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Soccer Product Reviews
Reusch Waorani WC Deluxe G2 LTD Ortho-Tec Goalkeeper Gloves - model 3470901
Performance: This is something every coach, every weekend warrior, every parent with a soccer-playing child must own. Sometimes you don't want to stand in goal and be a shooting target, or maybe you're just out kicking the ball around by yourself and need targets to shoot at. With the Goalshot, you just strap it up to any full size (8' x 24') goal and you instantly have a professional-level shooting drill. Whether you're working on your upper-v shots or your back corner pk's, this thing is not only a great coaching tool, but lots of fun too. Made from high-strength knit netting, you'll get everything you need to set this net up in minutes. All you need is a couple of soccer ball packages and you've got hours of entertainment.
Appearance: I'm a sucker for bright colors and neon so these were right up my alley. They come from adidas' new Earth line that also feature the adidas F50 adizero TRX Running Glow/Earth Green/Solar Zest Firm Ground Soccer Cleats - model D67119, adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 TRX FG Earth Green/Running White/Solar Zest Soccer Cleats - model F32766 , and adidas Predator Absolion LZ TRX FG Running White/Earth Green/Solar Zest Soccer Cleats - model F32555. The F50's are definitely my favorite of the bunch. They are bright, but not overwhelmingly so. The upper is made from what adidas is calling a "Hybridtouch" which combines all the best qualities of leather such as breathability, flexibility and durability of leather, with the lightweight aspect of synthetics.
Performance: Not a whole lot you won't like when you put these on. They are streamlined and fit like a glove. People always ask me if that's a good thing and it definitely is. You don't want your foot sliding around in your shoe, but at the same time, you don't want them pinching your toes. Obviously, every foot is going to fit differently in each shoe, but I have a slightly wide foot, and these fit great! The clean toe box gives you a great shooting surface and the SPEEDTRAXION outsole cleats give ample traction for lateral movements and sudden stops. Go the extra distance and spring for the adidas Bluetooth Smart Compatible miCoach Speed Cell - model G75090 which helps you track your top speed, burst speed, total distance and game time. You won't be disappointed with these boots!
Feel: Much like its first generation predecessor, the Diadora DD-NA GLX 14 Firm Ground Soccer Cleats - model 158455-C024, this DD-NA 2 has the feel and comfort of leather with the lightweight aspect of a synthetic. To minimize the heat retention that plagues most synthetics is the patented NET Breathing System that allows ventilation through the outsole. If you haven't seen this in person, it's the silver mesh-line material you can see on the cleat bottoms (see 2nd picture below). This is a similar technology employed by Kenneth Cole on their high-end dress shoes. That being said, it does work and it does keep the cleats comfortable and ventilated.
Performance: Extremely aggressive stud pattern which will take some getting used to, but if you need traction, you won't be disappointed. Even with a smooth upper surface, you still get excellent touch on the soccer ball with every strike. The Diadora DD-NA 2 GLX 14 Firm Ground Soccer Cleats - model 158956 does seem to be more flexible that its previous generation and they will stand out with their bold colors.
Performance: Dr. Cool Cold Compression Wraps combine ice and compression in one flexible wrap that comes in a bunch of color options. These can be used dry as a compression wrap to support and protect various body parts during activities, or you can freeze them and apply cold to combine cold and compression to reduce swelling and speed recovery mid or post-activity. All you have to do is wet the wrap and throw it in the freezer. Once you've had it in there for at least 20 minutes, you can take it out and apply to the injured area. It stays around 40 degrees for 20-30 minutes and really does a great job combining cold and compression. The fast that these are reusable and pretty durable (even machine washable), makes the $29.99 sale price a steal of a deal.
Performance: Some of you may not know this because Reusch, Nike, Sells, and adidas are what most of the pros where, but Brine makes some pretty sick gloves. These new King Premiere 6X's are awesome. First thing you'll notice is that they look intimidating. They are black with some electric blue contrasts with black palms. Well the highlights don't end there. If you're like me then you'll like a glove that hugs your hand and this does exactly that. They are well padded and the fingersave "Backbones" are going to do their job. At first, they seem a little stiff, but putting them on and making about 100 open and closed fists will help loosen them up before you step on the field. They palms do a great job on almost any surface and doesn't seem to lose much of it's tackiness even when wet.
Feel: These gloves are not meant to be worn "loose-fitting." They are well padded, yet provide plenty of flexibility in the backhand thanks to the vented gussets. Like I mentioned above, these fingersavers are going to do their job. You're not going to forget they're there, but let's be honest, if you're wearing gloves with finger protection, you want to know you're being protected.
