Adidas NitroCharge 1.0 Review
Its rare to see a brand new silo hit the market, which targets an entirely new consumer – but thats exactly what Adidas did at the start of the 2013-14 season, with the introduction of the Nitrocharge 1.0 – which specifically targeted a new breed of player, known as ” #theengine ”
The boot features brand new technologies and a hybrid of mesh and leather, which makes the boot protective and light at the same time. Adding to this is Adidas’ infamous sprint frame, which keeps the weight down while offering a superior traction option.
However, unlike the other boots in the Adidas line on the Sprintframe: The nitrocharge also features an “energy pulse” which is effectively a spine in the forefoot of the boot that features ribbing to give increased flexibility while also giving you more energy return than a traditional boot.
so what is “energy return” ? Well, its a term far more well known in the running community, and also championed by Adidas in their Boost range of running shoes. Energy return is pretty much the amount of energy you put through the shoe, being returned to your foot when you push off with, allowing you to run faster and for longer.
On the Nitrocharge, the spine running across your foorefoot gives you that increased energy return, by supporting your foot and causing a spring like effect which is totally unique to this boot. We found it is also fantastic when taking free kicks and shooting as it sports your foot’s natural range of motion during the ‘toe off’ movement, when trying to get as much power through the ball as possible.
The sole also features Adidas’ MiCoach technology – which allows you to review your game performances and even compare yourself with professional players, all through the use of the MiCoach chip – which sits in the sole of the left boot.
The ‘energy return’ feature of the boot does not stop at the sole, the upper sees the introduction of Adidas’ revolutionary ‘Energy Sling’ which is a rubber like band that sits across the forefoot of the boot – it holds the boot tight to your foot, which not only increases your energy return while sprinting – but also harnesses energy for shooting and gives greater support for high speed movements.
The Energy sling is bracketed by a rougher rubber – seen here as the black strips around it, which are far more grippy – and reminiscent of the Predator’s curve strips, and they do an extremely similar jobs – taking free kicks in these bad-boys was an absolute dream!
The mesh layer of the boot, as previously mentioned, keeps the weight of the boot down to an impressive 230 grammes, the same as the Adipower predator. It also gives your foot an increase in natural lateral motion, while still offering enough support – making them extremely comfortable and easy to break in.
The three stripes on either side of the boot are also textured, which gives you increased friction when passing and receiving the ball – allowing for increased control. Made from a thin rubber, which is overlaid on the mesh, you get an incredibly close and natural touch to the ball.
Adidas have also thought about one of our favourite methods for freekicks, the knuckle ball. The Nitrocharge’s soft mesh cuts off at exactly the right point to allow for a knuckle-ball to be struck of the super soft hybrid touch upper.
Shooting in the boot is also a dream, with an off centre lacing system which is curved to give a lock down fit. It also gives you an optimum striking area on the boot – that feels fantastic when putting your laces through the ball in front of goal.
The toebox of the boot has been incredibly well designed, featuring Adidas’ much acclaimed Hybrid Touch material – it gives a fantastic touch on the ball while still offering protection from your opponents’ studs. On the forefoot Adidas have introduced an indented texture – which is fantastic for whipping in crosses and hitting the “FIFA Finesse Shot”
The rear of the boot is designed to offer optimum achilles support, which is ideal for aggressive wing-backs, who may face the odd touch challenge from behind. Built into the mesh is a network of cushions, described on MiAdidas as the Heel Pops – that can easily take a good kick.
Overall, we love the Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 – our biggest fault with the boot is that it was not marketed as a predator. With many of the Predator faithful surprised by the redesign of the Predator with the LZ range, we think this boot is far more in line with the traditional predator – which may explain why players such as Steven Gerrard are turning to the boot. Seen here in the Champions League colourway, we think even the colouring is not far off what you’d expect from a traditional Predator boot.
The Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 is available from ProDirectSoccer in the UEFA Champions League colourway for £127.99