This is how to update a classic: the Adidas Predator Pulse boots are classy, comfy and tailor-made for the modern midfield metronome
Dripping in nostalgia
Feels lighter and comfier than the 2004 models
A little heavy and clunky, compared to Adidas X boots
For our Adidas Predator Pulse review, we tested the firm ground studs.
The best football boots for midfielders are the Adidas Predator Pulse – without a shadow of a doubt. These 2004 classics were simply made for the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Michael Ballack to dictate the centre of the park.
You see, these were the incredible follow-ups to the Predator Mania. The iconic World Cup 2002 boot had the style and the swervy stripes to cement it in history – but the Pulse followed up in 2004 with even more tech packed in and a similarly beautiful design. It's incredibly hard to top the Mania but Adidas came very, very close. For FFT, it's even more ideal for a passing CM, simply for those tweaks and the associations we hold with it.
The 2021 remakes then come with a lot of expectation. Are the Pulse boots as good as we remember? Or should some things simply remain in the past?
Adidas Predator Pulse review: How do these boots look?
Gorgeous: it doesn't matter who you are or what you're into – and it quite possibly gets even better with age. But enough about David Beckham, the Adidas Predator Pulse boots look great.
This new pair is instantly different to the classic, in that it's black, gold and white. The originals were the traditional Predator black/white/red palette, so it's a nice touch to switch it up and even if you've never seen the originals, Adidas are specifically telling you that hey, this design deserves to be gold-plated. Plus, there's a second colourway that looks a little more modern: the blue/pink/black versions are modelled on the Champions League colours – honestly, we can't choose which we prefer of the two.
Apart from a new heel plate, based on current Predator models, the design is exactly the same. The same leather ridges, same tongue, same three stripes dropping under the boot itself. It's the perfect marriage of past and present.
The only slight complaint we have over the look? The three stripes used to wrap across the sole, around the boot, uninterrupted. Now, the heel plate gets in the way on the sole. It's the most minor of gripes though: they still look incredible.
Adidas Predator Pulse review: How do these boots feel on the pitch?
Back when the first Predators were released in the mid-90s, football was a little more black and white: midfielders passed, wingers ran and crossed, defenders tackled and attackers scored.
The Preds, with ridges along the part of foot most used for passing and crossing, made these boots perfect for creative types. Perhaps that's why they were the choice of Becks and Zizou and why we associate them as the classiest icons in footballing footwear – as much as the design was stylish.
But these days, football is a little more dynamic and the new Pulse boots have adapted accordingly. That heel plate we mentioned? It's thicker, tougher and has tiny bumps. It's cut out for the rough and tumble a physical player goes through.
There's no noticeable difference kicking with a ridged zone on your foot, by the way – but there always was and that's perhaps why Adidas moved away from that gimmick. The all-over leather of these boots is comfortable, fits well and you can control the ball perfectly from any angle, much like the Copa Sense.
The boot feels much lighter than it did back when FFT had a pair of Preds in the pomp of the noughties, too (if we dare show our age). Back then, the leather on these boots felt luxurious and thick, whereas this new Pulse doesn't feel like a relic in an age of space-age sports shoes.
Still, compare it to the Adidas X and it is a little clunky. That's an extreme parallel to make, mind.
Adidas Predator Pulse review: What's the verdict?
Just as the midfield role has developed into something a little more all-action and a little different physically, the new Adidas Predator Pulse boots have made the step up, too. It's very impressive – the modern midfielder wouldn't be out of place wearing these boots at all.
And having a pure icon of the German manufacturer on your feel just makes you feel like you're prime David Beckham. Really, that's the selling point – these boots are practical and excellently made to back it up, too – but who cares how good you are when you feel like the best midfielder on Earth in these beauties?
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