Laceless Football Boots
The concept of a laceless football boot was made into a reality when Lotto released the Zhero Gravity in 2006. However, ten years later, adidas started their current dominance in the laceless market with the launch of their Ace 16+ Purecontrol and today, all the top end (+) models of their present silos, namely the Predator 20, X 20 Ghosted, Nemeziz 20, and Copa 20, are all laceless. Other brands like Umbro and Lotto have produced their laceless boots with the Medusae 3, the first leather laceless boot, the Solista 100 Gravity, but the adidas silos still top the current laceless list.
Why Wear a Boot Without Laces?
A laceless boot is made to provide a cleaner surface which gives off two primary benefits; one, this cleaner striking surface extends the striking area to the top space of the boot for a better contact with the ball for passing and shooting. Secondly, the removal of laces tends to also reduce the bulk of the boot, allowing the wearer to have a more connected feel to the ball. The trend of creating a laceless boot, to a certain extent, may have been indirectly caused by society’s inclination towards convenience.
The idea of having less effort in wearing your boots by the removal of laces is understandably attractive especially to younger generations who are very immersed in a plug and play system. Another trend that coincides with the development of a laceless boot is the use of stretchy elastic knit material on the upper which to a certain extent already gives the boot a particular degree of lockdown.
Best Laceless Boots?
adidas dominate your options with the X having an edge over the Nemeziz at least in terms of lockdown, with the Copa 20 joining the X and the Predator above the Nemeziz, even considering the internal strap inside the Nemeziz aimed to hold your foot in place, the laceless Nemeziz is the least worn of the adidas options by pro players.
However, a great percentage of football boot wearers still go with laced boots and no other than Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah have gone on to wear the laced 19.1 versions of the Nemeziz and X respectively after trying the laceless options and marketing them for adidas. Much of the lockdown is coming from the structural reinforcement of the upper, there tends to be some amount of foot slippage and movement inside a laceless boot, even if you have a near perfect fit, more so considering nowadays a soft and flexible upper is preferred because of the comfort it brings.
So when wearing a laceless boot that has a soft upper, it can feel like your toes are in a car without the seat belt strapped and as it stops your toes crash into the front of the boot. In addition as you lift your foot to run, the heel slips and your foot comes out of the boot slighly, like wearing an ill fitting pair of slippers. To counteract this, a laceless boot has a narrow opening and a tighter midfoot, both of which understandably is designed to lock the foot down but also make it harder to put on a laceless boot in the first place especially if one is on the wider range of foot width.
Kids Laceless Boots
The 19.3 takedown of the Nemeziz still has a laceless version and somehow mirrors the look of the +, though it is stiffer and less flexible in terms of the materials used in the upper. The .3 laceless of the Predator does not feature the demon skin rubber elements but instead displays a sticky demon scale print to mimic both the look and grip of the Predator 20+, though the 20.3 has a high textile collar to somehow replicate the tight sensation around the ankle provided by the top model. The laceless .3 of the X uses a double synthetic mesh layer for the upper that is still soft and pliable despite replacing the X-layskin of the premium version.