Adidas Football Cleats: Designed for Peak Performance
In the past nine decades, Adidas has become a world-leader when it comes to cleat design. In fact, the German brand has been innovating football cleats since its founding.
German brothers Rudolf and Adolf “Adi” Dassler crafted the first football cleat with replaceable studs and spikes in the early 1920s. This ground-breaking cleat design provided athletes with more flexibility on the field and the track. Then, in the 1950s, the Three Stripes introduced the first cleat with screw-in studs.
Fast forward to the 21st century. In 2011, Adidas introduced the revolutionary AdiZero 5-Star football cleat. Weighing in at just 6.9 ounces, the Adidas AdiZero 5-Star was three ounces lighter than its nearest rival.
“The adiZero 5-Star is the lightest cleat I’ve ever worn, and no doubt it makes me faster on the field,” former running back C.J. Spiller said during the cleat’s release. “The adiZero 5-Star is so light that it feels like I’m not even wearing a cleat. It gives me the support I need to make quick cuts and start and stop on a dime on any playing surface.”
The development of the Adidas AdiZero 5-Star came about because of a football player’s desire to have lighter cleats.
“Every time we have conversations with players, and we ask them what they’re looking for, ‘lightweight shoes’ is the first thing that comes out of their mouth,” Category Manager for Adidas Football Jeff McGillis explained in an interview.
Typical football cleats were made of heavy-duty materials because of the physicality of the sport. However, Adidas managed to shave off a lot of weight without compromising support by introducing a revolutionary material called Sprintskin.
“Adidas created the lightest cleat in football to help players at all levels be faster on the field,” Mark Daniels, Head of Football for Adidas, explained. “Whether you are a high school star playing on Friday nights, a pro prospect working out for scouts or an NFL Pro Bowler Hitting the gridiron on Sundays, The AdisZero 5-Star will make you a faster player.”
These ground-breaking football cleats also introduced a new stud shape called Traxion. This stud shape helps maximize acceleration and reduces the possibility of getting stuck on the field. “We can increase the linear traction, but also reduce the rotational traction, which is ideal,” Jeff McGillis said. “We’ve made the lightest cleat but also the fastest cleat in the game,” he continues.
Three years later, Adidas designed a football cleat for players who combine elite speed and power. The Adidas Freak X Kevlar boasts a DuPont Kevlar fiber-reinforced plate for lightweight strength and maximum traction on the gridiron.
Adidas upped the ante once again in 2016 by releasing a cleat that weighed in at only 4.9 ounces. Designed for the 40-yard dash, the Adidas 5-Star 40 was the undisputed lightest cleat in the game. These Adidas football cleats came with a Sprintskin Ultra upper and a Sprintframe plate for maximum acceleration and stability on the field.
In 2018, Adidas showcased the capabilities of its Speedfactory facility in Ansbach, Germany. In under 14 days, the Adidas Speedfactory was able to create a custom cleat for the NFL’s best players. The launch of the Adidas AM4MN football cleats marked a remarkable moment for the Three Stripes.
In a press release, Adidas stated, “Representing best-in-class products and trailblazing the future of manufacturing and customization, SPEEDFACTORY is the future of how Adidas creates, allowing the brand to test and co-create with athletes, as well as constantly invent and reinvent design with consumers.”
Expect to see more innovations from the Three Stripes as the game and its players continue to evolve.
What are the different kinds of Adidas Football Cleats?
Adidas Football has several cleat offerings, so buyers may feel a bit overwhelmed when shopping for cleats. Our goal here at RunRepeat is to help you find the ideal Adidas football cleat for your position and playing style.
Adidas AdiZero Collection
The Adidas AdiZero collection (e.g., Adidas AdiZero 8.0) is made for the fastest player on the gridiron. These football cleats incorporate a sneaker profile that redefines the overall fit and feel. Taking inspiration from the Adidas UltraBoost and Adidas NMD, the AdiZero is designed to naturally move with the feet as you sprint down the field. These Adidas cleats allow maximum flexibility and movement throughout the ankle. The AdiZero’s lightweight upper is also engineered to provide maximum breathability and a precision fit.
Adidas AdiZero 5-Star Collection
The AdiZero 5-Star collection (e.g., Adidas 5-Star 7.0) is engineered for speed and built for playmakers. These lightweight Adidas football cleats usually feature a Sprintskin upper for lightweight support and a Sprintframe with strategically placed Sprintstuds for maximum strength and traction.
Adidas AdiZero 5-Star 40 Collection
The Adidas AdiZero 5-Star 40 collection is specifically designed for the 40-yard dash. Tuned for pure performance, these ultra-lightweight football cleats provide ultimate support and acceleration as you sprint to the end zone.
Adidas AdiZero SK Collection
The Adidas AdiZero SK football cleats are made for players who thrive in the line of scrimmage. These football cleats are designed to provide lightweight stability, ankle support, and superior traction to help you beat your opponent off the line.
Adidas Freak Carbon Collection
Made for the trenches, the Adidas Freak Carbon football cleats provide superior ankle support and protection. The cleated outsole provides blink-quick acceleration so that you can stay a step ahead of the opposition. A good example of this kind of cleat is the Adidas Freak X Carbon Mid.
