With the previous X Ghosted series from adidas, it was difficult to justify going for the Ghosted+ since the Ghosted.1 was fairly similar and the Ghosted+ do not have too much about it to justify the increased price or the foregoing the extra lockdown that the Ghosted.1 had available. However, with the launch of the Speedflow series, the choice between the two model has become more difficult to make.
A large part of this comes down to the excellent job adidas has done with making the X Speedflow+ feel more “special”. The boot is set apart from the Speedflow.1 in various ways. These are things such as, the superb fit, the textured and grippy upper, the overall comfort and the standout performance on offer. What Nike should be doing with the Superfly and Vapor, adidas has done with the Speedflow.1 and Speedflow+ models. That is, making the more expensive boot not just different, but an experience that your taken along for.
This is not to say the Speedflow.1 is not a great boot – far from it. The Speedflow.1 has better lockdown than the plus model and it still performs really well. The CarbiTex soleplate does wonders for the performance and making the boot feel and look more premium. In Japan at least, the Speedflow.1 is 2/3rds the price of the Speedflow+ (and 1/3rd if you grab a pair on sale). The fit is also slightly adjustable because of the laces, though this is still limited by the fact that the boot has a one-piece upper.
During play, the differences become more noticeable. The grippier, more textured upper of the Speedflow+ means that hitting the ball feels nicer and in spite of the raised texture on the forefoot, foot to ball feels more raw. Of course, with a laceless design this also means there is a cleaner surface to strike the ball with and gives you very few distractions. Interestingly, even though you would expect there to be some slippage due to the lack of laces, this is not something that has been noticed during my time in the X Speedflow+.
But the choice also depends on what somebody wants out of their boots. The fact that the X Speedflow.1 has laces does mean that the fit is more secure. The difference in lockdown is not noticeable the farther apart in time you wear the boots, but putting one after the other, it immediately becomes clear that the foot feels more secure and locked into the Speedflow.1.
There are some smaller, but still important, contrasts to note as well. The heel padding on the Speedflow+ is designed in a way that it is smooth when putting the foot into the boot, but the opposite way is grippy and stickier, which helps keep the heel locked into the boot. It is also more padded in this area versus the Speedflow.1. The Speedflow.1 has a more consistent feel in the heel, but that extra bit of cushioning and grip in the plus model makes a positive difference.
Between the two, my choice is the Speedflow+. The textured upper, the fit, and the performance mean that the boot feels really special and lets me do what I want to do on the ball, with few distractions. Make sure to read my reviews of both the adidas X Speedflow.1 and the adidas X Speedflow+.
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