Gone are the days when all you wanted from a pair of sneakers or cleats was a little protection and traction. Today's shoes claim to do all kinds of wonderful things like give you more spring in your jump, protect you from every leg injury ever diagnosed and grab at every type of terrain we have on Earth. The new adidas Nitrocharge soccer cleat (or football boot, if you prefer) takes over from where predecessors like the F50 left off.
The Nitrocharge is filled with catchily named technologies that adidas is happy to have you believe will revolutionize your soccer game. That little yellow strip on the forefoot is what adidas calls an ENERGYSLING – a high-elastic upper element for extra agility, providing snap in your sidecuts and turning motions. Down under, the ENERGYPULSE is an elastic portion of the forefoot sole that adidas says improves push-off and gives you greater energy return for distance runs.
Outside of those energetic technologies, which we suggest taking with as much salt as you would an air-filled sole that makes you jump like Jordan, the Nitrocharge uses more simple elements like the Sprintframe outsole with TRAXION 2.0 stud placement, which balances traction, stability and light weight. A synthetic-leather hybrid upper seeks to promote snug fit and superior ball handling. Protection pads on the toes and heels absorb contact, and a Kevlar mesh grid along the sides provides durability and flank protection.
Like the F50, the Nitrocharge also includes a dedicated space in the midsole for adidas' miCoach speed cell – a fitness-tracking chip integrated that keeps tabs on speed, distance, number of sprints and other data. The chip pairs wirelessly with an iPhone or iPod to upload that data for analysis and sharing.
Adidas introduced the Nitrocharge last week and has launched a marketing campaign encouraging folks to look out for the cleats on professional soccer players around the world. The boots are available now in a wide variety of colors and styles.