Comfort and more comfort
Adler has a skill for creating comfortable leather boots, but occasionally smaller brands can struggle with consistency. The Toledo is slightly different from the Reggio that I previously reviewed. The Toledo has a cross-stitched forefoot with a thinner leather and a slightly more padded heel. They do use the same soleplate, which I do not mind, and this is not the focus of the boots. Rather, Adler puts hard work into creating a comfortable boot, with soft leather and plenty of durability. Unsurprisingly, this industrious work has paid off. And once again, they have a made in Japan boot that provides all of this for less than $125 US.
Fit and Feel
Par for the course for an Adler boot, right out of the box the Toledo feels ready to go. It only took a short time for the boots to feel broken in and by the end of the first session in the boots, they felt like I had been wearing them for a while. A part of this goes down to the soft kangaroo leather used on the boot. While not as padded as it’s cousin the Reggio, the Toledo’s leather is very soft out of the box and forms to the foot quickly.
Another part of the boot that helps the boot feel so comfortable is the ample amounts of padding in the heel. There is a lot of cushion on the Achilles’ tendon area especially and it is nice to have a boot that pillows and protects that area rather than biting into like some more modern boots have a tendency to sometimes do. I cannot overstate enough how much this helps with the overall comfort of the boot and the lockdown in the heel area. While I do like having a soft brushed heel liner, the material on the Toledo’s heel is supple to the touch and envelopes the rear of the foot well.
The tongue is also fairly padded but not overly so. I do appreciate that this completely eliminates lacebite and protects the top of the foot good. I personally would not mind if there was a bit less cushion, as I tend to prefer thinner tongues, but it did not affect the fit or feel in any negative way. This allows you to go into tackles with confidence and since I do tend to have a lot of late tackles made on me, it is a bit of extra protection that is greatly appreciated, even if I like to have less cushion here. Though there is one drawback in this area, which are the laces. They are fine, but they are that thicker material you tend to find on a lot of classic boots, so switching up the laces is something suggest. The flip side is that this is an easy fix.
There is one part of the boot that has changed when compared to the Reggio (and other Adler models made before the second half of this year), which is the insole. Before there was a basic type of insole, though it had a much-welcomed extra bit of cushion under the heel. The new insole has removed this cushion, but on the whole, it is more cushioned than previously and is shaped to follow the contour of the foot better. It is not anything overly engineered, but it is a welcome addition that does provide just that bit more support than was available previously. It is also comfortable, and it adds to overall feeling of reassurance that the whole boot provides.
Adler is still sticking with the same synthetic material through the midfoot of the boot. While it is not the softest, it does help provide more structure to the boot which means that in general, Adler boots feel more solid than other classic leather boots. The brand is also still completely stitching the upper to the soleplate which adds to the durability of the boot. While the boot does not feel like a tank, you can definitely go into battle with these.
As with the Reggio, most people will probably be happy to go true to size, but if your foot is slightly narrow, you can go the half a size down. There is also enough stretch to the leather so that you can go down that half a size to get a tighter fit. I personally still went a half size down from normal and after a session the fit was perfect, and the boot was molded to my foot.
Touch and Dribbling
It is a kangaroo leather boot so there are not too many surprises here. The Toledo does have a thinner leather than the Reggio model and in fact, it is thinner leather than a lot of classic leather boots I have tested. For some, this might be great because one of the complaints I sometimes hear about classic leather boots is that the leather is too thick. Other people might prefer having more padding, but I personally find that the leather on these boots has a good balance with the volume of the leather as well.
Since the leather is thinner, this does mean that the touch on the ball feels a bit sharper as well and as much as I liked the padded leather found on the Reggio, I prefer the touch on the ball with this Toledo model more. The cross-stitched pattern on the forefoot is super popular in Japan with some claiming it has a better fit and gives a nicer touch on the ball. While I am not sure I personally buy into those two claims, it is undeniable the touch on the ball is excellent in many situations and dribbling was nice and distraction-free.
Passing and Shooting
And so it goes when shooting and passing as well. Like I mentioned previously in my Adler Reggio review, the soleplate does a great job of anchoring the foot into the ground when it comes to hitting long balls or shooting.
Having that leaner leather upper means that there is a little more of that pinging sensation because your foot is closer to the ball overall and if you find yourself bothered by classic boots because a thicker upper might make hitting the ball feel “dull” to you, the Adler Toledo might be a good remedy to this.
I am not going to say it is world-changing or anything crazy like that, but it is pretty close what I like most about kangaroo leather boots with a more simple design. It does what it sets out to do so that you can do the same. And as many of you who have been reading this blog for some time will know, I like simplicity.
It is literally the same as the Reggio, so I will just quote that one:
“Again, solid performance without being anything groundbreaking. But like I have argued before, you don’t always need something to be mind-blowing in every 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.”
Adler continue to offer some of the best bang for your buck when it comes to boots. The comfort, quality and general ease of use, along with the price makes it a very competitive option. The Toledo, and the rest of the boots in the Adler line-up, deserve to have more attention shown their way and I hope that the brand continues to grow. With some new products and boots launching in the near future, there is every chance that the brand will be able to expand on the solid foundation they have built for themselves. If you love leather boots, you owe it to yourself to try a pair of Adler.
What do you think of Adler as a brand and the boots themselves? Please share this with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook!