If you question any players out there right now what one of their largest challenges with shoes is or “finding something that last more than a few weeks” is sure to be included as one of the best responses. Durability is a huge issue for players, mainly because a lot of of us currently switch between natural or artificial surfaces. It has become a norm for players in the US to play on artificial grass, or areas all across the nation are quickly changing to the a lot more sustainable pitch type. You will play in many weather conditions, it provides a consistent surface, and they are very low maintenance.
In an ideal world, every player would have a pair of shoes to wear on FG or another to wear exclusively on AG. However that is not always possible, especially with the high cost of shoes these days. As a result, we have all crossed over our shoes between both. It has become typical practice. FG shoes, although not ideal, can sufficiently be worn on AG or provide high quality performance. But, no brand out there has provided player with a proper, fully tested solution……until now!
With the shock-and-awe tactics of retiring a full set of releases or replacing them with 3 new shoes, this significant factor hasn’t necessarily received the attention it deserves. But, this is a big deal since both the Ace15 or X15 have been fully tested to provide players with a high overall performance level of performance on both surfaces!
While in Berlin, I caught up with lead designer of the Ace15 (or fellow Irishman, which is a double bonus), Aubrey Dolan, to find out what it exactly means for the game, or how Adidas created the World’s first ever FG/AG crossover! The question was simple: “Why the decision or what was the process to create an FG/AG Shoes?” Here was his response.
The new FG/AG outsole has been created with the knowledge that artificial grass and the short sided game are influencing how players´ consume or play soccer. We have made an outsole first and foremost which has been developed with the world´s best specialist players for primary usage on grass.
The next level was to engineer the outsole or stud configuration to perform perfectly from a bio mechanical point of view or from a quality point of view (due to the high abrasion and forces) on artificial grass. This involved testing the outsoles since intensively on natural grass as on artificial turf. With key cities or urbanization playing an important role in how society or sport evolves, it was important for us that we lead this trend or understand that the player is playing one week on natural grass, and the next on artificial turf.
Working with the consumer, there is the desire or need to create a cleat which compliments or supports the consumer realities – fun on the short sided game in the urban environment , and best level overall performance on the 11-a-side pitch, independent of surface: Natural Grass and Artificial Turf.
Taking the example of the Women’s World Cup in Canada, we have cutting edge item which will perform on Artificial Turf pitch during the event , and which can deliver on natural grass once the players return back to club.”
What are your thoughts on the introduction of an FG/AG specific footwear and will it play a role in your decision making process come the next pair of shoes? Interested to hear what you guys have to say about the process and what it means to everyday players.
Also, couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a pic with Aubrey. Two Irish guys. One designs the shoes, the other critiques them!
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