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History Of Adidas Primeknit Football Boots

History Of Adidas Primeknit Football Boots

Article by: Mickey

Wed, Apr 28.21

History Of Adidas Primeknit Football Boots

Adidas stunned the world with the adidas Samba Primeknit back in 2014, the world's first knitted boot, gaining massive attention on the brands journey to create the perfect football boot. 

With something special only days away from being launched at Ultra Football - we thought we'd take a look back at the adidas Primeknit concept and the football boots that have utilised the groundbreaking technology.

What is adidas Primeknit?

Firstly, you might be wondering what exactly is adidas Primeknit? Primeknit is the German brands method of knitting the upper section of a shoe or boot digitally and in one piece, rather than creating a product the old fashioned way with many seperate pieces of material being stitched together. 

History of adidas Primeknit

Primeknit made its debut on lifestyle footwear back in 2010. The story goes that two company employees visited Frankfurt's Techtextil fair and noticed a glove that was knitted with thermoplastic fuse yarns. Creating the product this way made it extremely light and flexible - but just as importantly very durable. Holy trinity, right?

The way the glove was made prompted the employees to wonder about whether or not they could use this technique for sports shoes and yep, you guessed it, they did. After a lot of work putting together machines that could pull off the Primeknit concept on running shoes - adidas eventually produced the first shoe prototypes and within 12 months adidas officially launched their first Primeknit shoes. It's amazing what can be achieved in such a small amount of time - especially a concept this cool and forward-thinking. 

Benefits of adidas Primeknit

On feet Primeknit has a similar feel to a sock due it's knitted texture. It's extremely comfortable. The make up of the knit utilises fused yarn which allows adidas to digitally fine-tune the key focus areas such as support, flexibility and stability in places that athletes need it most. Working with athletes closely with this new technology allowed the brand to get as close to perfect products as possible at the time.

“Knitting fused yarn allows us to fine-tune the exact amount of flexibility and support needed in every part of the shoe. This means lightweight comfort that wraps seamlessly around your foot, whilst fewer materials produce less waste.” - adidas at the launch of the adizero Primeknit seamless running shoe.

It is worth checking out the video from SneakerWatch below which shows how adidas went about creating Primeknit products - with this video in particular focussing on the adizero Pimeknit seamless running shoe. Tech heads will love seeing all the intricate details and machinery used - we're definitely not putting our hands up to try and knit something like this by hand!

Another clear positive from the use of Primeknit that we need to mention is the benefit to the environment using one knit has as opposed to using multipe other synthetics and leathers. By using a fixed length of yarn to produce the exact amount of material needed for a pair of boots or shoes - no waste occurs. When you multiply that by thousands of shoes the waste saving is massive and something adidas have pioneered and stood by for so long which is to be applauded. 

Anyway - back to football. With Primeknit quickly becoming a global sensation for running and lifestyle footwear lovers, adidas waited four years to pick their moment to bring the concept to life on a football pitch. What better time than in the lead up to the most anticipated international football tournament ever - the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The spiritual home of football.

This brings us to the first football boot adidas used Primeknit on:

adidas Samba Primeknit - 2014.

adidas Samba Primeknit

This period of time was like an arms race between adidas and Nike - with Adidas on one side perfecting Primeknit and Nike pushing Flyknit. Both brands were looking to break down the way conventional boots were made and bring design forward in leaps and bounds. 

The boot that came first in the race was the iconic Samba Primeknit - a boot that lived up to it's name being packed full of different colours and flair. 

Much like how Nike utilised Ronaldo to test the debut Mercurial Vapor before the 1998 World Cup in France, adidas chose Luis Suarez to give critical feedback on the product before they were worn by players on pitch and launched globally for people to buy. The Three Stripes took 2 years to develop the boot and made sure to test the product in all conditions to ensure these were ready to perform any time, any place. 

The main target for the adidas Samba Primeknit was to bring the feeling of being barefoot or wearing socks that are almost like a second skin to life in the best way possible. You know how as a kid you would run around the living room with socks kicking a ball all over the place, feeling invincible, with nothing between you and the ball? That was the sort of vibe adidas was looking for - being as light, free and comfortable as possible. What's more comfortable than kicking around in a pair of socks after all? 

