The Adidas Laceless Design

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Adidas, the brand that wrote the book on the classic black leather cleat has been making strides to modify the staple product of their brand, the results?

High-end cleats made laceless with the promise of bringing your foot even closer to the ball. Adidas isn’t the first brand to produce a laceless cleat: Lotto has been doing it for years.

The move likely comes from watching their competition (Nike) reduce the thickness of their laces and integrate the seamless dynamic fit collar to great effect. Adidas with such a timeless leather design is spreading into the synthetic, new cleat technology market.


Notice how thin the laces are on Nike Superflys
in comparison with Adidas Copa Mundials

Their transition has been bold, giving Adidas three top tier cleats featuring the laceless aesthetic: the Ace 16+ PureControl, Messi 16+ Pureagility, and the X 16+ PureChaos.

The cleat at the forefront, the Ace 16+ PureControl, was the first of the three to aggressively market its slip-on technology using superstar talents such as Paul Pogba.

Here is Pogba in the shock green first editions of the Ace 16+ Pure Control cleats.

The biggest complaint with the cleats wasn’t that they didn’t maintain grip, in fact, most consumers reported being surprised by how well they held your feet in place, but there was a backlash about how chrome bottom decals easily chipped and scuffed within a first few hours of play. Not a defect of function, but it did hurt the style and perception of the cleat.

The newest model remains popular as well.

With the release of two more colorways, both of which were well-received, Adidas has decided to pursue this new ‘laceless initiative’ and that brings us to the redesign on the Messi 16+ PureAgility cleats.

Messi cleat styles were fairly traditional up until the 16+ PureAgility.

The interesting thing is that the Messi 16+ PureAgility cleats aren’t actually laceless. Instead of making the laces extremely thin (which also makes them more fragile) like other manufacturers, Adidas actually incorporated the lacing into their internal power cut sock. Giving you a smooth surface on the outside and lace lock-down security on the inside. They were released with more traditional external laces as well, but the trend seems to be definitive.

Adidas is looking for a design feature to pair their high-end cleats with that people MUST HAVE, much in the same way that Nike is adding the Dynamic Fit collar to every shoe they can think of. The X 16+ PureChaos underwent the hidden lace treatment as well.

Though similar to the Messi’s, the PureChaos features a Non-Stop-Grip pattern on its upper.

Designed for use at every position Adidas sees the PureChaos as the ‘laceless’ (again, they’re hidden) cleat for every position from striker to defender. Made to be relentlessly comfortable and featuring the same internal sock lacing systems, the PureChaos offer the large laceless strike zone for every position on the pitch.

With three new ‘laceless’ styles within the year when previously there were were none you can’t help but wonder when we’ll be seeing a ‘laceless’ version of the Copa Mundial, or if we even will, but one can hope.

For all three of these great Adidas cleats check out

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