Soccer Cleat Breakthroughs – How adidas’ Innovations are Leading the Industry

The adizero f50 football boot from adidas

Adidas has been using the latest research in energy transfer and motion control to deliver its newest soccer cleat releases, both set for this month: the adiZero F50 and the adiPower Phantom SL. The adiZero F50 family boasts the lightest shoe on the market, with the adiZero F50 Prime weighing in at just 5.1 oz. The adiZero line uses the “SprintSkin” upper because its single-layer composition allows for both high energy transfer and super lightweight design. The redesigned stud configuration and outsole composition (“SprintFrame”) also aid in the efficient transfer of energy, doubling a player’s ability to remain productive in the game for longer periods of time.

The Phantom is a member of the famed Predator family, combining the energy transfer capability of the adiZero line with the Predators’ iconic shot control mechanisms. The new Phantom features the same SprintSkin upper as the adiZero as well as two alternating zones of Predator technology along the instep to create a smoother, more powerful and controlled shot. It is the most advanced shoe for those players who want the elite speed of the adiZero line without forsaking their love of the Predator’s influence on their free-kicks and long crosses.

In general, the elite boots all focus on maintaining stability without sacrificing motion control, weight or kick power. Adidas seems to be leading the industry in innovation. The company has already developed the lightest shoe in the world. Now it’s set to release another first: a boot that tracks speed performance data in real time. The elite adiZero F50 is showcasing a new feature designed to bring “intelligence” to the shoe. An information-gathering chip – the adidas miCoach – can be attached to a port on the bottom of the sole to track the player’s performance. The shoe can be programmed to record stride rates, distances, average speed and sprint times, and then transfer the data to a computer or handheld device through a USB link or WiFi. Since it’s part of the adiZero line, the F50 is expected to be sleek and stable, weighing a mere 5.8 oz. (or 6.0 oz. with the miCoach attached).

The possibilities for gathering in-game data are seemingly endless. Teams could study their efficiency during halftime and develop better game plans to maintain their players’ stamina until the final whistle, meanwhile aggregating data to monitor a player’s fitness and effort throughout the season. The technology could even affect contract negotiations and club finances by providing data, for example, to assess a player’s style or value to an organization. Player development in the amateur ranks would escalate as trainers design specific training regimens for individual players. Coaches could strategically alter formations and coverage schemes.

“Smart shoe” technology seems to have hit the ground running, and it may well represent the future of sports. Fans stand to benefit as well, for it’s not hard to imagine the evolution of better, more sophisticated and more exciting players as technology improves the ability to study, measure and train these athletes.

Photo courtesy of gizmag

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