Adidas finds the goal with stars' help
Top football players marked out the 'Lethal Zones' on their shoes to build the new Predators
Any football player can tell that the gear he wears is almost as important as field skills in winning the match. Adidas drives the point home with its new Predator Lethal Zones shoes, claiming that more than half the top-tier players at Euro 2012 are wearing them.
The "zones" refer to five areas on the shoe that are designed for ball control. They're built in turn for the "perfect" first touch, high-speed dribbling, precision passing, generating pace while striking, and a driver for opening up the field with long-distance passes.
The shows are made with super-light rubber and "memory foam" and feature 3D prints.
Some of the world's top players, including Van Persie of Arsenal, Xavi of Barcelona, Nasri of Manchester City, Nani of Manchester United and Di Maria of Real Madrid, tested the boots and offered recommendations for improvements.
"Looking at modern football, we learned that the player is on the ball for a maximum of 90 seconds during a 90-minute match," says Adidas senior product manager Aubrey Dolan. "We then went one level deeper with the players, provided them with white boots and coloured marker pens, and asked them to highlight and name the different part of the boot where they kick the ball.
"It was here where the concept really came to life, where the lethal zones originated. We discussed the position, function and benefit of each of the zones, and after visiting numerous professional clubs and youth academies, we clearly identified the five 'Lethal Zones'."
The newly engineered Hybridtouch upper combines the benefits of leather and synthetic material - stability, reduced sweat and comfort in all weather.
"Wear-testing has been ongoing for almost two years, kicking off in September 2010 with amateur and professional players in Germany and the US," Dolan says. "We also visited the Chelsea Academy at an early stage to share the concept with their players. We also worked closely with young professionals aspiring to make the grade at the top clubs in Europe, in countries such as Spain, Italy and Germany."
These Predators are the first to be fitted with miCoach, enabling players to track their performance statistics, such as distance, sprint count and maximum speed, and wirelessly transfer the data to a mobile phone or computer.
The Lethal Zones shoes cost Bt7,890 and the miCoach Bt2,990 for a PC or Mac and Bt3,490 for an iPod or iPhone. They're at the Adidas Concept Store, Super Sports and authorised dealers.