Breaking Them In
I was slightly apprehensive before using the cleats for the first time. While they are extremely light, often that comes with the disadvantage of discomfort or blisters while breaking them in. But my experience was wonderful with the cleats. While the synthetic material felt different (I often wear cleats with leather uppers), it didn't give me any discomfort or blisters.
For my first wear I decided to go with the "ultralight" insole instead of the "comfort" one. While I expected it to be tough on the bottom of my foot, I probably would have worn it for my entire practice if I didn't want to try the "comfort" insole. The comfort insole is notably more soft, but I prefer the "ultralight" insole because it provides enough comfort, and is a few grams lighter.
I initially feared the breaking in experience because of the lack of padding on the cleats, but it turned out to be a lovely and easy experience. The only complaint I have regarding breaking in is that the first couple of times I switched the insoles, they jiggled around a little when I turned sharply. With time this got better, and now that they're broken in I don't have this problem anymore.
On Field Performance
The first thing that strikes you when you start playing with these cleats is the astounding lightweight feel. My friend said that when he held them it felt like they were floating. Obviously they aren't weightless, but at 165 grams (5.8oz), they are incredibly light. While they probably don't make you much faster, they give a psychological advantage, along with the fact that it's much easier playing in these for 90 minutes instead of a heavy pair of T90 Laser III's.
The touch and control were better than what I expected, especially after I broke them in. Thanks to the thin single-layer Sprintskin upper, the ball is a lot closer to your foot. While there are internal TPU support bands which help support the cleat, there's basically only your socks and the upper between your foot and the ball. The leather version of the Adizeros provides better touch, but I was impressed by the feel and touch on the ball of the synthetic material.
Striking the ball is an equally pleasurable experience with theses boots. While I initially feared that it would be uncomfortable and not provide enough padding, the smooth upper gave me good contact when hitting the ball. While I can obviously hit it better when I'm wearing a pair of T90's or Concave's, taking shots with the Adizeros had a "clean" feel to it.
Regarding traction and the studs, I loved the Traxion stud system used by Adidas. It offered solid acceleration, and changing directions was easy to do as the triangular studs gripped well from whatever angle. While there have been lots of problems regarding studs falling off with the Traxion system, it hasn't happened to me yet.
Before the final judgement, the visual design of these cleats has to be looked at a little. The main orange color which Adidas calls "Warning" is extremely bright and eye-catching. In fact, wearing the cleats really made me stand out from everyone else, and it almost put a sense of "having to perform well" in such a flashy pair of cleats.
Wearing these gives you a sense of speed. Everything about them emits a feeling of sleek rapidity, from the three signature Adidas black stripes on the inside and outside, to the design which goes from the laces to the toe of the boot. The three colors of Orange, black, and white all complement each other well and help give the cleat a vibrant look.
Regarding the actual physical design fo the boots, Adidas have crafted a great cleat. The heel tab makes it a lot easier to put them on, and the redesigned tongue helps tightening and adjusting the cleats. Luckily for me, these accommodate people with wide feet, and give a nice glove-like feel once laced up and tightened. Probably the greatest element of the cleats is the bottom frame band. It's a clear support band between the sole and the upper which gives the cleats a very solid feel.
The Adidas F50 Adizero have truly defined the category of speed cleats. We've seen professionals like Manchester United's Nani and Barcelona's Dani Alves switch to Adidas is because of the lightweight, comfort, and solidity of the Adizero. Dribbling and running with these cleats is a easy and enjoyable because they're amazingly light. They also offer excellent comfort and traction which make these cleats a very complete package. If you're looking for a pair of top quality lightweight cleats, but you're not keen on spending 300$ for the Prime version, I suggest you to check out the Synthetic Adidas F50 Adizero at SoccerPro.com.
Thank you very much to Matt Wall and to SoccerPro for providing me with the cleats to review.