Adidas X16+ PURECHAOS Review
The Adidas X16+ PURECHAOS are soccer shoes designed for players who want to be able to make quick responses and plays when in a match. This year these shoes will feature at Euro 2016, the Olympics and Copa America. With their chrome upper finish they will make a great statement and turn the heads of other players and fans around the world.
Adidas took the X15 shoes and made modifications to them to add things like a tighter Techfit ankle collar along with NSG uppers that are ultra textured. This release was somewhat unusual with its modern take on the X series and some interesting twists in design. The modifications mentioned makes it worth taking a closer look at especially how they fit and whether they are still tight across the foot.
1) Breaking in the shoe
Be warned these are designed to be a tight fit, that is part of their design and what goes towards how they function. For most people when you put these on from the box that first wear will be challenging. Do not give up on them, this is just how they are and it is something you will adjust to. For a certain amount of time you will need to break in the shoe until the upper materials have loosened enough to become more comfortable and mold better to the shape of your foot.
A few players may be able to wear them without any problems straight away, most likely that would be players with narrow feet. The rest of us may have to take them off after the first 15 minutes and then wear them more over the next few days as they slowly adjust to your feet. For that reason wearing them when training or coaching rather than in a match straight away is the better choice for most players. Eventually you will reach the point where they have conformed and you are ready to play in full matches.
In terms of general wear you should expect even after wearing them in that the X16+ PURECHAOS cleats are tight fitting still and as a result can be tricky to get in and out of. If you like a more spacious fitting shoe, you loosen the laces sometimes to achieve it, this is certainly not the soccer shoe for you. The laces here will not give you any more give, all they will do is tighten the shoes up even more if you want to!
Once they are have been broken in there are several things about the shoe that try to offer some comfort for you. Around the ankle line are micro grip dots that ensure your ankle and the upper material are tight together so that you get better security. It lessens the chances at movement there and means you should not have problems with blisters. Another feature for comfort is the inner lining styled memory foam.
3) How they perform with the ball
The so called PureCut which is the chrome upper style looks how you might imagine melted metal looks when poured over a surface that is not even. This is a pliable synthetic material though it may not look like this is the case. It bends easily and it is an overlay for the lace area. It covers the laces and then gives the player better touch in those place of the foot. There is a Non Stop Grip lining that has lots of texture. Each piece raises a little off the boot’s surface and this gives more friction and grip as you control the ball. It is especially noticeable when you are doing a dribble at some speed. Importantly the texture of this material is not tacky just bumpy so there is not a problem with the ball sticking.
In the shoe there is an addition around the toes of memory foam. Though it is thin it is plenty to add benefit when striking the ball and taking shots. When you look more closely at the upper a layer of stitches that runs through the forefoot is noticeable. This is where the memory foam was placed in so really the upper has two sections in this shoe. When taking shots you get better performance with a better balance of power and impact resistance while still having some natural feel for the ball.
4) The Laces
Some shoes are going laceless but these are not one of them. It is just that the laces are out of view beneath the top section of the upper. If you wanted to you could remove the laces and still perform well in the shoe as they have a tight fit anyway with the Techfit collar and how the upper is constructed. But the lace means you get more say over how that final fit feels, making you able to tighten a little more if and when needed.
Some worry about how difficult it would be to take the laces out or to replace one of it breaks but in this shoe they are accessible and while removing or replacing a lace will take a bit of time and patience it is do-able. For a clean look when you have tightened your laces you can slip them beneath the upper layer. Sometimes they slip back out but it is possible to hide them if you do not want them just dangling across the shoes’ top.
5) Traction and performance, AG or FG
If you are familiar with the adiZero series of shoes you will recall the soleplate and the Adidas X16+ PURECHAOS shoes have the SprintFrame underneath that is similar to that. However on these cleats the studs are are more a little off conical and angled. The central blade has a shape more like a boomerang. With all of this you might understandably think there is the option to use them on AG but they are listed as FG only boots. Players who have taken them on AG find them just as effective and say they get the right traction so you may want to try them out if you want.
The plate has some spring back but is nice and stiff at first. While wearing the boots in it loosens up well at the forefoot but still allows for midfoot support. The chrome coating on the soleplate is something that will over time wear off according to Adidas. It is very shiny when it comes out of the box, you could use them as a mirror! It is actually possible for that to chip slightly at the tip of the shoes from where it connects with the ground slightly as you get beneath the ball.
6) Modifications to the TechFit Collar
There were some changes made to the Techfit collar by Adidas and to where you put your feet in. The idea is for the shoes to have a lock in effect with the line around the ankle being nice and tight. The material is different in the X16+ shoes compared to the X15s. The fabric material has some stretch and is a little thicker now. With the mid cut collar it makes the boot more competitive as there is less loosening over time.
Around the heel the general cut is more like the Primeknit 2.0 style. This gives the achilles more protection as the cut is higher so more of the area is covered. Thanks to the curves in its design it still fits comfortably along the contour of your heels.
7) Do they fit true?
The shoes fit true to size, though tight, once you get your feet into them! They are tighter than many other shoes, especially across the midfoot area and the Techfit collar around the ankle. When ordering though if you have narrow or regularly feet order the size you normally do. For wider fitting while there is some option here there is not much stretch in the material as you wear them over time so don’t expect to get more room out of them.
Due to the tight fit nature of the Adidas X16+PURECHAOS soccer shoes these are not the best option for everyone. If you are aware of that snug fit and are happy to adapt to it these are well worth considering. For some the design and look of these shoes is not something that attracts them but for others who like that metallic look they certainly make a statement.