The History of the adidas Predator
The adidas Predator is one of the most iconic and revolutionary soccer cleats in history.
Over the last 24 years, soccer legends like David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Steven Gerrard (and many more) have laced up and made names for themselves in the Preds. Heck, I wore them back in the day and, if you are reading this, you probably did too.
Born in 1994 and re-born in 2017, here is the story of adidas' most famous boot...
1994 - The Predator
In the early '90s, soccer cleats were boring and in desperate need of innovation.
Enter former Liverpool player, Craig Johnson...
Johnson thought to add rubber teeth to the upper for increased control, power and, of course, swerve. Not to mention, they looked badass! He pitched the concept to adidas and the rest, as they say, is history.
1995 - Predator Rapier
The second generation Predator, released in 1995 and named Rapier, was the first cleat available in multiple colors options and introduced the iconic fold-over tongue.
1996 - Predator Touch
Next, in 1996, came the Predator Touch. The major innovation here, along with an updated tongue and rubber teeth, was the Traxion stud system, which featured rectangular, anatomically positioned studs instead of the classic round ones.
Do you remember when 21-year-old David Beckham scored from the halfway line for Manchester United? These are the Preds he was wearing - it's all about the Touch baby!
1998 - Predator Accelerator
adidas launched the Predator Accelerator for the '98 World Cup in France. The boots featured asymmetrical lacing for cleaner, more accurate strikes.
Zinedine "Zizou" Zidane, with the Accelerators on his feet, led France to victory on their home turf.
2000 - Predator Precision
Two years later at Euro 2000, adidas introduced the Predator Precision. The key update was the X-Traxion system - interchangeable studs with adidas' Traxion technology.
France stole the show again. This time it was David Trezeguet with a golden goal winner.
2002 - Predator Mania
For the next big tourney, the '02 World Cup, adidas made the Predator Mania. The most noticeable change was the elastic strap to keep the fold-over tongue in place. Classic.
This was the ultimate cleat for getting that bend, dip and swerve on the ball. Oh, the goals scored in these beauties!
2004 - Predator Pulse
The Predator Pulse featured PowerPulse technology, giving players a boost of power on their shots.
And 2004 was a crazy year for soccer. Patrick Viera, rocking Preds, led Arsenal to an unbeaten Premier League title, Jose Mourinho won the Champions League with Porto and Greece were triumphant at the Euros.
What a year, what a shoe.
2006 Predator Absolute
For the '06 World Cup, adidas celebrated its top players - Beckham, Gerrard, Kaká, Lampard, Raul, Riquelme and Zidane - with their own colorways for the Predator Absolute. Zidane's tournament ended with a red card instead of a trophy, but hey...memories!
The boot didn't disappoint on tech either, featuring a kangaroo leather upper, asymmetrical lacing and new PowerPulse technology for, you guessed it, more power.
2007 - Predator PowerSwerve
The Predator PowerSwerve was the perfect blend of two deadly skills: Gerrard-like power and Beckham-like swerve. The dynamic PowerPulse technology magnified both.
2012 - Predator LZ
The Predator LZ was made for the "midfield maestro" player like Xavi. It was less about power and swerve and more about speed and skill. The shoe featured five "lethal zones" on the most used parts of the boot.
2017 - Predator 18
In 2017, the iconic adidas Predator was re-born. Featuring a laceless Primeknit upper, Boost insole, Primecut sock and Controlframe outsole, it's the most innovative adidas soccer cleat of all-time. Oh, and the Predator collection is available here!