these days. This is designed to give a more precise pass and shoot experience for the player who benefits form a die cut EVA sockliner and patented Phylon heel wedge which is also designed to give you cushioning when turning and running or putting pressure on the back of the foot were blisters can occur. 

The Nike BombaX has a distinctive look with lots of perforations on the tongue that allow the foot to breathe, there is also extra stitching on the toe to provide extra durability. The test was a 7 a-side Futsal game that saw a lot of running and perspiration but we found the upper gave a great touch with the protection afforded by the heel wedge and sockliner giving a lightweight, low-profile cushioning which we thought worked really well in the test. Traction was also excellent with the rubber outsole providing stability and low profile traction that is very much required on indoor surfaces. Striking the ball with the lacing system was really good and passing was spot on with a cushioned effect that protected the toes easily enough, with these boots turning was definitely aided by the soleplate and they should come highly recommended after they passed all of our tests with flying colours.​

Nike Futsal Players - JAKOV GRCIĆ (CROATIA) ROBINHO (RUSSIA but is brazilian born but not that one!)

RRP €60 


BIX (BIKKEMBERGS) - 6 Studded Soleplate Colourway-Blue/White/Silver Test - Very Wet Gra


These have to be one of the most unusual boots on the market, not in 

terms of the structure or technology contained in the boot but in the 

boots origins. In 1996, the Bikkembergs fashion label which had been more interested in the world of fashion focused on football. Dirk Bikkembergs began to design kit & boots for his own sponsored Italian team FC Fossombrone. Bikkembergs Bix football boots are an unusually styled boot and come in 12 moulded or 6 screw in stud options. They are made from the increasingly popular Kangaroo leather which gives durabilty and good touch and don't come cheap! In the test the leather was extremely water repellent and the weight of the boot didn't unduly increase. The Bikkembergs emblazoned lacing cover gave a clean strike of the ball and a more traditional leather tongue, with the elastic band attached wrapped the bottom of the foot giving a secure fit. Even the design of the boot which features an almost metallic silk screen in the circular design of the boot gives enhanced ball control due to the grip print which believe it or not seemed to have similar properties to the adidas predators although these boots manufacturers wont scream it from the rooftops. As for fit they were extremely comfortable with an almost glove style feel and even include a rubberized heel protector designed to eliminate blisters and an inner lining made of antibacterial nylon to stop smell!! An unusual boot that is one of the most striking on the market and certainly one of the more exclusive if you can find them or even buy them. 

Although not mainstream the Bix is certainly a talking point and has to be one of the rarest boots available it does however perform well under very stressful wet conditions and includes a good mix of the more traditional with a modern design. Protection for the foot is enhanced with the tongue for the metatarsals and they are a good solid boot unlike some of the speed merchant boots around today. Although we are loath to put boots into a category to compartmentalize what certain types of players should buy these boots were certainly excellent in passing and we did feel that the control the test player had on the ball as well as the feel of the ball was excellent and we were impressed by this almost unheard of boot (to the mass market).

BIKKEMBERGS Players-Ludovic Giuly (Barca/PSG) Dario Dainelli (Genoa) Paolo Cannavaro (Napoli)





 The Nike CTR360 Maestri first launched in early 2010 but has now been discontinued (NOOOOOOOO!), the

name “Maestri” is Italian for "master" and we cannot believe that the 3rd generation boot will be the last in the series. The boot features the excellent quality Kanga-Lite material and has foam control pads to increase touch and power whilst playing. The laces 

are asymmetrical (out of the way!) to increase the sweetspot area on the boot. The K leather is the next gen kanga-lite with ACC technology and has a moulded EVA sockliner with Poron inserts to reduce stud pressure

and give extra support to the arch and heel. The outsole has a geometric design for 360 degree movement, this 

boot is made for passing and is the top of the range boot complimenting the Trequartistas and the Libretto as the three tiers (although an Elite CTR360 is also available making it a 4 tier boot).​ 

