18 January, 2011

History of the Adidas F50

A look back at the history of the Adidas F50...

Withe the release of the Prime upon us, I thought it would be sweet to take a trip down memory lane to see where the F50 series has come from and the evolution of the boot.

The adidas F50 range was first released right before EURO 2004, and those of you who are Christano Ronaldo fans it was this tournament where he made a name for himself, aka I became a fan of today’s Real Madrid show pony I must admit. Furthermore, the line which was out of adidas character was released in order to compete with Nike Mercurial Vapor series which was released in 2002 which took inspiration from the Mclaren F1, which at the time, set the record for the fastest production car in the world, meaning it was designed boot for speed but also for everyday use. In addition, the name F50 which stands for Football 50 gives meaning to the year 1954 when the West German National Team won the world cup where some of the players wore a revolutionary exchangeable studs aka screw in’s for those of you that are lost, the boot is called the “WORLD CUP”. With this prolific moment swimming around in the heads of adidas footwear developers, they decided to replicate this technology 50 years later by producing a boot that was like any other boot on the market.

As a result, the original F50 was created and sported technology no other companies had ever seen or thought of. Personally, this boot brings back memories because I actually played my first ever college match in these exact boots/model which was a dream come true for me. As I stood there for the national anthem looking at the fans, I realized that all the sacrifices I had made to get to that point was all worth it. These boots sported and started the trend of completely hiding the laces which provided a bigger surface area for better ball-to-foot contact; a trend that’s prevalent in boots like the Puma v1.10 and Concave PT +.
First College Game VS BGSU
Then in 2005 adidas came out with the next model which was called the F5O+. Which footy fans will remember sported an upper similar to that of a spider man design that was very eye catching, and was worn in the one of my favorite movies GOAL. The lacing system was designed to be more user friendly, and the TPU cage was supposed to improve stability and durability of the mesh. Not recognizing they had an amazing boot adidas decided to push the limits farther by creating a boot for all conditions.

It was in 2006 when adidas football introduced the +F50.6 which was an interchangeable boot which was unlike any other boot on the market. Players would be able to now build their own boot with options of different uppers, outsole, and sock liners depending on what surfaces they were playing on which was very unique. However, having loved the original F50 series I decided to give the next generation a try and the first day I lost two studs. In the end, it was a great idea but the boot lacked execution which resulted in players looking for a new boot. The interchangeable system also made the boot very stiff and heavy which turned a lot of players away from the boot they once loved.

In 2008, the +F50.8 TUNIT was released for EUR0 2008. The most distinctive feature on this boot was the translucent heel and sole which was designed to improves the fit and stability of the boot as well as making it more lightweight than previous generations.

The F50.9 TUNIT was released on 1 November 2008.This boot featured a seamless lace cover similar to the original model which was supposed to provide optimal fit and a cleaner kicking surface. In addition, it also featured an engineered lightweight microfiber synthetic AdiGrip upper and synthetic lining which decreased the weight of the boot and made for an interesting look on the pitch.

Going with the same theme, adidas stuck with the interchangeable boots in 2009 but added a twist to the boots upper, of the boot called the +F50i. The boot featured Sprint Skin, an upper that was very thin that allowed adidas to decrease the overall weight of the boot while also aiding/enhancing a player’s touch on the ball with a new synthetic upper. And just in case you are wondering why the F50i sounds familiar, it is the boot Messi wore in the 2009 Champions League Final. It is that same boot that he kissed after he scored the goal that showed the haters all over the world that the little Argentine was for real.

Then in 2010 and after 5 models of the F50 series, adidas discontinued the interchangeable system and produced their first ever speed boot called the F50 adiZERO which weighed a staggering 5.8 oz. It was at this point where adidas put other boot company on their heels. It was easily the 2010 boot of the year…

The rest is history, bring on the Prime; which will be the lightest boot ever which is launching February 1st 2011.