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Judgment is skewed.

This got me taking into consideration the history of the adidas Predator. It had been an extremely popular football boot that made its debut in 1994. Many say it peaked in the first 2000s. Predator was about that tongue, the tough K-leather, those rubber grip elements, aggressive design not to mention, that red/black/ Slowly, the adidas brand started getting criticism as it began to lose its predator DNA

Ever since the Predator X shed its iconic tongue, all of your other products have been pushing the boundary when it comes to new technology. The reviews of your LZ for instance were a disaster because it didn’t showcase any iconic features and only brought about confusion on the type of shoe that was being offered. 2014’s Predator Instinct cut back the choice of colors to make it lighter and perform better. But people were tired of the same old thing, and the design was discontinued.

Fanatical fans will decrease in a contact sport as games go on longer.
Well-known fans disappear once games continue for too long.

In 2017, adidas cut the Predator back to a simpler look and released the Predator 18. Everyone loved its modern look, but fans panned it for not having rubber grip elements. In 2020, adidas replaced all of the Predators with new ones that include rubber grips on the side.

Which got us thinking: What is the Predator DNA? We review the brand new adidas Predator 20.1 to determine if it contained just the Predator gene, or if it had any soul.

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A go back to its feral roots

The Predator series began with a handful of silhouettes inspired by real predatory animals. It later gave way to newer designs such as the Accelerator, which debuted in 1998 and has defined the line ever since. Thanks in part to customer demands, adidas put together something more aggressive for 2020.

The adidas Predator 20.1 shoe stands out from the others with its more feral and natural look. Spikes cover most of the upper and heel counter while highlighting this animalistic aesthetic is Demonskin, a material that dotted across the shoe.

The top of the line adidas Predator 20+ will feature up to 400 rubber spikes, but the laced version only has 250+. The external heel counter appears to be made of plastic and is adorned with spikes.

We were surprised to see that, even though the silhouette looked like Predator 18/19, the knit material completely changed. The thinner but high-performing material was replaced by a fabric made with higher performance properties. It was very soft and comfortable, as well as would definitely be recommended for the material applied for this predator 20.1.

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A wild fit on the Predator 20.1

I was excited to put up my new boots, but after only a few minutes of wear, I realized that they wouldn’t be easy to tame. After following the advice from other reviews, I ordered my true size in US 9.5 and found them ridiculously tight around the mid-foot with nowhere for it to give at all. My first impression when I put on the adidas predator soccer cleats was that they were too narrow at the arch and upper foot. With a foot-box that provided me with too much room over the toes, I found some parts of the boot to be too loose.

One other thing I do to make sure my predators are good and ready, is put them on a shoe stretcher.

I believe this helped the boot expand, but I found my feet throbbing after 60 minutes with these.

Predator on the prowl

I was wary of hurting myself after my challenges with the Predator 20.1 s and needed to warm-up in another shoe – the Copa 19.1. After 45 minutes in them, it was time to take animal out from the cage

The mid-foot remained tight even though they were not uncomfortable. I noticed minor heel slippage as soon as I started walking around, and it seemed like the toes weren’t making any contact with the upper at all.

The first playtest was a slow paced five-a-side game (my third match in five days) which got me to focus on fundamentals like touch and short passes. The results were pretty decent. For the first time in a while, there was a good amount of power behind my passes.

The lateral side of the upper, which lacks spikes on it, softens up a little bit during this first session though don’t expect it to be anywhere near as soft as in the Predator 18/19.

Playtests proved that I was able to easily change gears at training and complete matches without any issues. The Predator shoes did not disappoint. I can confirm the grip on the spikes is advertised in the commercials and, unlike some bloggers online, I had no trouble adjusting to this new sensation. I ran my foot over the ball and took a few shots: the passes remained crisp and the shooting power was well-rounded.

If you have technique, the adidas predator will help add some spin to your strikes and passes.
This felt like a true throwback to when energy boots were in their prime. Granted, the Demonskin spikes won’t fix issues with first touch if you haven’t got good technique, but it does help with grip when acquiring a ball at pace

In terms of the fit, I was not very content with the toe area. Regardless of spikes being all over the upper, my need for medial ball connection became a concern when performing a toe poke or other maneuvers needing at least toebox coverage on half. As a result of decreased contact with the ball, I couldn t feel it as much and was unable to generate power. This is not a deal breaker, but also for a boot which focuses on grip and contact, the toe box is major flaw in its design.

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Flexin’ in the Predator

It is relatively common for adidas to give most of their shoes the same soleplate, with only a few minor changes in aesthetics and stud patterns. The adidas predator shoe had a flexible forefoot and stiff mid-foot.

The only significant tension I felt in these was at the heel. The rest of the shoe, including the mid-foot area where one would normally find a little more comfort and flexibly, seemed to be around my feet like any other adidas soleplate.
Rebuttal: sounds like there is not enough detail for readers to know how he I don’t have any qualms about this, but people who are invested in responsive midsoles might be dissatisfied.

If you play exclusively on an artificial turf surface, you will be pleased to see that the new adidas predator cleat is compatible with both FG and AG traction. It even features a single stud pattern for use on either turf type!

Worth the hype? It depends…

My experience with the adidas Predator 20.1 was a mixed bag. It started out with an uncomfortable fit but eventually turned into a very good power boot that helps when feeling control as it is advertised. It’s unique in an industry where other developers focus on adding a closer touch to the ball, without sacrificing power or durability and has that amazing sensation

Nonetheless, for a high-priced football boot like the adidas predator evolution soccer cleats, it needs to be excellent out of your box. With regard to shelling out over $300 on a set of boots, no break past hour with time in home before picture perfect pre game right? The upper should not feel like a python’s grip and the toe box should not be moulded from a clown’s shoe.

The Predator 20.1 is good, but it s expensive and doesn t have the edge that it needs to justify its price

Just what exactly forms “Predator DNA”?

The conclusion of the adidas predator shoe review. Is this a perfect Predator?

“It’s hard to define why is up the DNA because a lot of it’s been set by marketing and nostalgia.” -Joe Deluca, Made in 90
The Predator 20.1 definitely brings back that punchy power boot vibe from a time when adidas was dominating football.

But the fit of this particular model reminded me of another key attribute past predators had – they made you feel amazing to put up and made it seem like you were coming from battle straight out of the box. adidas took a step forward in its evolution with Demonskin, but may have tripped while trying to make a Predator inspired by the days gone

The adidas Predator 20.1 might have been the best boot of 2018, but some design choices made it a difficult shoe to love.