​The boot on fitting was very comfortable and light weight and with the new redesigned pass and control zone and a fresh stud configuration the boots make over seems to have got the thumbs up from the tester. The double layer of stitching that runs across the forefoot oozed quality and had a snug fit, the Control Zone gave an added control element with the pads actively cushioning the ball and it produced a very natural feel and on passing there was a distinctive bounce from the ball. Traction was good on the 4G pitch with the new stud configuration and the All Conditions Control (ACC) concept was appreciated with a brief shower which didn't hinder ball control one eyeota when the going got tough. They even gave a good bit of flexibility and stretch through the upper when running and agility was really really good even on a 4G plastic pitch but once again they run a bit small, for Nike that's a bit odd as the American brand tend to be a generous fit normally anyway. The Maestri's are built to last like the first and second generation boot and durability is very good and should last a full season or more which is always a bonus for most players or the people buying them which is not always the same thing. Altogether the boot passed with flying colours in all departments such as shooting, passing, protection and traction and we feel its a sad end perhaps to a great boot, I understand why boot companies move on but surely this boot still has a future in an ever expanding boot market.

​Nike Players - Andres Iniesta (BARCA) Joe Allen (LIVERPOOL)

​RRP €150 


CR-7 (MERCURIAL VAPOR X) Colourway-Black/White/Blue Test - Dry Grass


The new NIKE CRISTIANO RONALDO 7 BOOT is a shimmering and very bouncy Black, White, and not normal but Hyper Turquoise. Did we say that the 

new boot features a shimmering effect on the mainly black upper and the outsole, in fact its a sparkly homage to Mr Ronaldo and his rather more showy 

lifestyle which highlights the fact that Cristiano is a bit flamboyant himself. The boot is part of the Nike 2014 CR Gala Collection, which will include several different football products with a similar black design. The trademarked CR7 is emblazoned on the side of the boot and with the White Nike swoosh this is indeed a nice looking almost understated boot despite its sparkles! In our test pair the blue Mercurial logo is part of the boot heel. The stud configuration on the soleplate includes four studs at the back of the boot and six light blue studs to aid traction and the lightweight boot certainly aids sprinting from standing starts. With the sleek lines of the boot fitting snugly on the foot we proceeded to run at full pelt, twisting and turning at regular intervals. These tests were designed to test the lightweight fabric, a bit similar to the Puma V1.06's we were determined to see if these were durable and just didn't rip apart, after being disappointed in trying to rip them we actually ended up being impressed as they stood up to any rigours we put them through. Shooting the ball and passing was cushioned by the fabric, also receiving the ball felt light and it was actually quite re-assuring cushioning the ball on the instep. Overall a good unusual type boot which may or may not be to everyone's taste.

NIKE Players - Eden Hazard (Chelsea) Luka Modric (Real Madrid) Adnan Januzaj (Man Utd)

RRP €75 


CLUTCHFIT CF FORCE 2.0 FG UA Colour-Black/White/Red Test - Very Wet Grass


Another offering from a company that seems to be making great headway in the boots market as they try to compete against the BIG 3 boot manufacturers. The Clutchfit Force is the latest addition 

to their growing boot range and despite the lack of publicity with its launch its a manufacturer we seem to be getting more and more impressed with. The name firstly is a bit clunky but 

nonetheless its an interesting boot when it comes to the initial wearing as its not one layer but 2 layers of materials fused together to give added strength but to also help players "feel" 

