Balanced and Interesting
After the launch of the first model, the Nemeziz has been somewhat of an all arounder without ever being the most popular of boots. If you asked most people which boot silo adidas should drop, most people would conclude that the Nemeziz should go. And to a point, this is understandable. After all, being an “agility” boot always sat a little weird and, in some ways, people saw it as a lesser speed boot rather than something unique unto itself. But now that adidas has killed the line, it does seem like we missed out on something. At the very least BootWizardBootReviews will say so until he is blue in the face. Having now tested the last Nemeziz, I can somewhat see his point.
Fit and Feel
Out of the box the first time the Nemeziz fit well. I was expecting a bit of a tighter fit through the midfoot but thankfully the top of the Tensiontape was stretchy enough to be accommodating. The boot follows the shape of my foot, and I am pleased with the amount of cushioning on the heel, especially given my unhappiness with other boots in this area, like the Vapor 13.
On a less positive note for out of the box feel, the upper was stiffer than I expected it to be and required about a session and a half (read: hour and a half or so) to be broken in. It was not bad, per se, I did think that a boot essentially made of elasticated bands would be softer from the start. The lining of the boot is soft so, although the boot is stiffer than I wanted out of the box, it was never uncomfortable.
After the upper had broken in, I was impressed with how comfortable the boot felt. There is not a lot of cushioning the boot aside from the heel but, most likely because of the Tensiontape upper, you do not get that stiff bunching that you often get from other synthetic or knit boots (though this does occur in initial wears). What is more, while the fit is snug, it is not suffocating. Occasionally, when you take off a tight-fitting boot you can feel your foot trying to expand and “breathe”, so to speak. But this is not something I have come across during my time in the Nemeziz.
For me, I liked the amount of lockdown of offer and the heel cup fit my heel well. Those of you who have been reading the blog for some time will know that I am very focused on the fit of a boot when it comes to the heel. I have been impressed with how the heel feels on my foot and the only thing I would change is to have a little bit more cushioning on the top of the heel tab, but it has not been that big of a deal.
I enjoyed the lockdown on offer and the laces help give a nice snug, but not squeezing, fit on top of the foot and I did not have any issues with lacebite. However, I have heard some people (like OCBootBlog) found that they would have preferred more lockdown. Maybe if the lace eyelets were moved slight closer to the opening of the shoe this would fix those issues. I think adidas might be relying a bit too much on the Tensiontape provide lockdown, but I personally have not had issues with lockdown.
As far as the sizing goes, I went true to size and found the fit to be dead on, so I suggest others who are looking at the Nemeziz to do the same. I will also point out that I did test the firm ground model and I did mostly play on artificial grass surfaces but had no issues. It is worth reminding everyone that I play on high quality AG surfaces, so it is easier to do this. The AG model will still be the best option for the majority of people who play on AG.
Touch and Dribbling
This is one of the parts of the Nemeziz that really shines. It does feel like a dribbler’s boots. The touch is sharp and clean, and the little bit of grip added to later models of this Nemeziz (like the one I tested) do make just that little bit of difference when playing. Of course, it is not like the Predator series or even as much as the previous model of Nike’s Phantom GT, but the little grip zones are in all of the places you want them to be. And since they are not overly sticky, they do their job passively.
It is a really enjoyable boot to dribble in. I like the stud layout as well, which made for an easy time when manipulating the ball with the bottom of my feet. The snug fit also means that there were no parts of the boot that are bunched up when playing and the relatively uniform upper is a boon for close touches with the ball. It feels like in some ways the boot gives you that confidence to take people on, knowing that the Nemeziz allows for close enough control to help you succeed.
For me, the feel when dribbling the ball is one of the highlights of the boot and I could also recommend the boots on that alone if you are the type who loves to dribble.
Passing and Shooting
Having heaped so much praise on the Nemeziz because of the touch and how it feels when dribbling, you would expect there to be not much to the boot when it comes to shooting. In fact, it would be safe to say that the boot does not strike anyone as a boot to spray passes or hammer shots home in. But the Nemeziz has a few surprises here.
The first surprise is the overall balance of the boot. These days, most boots have fairly lightweight soleplates to match the lightweight uppers. And even if the soleplate is heavier than the upper, it is not immediately obvious. The Nemeziz is different. You can tell fairly quickly that most of the weight of the boot is in the soleplate. Not that the soleplate is overly heavy or anything, but you will notice it. This may sound like a negative, but it actually works out to be a positive. This is apparent from the first time I took a shot in the boots. Since the weight of the boot is balanced more towards the soleplate and lower part of the midfoot, this also means that there is more oomph when taking shots. Thus, hitting long passes and shots has a nice, solid feeling to it.
Secondly, we find an interesting design towards the rear of the soleplate. The rear studs have a bit of the TPU material from the soleplate bow down on the outside of the upper part of the studs. This helps reinforce the studs and provides extra stability in this area. Over time, I have come to believe more and more that having stability in the heel and the bottom of the helps keep the foot stable and thus improves shooting and long passes. Thus, with the added stability, the studs feel more anchored to the ground when taking a shot. This helps with aiding confidence when shooting. Though, this will not be the same feeling for everyone, as I know some people prefer more flexibility.
The combination of these two surprises means that the Nemeziz performs higher than expected when it comes to passing and shooting. Sure, it is not going to beat out other boots (like boots with a full external heel counter) in this category, but it does perform higher considering that shooting performance is not something expected of, or really talked about for this boot.
Like I mentioned earlier, the soleplate causes me no issues on multiple surfaces. It is not the most aggressive of soleplates, but it is no slouch either. There is plenty of grip available when needed and it even performed well on wet surfaces. I did not expect the soleplate to perform this well, so plus points for the Nemeziz there.
The soleplate is also stiffer and springier than you would think. It will not beat out any speed boots here but there is enough of a springback to be noticeable. And the studs are mostly around the same size and length, so the ride feels balanced and unawkward when running. The front studs are slightly oblong in order to provide more grip, but I do not feel it makes that much difference. You could perhaps argue the soleplate should be slightly more aggressive but considering this is supposed to be a dribblers boot, I appreciate the round studs that allow you to pivot easier than a bladed stud would.
There is one thing I do wish was on offer and that is the Messi Gambatrax soleplate. I know it has been around for a while, but considering Messi still uses it even now, it seems strange that adidas would forgo offering it on his signature line. Especially considering how well the soleplate performs on multiple surfaces.
Taking in the whole of the boot, it is clear that the Nemeziz is more balanced overall than one would expect. I am surprised at how much I enjoyed playing in the boot and it is something I would recommend others at least try, especially with Black Friday sales coming up. It is not perfect, and some small improvements, like the initial stiffness and the lockdown for some, would help the boot out. But since it is discontinued, I think we should appreciate the Nemeziz for what it is: A fun boot to dribble in that still provides better-than-expected performance when it comes to shooting. It may be somewhat a jack of all trades, master of none, but I think it is still a good boot, nonetheless. At least BootWizardBootReviews can rest easy knowing that I did not slam his favourite boot.
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