Worn By: David Beckham (England), Zinedine Zidane (France), Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands), Alessandro Del Piero (Italy), Paul Gascoigne (England), Steven Gerrard (England), Mathias Sammer (Germany), Didier Deschamps (France), Christian Karamebeu (France), Jaap Stam (Netherlands), Edwin Van Der Sar (Netherlands), Javier Zanetti (Argentina), Giovani Elber (Brazil), Kaka (Bazil)
I was lucky enough to buy a pair of these boots in the first few weeks they came out in 2000. I purchased the original colour way with the Soft ground sole plate, which was essential for the muddy fields in the UK where I was playing at the time. I was so excited to buy these after the success of the Accelerator and my first impression was both positive and negative.
However, before I write about my own feelings about the boots a quick history guide for those who are not so familiar with this boot. In the lead up to Euro 2000, Adidas released the Precision after allowing certain players to trial the boot throughout the end of the 99/00 season. These sample boots were made to look exactly like the Accelerator but with the new Precision elements. A good friend of mine Chris Kemp (The Pred Collective) has a pair of these and its not until you look very closely at them you can see the differences.
(pic is of boots belonging to @thepredcollective)
Euro 2000 was co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands and this tournament was the first to see the Precision in action. The boots made two very notable contributions to the tournament. Firstly, it was the boot worn by Patrick Kluivert and he was joint top scorer for Euro 2000. The second is probably the most famous goal from the entire tournament as David Trezeguet of France scored the ‘Golden Goal’ in extra time of the final v Italy to claim the European Championships for his country.
The Precision had a lot of new features, which had never been seen on Predators before. Firstly, the tongue which had been a small problem on the previous model (Accelerator) had been developed and Adidas had come up with a Velcro fastener for the tongue. This covered the laces and allowed a truer strike on the ball. The shape of the tongue had also been changed to a longer narrower shape to streamline the boot and lay lower to the boot.
The Predator Fins again changed on these and now seemed to be placed in a far more regimented way than we had seen previously. The fins were only covering roughly a 3rd of the boot and were split into 2 or 3 sections as you can see from the pictures. The fins were placed to fit around the foot better and again would add power, control and swerve on the ball.
Another revolutionary design for the boot was on the sole plate. The SG blades on the Accelerator were great for grip but the public had complained about the inability to change the blades after they had become blunt. Adidas revamped this and introduced a blade that could be changed using a small screw driver which they supplied with every pair of SG boots. However, this actually caused a few problems and many of these boots had to be recalled. I never heard about the second edition having any issues with the design but I didn’t own these at the time to check them out.
The Precision also came in a stunning Firm Ground (FG) sole plate that we would see used on a few generations of Predators. A white sole plate and red blades was used which was a big change from the previous Predators.
I have seen on a couple of websites that in Asia the Precision was also released in a Hard Ground sole plate which was one colour for the sole and the blades. Adidas used a beige colour and this is a great looking boot.
Adidas released more colour ways of this boot than previous Predator models. In total Adidas released 5 different colour ways of this boot. First released was the classic original Predator colourway of Black, White and Red. Adidas followed this up with a Silver/Red/Black and a Blue/White/Red release. All proved extremely popular with the public. Adidas then released a Limited edition Platinum colourway which was a great move by the German brand. The Platinum boot was released in several countries and limited to 333 pairs in each of them. The boots are numbered and also have a code for the country on the heel of the boot. My pair being from the UK and pair number 014. Adidas also released their first Champions League boot which was in one of my favourite colour ways of all time. The boot had the champions league ball stitched to the heel and came in a White/White/Red colourway. You may remember these boots being worn by David Beckham when he scored an amazing freekick against Greece to take England to the World Cup.
Aesthetically, the boots looks solid and you can tell Adidas were looking to make a very strong boot built to last the rigours of a hard season. One of my favourite aspects of the boot is the elongated Adidas stripes which run down the side of the boot before being tailed off towards the heel of the boot. Stunning way to feature the 3 stripes on the side of the boots and gives the boot a very powerful look. The Precision was released in 2 different generations and these are easily to distinguish between by looking at the heel. On the first generation the heel had EQUIPMENT written across the back and on the second generation a standard Adidas 3 stripes logo replaced it.
I loved the Precision but I also had a few problems with it I remember taking my pair back as I started to have pain in my Achilles tendon from wearing the boots. I have no idea why this was and in all fairness to the shop I bought them from they offered me an alternative boot straight away, but I again tried the Precision when I moved to Spain and bought the blue colour way with an FG sole plate and never had any problems at all with this particular boot. I don’t know if the Precision caused a similar pain to any other players but for me it was cured as soon as I went to a different football boot.
The Adidas Predator Precision boots are sometimes the Predator that people forget about. Sandwiched inbetween the Accelerator and the Mania it seen by some as the lesser boot of the three which is probably true however being 3rd behind two of the greatest boots ever made is by no means a small accomplishment. In todays market the Precision doesn’t hold the same value as the more popular Predators but its still commanding high prices. In particular, if your looking for the Platinum or the Champions League boot brand new in box you can expect to pay a high price for them. Both boots are definitely worth paying the extra for however a word of note, don’t leave the Champions League edition in the sun for too long, I did this and the white fins turned yellow which made me sell them and then spend over 2 years hunting for another pair brand new.
I hope you liked this latest review of another classic Predator. My next review will not be of a Predator and will be ready in a week so please leave me some feedback in the comments below either about this review or about any other boot you may want to see reviewed.