the ball when striking. The first layer of the upper is made from from a "Trivela Performance microfiber", a thin flexible synthetic that can be pulled in different directions and the top layer is a rubberized pattern to give grip and swerve. A glove like fit greets the wearer once the laces are tightened, it’s comfortable and flexible but offers quite a tight yet comfortable fit. The heel area is well padded and the insole is extremely comfortable with a memory type foam as the foot presses down, a welcome addition for a football boot that hopes to capture a few comfort buyers and the expanding memory foam market currently all the rage in the running industry. Breaking in time was minimal and the boots material did become softer after a while with wear as they seemed quite stiff to start. Weight of the boot is light and the Clutchfit Force could be seen as a boot for speed players as they feel so light on the foot but hey what boots these days are really that heavy? Running was excellent with the traction control system and stability whilst moving was also good, the soleplate is directly injected and moulded but still moves with the foot being quite flexible after the initial fitting. The upper is a one piece construction which gives good touch especially with the rubberized forefoot design on the outsole. Overall the UA offering performed extremely well in the wet conditions and we didn't have any complaints as the boot performed well in the tests of passing, shooting, running and turning, perhaps protection could be given a little more high priority but these will really be bought for running mainly and we have to agree that's why you would buy them despite them not being endorsed by multi million dollar contracts they are well worth a look despite the price which may seem a bit excessive at first but top quality boots cost a top quality premium.

​UNDER ARMOUR Players - Jermain Jones (New England Revolution) 

Kyle Naughton (Tottenham)

RRP €75 

Comfort 10/10 Quality 9/10 Performance 8/10 Rarity 8/10



Pantofola have constantly been striving to get a reputation as producing one of the most comfortable boots on the 

market today and the Emilio appears to be no exception as it provides comfort in a more traditional manner and looks 

like many of the classic edition boots currently on the market, indeed it very much looks like Adidas have based

their 11 pro leather boot on it, but thats just my observation!  Its a stylish retro shoe made out of a full-grain leather and Pantofola d'Oro have chosen their leather very carefully and the finish of the shoe looks to be a quality item.

The Emilio Stella Hard Ground comes in black with blue sole and tongue for artificial as well as dry grass pitches. 

The boot is a bit chunkier than some footwear but the security and comfort when placing your foot inside is immediate and you are immediately struck at the amount of craftsmanship that has gone into it especially with the tongue elastic snuggly fitting the lace cover over the laces and this coupled up with the three silver studs connecting the soleplate to the chassis then through to the real leather logo embossed on the forefoot you know this is something special. On the pitch, grip was excellent despite the Astro pitch being somewhat bare! And when running the laces do need to be tied fairly tight to stop any rub or slight movement on the foot but that's the nature of a natural material boot that has a low profile cut. The stud configuration seems to contour to your sole so as to reduce pressure and even though the weather was dry the traction was really really good and turning and stopping was as efficient as having asbestos brakes! Striking the ball also felt natural and comfortable and the cushioning from the cross pattern on the forefoot will mean the durability of the boot should last and last for many a season to come, with a lot of their boots being originally hand made by craftsmen we hope that this company goes from strength to strength and that more footballers will forego the huge money from endorsements and just pick a boot because they love it........but that may be a bit too idealistic in this day and age, or maybe not.

PLAYERS - Hatem Ben Arfa (Paris Saint-Germain) Alex Song (West Ham)





Lets be in no doubt that originally the Puma Esito was a clone of the Puma King but didn't come with the leather

or the associated price tag, or for want of another few words the poor persons Puma King. The Puma Esito range 

takes inspiration from the King range in it’s design and the chassis retains the classic feel despite a major over 

haul which can now be seen in one of the latest editions which also features real leather and a host of new 

colourways, but lets concentrate on the original synth leather Esito's. The upper of the boot is made from a synthetic leather that features an abrasion resistant upper which provides durability as well as the necessary

