Adidas Predator 18+ Review
The Predator is back, the return of the beast. Now with an ultra soft Primeknit toe box, a forged knit midfoot, and a Primeknit collar giving a sock-like sensation and unrivaled comfort.
The all-new Predator 18+ is, honestly, nothing like the original Predators. With all the advancements and by abandoning the Kangaroo leather, the fold over tongue, and the heavyweight, the Predator is more of a continuation of the Ace. Although it looks beautiful with the classic Predator silhouette and it carries the Predator name, it is completely different.
The upper on the Predator in made from three different materials: Primeknit, Forged Knit, and Controlskin. The upper of the Predator 18+ is made from Primeknit combined with a forged knit midfoot on both medial and lateral sides of the foot, all covered with a layer of Controlskin. The Primeknit upper is extreme soft all over the boot, giving a better touch and a closer feel for the ball. The forged knit midfoot is there to provide a secure lockdown without having an external cage or internal tongue. The Controlskin is a very grippy material, a lot like what you get from, Adidas NSG, Nike ACC, and the upper of the flyknit ultra.
The Predator 18+ features a Controlframe soleplate which is an updated version of the Controlframe soleplate on the Predator Instinct. The main difference being the base of the soleplate with an integration of ridges (I can't figure out the purpose of them, probably just aesthetics). Some minor differences are: a slight adjustment of stud shape, and some small ridges that mainly allow for more grip, very similar to what you get on the Nike Vapor 11. The layout of stud pattern is the same 11 studs that you find on any of the modern Adidas cleats. However, the shape of the studs themselves is not terribly aggressive, but the most aggressive studs compared to anything else found on the Adidas soccer line.
The forefoot of the soleplate is exceptionally flexible, allowing for a better feel for the ball. However, the closer you get to the middle of the soleplate, the more stiff it gets, due to the bigger ridges. The heel counter is integrated into the soleplate, very similar to the Nike Hypervenom Phantom III and the Adidas X 17+ Purespeed. The heel counter helps alleviate heel slippage and allows for a better lockdown.
The Predator line is notorious for being abnormally heavy, However in 2018, that is not an option. The Predator 18+ weighing in at 234 grams, it is about 40 more grams than the average modern cleat, not a very notable difference but definitely not a heavy cleat by any means. The Predator 18+ isn't the lightest Predator either, that honor goes to the AdiPower Predator SL.
Concern: Being a laceless cleat, the Adidas Predator 18+ doesn't provide much of a secure lockdown and doesn't allow for any adjustability, that may result in slippage. However, if you do like laceless cleats, you owned them before, or you just really like the feel; there is no problem in buying them. If there wasn't anyone interested in laceless cleats then the brands wouldn't make them.
Reasons for buying: The Adidas Predator 18+ features a highly soft upper with no break-in time required. This means that you will get the touch of a leather cleat, without any leather. The Predator 18+ is tremendously comfortable, from slipping them on, to taking them off, they just feel very good on the foot. Having no laces means having a larger striking surface, the Predator 18+ gives just that. Having both Controlskin and Primeknit gives the upper a lot of grip. Finally, the Predator 18+ looks amazing, attracting the likings of players like Ozil, Pogba, Dele, and more.
Image Credits to Adidas.