Back in November 2016, Adidas released their second version of their Ace PureControl soccer shoe (The Adidas Ace 16+ PureContol was the first). The se
Back in November 2016, Adidas released their second version of their Ace PureControl soccer shoe (The Adidas Ace 16+ PureContol was the first). The second, more current generation is the Adidas Ace 17+ PureControl. Some of the best players in the world wear this boot, including Paul Pogba, Mesut Ozil, Juan Mata, and Dele Alli.
Today’s post will take a comprehensive look at what this boot offers. Be sure to read until the end for my personal thoughts and rating out of 5.
Primeknit Upper: Smooth look and feel, but how does it perform?
The first thing that jumps out at you when you look at these boots is the smooth, “one piece” look of the boot. There are no laces which is intended to improve your feel and, therefore, your control of the ball. After all, these boots are marketed as boots for the control type player.
In reality, it is unclear if the lack of laces/tongue system actually does anything to improve your feel of the ball. I personally find that the material of the shoe is the most important thing that affects how the ball feels on your foot.
With that said, the less material that comes in between your foot and the ball, the better, so the lack of laces may indeed feel better for some people. Will it improve your touch? No, probably no boot can improve your touch, that’s all about how much practice you’re willing to put in. So the laces or no laces question is really all about your personal preference.
The upper of the Ace 17+ PureControl is primarily made of the Adidas PrimeKnit material, which is, according to Adidas:
The Primeknit method digitally knits the entire upper in just one piece. Knitting fused yarn allows us to fine-tune the exact amount of flexibility and support needed in every part of the shoe. This means lightweight comfort that wraps seamlessly around your foot, whilst fewer materials produce less waste.
A polyurethane material is laid on top of the Primeknit, and finally, a Non Stop Grip (NSG) layer is added on top of that. Non Stop Grip is Adidas’ equivalent to Nike’s All Conditions Control, which is a technology added to the materials in the upper of top line boots that repels water and stops the boots from becoming excessively heavy in wet conditions.
There is a plastic reinforcement piece on the outside of the boot to add some rigidity to that area and give some needed structure.
Overall, the upper is soft, elastic, and flexible. It gives you a decent thickness, not too thick and not too thin. It is comfortable to start wearing right out of the box, with minimal break in time required.
Fit: How do the lack of laces affect the fit?
You’ll notice that these boots lack a lacing system. The normal function of laces are to lock your foot into the shoe, and these boots are missing that ability to really lock your foot in. To try to make up for that, there is kind of an internal trap for your foot, which does a good job of holding your foot in place and preventing the boot from slipping around. This is quite comfortable, and adds a bit of tightness to the toe box/forefoot area, which helps to feel strapped in. The whole inside of the boot is lined with a plush suede.
The Primecut collar, which one may think could help lock your foot down, doesn’t really do much to lock your foot in. It’s mostly there for looks, and the “sock-like” feel that is so popular these days.
A widefoot should be able to fit well in these, but not if your foot is terribly wide. If you have a narrow foot, or you like a super tight fit, this is probably not the best option.
Unfortunately, since there are no laces, there is no adjustability to the size of these shoes. Because there is not much adjustability, you have to check how they feel to you on your own foot.
Boost Insole and Stud Pattern: What’s under your foot?
Boost foam is Adidas’ latest breakthrough. It is a foam made up of a puffy little beads that are designed to cushion the athlete’s foot. You might recognize boost foam from any of Adidas’ latest running shoes.
In the Ace 17+ PureControl, Boost foam is featured in the insole and the frame of the shoe. There is a very thin layer of bouncy capsules on the underside of the boost insole, and another layer on the frame of the shoe underneath the insole. This is intended to absorb impact off your joints while playing, allowing you to play for longer without feeling tired, sore feet.
However, when you put on these shoes, you don’t feel like you’re in an exceptionally well cushioned boot. This is likely because the layer of boost foam is so thin. If you find that this insole isn’t quite doing it for you, Adidas provides you with an extra set of insoles so that you can swap these out for normal insoles. They also provide you with a little shoe horn, incase you find it difficult to put the boots on with the Primecut collar.
The stud pattern that Adidas has incorporated is not very aggressive, which is typical for a control boot. The studs are in a very classic arrangement for conical studs, the traditional 7 under the forefoot, 4 under the heel. However,these studs are not classically conical, they are hexagonal instead, which is a bit more aggressive than cones. The studs are featured on Adidas lightweight SPRINTFRAME, which has a paint finish that makes it gleam and shine in the sun. These studs can be used for FG or AG stud pattern, which is an advantage.
Overall (Out of 5)
I really like the concept behind these boots, which is to put as little as possible in between the ball and the foot. No laces, no tongue, elastic, thin material and high top sock to wrap the foot and lock it in. To finish it off, add a classic black and red colour-way and extra shine to the frame. The result is an exceptional, high performance boot that looks like a racecar and helps you play like one.
Unfortunately, I think the execution of that concept fell short. The boots are not elastic enough to compensate for the lack of laces. Your foot doesn’t feel strapped in really well, and tends to distribute weight to the heel. I still think that it is a great quality shoe, and maybe you will be lucky and it will fit your foot perfectly to avoid some of these issues. The appearance of the boot is phenomenal, and it does perform to the standard you would expect a shoe in this price range to perform. For me personally, I prioritize fit and comfort above all else, so I give this boot a 3.5 .
If you’d like to purchase a pair for yourself, you can pick them up here.
Let me know what you think of the Adidas Ace 17+ PureControl in the comments below. Do you have any questions that weren’t answered here? Ask me them in the comments!