comfort required for a quality boot these days. There is also an effective heel counter for added stability and protection whilst the injected outsole with the stud configuration gives extra manoeuvrability on wet to soft surfaces. The boot contains a soft ankle lining for further comfort and a central lacing area covered with a velcro fastening tongue to improve the striking area when kicking on the sweetspot. This boot is a bit of a classic beloved from a crowd who perhaps hail from a less discerning and "choice poor" time but with the introduction of the new edition it just goes to show that some of the older original launches can teach the new kids on the block a thing or two. On the pitch the Esito football boot is a reliable performer with an excellent first fit and touch, the upper has soft padded elements added to the forefoot to provide a cushioned effect when hitting the ball. The durable outsole is effective in taking away pressure from the bottom of the foot and giving good grip with enhanced ball touch and feel on soft ground football pitches. Despite this being a synthetic upper it doesn't feel like it, it really is that good both in terms of suppleness and quality. In testing comfort was A1 with very little tell tale signs of rub or heat coming from inside the boot and this is always a bonus as the break in time of these boots without getting a blister looks good, we liked the look, we liked the quality and we even liked the basic stud layout, even the big puma design on the side of the footwear made these boots look like something special despite them not having the price tag of the Kings or the newer leather Classico Esito edition. Performance wise these did exceptionally well in all testing from sprinting, turning to tackling and hitting the ball into the onion bag, with the weather taking a turn for the worse at the end of the session we decided to let rip for another 15 minutes to see how they would fare in bad weather and we were instantly surprised to see the zip of the ball almost enhanced when the boots got wet, which reminded me of something I read in a footballers autobiography when he would soak his boots and feet in a bucket of water pre match to get them to contour to his feet and give extra ping when striking the ball......a bit mad perhaps but we now know why he did it!

Players - Sergio Aguero (man city) Emmanuel Frimpong (ufa russia) Guilherme (deportivo de la coruna)

RRP €50 


11Pro ADIDAS FG Colourway-White/Black/Blue TEST - DRY GRASS


​​​​​​​The 11Pro is a direct descendant of the 

Adipure, it is a lightweight, snug, glove

like fit boot, and this soleplate is ideal for firm, dry natural grass surfaces and it also features an added heel gel pad for enhanced cushioning. It's a mix of a 

synthetic and leather upper and has a 

textile and synthetic lining. The TRAXION 2.0 FG stud configuration is designed to give maximum grip.  The upper is internally reinforced by an “Engineered Support Skeleton” as Adidas calls it, this gives the upper its textured appearance. Inside the boot, directly attached to the backside of the leather upper and beneath the interior liner, is a criss-crossed synthetic material, which acts as reinforcement for the upper in both the forefoot and rear portion of the upper. The thickness of the support skeleton is more substantial than you might expect, but certainly doesn’t feel uncomfortable or bulky. After some wear time, it softens up significantly. Although the 11Pro 3 feels like a thin synthetic soccer boot, with the softness of a kangaroo leather upper, it does provide a traditional feel in that the upper is leather, but the support skeleton definitely adds a very modern sensation that hasn't been experienced before. The boot features a very deep, central lacing system that allows you tighten the boots well, the tongue is the only thing made from synthetic, with various padded inserts. Other comfort elements of the boot include a smooth synthetic leather or synthetic suede heel liner, both of which are quite comfortable and helped with turning movements on the pitch. The insole is made from a single layer of foam with a synthetic suede liner, with the most unique feature being the plush, memory foam insert in the heel. The memory foam seems like a great idea, and is very soft to the touch, but once you put your foot inside the shoe and stand, the memory foam compresses to the point where it is completely flat. Since your heel is locked into the shoe, the memory foam doesn’t get the chance to spring back into shape, so you never really get that “cushioned” sensation, this is borrowed from the Skechers companies leisure shoe and Under Armour have been very successful with their memory foam boots materials so perhaps Adidas take note. Also the soleplate is quite flexible and coupled with the boots snug fit this will be suitable for most foot types for wearing straight away.The upper stretch's very well and stretch's to the exact shape of your foot, making for a custom and comfortable fit. It has the same low-cut heel that has become a common characteristic amongst every adiPure and 11Pro model. 

If you’re looking for a traditional leather soccer boot, look elsewhere but if you want a pair to improve your game then these boots will help. The upper is free of any extra grip or texturing, so there isn’t anything that is going to take away from the natural sensation that you’ll experience when striking the ball. Durability seems good and visible wear to the shoe looked OK after the session


​RRP €130