Performance: I know this goal might be overkill for many of you, but if you live anywhere where fields with goals are hard to come by, this might not be a bad investment for you. First of all, these set up in about 3 minutes. If you have someone to help you out, you can realistically get this up and running in less than 2 minutes. Once it's up, we wanted to make sure it could take a beating so I let a dozen high schoolers take their best shot at knocking it over. Surprisingly, it held up extremely well. It does flex upon impact which kind of cradles the ball from bouncing right out,. but what really makes it stand apart from others on the market is the fact that it has sidewalls that allow players to shoot into like regulation goals. Bownet makes several size goals and the most popular is the BowNet 5' x 10' Soccer Goal - model BN5x10, but we figured if the 8' x 24' could hold up then we had no doubt the smaller ones would do the job. Overall, great product, solid construction, and affordable price.
Performance: I know this isn't one of adidas' newest releases, but when I saw they were being offered for almost half price, I figured they were worth trying out. At first glance, the yellow seems a little much, but once you slip them on, you forget all about the color. They are lightweight and flexible and are miCoach compatible which is a nice feature that allows you to slip the miCoach Speed Cell into the outsole to monitor your performance on the field.
Feel: The upper is made from what adidas calls "Hybrid L-S," which is a hybrid of the benefits of leather and synthetic in one material. Meaning they stretch and breathe like leather with the lightweight performance aspects of synthetic. Pretty impressive because they actually do as advertised. I have a wide foot and some adidas and Nikes are tough for me to wear, but these felt like they began to stretch and mold to my foot within about 30 minutes of wearing. For the clearance price these are on sale for, you should jump all over this deal!
Performance: I was a little skeptical when we first took these shirt out of the packaging because I don't really like extra protection unless I absolutely need it, but Storelli scored a goal with this item. The padding is extremely flexible and really does mold to your body shape. You do have to make sure you get this tight-fit otherwise I can see it being a little cumbersome. There are plenty of seams in the padding which allows them to flex and bend where you need them to, yet at the same time offers some serious protection. The "ChesTrap" padding reminds me a lot of a catcher's chest protector in baseball and does a great job of absorbing the impact of a shot with minimal shock to the player. This is a great item for players coming off injury or just trying to avoid getting one and when worn under a goalkeeper jersey is really not noticeable.
Feel: Like I mentioned, this shirt is very flexible and lightweight despite all the protection it offers. The body of the shirt is made from a moisture-management material that helps wick sweat and moisture off your body. This is definitely designed to fit tight so make sure you keep that in mind when ordering.
Appearance: These shoes are definitely for the player looking for attention on the field. They are bold, bright, brash and bad a%@. The colors are vibrant and really look much better in person than they do in pictures. The upper is made from what adidas is calling a "Hybridtouch" which combines all the best qualities of leather such as breathability, flexibility and durability of leather, with the lightweight aspect of synthetics.
Appearance: When you first pull them out of the box they'll catch you off guard by how white they are, but you'll get over it. And if not, then go with the classic black version, adidas Samba Classic Indoor Shoes - model 034563. That being said, these shoes are so multifunctional it makes them such a great deal for under $60. I have two pair; one for kicking the ball around when I play indoor soccer with the boys, and one pair for wearing with jeans and a polo when I'm heading out on the town.
Xara Magna Soccer Backpack - model 7006
Appearance: These gloves are mean and green!! I don't know how Reusch did it with these gloves, but when you see them in person, you'll understand when I tell you that these things are intimidating. They have so many features and so much innovative technology that you can't help but be impressed. The embossed backhand and expanse cut palms look cool, but also provide protection and flexibility.
Performance: It's fitting that we reviewed these gloves after we did the World Cup ball because I wondered last month if there was going to be a glove on the market this year that could stop that ball and I think this is it. Reusch does so many things with their gloves that I'm not going to bore you with all the features because you can just read those on the item page. What I am going to focus on is just how comfortable these gloves are and how much feel you actually get with them. The pre-curved fingers might be the simplest, yet greatest thing on this glove. Most gloves come flat as a board, but these gloves are pre-curved to contour to the way your hands naturally sit. So even with all the latex and polyurethane fingersavers, you still have all the flexibility you would have if you were wearing mitten. The Catch Control™ feature on the palms basically mimics your fingerprint for added grip. You can easily palm a soccer ball with these gloves even if you couldn't before. Honestly, we realize that these gloves aren't cheap, but just know that they are without question, worth every penny!