This focus on lightweight material spurred the brand on to create boots that weighed in at just 165g. The limited edition and super lightweight Samba Primeknit officially became the first ever completely knitted football boot and is still as iconic today as it was back then. It's also one of the rarest boots in football given only 125 pairs were made worldwide.

adidas Primeknit 2.0 - 2015.

adidas Primeknit 2.0

The Three Stripes looked to improve on the Samba a year later with the Primeknit 2.0. They were even confident enough to label this version the best fitting football boot in the world!

The main new feature for the 2.0 was the new compression fit technology which was based on the Primeknit FS innovation. The FS stood for Footy Sock and this version essentially brought together the Samba and the FS prototype in stunning fashion with that instantly recognisable high heel tab. 

The new tongue for the 2.0 also included Lycra yarns which wrapped around the midfoot to create an even better lockdown compared to the Samba. 

The Primeknit 2.0 was released as part of the newly announced LC (limited collection) range which Ultra Football has been part of since we opened our doors. We only wish we'd have been opened back in 2015 so we could have got our hands on a pair of these too! Only 10,000 pairs were released around the world so if you were lucky enough to cop a pair - you did well. 

adidas X15+ Primeknit - 2015.

adidas X15+ Primeknit

2015 was all about the X15+ and 'chaos.'

The bright new X15+ Primeknit utilised a one piece Primeknit collar and tongue construction which was a big change from the silos usual synthetic upper. The coolest part from our point of view in regards to this model was the fact that it really brought home that link between Primeknit sneakers and boots. This pair felt like your best pair of comfortable sneakers, but will all the added tech to ensure you could play at your best on pitch. 

The way the tongue was constructed for the X15+ Primeknit was basically the same as the Primeknit 2.0 and with good reason - why change up something that was working so well? One slight update was this tongue also including a loop where the laces crossed over, which meant that the X branding was highlighted more and allowed the silo to really stand out as a star in the adidas lineup. 

Speaking of standing out: just look at that solar orange and black colourway. Talk about chaos! The delivery chaotic design and bright colours meant this were very noticeable. The follow up to this launch colourway was the core black version which followed in January, 2016. Two epic releases.  

ACE 16+ Purecontrol - 2016

adidas ACE 16+ Purecontrol

Although the name might have dropped from the title, Primeknit also played an integral role in the next few years with the new ACE 16+ Purecontrol. What a release they were!

Just looking at them you can still notice a large portion of Primeknit used throughout the upper as well as on the Primecut ankle fit - built to adapt to the foot. The completely laceless upper really allowed the Primeknit to shine through on the ACE which looked differently levels of awesome with that predominantly green colourway mixed black three stripes popping out.  

The lack of laces also meant the lockdown was more enhanced, bringing back that wearing socks feeling we've talked about already. It also meant that you could easily connected with clean strikethrough and no other variables getting in the way. Just a snug, second skin like fit meeting the ball with force in a natural way. Just awesome.  

Adidas Predator - 2017 and beyond.

Adidas Predator 18+

November, 2017, was a massive moment for adidas as they brought back an icon - the adidas Predator. Predator is arguably the brands most iconic silo and the Predator 18+ thrust the most aggressive boot back into the limelight - with Primeknit included of course. 

The use of Primeknit on the new Predator came on the new SOCKFIT COLLAR - which was created to expand to the foot's shape but also provide lockdown and a supportive fit. The Primeknit collar also utilised CONTROLSKIN which allowed for optimal grip in all conditions.  

Since the Predator rebirth back in 2017, Primeknit has been a material utilised on all releases even up to the present day Predator Freak+ which changed things up significantly opposed to previous models with the two piece Primeknit collar construction. The reason adidas decided to do this was to make it easier to open up and get your foot in, while keeping the great level of lockdown and support.

Fans of adidas football boots with Primeknit at their core stay tuned this week as we bring something very cool to Australian shores. Hint - it's a model we haven't talked about in this article - but one which will get you very excited! Fans of the adidas Copa70 pack in early 2019 will be happy... 😉 


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