adidas Predator

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    adidas Predator

    adidas Predator

    55 articles

    For sensational players who swerve the ball with panache.


    When Liverpool footballer Craig Johnston retired at the end of the eighties, he decided to continue coaching youngsters to remain in touch with the game he loved. Noticing that the football boots of the time were all made from leather, Johnston decided he wanted to replace some of it with rubber to offer the same level of curve and ball control that the rubber face of a table tennis bat provided. He spent nearly half a decade developing a design with grippy rubber ridges. Finally, with the help of a demonstration video starring the German legend Franz Beckenbauer, he convinced adidas to get involved, and his humble idea became the world beating adidas Predator football boot.

    In 1994, the boot debuted with the word “Predator” in sharp-angled font across the tongue, which would set the tone for the whole range. The shoe had a black, heavily grained kangaroo leather construction and deep ridge-like fins in rubber through the front that were designed to give the ball its unprecedented whip and curl. The red lining around the stud plate and jagged white three stripes of the adidas logo completed the iconic colourway in the black, red and white tones that would end up being an essential part of the Predator’s style. These features created an aesthetic that generated a sense of dramatic, palpable excitement around these original boots. 

    Adidas have sought to maintain this feeling in the years since by continuing to blend experimental technology with unique styling. This led to the development of certain key features along the way. In 1995, the adidas Predator Rapier introduced a tongue that could be folded over, while 1998 brought asymmetrical lacing. In 2015, they discontinued the Predator and developed a laceless, knit system that found its way onto the ‘18+’ Predator revival of 2018, which also featured a stylish sock collar. This continued innovation suggests that adidas will continue to set high standards for the Predator boot, utilising the latest in cutting edge technology, and always looking to combine maximum ball swerve with ingenious styling. 

    Over time, as the design of the adidas Predator was changed and updated, it began to attract a certain calibre of player. Those who could conjure up magic with the ball by doing the seemingly impossible. Without exception, these individuals have been skilful, precise and powerful. 

    If the Predator player is one who has made a series of iconic achievements, then the list surely begins with David Beckham. A mere two years after their release, Becks scored a halfway line wonder strike against Wimbledon while wearing the adidas Predator, cementing him as an exciting new talent on the footballing scene. He was the quintessential Predator player, controlling the ball, mastering play and bending the ball in from freekicks with cool ease and majestic precision. As he gradually became a legend of the game around the world, his association with the almighty Predator boot endured and was something that would be with him throughout his entire career.

    Another colossal Predator player was Zinedine Zidane. At the ‘98 World Cup in France, the imperious midfielder took the French team to an incredible home victory while wearing the Predator. For his club, Zidane led Real Madrid to their 9th European Cup victory in 2002, scoring a majestic volley with a pair of Predator Mania Reals. He even helped develop the Predator PowerSwerve with adidas. He has been a talisman for the Predator and has helped etch it into footballing history. His skill, prowess on the ball, ability to be aggressive when needed (and sometimes when not), and his goal-scoring threat from midfield shaped the expectations of a “Predator” player. 

    In the modern era, the adidas Predator has been given a new lease of life through the visionary, intelligent and swaggering midfielder, Paul Pogba. In 2018, the French team, aided by the scoring and assisting prowess of Pogba, hammered out a convincing 4-2 victory over Croatia in the World Cup final, showing that this decades-old boot is still relevant today.

    Adidas has continued to produce unique Predator designs that are loved by footballers of all styles, while also developing the innovative technical features required to achieve that trademark bend. The legends that have worn these boots are hunters with innate skills and a feel for any situation. Just like the boots, they are predators. 

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