Adidas Freak Ultra Collection
The Freak Ultra collection is engineered for the most versatile athletes on the field. Bringing sneaker-style insights and design from the streets to the gridiron, the Adidas Freak Ultra combines the support of a mid-cut and the lightweight feel of a low-top. The Adidas Freak also introduces Boost technology to a mid-top football cleat. Calibrated for any playing field, the Boost technology provides enhanced comfort and reduces cleat pressure. The Boost insole also supports anatomical flexion and reduces the possibility of hyperextension.
Performance-Enhancing Technologies of Adidas Football Cleats
Since its founding, Adidas football has been at the forefront of innovation. Here, we’ll take a detailed look at some of Adidas’s ground-breaking technologies that help athletes perform at their peak every time they step on the field.
Adidas Primeknit is a manufacturing process used to craft a cleat’s entire upper in one piece. This method makes use of digitally-knitted yarns that are fine-tuned for enhanced flexibility and support precisely where it is needed. Primeknit is designed to provide a sock-like fit without compromising comfort and containment. This amazing technology is also implemented effectively on basketball shoes for the hardwood, soccer cleats, and even just fashionable sneakers.
A product of the Adidas Innovation Team (AIT) and Chemicals company BSAF, Boost is made of thousands of expanded particles that work together for unrivaled energy return. Like precision-engineered clouds, the expanded TPU particles form closed cells around air pockets for unmatched comfort.
Developed through geometrical research, Adidas SprintFrame is a lightweight yet supportive midfoot chassis. The Three Stripes took inspiration from the fluid design of bridges and their ability to support massive amounts of load. Providing a barefoot feel, the frame’s sleek construction keeps the player close to the ground for increased support and stability throughout the entire foot. SprintFrame is the lightest, lowest, and thinnest plate Adidas has crafted.
Designed for peak performance, Adidas Sprintstuds offer increased speed and multidirectional traction on the gridiron. Sprintstuds are designed to provide a more aggressive toe-off—giving athletes an edge on the field.
Adidas Sprintskin is a revolutionary material that provides incredible support without the added weight. This lightweight material is made of a proprietary microfiber leather that offers increased strength and comfort. Sprintskin is designed to act as a second skin. It provides added ground protection and accommodates natural foot movement.
Adidas Traxion is an outsole cleat design that provides maximum traction on different types of grassy surfaces. This technology minimizes cleat pressure as opposed to traditional cleats. Perfect for making quick cuts, the tapered shape of the spikes allows for better ground penetration.
On Equal Footing: Adidas Football Cleats for Women
The NFL has remained the glass ceiling for women who play gridiron football. While female athletes have earned college scholarships to play the game, they have yet to make a roster and play in the NFL.
“As I played my whole career, it was always really evident that we weren’t meant to be here,” NFL’s first female coach Jen Welter says. “We weren’t on equal footing because we quite literally weren’t on equal footwear. How can we possibly say that men and women are equal if we don’t even have equal footwear?”
The Three Stripes and Welter are teaming up to make the sport and its footwear more accessible to women. In 2019, Adidas kicked off their partnership by crafting a football cleat designed explicitly for Welter.
The AM4JEN is engineered to be more flexible to allow Welter to move quickly on the field without being weighed down by the cleats. These Adidas cleats also feature a lower heel and a more supportive sock liner.
“For Adidas to actually produce a cleat made for me really shows the power of the brand and the future of football for women,” Welter says. “It requires more specialization and a real commitment to diversity and inclusion. We have the ability now to grow football for women, not just from my stubbornness [to do so], but from [Adidas’s] visibility, profile, and perspective.”
Made in Adidas’s Speedfactory located in Atlanta, the AM4JEN is meant to serve as the blueprint for a more mainstream football cleat for women. Adidas also intends to host football camps for girls to break down the barriers that stand between girls and the sport.
“First, we’re teaching girls that they belong here,” Welter says of the camps. “There’s no game they can’t play; there’s no field they can’t be in or on. Then, we want to develop their skills. We also really want to provide them with the visibility of female role models in the game. We’re looking at it full circle: The permission to play, the opportunity to do it, and the equipment to play in.”
The football camps will also serve as a way for the Three Stripes to gather data on the specialized abilities, needs, and tendencies of female football players. Adidas will then use the data collected to create a better-structured cleat for women.
How to clean Adidas Football Cleats
Below are some Dos and Don’ts according to The Three Stripes:
- Remove excess dirt.
- Make a soapy mix.
- Rinse off.
- Dry at room temperature.
- Laces out.
- Air your insoles.
- Don’t put the cleats in the washing machine.
- Don’t use drying machines.
- Don’t use cleaning products that are packed full of bleach and chemicals.
- Don’t scrub too hard or use a hard brush.
- Don’t store the cleats when they are wet.
6 best Adidas football Cleats
- Adidas Adizero 8.0
- Adizero 5-Star 7.0
- Adidas Freak X Carbon Mid
- Adidas Freak Ultra
- Adidas Freak Carbon Low
- Adidas Freak Carbon Mid
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