The new X soleplate puts adi in a great spot
Nike was the first company to bring carbon fibre to the mainstream football market with the release of the original Vapor SL and took it a step further with the release of the original Superfly. Although the tech was seen as groundbreaking and seem to offer a new way forward for boot tech, by 2010 adidas absolutely changed the entire market with the release of the original adiZero and showed that you didn’t need carbon fibre to have a high-performance soleplate.
After eventually dropping carbon fibre, Nike’s soleplate game has grown in leaps and bounds and with the release of the Vapor 12, Nike seem to have absolutely nailed the perfect soleplate for a speed boot. However, with the launch of the X Ghosted, adidas showed that carbon fibre not only still had a part to play, but how it should be properly implemented.
What is quite interesting about this development is that Nike have been making solid soleplates for years while adi’s have been seen as good, but not necessarily spectacular, save for the Messi Gambatrax soleplate (which is still one of the best plates ever made IMO) so for adidas to come from almost nowhere and release a innovative soleplate that not only goes toe to toe with Nike’s but even surpasses it in some regards in nothing short of shocking.
The fact that adidas is using carbon fibre, which Nike championed over 10 years previously is even more a slap in the face to the Swoosh. Adidas says that they took inspiration from their adiZero line of running shoes and evolved the design for football. The Carbitex Speedframe is ridiculously springy and honestly feels fun to play in. Its really hard to describe how great the toe-off is in the X Ghosted so you have to try it for yourself.
Another aspect of the soleplate that isn’t as obvious as the carbon fibre but is almost equally important is the forefoot being slightly curved upwards in a similar fashion to a track spike or a running shoe. Adidas isn’t the first brand to do this as ASICS have had an upward curved forefoot in many of their football boots for around 15 years now. Given that they are such a huge brand in running, it’s understandable that running tech would make its way onto their football boots. But the important aspect of adidas adding in this curved forefoot is that it helps accentuate the performance of the Carbitex and allows to boot to have such a strong toe-off.
There is also something that gets skipped over by a lot of people when talking about the X Ghosted soleplate is that it includes vertically placed studs. The reason why this is important is that it helps with planting the foot and “breaking” when you are cutting with the ball. Its an aspect that isn’t on the current Vapor soleplate and for all of their research I think it’s a place where Nike has actually gone backwards in in recent years. After all, you don’t just run straight forward in football. The inclusion of these vertical studs plays quite a big role in allowing the X to feel more “agile”.
I hope that adidas sticks with something similar in future designs as I feel that the current Spreedframe has a lot of potential to be a good foundation for the next few years of adidas’ speed boots.
What do you think of the adidas X Ghosted soleplate? Make sure to share this with your friends!
I also need a favour of my readers. Recently, my buddy James over at @bootwizardbootreviews got his camera smashed by a stray football and needs help replacing it. His GoFundMe is here. Even if you only donate one Euro, it’ll still be helpful. Thank you, I appreciate it.