Adidas Predator Lethal Zones boot launch
Manchester United players Nani and Tom Cleverley and Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko took on a series of skill challenges as they put the new Adidas Predator Lethal Zones boot through its paces.
And they weren’t the only ones. Before the Premier League stars were trusted to face the five challenges, OTP was brought in to make sure the challenges wouldn’t be too tough for them. Ahem.
The new boot is based on the idea of tailoring specific areas of the boot to allow the player to use each part of the Predator most effectively. The five parts – or Lethal Zones – focus on Pass, Dribble, Sweet Spot, Drive and First Touch.
There’s a nice golf analogy that’s favoured by Adidas product manager Aubrey Dolan, one of the team who’s worked for 24 months to take the Lethal Zones idea from concept to yesterday’s launch.
He likes to think of the boot’s ‘Pass’ zone as equivalent to a putter. It’s got the big surface area and is more padded than the rest of the boot to cushion contact with the ball.
The drive zone is like a driver or 3 wood. The thick, raised stripes to the inside of the laces are designed to help you generate the power to ping the ball around the park.
The sweet spot zone is Aubrey’s 1 iron. It’s there to generate spin, pace and arc. If you’re going to unleash it, you have to commit. So it’s not without it’s risks, but when you get it right the results are spectacular.
Aubrey jokes: “I’m still working on something for dribble. I need golf to change!”
And what better way to showcase the different zones than with the aforementioned challenges. Like we say, OTP and a group of football bloggers showcased how it was done in the morning, leaving Nani, Dzeko and Cleverley trailing in our wake when they took on the challenges in the afternoon. Sort of.
The Pass challenge meant attempting to send the ball through a series of targets against the clock, as ably demonstrated by Nani in the photo below.
First touch was demonstrated in the only way it could be. Yes, controlling a ball that’s dropping out of the air after being shot from an air canon. Nani, presumably a bit stiff from the previous evening’s Manchester derby, found his first touch let him down a couple of times.
It was then onto the sweet spot target practice, where the players pelted the ball at some polystyrene cutout figures, including the unfortunate chap who was beheaded by Nani.
The drive power test was straight forward: blast the ball as hard as you can at the speed gun, ideally aiming for target in the middle of the goal. Dzeko was spot on with this strike, even if he did round it off with a tumble that will have avid OTP reader Roberto Mancini wincing!
And last but not least, the players undertook the dribbling challenge. That involved slaloming around a course of water jets. As you do.
After his previous slip – and some confusion about whether he had to dribble around the edge of the red and blue light on the pitch – the Bosnian striker opted for a slow and steady approach.