Behind the dark, ominous double-doors of the Adidas Lab in Bloomsbury, technicians are working on something out of this world. ‘One day,’ they promise, ‘your kit could be more intelligent than you.’ It turns out that day could be as close as next year.
As the official supplier of the UEFA Champions League, the final of which kicks off at Wembley Stadium at 7.45pm tonight, it comes as no surprise that Adidas chose the night before to announce the remarkable advances they’ve been making in football gear. Even Zinedine Zidane and Michael Bollack looked a little awestruck on stage as the news was revealed, although that could have been the effect of the incredibly bright lights shining at them. In any case, a ‘smart ball’ that coaches you via an app is something to feel in awe over. A kit containing ‘MiCoach’ technology that monitors your position, biorhythm and activity level, is, quite frankly, amazing. And a boot that weighs less than your iPhone is something to get very, very excited about.
The new Adizero Prime F50 shoe is made from polyurethane bonding – like bone structure – which is visible beneath a near-transparent woven polyester mesh. Although, it looked more like canvas and felt like plastic. The rest of the strip resembles snug-fitting layers of netting and altogether (including the shoes) will weigh 630g. That’s little more than a pint of milk! When Adi Dassler founded Adidas in 1948, players were running around in more than double that weight. Just imagine how fast Lionel Messi would be if he was wearing this next-to-nothing kit? Ok, maybe save that image for later. But you can see that things are really hotting up in the Adidas Lab right now, and although you can’t get your hands on the stuff just yet, they are aiming to have this sportswear in full production by 2015. Danielle Goldstein