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  • Writer's pictureOliver Coultas

Should You Be Tempted By Fake Football Boots in 2024? adidas Predator Tongue Review

In 2024, you can get a replica version of pretty much anything. Fraudulent Gucci? Check. Fraudulent jewelry? Check. Fraudulent football managers? Check, Ten Haag has that one covered.

So should you be looking to get yourself a fake pair of football boots, saving yourself hundreds? Well, let's have a look!

(fake on the left, real on the right)

A month ago I bought a real and fake pair of adidas Predator Elite Tongues... well, at least the real pair is elite. (The review on the fakes will be in italics if that's all you're here for.)

Upper, Elements and Tongue

(fake is the left boot, real is the right)

Looking at the uppers. The real pair adorns a HybridTouch 2.0 upper which is soft out of the box, and after an hour or so of playing, really softens up for a comfortable experience on foot. It accommodates well, yet still feels responsive and not sloppy at all.

The last is new and feels, dare I say it, a little speedbooty when on. The heel caused no issues with just some padding either side. The iconic returning tongue feels streamlined to the upper, and doesn't get in the way or feel bulky which was a first worry when I got them - I usually cut tongues off of boots! It features StrikeSkin elements which I'll now get onto.

StrikeSkin elements are featured on the instep and tongue, which are a grippy textured rubber and they feel 'sticky' to the touch. They offer a good amount of grip, and even if purely mental, allow for a nice strike on the ball.

I went with a UK 7, and they fit snugly with not too much wiggle room, yet don't feel too small.

The fake pair is branded with all of these same features, although in reality has none of them. The last is just the generic 'fake boot' one, although I can't say that it is half bad, especially for those with slightly wider forefoots. Although it appears to be similar, it is a plasticy feeling upper which doesn't give the same performance... it's what you'd expect from a League or .3 boot.

The StrikeSkin is not rubber, but more of a hard plastic, but it is there and very textured - something which I wasn't expecting. So no added grip on the ball, but striking in these to my surprise feels good. They remind me of an older power boot, which is built for just hitting the ball really hard - a great descriptive I know.

I ordered a UK 7 but ended up receiving a UK 7.5 but luckily they fit nearly perfect. The fit is not the same at all, with the wider, higher toebox but if you're after a more accommodating fit, you're onto a winner.

Soleplate and Heel

(fake is top, real is bottom)

The ControlFrame 2.0 (a lot of 2.0s going on here), feels responsive on both firm ground as well as artificial grass (I tested both boots on both surfaces over the space of a month). There's a good snapback to the plate, and no stud pressure, even when playing on AG.

Stud layout, it is back to the classic adidas offering with 6 in the forefoot (1 support stud) and 4 in the heel which we first saw from the adizero back in 2010. The heel counter is also built into the plate and I've got no complaints here. My heel felt well locked in, something which can't be said for their takedown Pro model which my review will be coming soon).

The same setup for the fake pair, although the performance is vastly different. The thin plastic used on these makes for a noticeable difference, with some slight stud pressure being felt on AG, although on grass pitches I didn't notice it. You don't get the same snapback sensation, that is to be expected, but what you do get is a lovely bent in the middle of the soleplate, something which fake boots are well known for. It's not as drastic as fake boots I've felt in the past, and is surprisingly more sturdy than some real Umbro boots I've tested (Medusae I'm looking at you), but please be aware of it.

Overall Thoughts

(left is fake, right is real)

So if you're wanting to save a few quid (that's dollars for those across the pond), should you think about getting a pair of fake boots? Put short, no.

Yes, they might look very similar, but the performance is not in the same league, and the moral side behind counterfeit items is not good either.

I would say look at the takedown models, but even then there are better options out there for your money.

If you're prepared to pull the trigger for the adidas Predator Elites though, the performance, nostalgia, and overall package is something that I think is worth the money. I am very happy with my pair, and they've become my go-to pair for games, replacing the Tiempo Montebelluna.

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1 Comment

Andrew Palmer
Andrew Palmer
Mar 03

Agree that these new Preds have an almost speed boot vibe, must be the new last.

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