Laced Up: adidas X15+ Primeknit Review

A brand never keeps their best innovations away from the football world for long. Primeknit has made its way onto adidas’ latest toys, so the question now is whether or not the X15+ brings more ‘Chaos’ to the party. We took them for a spin to find out.

The standard adidas X15 was, and still is, a boot that divides opinion almost as much as the ‘adidas revolution’ itself. There were those that claimed that the X15 didn’t represent enough change and those that felt there was too much change. Which ever side of the line you fell, the X15 provided great platform for the future of the brand and the breakthrough silhouette. Now, with the three stripes adding Primeknit to the mix, we laced up in the X15+ Primeknit to see if this boot offers the full package.

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For a boot that boasts all about “chaos,” is the look all over the place?

The adidas X15+ Primeknit is a boot whose differences from the standard version aren’t easy to spot from anywhere beyond about 2 yards. The Primeknit material for the upper does have a certain look to it that gives the material away, but it really is so intensely orange that the Primeknit blends together a bit. The design around the midfoot of the boot is the same as what we have seen before and the adidas logo on the heel also remains, but the tongue is a bit of departure from the standard boot. The Primeknit tongue has a loop that sits on top of every section where the laces cross, and it allows the “X” branding on the tongue to stand out a bit more (and makes the tongue look much more pronounced). Everything else (including the soleplate) is exactly as what you would find on a standard synthetic X15.

The X15+ Primeknit boasts a different upper material, but is the comfort still the same?

The X15+ Primeknit starts to really differentiate itself from its standard counterpart as soon as you get the boots on your feet. The fit is immediately impressive as the boot hugs every part of your foot from the second you slip inside. While the boot’s soleplate is just as stiff as the standard version, the upper gives a totally different sensation to the standard counterpart. From where the toebox connects to the midfoot, all the way to where the collar stops curling down, has the equivalent of a Primeknit sleeve on the inside of the boot that squeezes your foot without even tying up the laces.

One of the biggest changes is that the collar completely shifts from the TechFit used on the standard X15 to now having Primeknit used on the X15+. Needless to say, while the collar on the standard X15 felt as if it wasn’t really performing much of a function, the shift to Primeknit allows the collar to actually provide the sensation that those wanting to have a collar on their boots is looking for…a nice, firm squeeze. We also see the heel liner being changed from synthetic that many decried as slippery to a synthetic leather. While Primeknit will definitely get the main focus, adidas has certainly made a few changes to fix issues that many had experienced on the standard X15.

Unlike the ACE15+ Primeknit (full review coming soon), the X15+ isn’t going to be great for wide footed players. Even getting the boot on, because of the Primeknit sleeve, is a bit of process the first few times. After we did get the boot on, it did take a few run-outs before the Primeknit and collar combined to create a really comfortable experience. Once everything is broken-in, the comfort is really enjoyable. It isn’t at the level of the ACE15+, but we felt the boot did stand a bit above its standard counterpart in terms of comfort. The only thing that disturbs the comfort is if the tongue gets a wrinkle near the edge of the toebox. Because of the connection of the tongue via the Primeknit, you might as well just take the entire boot off and try putting it on again. Still…if that’s the biggest issue…

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Yeah, so it looks like and feels like a quality boot…but does it perform like one?

The first thing you notice when you wear the boot out on the pitch is that the X15+ is a little bit thicker than the synthetic we previously saw on the standard editions. It provides for a more cushioned feel and, despite the fit and feel acting like a speed boot, is a bit too padded for anyone hunting down that extremely barefoot feel. This isn’t to say that the touch is negatively impacted, it just changes the X15+ into something that most hunting down what the X15 is advertised as will not be looking for. Like the ACE15+, the X15+ Primeknit sees the synthetic covering the Primeknit reduced from what we saw on the Primeknit 2.0 so that the upper has more immediate flex and the knitted material can actually function without being impeded.

We do find the small nubs of the NSG on the upper, but they are practically impossible to see (they fade into the upper) and we had to feel them in our hands to realize that it was actually there. As we have stated before, NSG is so minimal that it really provides very little to the functionality of the boot and it doesn’t seem like the tech’s removal would really be noticed. The X15+ does not have any shooting gimmicks or tech (outside of NSG) added to aid the touch, so what you get is a nice feel on the ball across the entirety of the boot.

The slightly cushioned feel allows the ball to be moved delicately with precision or to feel great blasting through the back of a bouncing ball. We really do love the warmth that you feel whenever you address the ball on any part of the boot that the Primeknit sleeve is located. From striking through on the tongue or parts of the midfoot on either side of the boot, you really experience a satisfying sensation. While the feel of the upper and its performance is good, it never began to feel as remarkable as we were hoping.

The soleplate on the X15 was one issue of contention when we tested the original version, and the soleplate remains unchanged with the X15+. On FG surfaces, we really enjoyed the set-up and felt like the added studs give a better bit of traction while preventing stud-pressure. However, despite being functional on AG pitches that we were testing on, the blades felt a bit too long and we always had a slight worry throughout testing that these would snag in the artificial grass. Adidas does advertise these boots as capable of performing on AG/FG surfaces, so it will all really come down to personal preference.

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What is the final verdict on this boot? Utter “chaos” or the perfect storm?

It is great to see adidas making slight changes to issues we (and others) had with the original X15 (heel slippage, ineffective tongue), but the fit raised our hopes to only be disappointed in the performance. We definitely think this Primeknit collar is something for the three stripes to grab onto and move forward with and the fit that the material provides is definitely something that all boot enthusiasts will crave. Still, such a high price point will be tough for most to justify the X15+, but anyone that already was in love with the “chaos” part of the adidas revolution definitely needs to find their way into the Primeknit version.

Adidas took a massive plunge with the key assets of their revolution by using their current headlining innovation. With the X15+, it has us pointing more towards a great platform created so that the brand can continue moving in a positive direction back towards the top. The X15+ is how the low-cut collar was meant to be, so we anxiously await to see if the three stripes can end up giving us the full package.

Need a pair? Get yourself over here.

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