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adidas F50 Review

Dean Ariola

Before Messi had the Crazyfasts, Speedflows and the Xs, he first had the F50s. It gave the Nike Mercurials a run for their money during those times the adidas speed boot was in circulation. Besides Messi, it attracted the likes of Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale, two quick players that were at their speedy prime when they wore a pair of F50s.

2015 F50 adiZero Review

5 Things to Know about the adidas 2015 F50 adiZero:

  1. Worn by pacey players like Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale
  2. Direct competitor to the Nike Mercurial Superfly IV/Vapor X
  3. The speed boot option of adidas in a lineup that included the control Predator Instinct, the leather-based adiPure and the Nitrocharge
  4. Technically the 5th generation of the F50 adiZero
  5. Has a leather version, just like previous adiZero generations

✔️ Pros
  • Tight, secure lockdown, especially with the laces
  • Hybridtouch upper pliable enough to form and sit well around your foot
  • Traction is all good, and the relatively shortened height of the studs brings you closer to the ground for improved stability
  • Definitely a lightweight boot
  • Thin upper increases the feel for the ball
❌ Cons
  • Not for wide-feet players, though it can be a bit forgiving for some given the standard tongue construction and the give on the upper
  • If comfort is a priority, there are better options out there
  • Snakeskin-like Dribbletex ball grip impact minimal
  • Just a bit of heel slippage at first few wears

History of the adidas F50

For those of you who don’t know, F simply stood for ‘Football’ while ’50’ referred to the golden anniversary of Germany’s 1954 World Cup title in 2004, when the F50 was launched. It needed such inspired naming as the soon-to-be iconic speed boot had to contend with the likes of the Nike Vapor II, Nike T90 and adidas-own Predator Pulse. But more than the naming, the boots themselves and what they brought to the table that actually made the F50 as a household name in the football boot industry.

2010-2015: Modern F50s and Pre-X Speed Boots

Whenever boot fans brought forward fond memories of the adidas F50, they were more likely than not remembering the adiZero years of the silo. This was such a pivotal moment not just for adidas but for the boot industry as a whole, as it accelerated the incarnation of speed boots to today’s ultra lightweight, thin synthetic feel. Leather versions were made available, but the synthetic ones were the actual drivers of the F50 line.

It all began in 2010 with the first F50 adiZero, which carried over the Sprintskin upper in a thinner, more seamless fashion that had really driven the F50 towards being equated with lightweightedness. It also jived well with the Sprintframe outsole that had those small triangular studs on a singular thin plastic outsole. For all intents and purposes, these contributed to the birth of modern tooling systems that featured smaller studs and thinner materials for the plastic plate. The 2010 F50 adiZero was the inspiration for the black with yellow 2020 F50 Ghosted Memory Lane Pack. An F50 adiZero Prime followed, but it’s essentially the same boot, just with more weight shaved and more ball control by introducing Kevlar laces and 3D Dribbletex texturing.

In 2011, adidas launched the F50 adiZero MiCoach. It featured an exterior TPU support bands on the upper to improve structure and responsiveness. But more importantly, it introduced the MiCoach chip inserted in a cavity on the outsole that allows the tracking of speed, distance covered, sprints, acceleration and deceleration. F50 adiZero MiCoach 2 reverted back to a simpler, seamless execution of the Sprintskin upper while increasing the coverage of the internal Sprintweb liner.

After the MiCoach boots, a couple of adiZero boots followed before adidas turned its attention to the X speed boot era. The first was the F50 adiZero IV launched as part of the Samba 2014 World Cup pack. It had the Hybridtouch synthetic leather material enjoyed once again in the Predator Accuracy. Hybridtouch was complemented on the quarter by a translucent Speedfoil inspired by the sails of boats. Under the hood, it sat on the previous adiZero’s Speed TRX outsole that had increased height and width for the triangular bladed studs relative to the studs of the original Sprintframe. adidas then went on to best the adiZero Prime with the adiZero Crazylight famously worn by Gareth Bale. In 2015 adidas gave us the last generation of the F50 adiZero before finally giving way for the X 15.

2004-2010: Inception and the Tunit Systems

At a time when K-leather boots were still the norm on the pitch, Nike had already things going for them with the Nike Mercurial Vapor, opening everyone’s eyes to the benefits of wearing synthetics on the pitch. So in 2004, right around the Euro tournament, adidas introduced us to the first-ever F50 football boots. It aimed to introduce a fast-looking, sleek speed boot to compete with the Nike Vapor. The F50 had that mesh-based body with thick stitched ribbings to act as the core upper material. It had a layer of soft K-leather covering the laces and extending to the forefoot. Chunky TRX blades dominated the split-soleplate. But one of the highlights of the show was the introduction of changeable insoles that set the stage for the later Tunit systems. Multiple pairs of insoles were part of the package to give you choices based on your preferred balance of flexibility and stability. The following F50+ just used a different mesh and a distinct spider webbing overlay, but the overall sense remained the same.

Then came 2006, and adidas tried to revolutionise the boot game right in time for the World Cup with the +F50.6 Tunit. The idea was for you to have a boot with not just changeable insoles, but also changeable studs for surface adaptability and changeable uppers to refresh the look of your footwear without needing to order a new pair. Towards later Tunit boots like the +F50.8s and the +F50.9s, translucent heel and synthetic microfibre upper material were introduced. Tunit culminated in the release of the +F50i, that same boot Messi kissed when he scored that looping header against Manchester United in the 2009 UCL Final. It had that thin Sprintskin upper that reduced the weight of the boot. This served as the catalyst for the adiZero iterations of the adidas F50.


Dean Ariola

Dean has worked Chief writer at the Black & Orange team since 2020, he has an indepth knowledge of all the soccer shoes from the big brands, you have him to thank for all the updates to our Boot Secrets guide and he is first on the scene with all the new releases for you!