FOOTBALL HYPE: Go Green, Go Fast with the Nike GS “Boots of Speed”

If you think playing DOTA or World of Warcraft (WoW) are the only realms where you can buy your characters the enchanted “Boots of Speed”, well, FOOTBALL ENTHUSIASTS LEGS UP! Cause Nike recently unveiled its latest and newest boots – The Nike GS. 

Not these Boots of Speed of course!

BUT THESE Boots Of Speed!

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GEAR REVIEW: The Adidas Predator Lethal Zones – are they THAT lethal?

8th June 2012 – The adidas Predator boots have been synonymous with delivering more power, better control and accuracy for the players wearing them. Since its incarnation 18 years ago (in 1994), the Predator series have undergone a tremendous change and upgrade in terms of its design and its focus on the technical aspect of it.

Well, adidas recently unveiled its latest Predator boots – the Predator Lethal Zones. Being a football enthusiast myself, I had the opportunity to try out these boots and give it a go. At first glance, the boots do look weird with all the orange stripes surrounding the ocean blue base coloured boots. However, these “3D stripes” are said to be specifically located at 5 areas or “zones” on the boots which players such as Xavi and Nasri have identified as the spots where they have most contact with the ball. With the 5 “lethal zones” being Sweet Spot, Drive, Pass, Dribble and First Touch, question is – Do these stripes really matter or are they just gimmicks?

 To understand more about each and individual zones, you can check out this VIDEO. But on a personal note, after playing multiple futsal games with it, 3 zones really stood out for me – the First Touch, Pass and Sweet Spot.

The 5 “lethal zones” – Sweet Spot, Drive, Pass, Dribble and First Touch.

FIRST TOUCH

Really really nice. The ball was like stuck on my boots. Trapping the ball was a sublime and receiving fast passes had a nice touch to it.

PASS

With the slightly large padded pass zone, passing was a peach! Its large contact surface also provided better control and precision passing. In simple terms, putting the ball where you want it to go to.

SWEET SPOT

That little raised ribbed section at the part where you use to curl the ball was undoubtedly sensitive. It provided more power BUT at the same time, it curled the ball inwards a little more. A double edged zone i would say as you would have to get used to its sensitivity.

As for the DRIBBLE and DRIVE zones, I did not particularly utilize them as much during my futsal games. Perhaps its my playing style during the games or simply I am not the kind who dribbles and dazzle much in that small confined pitch. Ultimately, I feel that this boots are more suited for the midfield and striker positions where pin point accuracy and power is crucial. As compared to the F50 adizero Prime that I have been using before this, the Predator Lethal Zones are heavier in nature of course they both are in a different league.

The Adidas F50s are nice too. Minimal fancy, and light. The boots of speed as I would call it. While the latest Predators are the Boots of Control.

Although, at the end of the day, it is player who controls how he performs on the pitch, the Predator Lethal Zones boots act like the cheat sheet. It provides better control and more power at every touch of the boots. Personally, I am not a fan of its design (I like my boots flashy, yet simple) as I would have preferred the 5 zones to be blend in with the boot’s base colour. Nonetheless, the new synthetic upper called the Hybrid Touch allows the players to still maintain the suppleness of leather but has 4 times less water uptake and is 40% lighter.

With the retail price set at $309 (last checked at the Adidas outlet at Causeway Point) it is rather on the pricey side of boots. There is however, a lower grade model which is priced at $169. The texture of the ribbed zones are not as superb as compared to the higher grade one though. Duhh? I cannot say about its performance though because I have not tried them out. That is not how we roll here. 

All in all, the boots excelled in its first touches and passes giving the player a slight edge over its opponents. A rather technical pair of boots, the “lethal zones” increase the sensitivity of the touches one makes with the ball. It is a pair of boots worth investing in if you are one of those regular weekend football warriors and/or playing for your school team.  I would also advise you to try them on with socks  and get a half-size bigger for your feet if you want to avoid blisters. 🙂

You can win and lose your games. But don’t ever lose your friends because of it.

 Till then, Guten Tag! 😀

P.S, Fancy winning $50 adidas voucher every day? Check out unleashdeadly.com. 

EVENT: NIKE ‘The Chance” Singapore Finals

Singapore, 3rd June 2012 – 5 young football-enthusiast have been given Chance in a lifetime to represent Singapore in the global football competition spearheaded by Nike. Called “The Chance”, it will eventually see 100 players from 55 countries around the world traveling to FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy and undergo evaluation by a world-class team of coaches and scouts. The best 16 footballers from the global finals will be chosen by Nike to experience the ultimate training tour as their reward; facing some of the most renowned academy teams in world football – including Manchester United and a U.S. Youth National Team during a once-in-a-lifetime four week tour!

Left to right, Randy Pay, Afiq Mat Noor, Faris Ramli, Nazirul Islam, Sim Li Ming.

The 5 boys that made it through to the Regional Finals are: Muhammad Afiq Bin Mat Noor (19 years old), Muhammad Al Nazirul Islam Bin Abdul Razak (20 years old), Muhammad Faris Bin Ramli (19 years old), Randy Pay Zhan Hao (21 years old) and Sim Li Ming (23 years old).

However, the journey for these 5 are far from over as they would have to battle it out for the Top 4 places in the Regional Finals. Competing against 15 other selected players from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, the boys would certainly have to shine, deliver and just do it if they are ever going to impress the coaches and scouts. Because only the top 4 would proceed on to the global finals in Spain. 

Are Singaporeans good enough?

Competitions like these would have most of us asking – “Can our Singapore boys REALLY stand out and deliver in this global competition?”. Perhaps against the likes of our South East Asian neighbours, they might, if they do not buckle under the pressure AND have a tremendous amount of fitness. I mean, these boys will be training in Indonesia and definitely, the weather there would affect their performances. The only way to combat that is to always have high-level of fitness so that they can adapt quickly in most conditions.

Left to Right, Randy Pay, Faris Ramli, Sim Li Ming, Afiq Mat Noor and Nazirul Islam

However, judging from their built and size, should they proceed on to the global stage, this factor could go against their favour. Although there have been small built players who have excelled in the sport (think Lionel Messi), I doubt we would ever have our very own Singapore “Messi”. With the way our education-system is run, Singaporeans are more likely to pursue a career in a more “stable and recognizable field” besides sports. Not many people get much out of chasing their dreams or passion in playing sports. Some quit half way. Some get injured. Some grow a little too old too fast (like you and me) to get a chance at stardom. 😛

But hey, I guess that is what Nike “The Chance” is all about. Giving our HOMEGROWN talents that one opportunity to beat the odds and chase their dream in football. For what is worth, that is what I would like to see more in the future. Now that they have been selected, seems like these 5 boys would have to go out there and well….JUST DO IT. 😉

P.S, the boys get to train in Nike’s latest range of boots – the Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII. Sadly, I cant say much about the feel and performance of the boots except that it does look rather nice on Cristiano Ronaldo’s feet. Would look nicer on mine I’d say. Haha.