The adidas LZ had one of the biggest ad campaigns in the HISTORY of boots in order to herald adidas’ new control silo. It changed the face of the Predator line and gave Nike’s CTR360 its first taste of true competition. The LZ has completely shifted the path that all boot fans would have expected for the legendary power boot and this boot almost makes you more interested in the future of the franchise than the present. With that being said, adidas have survived a move that would kill any smaller boot company. They changed their most popular boot, with a fan-base that was immensely loyal immediately crying “foul,” but somehow still giving the LZ a chance. It seems that only time will tell if adidas have made the right move or if they will pay for the changes they have made to the Predator.
This silo has some significant differences from tier to tier, but the differences aren’t all immediately noticeable from just looking at the boot. The LZ tiers also have very different materials and soleplates used on every boot. Although some may look similar, they all have their differences. I won’t be delving too deeply into the colorway specifics on the LZ releases, but I will inform you of any major differences cosmetically. If you would like to read an extensive review on the LZ, then you may do that here. We will also not be including the Predator LZ SL, but you can read a fantastic review on that boot right here. Also make sure to leave any questions that you may have in the comments.
The technology on the LZ could encompass the entirety of this piece and we still might end up leaving out. The Pass pad is definitely going to be one of the most used on the boot, and it does provide a satisfying feel when receiving and passing the ball. The other zones are very useful in theory, but I would not expect any of the them to truly heighten your game. I will say that they are all very fun to use, although one of my favorite parts of the boot is in the tongue. It has small raised sections of either thicker synthetic or memory foam in strips running across the tongue from top to bottom and it works very well in conjunction with the Drive Zone when you are striking the ball to give a very satisfying feeling when you strike the ball. The Sweet Spot and Dribble Zone are very sticky and they will take some adjusting to when dribbling the ball, and I still have not really decided if the “First Touch” zone is the biggest gimmick in the world or if I just have not been able to make it work right. No matter how you come out in deciding what zone truly works, this boot is loaded down with tech.
Synthetics have never been viewed in the same class with leathers in the comfort department. However, after experiencing quick break-in times on both the LZ and the LZ SL, the comfort on the LZ is amazingly impressive. I was able to wear these boots into a match the second day after they had arrived in the mail. The upper creases and bends in order to comfort to any shape of foot, and, although it may negatively affect the placement of some of the “zones,” the trade-off in terms of comfort is well worth it. The level of comfort in the LZ is definitely worthy of a top-tier release. Now, I am not about to trade in this boots upper for a good old-fashioned kangaroo leather in terms of sheer comfort, but I was mightily impressed and have had no blistering or break-in pain while working with the newest incarnation of the Predator.
The soleplate on the Predator LZ has one very noticeable exclusion from previous Predators: the Powerspine. However, considering the “scientific data” Adidas put out saying that the Powerspine added 3% to your “power,” you’d have to be shooting at 100 mph just to get an added 3 mph… The soleplate on the LZ is the Sprintframe 2.0 that can now be seen on every silo except for the Copa Mundial. It is a bit stiff at first, but I have found it to be quite dependable. I had several instances with older F50′s where cracks developed behind the diamond stud in the center of the boot, but it seems that the new Sprintframe is split into two pieces instead of one piece from the heel to the toe. This will definitely help with long-term durability, and it is a stud pattern that continues to grow on me. The studs may be a bit too long to be perfect turf-style-studs, but I think that they should perform just fine on turf.
This boot does have a few faint quips associated with it, although the list of negatives is much shorter than the list I created in my mind when I first saw them online. The spot just above the “Sweet Spot” creases a bit oddly, and over time it forms a permanent line in the upper. It does not affect your play, but for someone that loves their boots to always look brand new, it certainly is noticeable. I also must mention that if you want a boot that gives you unaltered touch on the ball, this is not your boot. There truly is very little actual space on this boot where you will not be using one of the rubbery zones, and some of them even take a bit of technique-altering just to feel comfortable in the LZ. There are not any qualms that should scare you away from the LZ, just make sure you understand what you are asking for when you get this boot.
The Absolion is possibly the most tech-ed out second tier boot ever put out onto the market. The technology on the Absolion seems to be identical to that of the LZ and it gives you the same feel out on the pitch. The only piece of tech that I am not entirely sure about it being identical is the Pass Pad, and I merely say that because I am unsure on how to measure memory foam inside of a boot. As mentioned earlier, the tongue is a bit different, but it does not seem like most of you will consider that to be part of the technology. The only reason this part is not as long as the LZ tech portion is because they are all essentially the same. Truly impressive for a mid-tier boot, and I wish more boot silos would allow the technology to filter down into the bottom tiers the way that Adidas have with the LZ tiers.
The comfort on the Absolion is different than what we found on the LZ. Although it is very nice once it gets broken in, the break-in time is a bit longer. The synthetic is a bit different than what is on the LZ, and it is possible that the attempt to get the LZ’s synthetic as close as possible to leather has caused the “normal” synthetic on the Absolion to lag behind a bit. The heel liner is also a little bit different, but it seems to only be in the form of a few small dimples running along the sides of the liner. The creases still formed on this tier around a few certain zones (most notably the “Sweet Spot”) and on this tier it actually caused a few areas that rubbed and caused some small blisters. If you buy any tier of the LZ tree, make sure that you have a decent shoe-tree in order to keep the boot as close as possible to its original shape.
