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History of the adidas Football Speed Silo (F50 & X)

History of the adidas Football Speed Silo (F50 & X)

Article by: Mitchell Grimes

Thu, Jul 08.21

  • #Adidas
  • #Boots
  • History of the adidas Football Speed Silo (F50 & X)

    Ahead of the the launch of the adidas Special Edition Messi X Speedflow 'El Retorno' we take a look back at the history of the adidas speed silo and pick out our favourite and most important boots from the collection. 

    F50 Tunit



    The adidas F50 Tunit was the first F50 to be fully customisable, launching in 2006 ahead of the World Cup in Germany. The upper, the soleplate and the studs were all completely customisable allowing different options for different playing surfaces, the first boot to offer this kind of flexibility. 

    Along with the launch colour, adidas went hard for the 06 World Cup, launching 32 colourways for the 32 nations competing at the tournament. The boots were worn at the World Cup by an 18 year old Lionel Messi and Lukas Podolski who scored 3 goals being named young player of the tournament.

    F50 adiZero Messi Chameleon Purple 



    In the lead up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, adidas went all-in on lightweight boots with the adizero range. These were the lightest boots money could buy, and the first F50 to be given a synthetic and leather version. Messi was given a special edition chameleon colour which he rocked at the World Cup and later on received a signature gold version to commemorate his Ballon d’Or win.

    The boot was worn by several stars at the World Cup; Shunsake Nakamura, Arjen Robben, Lukas Podolski, and Golden Boot & tournament winner David Villa. Villa wore the black & sun colourway, smashing in 5 goals to take his side all the way to the final and Andreas Iniesta did the rest.

    Yohji Yamamoto adizero f50 LE


    In 2014 adidas teamed up with legendary Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto to produce their second limited edition adizero f50 together and quite possibly their wildest boot design yet. The boots came together with a blue and green shoe featuring a half dragon, half robot kinda thing? The design pulled inspiration heavily from Japanese sci-fi culture.

    The boots launched with the famous Yamamoto designed Real Madrid Champions League kit which featured the ‘Dragon King’ and ‘Dragon Bird’ graphic, this guy likes his dragons. Yamamoto and adidas go way back, with the Y-3 collection and designing some limited edition pairs of the 2006 Tunit together, Yohji loves it.

    F50 adizero Crazylight



    In 2014 adidas went and made their lightest boot yet weighing in at 135 grams making it the lightest boot to ever be released to the public, 20% lighter than the previous F50. This was achieved by creating a totally new lightweight skin upper which dramatically reduced the weight of the boot, along with an all new stud configuration.

    The shoes came in a black and green colourway with an arrow design to represent the forward motion and speed you need to be travelling in if you’re wearing these beauties, the design was finished off with bright orange adidas three-stripes. The boot was worn exclusively by Gareth Bale and debuted against Shalke in the Champions League which his side won 3-1.

    F50 adizero "Solar Red"

    In 2015 it was time to fuck the haters. The three stripes went big on the haters campaign for the last ever F50, with the likes of Gareth Bale, James Rodríguez, Luis Suárez, Karim Benzema The campaign featured their flash lifestyles, over the top goal celebrations, expensive possessions and of course, their shiny new boots. 

    The new f50 was designed to maximise speed and manoeuvrability, and was therefore given a complete makeover. For the first time in f50 history the three stripes branding was moved to the back of the boot, because that's all the haters are seeing. A 3D dribbletex layer on the upper was implemented for better dribbling in all conditions and the outsole also received a redesign, with a new grip texture and stud configuration inspired by sprinters spikes. 

    Adizero 99g




    The previous lightest boot was Gareth Bale's Crazylight F50 at 135 grams, which we can all agree is way too heavy, like walking in quicksand. The people needed a sub 100g boot and the three stripes produced. The shoe was constructed using a 1mm polyamide outsole, designed to reduce weight and somehow maintain the structure needed to perform. The boot had a completely unique stud configuration allowing for the fastest possible movements in each direction, if you can’t outpace a defender in these, then football might not be for you. 

    Just 299 pairs of these were released, meaning if you had every single pair produced you'd have just under 30kgs of shoe, even I could lift that… maybe… probably not. These shoes were only available in a size 8.5, so if you saw someone at Sunday league rocking these, chances are they were compensating for something.

    X 15+




    By 2015 it was time to say goodbye to the F50 and hello to the X. the X 15 was focused on giving the best possible fit with a super soft upper which moulded to your foot, the boot was also available in a leather upper like its predecessor. The adidas branding was still on the heel of the boot because again if you’re wearing this boot, that's all the opposition is seeing.

    The shoe featured a funky design on the instep and outer side of the boot, and is built to keep your foot locked in a place and of course, comfortable. The tongue of the boot is also extremely thin to keep the boot lightweight. The X first received a bit of a mixed reception with a lot of the public still in mourning of the much loved F50, but that's nothing Luis Suarez scoring in the Champions League Final can't fix. 

    X 16+ Purechaos




    In 2016 Adidas released the first ever laceless boot. Kinda. The X 16 Purechaos was where the X started to do special things, releasing just before Euro 2016. The boot was kitted out with a glove-like techfit lacing system which kept your foot nice and snug, but the real talking point from this boot was the Purecut Sock System which covered the laces allowing a clean surface to strike the ball with, giving it that laceless feel.

    This was the boot of choice for Gareth Bale at Euro 2016 as Wales nearly went all the way. Bale finished equal 2nd in the Golden Boot race and took his side to the Semi’s where they lost out to eventual champions Portugal. Bastards.

    X 17.1





    2017/18 was a good season to be on Merseyside, champions league final, top four sewn up and the Egyptian King scoring for fun. Salah scored a record 32 goals which not only won him the Golden Boot but also landed him a spot in the world famous Egyptian collection at the British Museum. 

    By 2017/18 Salah was firming as one of the world's best forwards dominating the domestic league and achieving World Cup qualification with Egypt. Neal Spencer from the British Museum stated that the acquisition of the boots brings the Egyptian collection right up to date where it needs to be, with Salah now present in Egypt's rich history. 


    Limited Edition X Ghosted+ PF

    adidas Limited Edition X Ghosted+ PF


    Now for the big one, the X Ghosted PF, or Peregrine Falcon, a boot inspired by the fastest animal on the planet. The Peregrine Falcon reaches a top speed of 320km/h when hunting prey, which can only be rivalled by how fast you move when you’re wearing these bad boys. 

    The design is ridiculous, seen as a successor to the previous Yohji Yamamoto F50 designs with the lion and cyberpunk dragon. The boot features a falcon on each boot in attack mode with its claws outstretched, going in for the kill, similar to what the opposition sees when you've got these on. Only select speedsters around the world were allowed to wear these boots, such as Lucas Moura and Achraf Hakimi.

    Love the history adidas has with the speed silo? Don't miss the Special Edition Messi X Speedflow 'El Retorno' - Messi is back in the speed silo and you don't want to miss out. Get yours in store at Ultra HQ or online.

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