Soccer: Passing Technologies
Eastbay Cleated Copywriter, T. Scharfenberg | Date Updated on: 7/22/13
There are boots that are made for speed, others for striking. But a control-based soccer cleat is the newest trend in the game and all-new technologies, developed by top brands, are giving players the control they demand.
When every touch counts, you need any advantage you can get on the field. The soccer cleats that contain pass technologies are bringing an all-new aspect to footwork and the game. This year brought us two huge, new innovations in the control game: Nike's 3D Pass Pads in the CTR360 and adidas' Lethal Zones in the Predator LZ.
Nike: 3D Pass Pads
The CTR360 Maestri III has held passing and receiving pads for a while now. Along the instep and the forefoot, dampening pads were placed for feel and ball control. This design has graced the Eastbay cover a few times, with US National Team players like Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan.
Along the inside of the foot, vertical 3D Pass Pads are placed for receiving and passing. These geometric pads are raised to maximize the material's contact with the ball. They mirror the shape of the foot though, so they don't result in any interference. On the top of the cleat, lateral control areas add to your ball control. A textured area of material gives some extra grip on the ball in any weather. This area is also created to remain soft and supple over a longer period of time.
adidas: Lethal Zones
Also new this year is a redesign of the Predator. It's been a staple for adidas soccer, but it's never been built like this. The Predator includes five three-dimensional zones, each with a specific purpose. The first Eastbay cover to debut this cleat included Teal Bunbury. Since then, Omar Gonzalez and Will Bruin have joined the ranks of pro players to rock their Predators on our cover.
Along the outside toe, a dribble area is ribbed for grip during quick ball contacts. On top of the foot, a larger zone cushions the ball so its movement is stopped when it touches your foot. Around your foot's striking zone is the sweetspot padding. Its goal is to create longer contact time with the ball, while generating spin and speed on your shots. The fourth zone is inside the foot next to the shoelaces. With thicker stripes than the rest of the zones, the drive area creates rebound to add distance to your passing. Lastly, a solid pad along the arch uses memory foam to absorb the ball when you receive a pass.
On The Field
The CTR360, the Predator, and their respective technologies are designed mostly for midfielders. Of course they can help your game anywhere on the field, but they're perfect for the requirements of a mid: controlling the ball, and keeping it close to your feet at all times.