Certainly not shy about experimentation, Adidas has taken another big step forward in footwear design, this time coming up with its first-ever laceless soccer shoe – the ACE 16+ Purecontrol.
While obviously a boon for those who haven’t yet mastered the art of tying shoe laces, Adidas actually designed them with top soccer players in mind. Forwards, midfielders, and defenders alike all know how knots and flapping laces create uneven shoe surfaces that can sometimes lead to botched plays (that’s their excuse, anyway), so these laceless alternatives allow players a much more controlled, and hopefully more accurate, kick of the ball.
In its own words, Adidas says the new design offers “a glove-like fit and the cleanest possible strike using a larger surface area to generate more power and accuracy.”
That glove-like fit comes courtesy of a thermoplastic polyurethane cage that secures the upper part of the foot, important if you don’t want the shoe flying off after a shot on goal. Further security comes by way of its knitted upper and an “internal knitted techfit locking system.”
To show it’s serious about the new design, the German sports-clothing giant has managed to persuade some of Europe’s top players to slip into the shoes for professional games taking place this weekend.
Arsenal ace Mesut Ozil and Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic are among the chosen few who’ll be wearing onto the pitch what Adidas describes in superbly crafted marketing-speak as its “most disruptive boot in years.” It also appears to be its flashiest boot in years, its dazzling green color ensuring there’ll be no hiding place for Ozil and Rakitic as they zip about the soccer field.
Ozil was apparently influential in the shoe’s final design, taking time out of his busy schedule to offer Adidas advice on its look and feel, and possibly its color, too.
“My whole career I have tried to minimise the impact of laces on my strike and ball control,” Ozil says, adding, “I revealed to Adidas in 2014 that in the changing room I knot the laces over and over again and then tuck in the ends, that way they do not interfere with my touch.”
He said when the company approached him last year with a prototype of the shoes, “it was like they have created my dream product. I cannot wait to wear them on the pitch.”
While these aren’t the first laceless soccer shoes to hit the market, they’re certainly the snazziest we’ve seen yet. Fancy your own pair of ACE 16+ Purecontrol shoes? It’ll be easier if you’re in Europe, as a limited number of pairs will soon be available in flagship Adidas stores in London, Manchester, Barcelona, Paris, and Marseille, price currently unknown.