I'm really not sure where to begin with the Adidas adiPure SL, but the first thing I noticed about them when I saw them in the shop was how good they look. The last pair of boots I got were Umbro GT Pros, and I really liked them, but after a vicious slide tackle by a player wearing soft ground boots the upper was shredded along with my foot.
I always like my boots to look bright on my feet, and be lightweight, but I'm not into some of the pastel colors that you find on the adiZeros so when I saw these I was thrilled. For me, the F50 is like Kanye West, flashy and overproduced, and these boots are more like Cat Stevens, oozing cool but still understated.
The predominantly white upper with black stripes and gold accents stand out just as much as one of the neon-coloured shoes I often see on the pitch, but they preserve more of that classic feel. And, the fact the upper is made entirely of kangaroo leather gives them authenticity, and a feather-light touch. The leather F50 adiZeros aren't truly leather boots as the material only covers the toe and, in my opinion, that's just not the same. These boots are truly kangaroo leather all over, and have the same sole plate as the adiZero so you are getting the best of both worlds.
As aforementioned, the upper on the adiPure SL is kangaroo leather and it did not really need any breaking in, in terms of prevention of blisters. I wore them in training to loosen the leather, but there was never any rubbing or soreness. This is probably because the tongue and the area around the heel have a cushioned backing on them that cradles you foot so it doesn't rub. The closest thing I can compare it to is the feeling of my friend's Nike CTR 360's on my feet. The lacing system also contributes to the comfort as the lace holes are far enough apart that the tension from them doesn't press down right on the top of your foot. It also gave me greater control over the ball as the backing takes some of the sting out of a fast-moving ball without sacrificing the shooting zone on my foot.
Adidas have also gotten the insoles right on these as they are very comfortable, and mould to your feet with time. I couldn't feel the studs through the bottom of the shoe even when I tried them on in the house on the hard wood floor; the stud pattern is very effective on firm ground and slightly damp pitches, but I wouldn't recommend them for something truly waterlogged.
The studs themselves are triangular to give you maximum traction, and I find they're also extremely durable. The sole is very flexible just like on an adiZero and you can feel the boot coming up to meet your foot when you're running so you don't have to worry about falling over your own cleats. The boots fit true to size on me, but if you have a wider foot you may need some time to break them in. I like a snug fit so I bought mine a half-size too small, letting the leather stretch to get the perfect fit.
Overall, they're a great, lightweight, very comfortable kangaroo leather boot that looks bright on the pitch and at $224.99 (£140) they're good value for money. I'd recommend them for anyone who likes the F50 adiZero weight, but wants more than just speed and appreciates the K-leather touch.
Matthew Wall is the editor of www.soccerprose.com