Although a quick glance might have you thinking that the top three LZ tiers all have the same soleplate, you would end up only being 2/3′s right. The LZ is split into two pieces right above the miCoach cavity and the Absolion (and Absolado) is split in a shape that goes right around the diamond-shaped stud in the middle. You still get a lot of the benefits that you get from the LZ soleplate. The “Sprint-frame 2.0″ stud pattern is present (although it is not called a Sprint-frame), and it has proven itself to be a very dependable configuration. Surprisingly, the soleplate on the Absolion feels a bit cheaper and I even have a few concerns about long-term durability. The LZ soleplate feels built like a tank, while the Absolion definitely is not of the same quality as the top tier. It was not as stiff as the LZ, but I would trade the stiffness for the superior quality that you feel with the LZ. The miCoach cavity is still present on the Absolion, and the top three tiers are all miCoach compatible.
The Absolion has very few negatives that you can truly harp on giving the fact that the second tier is $120 less than the LZ. I definitely feel that the Absolion may have some future durability issues, and it would be impressive if this boot lasts longer than one full season. It just has that type of feel to it that it this boot probably will not be seeing its one year birthday in one piece. I have a hard time giving it any more negatives, as this second tier has most of the bells and whistles that the LZ brags about. If my durability fears come to fruition, I will be editing this piece and letting you guys know. Until then, this boot is a very impressive release and nothing should scare you away if this boot is the best your budget will allow.
The technology on the Absolado is still impressive for a third-tier in a boot release. The Drive Zone is still slightly present, and I could actually feel it when striking the ball. The other zones, although you can feel them in your hands, are more cosmetic than anything. It seems that Adidas have actually sunk the zones into the boot on the Absolado so that, despite some of them having ribs and being raised, they have very little effect. The Pass Pad, although it looks like it still has memory foam padding, is just a bit thicker section of synthetic. You also still get a miCoach cavity, which I think would certainly be something cool to let younger players (the type of players that you will probably see more often in the Absolado) get to test out.
This boot actually took the longest of all four tiers to break-in, making the comfort on this tier (although respectable) the lowest of all four tiers. The pass zone feels odd because of all the synthetic that they have used to create a somewhat “fake” pass pad. The heel liner is the same as the Absolion, but that seems to be the nicest part involved with the Absolado. I never felt like I would want to wear this boot because of the comfort level if I had a choice at a different boot in this silo, but it is not bad enough where it should scare you away from purchasing for your kid or for yourself.
When I first lined this boots up next to each other, I could not believe that the stud plate on this boot looked absolutely identical to the one on the Absolion. After wearing both, I can officially say that they are not only cosmetically identical but that they are completely identical. As stated earlier, I am not entirely sold that this soleplate has the ability to last longer than one season, but it still amazes me how high quality the pieces on this boot are.
For a boot that retails around $70, I was truly impressed (again) with the boot. Adidas have really tried to give substance to some of the lower tiers to make you still feel like you are getting boots similar to your favorite players on the professional stage. The studs and soleplate are identical to the Absolion, and, despite there being a slight break-in period and a few small quirks, I have no true negatives to give this boot. Possibly one of the best third-tier releases EVER (it even looks like the LZ when you see it from a distance on the pitch). I apologize for how short the portion on the Absolado is, but the only big difference in this tier and the Absolion is the quality in the upper has suffered slightly.
The technology on the Predito is, as I mentioned earlier, practically non-existent. The First Touch zone is merely orange strips of color, the Pass Pad is just an outline, the remaining three zones have a very plastic, duct-tape feel and I do not feel that they really have any affect on the ball. The Drive Zone reminds me of the Predator element on the lower tiers of the AdiPower- something you can feel, but it ultimately does nothing. The Sweet Spot is so sunken into the boot that it would not even matter if it was a better material, it still would be lacking.
This boot is just like all of the other bottom tiers in every Adidas silo in that it is padded to the max on the inside of the boot. Adidas seem to be positive that the main users of this tier is going to be younger players whose parents will be more concerned with protection than function, and this will certainly keep your kid’s feet safe. The comfort is not going to surprise you, but it fits the bill of a bottom tier release. The heel liner is the lowest quality of all the boots, with an odd textured heel that can be found on (again) just about every other bottom tier Adidas release that I have tested so far. Once again, no surprise.
The soleplate on the Predito is completely different from any of the other patterns we see on the other tiers. For starters, it has a bladed stud pattern and it feels identical to what I encountered on the bottom of the Adidas F5. It is certainly not going to impress, but it will be a dependable soleplate that you would expect from a bottom tier release that retails around $50. I do wonder if Adidas put the bladed studs on this boot just so that one tier of the Predator series will still have bladed studs…perhaps they just got sentimental.
For anyone that is looking to nitpick and find negatives on the bottom tier release, please remember that this is the BOTTOM TIER. The upper is not the most comfy, the zones are all but gone, and there is no miCoach cavity, but this boot is typical of the quality Adidas typically rolls out on their bottom tier boots. I would only expect younger players and kids to be using this boot, and it will be more than capable of being a decent boot to learn the basics of the game in.
(NOTE: I feel that every tier will have a few issues in turf but that they should ultimately be fine; however, I believe the issues will increase with every tier you go down. Keep that in mind.)