How the lat­est Pred was born

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“WE WILL ALSO GET AM­A­TEUR PLAY­ERS TO TEST THE BOOT HID­DEN FOOT­BALLERS WHO TRY THEM OUT IN SE­CRET SO NO­BODY LEAKS THEM”

The Preda­tor is fi­nally mak­ing a come­back, so why ex­actly have Adi­das cho­sen to res­ur­rect the boot?

DL: The Preda­tor was well and truly dead. It was the end of an era and at first there was no de­sire to bring it back. Adi­das had no in­ter­est in the her­itage of the Preda­tor and wanted to fo­cus on the fu­ture in­stead of the past, but we both felt very dif­fer­ently about it. SH: Dean and my­self were pas­sion­ate about the idea of re­design­ing the Preda­tor and had a heated de­bate about it. Thank­fully, we both man­aged to con­vince ev­ery­one we could make some­thing new that would ap­peal to mod­ern foot­ballers, as well as those who who have loved the orig­i­nal Preda­tor over the years.

How have you given the old Preda­tor an up­grade?

SH: Foot­ballers don’t re­ally like change, as they know what they like to wear on their feet and get used to what is com­fort­able for them. So we felt it was wise to use a lot of the same fea­tures of the ACE 17+ boot. DL: The new Preda­tor is lace­less and fea­tures a sock fit, mean­ing it will feel just like the ones play­ers such as Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Arse­nal’s Me­sut Özil are wear­ing now. It has to ap­peal to them as well as cur­rent play­ers and am­a­teurs – we didn’t want them think­ing they were putting on a com­pletely new boot.

Have Adi­das’ star names helped to de­sign the boot?

SH: Yes, and they’re a big part of the de­sign process, be­cause they are able to give us in­stant feed­back on what they like about the new fea­tures and what they think could im­prove the boot. Paul Pogba and Me­sut Özil were both in­volved as they helped us to build the new shoe, and they’ve tested it in train­ing ses­sions. DL: When we get the pro­fes­sion­als in­volved, we start by sit­ting down with them and ex­plain­ing the story be­hind the boot and what we want it do. We call this ‘ro­manc­ing’, and then they try it out. Pogba and Özil both love the new boot – they have said it’s eas­ier to get into than the ACE 17+ and felt they could wear it straight away with­out hav­ing to break them in first.

How long has it taken to make the fin­ished prod­uct?

DL: It’s taken about two years to de­velop it from start to fin­ish – it’s a very thor­ough process. We’ll also get some am­a­teur foot­ballers to test the boot. These are what we call deep-rooted testers – hid­den play­ers in Ger­many who try it out in se­cret so that no­body leaks the boot to the pub­lic be­fore­hand. Their feed­back is just as im­por­tant as the game’s best play­ers, be­cause they will play on dif­fer­ent types of pitches and also in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions – so it has to work for ev­ery­one.

Will the new Pred be as suc­cess­ful as pre­vi­ous ones?

SH: I think that de­pends on sev­eral fac­tors. Ob­vi­ously sales will be one mea­sure of suc­cess, but the big­gest fac­tor will be how play­ers per­form in the new boot. The older Preds were part of so many iconic mo­ments like David Beck­ham’s free-kick against Greece or the Zine­dine Zi­dane vol­ley in the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal. If play­ers like Pogba, Özil and Rakitic pro­duce iconic per­for­mances and goals at the World Cup, they will in­spire more peo­ple to get them and be­come iconic.

Left Pogba and Özil have been test­ing out the new Adi­das Preda­tor footwear in their train­ing ses­sions

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