Appearance: Let me get this out of the way from the start; this ball looks way better in person than it does in pictures. I wasn't impressed when I saw images of it, but once you see it in person, I don't know if it's the mystique of knowing you holding the World Cup ball or what, but it looks really sick. The colors pop and the textured cover make for a distinct look.
Performance: I thought the last World Cup ball was the best ball I had ever played with, but adidas really outdid themselves with the Brazuca. The seamless cover make for a 360 sweet spot and the textured outer lets you hit the ball with some serious top spin. The major issue with the last World Cup ball was that it knuckled a lot, but this one doesn't seem to have that problem. Overall, great ball and it comes in a display box so whether you collect these balls or just want to play with the best ball on the planet, this is a must have for serious ballers.
Feel: Okay, there is no other way to say this other than these cleats are SICK! They are a little narrower than I prefer, but they do flex so after a day, they fit like a glove. The upper is like a layer of skin on your foot and which is exactly what you want in a high end cleat. The lightness of these shoes is ridiculous. If you want a pair of soccer cleats where you hardly notice they're on and they function like an extension of your own feet, look no further.
Performance: This might be the best boot on the market right now. The aggressive stud pattern gives you plenty of traction on any field. As I mentioned above, the feel you get when you strike a ball with these is like nothing you've ever experienced. You'll feel like you're playing with the pros with these on.
Feel: As you already know, I am a huge fan of leather, but adidas somehow managed to make a synthetic feel like leather. It's lightweight, bold, and flexes with your foot so you get the performance of synthetic with the comfort of leather. The "cushioning studs" really do absorb the impact of playing on hard surfaces. The color is much improved over its predecessors as well. All in all, adidas did a great job with this shoe.
Performance: I still don't think I know how the Energysling works, but it definitely doesn't hurt my game. They do great on pretty much any surface and the increased sweet spot on the toe gives you a great surface to strike the ball with.
Feel: I won't lie, these socks will take a day or two to get used to but once you do you will not go back to wearing ordinary socks. If you have game socks, you cut the foot off of the game socks, and wear them almost like leg warmers while the TruSox are worn normally. That way you get the performance of the TruSox and still keep the look of your uniform. The non-slips tabs on the socks work like magic keeping your foot from moving around in your socks and shoes. I always used to get blisters on the inside of my big toe and having worn these socks now for the last two months, my blisters are gone!
Performance: These things do exactly what they say they do. They're not cheap so I had high expectations for them and they passed with flying colors.
Feel: This shoe is so light and flexible you forget it's actually leather. Generally most of us will pick up a synthetic boot because we either want something really lightweight or we want some crazy color. Somehow adidas achieved both in this one. The upper is comfortable as you would imagine for a leather shoe, but the stud pattern on the bottom is quite foot friendly as well. You will love the way this shoe feels!!
Performance: If you want aggressive footing and traction, you will not be disappointed. The TRAXION stud configuration and bladed cleats will work on any natural surface.
Feel: Let me start off by telling you that I normally wear the smallest, thinnest shinguards I can find, so when I saw the Gamma Carbonios in person, I laughed. Reading the specs on it, I was kind of curious so I decided to put them to the test. The first thing I did was hit them as hard as I could against a cement pillar. Don't ask why, it just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. The good news is that nothing happened to the guard. The next step was to actually try them on. Honestly, there isn't much of a difference in length between the two sizes, so really the only issue is now thick your calf is. If you're legs are on the thicker side, go with the Larges. Despite their hefty protection, these things are extremely light and hardly noticeable once you get them on. Since they don't have any straps or sleeves to hold them in place, a good tight sock does the trick. I can't imagine myself wearing these all the time because I really don't need that much protection, but for those of you coming off a serious leg injury or notice your legs take a beating during games, this will be the best investment you will ever make in soccer.
Performance: I don't want to call these things indestructible because I'm sure if you ran over them with a tank, you might scratch them, but this is about as good as you will get in protection, performance and comfort.
Feel: Even though it's a synthetic shoe which I'm not usually a fan of, this shoe has the feel and comfort of leather. It's extremely flexible and soft which is the last thing you think it will be when you look at it. I wore them during a day game in 80 degree heat and they breathed well and didn't cause any excess sweating or blisters.
Performance: Extremely aggressive stud pattern which will take some getting used to, but if you need traction, you won't be disappointed.
Feel: Perfect feel to it and fits around your foot nicely. Genuine leather boot that feels broken in right when you put them on. Very comfortable for the player looking for a combination of comfort and touch.
Performance: Great on the ball, first touch, and rounded studs makes it smooth to accelerate. Overall great boot.
Soccer Product Reviews