The next-generation ACE 17+ Purecontrol arrived on the professional scene this weekend as adidas served up their latest laceless edition. Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Mesut Ozil and Dele Alli were all leading the laceless line for adidas but in modified versions of the boot.
It's no secret that players at the very top often request modifications to their boots, but after all leading adidas ACE 17+ Purecontrol players stepped out for the boot's debut weekend wearing the exact same alternative, you can only think there's something going on. From the looks of things, adidas have supplied a cleated version of the ACE 17+ Tango Purecontrol to their top professionals including Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Mesut Ozil, with noticeable upper differences to the retail model.
So what are the differences? The boots worn by the creative quartet here, as well as other players across Europe, feature a completely new upper and collar construction, with a more rigid knitted material in comparison to the current retail model of the ACE 17+ Purecontrol and its predecessor: the ACE 16+ Purecontrol.
Interestingly it's the same upper and collar construction found on the new ACE 17+ Tango Purecontrol (above) and the ACE 17.1 Primeknit. As well as with the ACE 17+ Tango Purecontrol, the player's boots have an additional coated layer that runs across the upper, plus an adidas logo on the upper mid-foot, just below the front pull tab.
Buy why? We can only speculate at this point, but it raises a number of questions regarding the future of the ACE 17+ Purecontrol and adidas' decision to market a shoe that's not being worn by its elite roster. Could it be that the players wearing old samples? Or are we looking at an updated construction that will be brought to future ACE 17+ Purecontrol colourways? The 'real' ACE 17+ Purecontrol? If so, why didn't adidas launch with this boot?
The theory of this being an already updated version of the ACE 17+ Purecontrol supports suggestions that the launch boot wasn't enough of an upgrade from the ACE 16+ Purecontrol to justify its position and title as a new model. The two boots share a close to identical construction, while the newly introduced ACE 17+ Tango and ACE 17.1 Primeknit carry the real changes.
Whatever the reason for the differences, Pogba and co. aren't wearing the boots being sold to Joe Public, and that will peeve some people off. However things develop, this could be an interesting one.