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Adidas Predator Edge.1 Review — Reboot or Wrong Turn?

Has Adidas delivered a game-changing boot with the revamped Predator release?

Jeremy Proome

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Adidas’ Predator line has undergone some big changes in recent seasons, with the Mutator in 2020, the Freak in 2021, and now the Edge, bringing an interesting new design and some revamped features for the 2022 season. We slipped out feet into the latest iteration to see if the Predator has found its edge once again.

There’s no doubt that the Edge is anything but a simple facelift, but a complete redesign of the mainline Predator concept. Sticking with the aggressive and radical approach, the Edge sees a completely new silhouette, which is a little bit bulkier than last year’s Predator Freak, with some interesting new angles and a larger toe-box. It’s made of a slightly thicker synthetic on the upper, along with a Prime Knit collar, which is (thankfully) a lot wider than the Freaks, making it far easier to put on. There are two top-end models of the Edge, the laceless Edge+ and laced Edge.1 — we got to check out the latter.

Regarding the upper, Adidas is continuing the idea that they want the Predators to be the boots with the best control capabilities, and where previously we saw the admittedly radical rubber spikes on the Mutator and Freak, the Edge goes for the more subtle but equally as grippy, Zone Skin. These are essentially rubberised ridges places on four key touch points across the upper, which are designed the help with ball manipulation.

And, much like the rubber spikes on the Predator Freaks, these do work well. There’s an undeniable sensation of ‘stickiness’ when rolling the ball across the upper, shooting, or adding a bit of spin; which also makes controlling the ball from a powerful incoming pass or cross far easier thanks to the shock absorption they provide. The newer, more subtle control elements make not be as striking or aggressive as the spikes on the Freaks (which we did prefer), but they’re more widely appealing and give Adidas some interesting options with regards to colour accents going forward too.

The other side of the boot which has seen a huge change is the soleplate. Whereas the previous Predator models were moving away from overly aggressive traction and opting for more rounded studs, the Edge ramps up the ‘bite’ with some fairly sharp blade-like triangular studs. They are fairly long too for moulded studs, so while they’re not ideal for twisting and pivoting (and shouldn’t be used on artificial turfs), they provide some great traction for sharp angle changes on natural grass.

Another interesting element to the boot is the inclusion of a small weight in the forefoot (shaped like a diamond) that is said to redistribute weight toward the front of the boot when striking the ball. Whether this works or not is hard to tell, and even if there is some incremental benefit to it, its addition just seems somewhat unnecessary.

The reinforced soleplate is also one of the other shortfalls Edge. It’s incredibly stiff compared to other boots on the market today. The upper, due to the additional rubberised elements, is also notably thicker, so you get a relatively tough and rigid boot, despite all the fancy new technology being implemented. It does break in a little bit and ease up with a few play sessions, but it’s a far less malleable than what else you’ll find out there.

The launch colourway of the Edge is also something quite different, as we haven’t seen a completely blue Predator for quite some time. The red accents and placement of the red stripes are reminiscent of the Predator LZ from 2012, and there’s no doubt that this was intentional. Despite some of the shortcomings of the stiff upper and soleplate, this is a very good looking boot that delivers that radical ‘new’ appearance but has that traditional aesthetic appeal, which we love.

The Predator Edge.1 is easily the most unique and interesting boot on the market currently, and it’s fair to say that you won’t get any type of grip and control with anything else as you do with the Edge. However, a notably rigid soleplate and stiff upper do prevent them from delivering on the comfort factor, which does hamper the wearing experience. If you’re a Predator fan, there’s a lot to love here, but they may not be for everyone.

Price and availability:

Adidas Predator Edge is available in South Africa on the Adidas online store and selected retailers at the following prices:

  • Adidas Predator Edge+ — R5,499
  • Adidas Predator Edge.1 — R4,499
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