A laceless classic
While adidas has been using the laceless concept for since 2016, it was not until 2019 that we saw the first attempt at a laceless leather boot. In truth, it seemed like it was something that always had the potential to happen but successfully pulling it off would require some work. While it could have been expected to be a somewhat decent product, adidas not only managed to pull it off, but at the same time made a leather boot that mixed both the classic and the modern to such a great degree.
Fit and Feel
From the first time the adidas Copa 20+ is worn on feet, the boot feels surprisingly modern and classic at the same time. It sounds a bit weird but after being worn, it makes sense. The heel of the boot gives a good amount of lockdown that is expected from modern boots while the forefoot feels like a classic, plush, leather boot.
The leather itself is soft and deluxe from the initial wear onwards and it gives that air of confidence with the fit that only a leather boot can provide. What this means is that the leather forms around the foot as one would expect from a leather boot and after a shorter than expected break in time, the boot adjusts to the feet. Given how many boots on the market expect the foot to adjust to boot and not the other way around, it is welcomed here.
The lockdown system on the adidas Copa 20+ is tighter than one might expect from a leather laceless boot. The combination of knit and the FusionSkin upper means that the foot stays very locked into the boot. For as much praise as the adidas Speedflow+ rightly receives for its lockdown, having worn both the Speedflow+ and the Copa 20+ one after the other, it can be argued that the Copa 20+ has better lockdown. It certainly feels that way.
Moving to the rear of the boot, the heel is cushioned but did need a little more breaking in time when compared to the rest of the upper. However, it provides solid padding and lockdown. It would not have been a surprise had adidas used less cushioning on the heel, given the modern leather silo nature of the boot series, but it is welcome that adidas decided to have decent rather than no cushioning in this area.
But with all this lovely cushioning, the leather is not overly thick either and has a nice balance to it. These certainly are not your dad’s leather boots. If fact, the looks of the boot make it seem more thick than it is. Of course, it is difficult to tell this through looks alone, which is why it is important to be able to try these on first, if possible.
As far as sizing goes, I went with my normal size with adidas, which is half a size down from what I wear in Nike and Puma. The boot may not fit all foot shapes given the laceless nature of the boot.
Touch and Dribbling
This is where the classy leather upper shows off its abilities. There must have been the temptation inside adidas to go with a more modern, thinner leather upper but fortunately they decided to give a more classic, cushioned leather upper. The consequence of this is that while parts of the boot feel very modern, the reliable leather upper is there to give that confidence of touch that is rarely found outside of leather boots.
From the first touch to the last in a session, the touch is predictable and uniform. There are no gimmicks, no surprises. The boot lets the player get down to work and gives that classic leather boot feeling. Which is to say the touch in the boot feels excellent. The laceless design gives the boot an advantage here because the top of the foot, where the laces normally are, has more of that great leather. This is where that uniform touch comes from.
This also means that dribbling in the boot is excellent as well. The not overly padded touch on the ball means the boot can make the ball feel like it almost glued to the foot when dribbling at speed. Of course, there is not accounting for user error. But the slight padding does mean that the touch is easier to adjust to versus a synthetic boot, for example.
Passing and Shooting
It is not a surprise then that the adidas Copa 20+ excels here as well. The upper has just enough padding to feel like there is an extra oomph to the ball when striking a long range pass or shooting. However, it is not so padded to the point that one feels disconnected from the feeling of the ball.
The midfoot of the boot is surprisingly stiffer than the rest of it so when passing from this section there is a nice firmness to it. Normally, I prefer something softer. To my surprise, I actually like what adidas did here. It also helps add some structure to the boot so that it does not feel flimsy.
While there is none of pingy sensation that occurs with synthetic boots, the consistent leather upper means that there is nothing to get in the way while shooting. Which in the adidas Copa 20+ is enjoyable and almost encourages power shots, at least in my experience.
Since the boot has a leather upper, there is no need to worry about getting grip in wetter conditions as I find leather boots do not normally need any extra gimmicks to provide for extra control in wet conditions. Also, as a side note, the boots do not seem to have much water intake when playing in wet conditions, so another plus for the boots there.
First off, shout out to adidas for making the underside of the insole grippy so that it sticks to the soleplate of the boot better. It is weird that the contact the bottom of insole makes with the boot is rarely focused on (though Nike deserves praise here for nailing theirs). The socks can be grippy, the shoes can fit great, but if the insole slips on the inside of the boot, it is one of the most frustrating things to occur in boots while playing.
Secondly, as for the soleplate. It is good and well designed. The designers could have slapped a basic soleplate on it and called it a day but there are a few clever tricks to the soleplate. First, there is the circle stud shape that ten of the eleven studs have. This allows for good multi-directional grip while still having a somewhat rounded shape that allows for easy pivoting. It is not super aggressive but does provide a nice balance that works well on multiple surfaces.
Thirdly, there is the reinforcement on the soleplate. On my model, this is the green parts of the soleplate. This helps provide extra stability to the rear of the boot to help support the heel. Interestingly, the extra stability on the forefoot is not located on the outer part of the boot, but rather it is located along where the big toe rests. What this does, in effect, is allow for just that little bit of extra power when pushing off at an angle. This is not as noticeable as something like the Speedflow, but it is a nice touch, nonetheless.
The adidas Copa 20+ is a great mix of modern and classic. Providing all of the nice touches of a modern boot, like lockdown and a higher performance soleplate while still providing that classic leather upper. A great boot with a few nice little touches means that it is a must try if you are a leather boot fan. Even if you are not, there is a lot to like about the Copa 20+.
What do you think about the adidas Copa 20+? Please share this with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook!