With only two major silos to place their faith into, we take a strong look into whether the ACE 15.1 is truly ready to be a leader in this new look adidas revolution.
With claims from the Three Stripes that the new ACE is not supposed to be any future connection of the previous adidas silos, the brand new boot is supposed to be the absolute definition of control. The tools of choice for the world’s silkiest passers in the adidas player pool, is the ACE capable of moving on from the loss of the 11Pro, F50, Predator, and Nitrocharge? From the added texture on the upper to aid in a player’s touch on the ball to added studs on the soleplate to help when the ball is underfoot, the ACE has all the potential to become a playmaker’s best friend... but will it?
The ACE will certainly be the most visible adidas boot going into the upcoming season. With the X having its only homage to its brand on the heel of the boot, the ACE’s three stripes running along the side will be the biggest adidas billboard that we'll be seeing. The launch colorway displays the pattern of the control web in all its glory by contrasting the black with the adidas version of volt and the only parts of the boot not covered by the tech can be seen on the three stripes and the back third of the boot.
The build of this boot is split into two different halves, with both halves contrasting big time in terms of build and feel. For starters, the entire boot is extremely comfortable from right out of the box. The control web may look like a rigid plastic in images online, but it is surprisingly soft and allows the boot to shape to your foot from its first use all the way through until the boot is broken in. Once you get the laces tightened, the boot has a great fit. The ACE might also be the most accommodating boot on the market right now in terms of being a boot that can fit almost any foot type out there.
The entirety of the boot is a new synthetic from adidas, and this is where the contrasting halves starts to come into play. The front half of the boot is a thin synthetic with a slight padding that has the control web laid over the top of it. As we said before, it's quite flexible and shifts/molds/moves with your foot. The back half (the part without the control web) is quite different. While the comfort is still present, the amount of padding and the different synthetic create the only real negative of the ACE throughout testing; the back half of the boot is overly thick and creates an odd disparity in the weight of the boot. The padding is welcomed when getting involved in any rough tackles, but it just creates an odd flow from the front to the back of the boot. The fact that this is the only issue we really found during testing as actually a fair testament to the ACE.
Stepping away from the looks of the boot and the high level of comfort involved, we start to get into how the boot performs on the pitch. As we described the way that we were surprised in how soft the control web was, it really feels great on the ball, much in the way that we saw with elements on the Predator Lethal Zones or the CTR360, the web gives a soft touch whenever you are on the ball. Despite the fact that no boot is going to immediately give you superior control, even if the entirety of a boot’s marketing campaign is based on it, the ACE does lend itself well to anyone that enjoys being on the ball and controlling the play. The off-center lacing also gives you a nice strike zone, with the complete build of the boot giving a good feel whenever you drive through a ball.
The new soleplate is something that we are very impressed by, and cannot believe that a brand hasn’t taken the step towards an AG/FG hybrid before now. With so many major injuries occurring from players using FG boots on artificial surfaces, creating something that can work on both surfaces intrigued us and we made sure to see how the soleplate performs on both types of pitches. On firm ground, we love the bit of extra traction that all the extra studs seem to provide. While adidas have advertised that the extra studs are there to help aid in ball control while the ball is underfoot, that seems a bit exaggerated for us... despite finding the traction in good form. On AG, the studs all seem short enough to keep from getting caught on artificial surfaces, but long enough (and numerous enough) to give you the confidence in the thought that your boots aren’t going to be any type of traction issue.
The thing that a lot of people aren’t talking about is how flexible the soleplate actually is. Much in the same way from what we encountered with the evoPOWER soleplate, the sole is actually flexible enough to bend in either direction from right out of the box. This helps aid in the comfort and when driving through the ball.
The adidas ACE 15.1 was a total surprise, a good sign for the future of the Three Stripes and a firm reason to trust adidas and believe in their revolution. For players that want a boot with a high level of comfort, a good touch on the ball, and an accommodating fit, the ACE 15.1 should definitely be near the top of your list. The groundwork has certainly been put in place for the future of the brand with this boot, and should go a long way to help players jump off the “worried” bandwagon and beginning to get excited about what we are going to be seeing from adidas in the coming months.
The ACE 15.1 is built to withstand the force of heavy tackles, and we totally expect the boot to last for a long time... zero durability questions here. We also think the AG/FG tag is entirely warranted and you can use this boot on either of these surfaces. As we mentioned earlier, the boot might be the most accommodating to all foot types from any of the major three brands and it definitely fits true to size.
While we are certainly pleased with what we got from the ACE and can now look forward to seeing the boot’s upcoming time-line - this boot was always naturally going to be compared to the Predator. From what was such a massive move from adidas the ACE is bit of a safe bet in comparison to a silo that packed so much unique characteristics and bit like the Predator did. The ACE is a good boot, and within touching distance of some of the best options currently on the market, it hasn't immediately crushed it's competitors on the market but the base has been made for a bright future.
The adidas ACE 15.1 is available from select online stockists including Pro-Direct Soccer. Got a pair? Let us know what you think below.