Affordable Made in Japan Quality
When people think of made in Japan football boots they normally think of Mizuno, or if they don’t think about that they normally think that means that the boots are expensive. While in most cases this is true, even with brands like Yasuda as well, Adler takes a different approach. Adler’s boots don’t tend to get above the $150 USD price point and even when they are that highly, its reserved normally for full kangaroo leather boots. The majority of Adler’s boots are around the $125 USD price point which blows expectations away, especially for a made in Japan boot.
Fit and Feel
For a boot that is relatively inexpensive versus it’s primary rivals, you might expect the fit to suffer as a result. This isn’t the case however as you get a great kangaroo leather forefoot with a surprisingly solid midfoot. The boot is quite soft out of the box and broke in almost as quickly as something like the Morelia II. Like the Morelia II, the lacing system is deep and allows for a lot of adjustment. Though I don’t personally have wide feet, these are an excellent option for a wider-footed player because of how much adjustability the lacing system has.
One of the most surprising things about this boot is how soft the leather is out of the box. Many boots at this price point tend to have cheaper leather and not as much care is put into since they are normally takedown models. With the Adler Reggio being one of Adler’s headline boots, you can tell that the company made sure to pick out a good kangaroo leather when choosing what material to use. Although I have had these boots before, I don’t remember them being this soft out of the box so I think this is an area that the brand has improved on over time.
Something else that is evident when putting these boots on is how much padding there is on the boots. The heel has a very nicely cushioned feeling to it, and I didn’t even experience any hot spots. The tongue is also very soft and padded and is one of the most comfortable tongues on the market. Since the tongue is so padded this also means that lacebite is pretty much nonexistent and allows you to really get the laces tied nice and snug. The one small drawback to this is that you won’t have that thin ball to foot feel that is expected in this area of the foot that you would expect of most boots on the market. However, considering how rare it is to even hit the ball in this part of the foot, its not much of an issue.
The midfoot material is a synthetic leather and while it isn’t the most premium synthetic leather, even at this price point, it is very soft and flexible and doesn’t get in the way during play. What shocked me was how good the lockdown was with this material. With a classically styled boot like these, you would normally expect lockdown to be one of the primary things you give up for comfort but interestingly, this isn’t the case with the Reggio. The lockdown isn’t any crazy like you would get from a speed boot, but it is better than quite a few options out there. With the boot fully laced up on feet you feel very secure and stable.
As far as the sizing goes, most people should go true to size. If you’re a madman like me, you can go half a size down and there is enough stretch to the boot to allow it to form around your foot. Over time, one might expect the boot to begin to feel sloppy, but this isn’t something I have experienced so far in the time I have been wearing the boots. The heel also deserves a mention because it is deep and comfortable, and I feel some classic leather boots don’t always have a deep enough heel.
A quick word too about the construction of the boot. The upper is completely stitched to the soleplate of the boot similar to what Pantofola D’Oro used to do and there has been no issues with durability so far. Given the build quality, I expect these boots to last quite a while have even seen some people wear these boots for well over a year at a time.
Touch and Dribbling
As one might expect from a boot like this, there are no extra bells and whistles to be had when it comes to the touch on the ball. Just you, the boot, and the soft kangaroo leather forefoot. Since there is some padding to the forefoot, there is some cushioning when it comes to the instep of the boot. This means that passing from this section feels quite solid and while not the sharpest, is worth it for the amount of protection it provides in turn.
This also means that there are no surprises when it comes to dribbling the ball. Again, it is solid and won’t let you down in a pinch. If you’ve got poor dribbling or a bad touch, it’s on you, not the boot (which is the case in most boots, but that’s a rant for another day). The boot does have a trick up its sleeve and while small, makes a bigger difference than one might expect.
The stud layout is fairly standard until you look at the front to studs, which have been positioned in a forward angle. For people who like to control the ball with the forefoot studs, it gives you a nice spot to do so. This also means that rolling the ball around with front of your foot and doing skills involving the front of the boot also feel easier to execute. It’s also great for solerolling the ball and doing quick touches with the bottom of your foot. It is such a small thing but in practice it produces some impressive results, which again isn’t the kind of thing you’d think you’d find at this price point.
Shooting and Crossing
I’m going to level with you guys. I scored two goals in my first match wearing these. So, I’m obviously going to be very positive on them.
Like with touch and dribbling, the fact that there are no gimmicks means that the shooting is fairly straightforward. I cannot push enough how much I like having a leather upper on a boot when it comes to shooting. There is that slight cushioning that’d you’d expect from a boot like this but the fact that the leather is so soft out of the box only gives is the advantage over boots at this price.
There is a similar story when it comes to crossing. Soft leather, slight cushioning, perfect. It’s all you really need. Nothing unexpected, just really solid performance that won’t let you down. And you might think that that is all there is to it. But you’d be wrong.
This is another spot where the soleplate really shines for me. Sometimes with classical stud layouts they provide solid performance but there tends to be a little bit of slippage when it comes to shooting and crossing but I think with the slightly oval shape to the studs and the way the back four studs are positioned means that there is good amount of stability when shooting or crossing the ball. It was something I had forgotten about from the previous time I had owned a pair of these. Simple but solid and effective.
Again, solid performance without being anything groundbreaking. But like I have argued before, you don’t always need something to be mind-blowing in ever way. The layout performs well and provides a decent amount of grip and good amount of stability. The before-mentioned extra performance you get from the studs in terms of dribbling and shoot does mean that I like this stud layout more than other ones I have used. There is also a good amount of flexibility in the soleplate but I do wish the midfoot was slightly stiffer.
Versus the Morelia II
This is the obvious comparison that most people will make with the Reggio. Both boots are made in Japan, both are classic leather boots, and both pride themselves on being solid performers. The Morelia has a better fit, better leather and edges the Reggio out when it comes to quality. But the pricepoint of the Adler boots as well as the still high quality that you get means that the Reggio is very competitive. If Adler can start selling overseas (and I have heard rumours that they would like to) and still keep the price down, they will have a very good shot of making a space in the market for themselves.
To sum up
Great boot, great leather, solid performance, fantastic price. The Adler Reggio really wowed me with how dependable it was and I found myself sticking them in bag every time I went out to play. The fact that its made in Japan and the pricepoint alone makes it a must try. Like Adler says, “Simplicity is the ultimate refinement”.
What do you think of the Adler Reggio? Is it something you’d like to see in the international market? Please share this with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!