There’s something strikingly refreshing about the way adidas is approaching its Nemeziz franchise, especially before the May 7 release of the Nemeziz 19 boot (which’ll be worn by the likes of Lionel Messi, Roberto Firmino, Bernardo Silva and Isco). In essence, it’s a boot that’s highly self-aware: It’s not trying to be all things to all people, and it’s certainly not an example of drawing an eye-catching design and then simply manufacturing it.
This is a revolution in material, construction and performance.
“Nemeziz 19 represents our most challenging franchise for a reason,” says senior product director Rob Ashcroft. “When you talk about the Copas or Predators of this world, you’re talking about franchises that already have a raw DNA that’s deeply rooted into the adidas football world. When you talk about the Nemeziz, it’s still pretty much the new kid on the block, but the biggest challenge is that Nemeziz represents our most progressive franchise out there. We’re talking about a consumer that wants something brand new and different — something groundbreaking.”
With this in mind, the Nemeziz 19 is targeting players and consumers in the mold of the footballers previously mentioned — the unpredictable, multi-directional game changers that consistently defy expectations.
This defiance of expectations is made immediately clear by the boot’s silhouette. The Nemeziz franchise has always consisted of boots with bandages and straps that wrap around your foot, but the Nemeziz 19 built on the last two versions with a new weave structure and composition.
“If you know the Nemeziz 17, you’ll know it was highly compressive,” says senior design director Dave Surace. “We felt from the learnings of that product that it was a little bit too compressive. So we wanted to introduce this idea of tension, tension meaning that compression is only happening in a localized zone. We wanted it to be tight where it needs to be tight, but also allow it to open up and relax that fit where it doesn’t need to be tight, so that’s tension and compression together.
“We wanted to create the most adaptive fit to improve what we had with the Nemeziz 17 and 18. This wasn’t about drawing a design and trying to make it, this was about creating material and experimenting with a pattern and experimenting with how it feels on your foot, so there was a lot of create, build, test, fail and repeat. Until we got the materials, engineering and torsion ability right, we kept going through the loops until we found the sweet spot.”
One piece of feedback with earlier versions of the boot is that when consumers saw the cleat on the shelf, they immediately believed it’d be difficult to put on, and this proved the case for some. However, the enhanced stretch properties of the Nemeziz 19 make that criticism a moot point.
“One thing we know about our laceless shoes is that some people have a hard time putting them on, so we wanted to make sure that we got a shoe that not only fits right and keeps you locked in and snug, but also you don’t need like two shoe horns and some lube to get your foot into,” says Surace.
Once your foot’s inside the boot, the material snaps back and gives you all the compression and lockdown where you need it most.
“We understand that for this agility player, his ankle goes through a hell of a lot of wear and tear while pivoting, twisting and turning at high speeds like Messi. Therefore, you need all the support you can get,” says Ashcroft. “So this gives you those compression and lockdown properties where you need it most, around the ankle and around the medial lateral sides to prevent the foot roll.”
Apart from the entry point, the material construct of the tension bands offer multiple performance features. The bands look like they’ve been pulled across the foot for a reason — the anatomical fit is improved; it’s a lot closer to the foot for improved touch and the construct offers optimum compression, optimum torsion and tension properties.
It’s an adaptable fit that naturally compliments the movement of the game’s ultimate agility players.
And while you have the striking silhouette of the upper, you also have the innovative tooling at the bottom of the cleat. Using the principles of inversion and eversion — when your heel and forefoot can move independently of each other — the Nemeziz 19 utilizes split tooling, offering you support in both the rear and forefoot, but also improving the torsion characteristics of the mid-foot area and optimizing both agility and traction.
With a new silhouette shape, a new material construct and a new tuning system, the Nemeziz 19 does far more than any boot out there to unlock agility while boasting the ultimate fit.
Additionally, there’ll be a version of the cleat with laces (the one preferred by Messi) that uses the exact same material construct, the only difference being that the boot moves from mid-cut to low cut and, of course, from laceless to laces. Also, the tooling color changes from chrome to white.
Both versions of the cleat are available for purchase on May 7 in stores and online. Or you can sign up to win a free pair here.