In the way that The Last Dance introduced an entirely new audience to the glory of the Air Jordan, David Beckham’s own recent docuseries Beckham had a shoe tie-in of its own: the Adidas Predator. Beckham’s long-time football cleat of choice was on full display throughout the doc, helping to propel his magic left foot to glory in the Premiership, the Champions League, and beyond. It’s almost impossible to watch Beckham and not come to two main conclusions: that Becks seems like a genuinely nice guy, and that the Adidas Predator was a seriously amazing boot.
The sudden influx of mainstream interest in the Predator may partly account for why Adidas has decided to release its most famous football shoe as a lifestyle sneaker. The Predator 24 League Low Freestyle shares much of the immortal Predator football DNA, with a mesh and suede upper and claw-like stripes that will be familiar to anyone who’s played in a pair of the performance shoes. But right underneath the Lightstrike midsole, Adidas has added an outsole straight from its Samba line, taking this from sleek pitch classic to slightly chunkier and sturdier lifestyle staple. Could you still kick a football with it? Probably. But Adidas is betting that you’ll want to wear it with, say, baggy pants and a vintage jersey.
With the Samba now entering its fifth consecutive year as one of the most ubiquitous fashion sneakers on the planet, it makes sense that Adidas would want to expand its lifestyle offerings and allow another iconic silhouette to step up and into the spotlight. And as Samba follow-ups go, the Predator is the next logical step: the Samba itself was originally a football shoe, after all, and given the booming international interest in soccer culture, taking one of the most iconic performance shoes in the history of the sport and giving it a casual redesign is a shrewd move. Cynics might call it a transparent bid to capitalize on already overdone Samba mania. For our part, we’re happy to see the blokecore reign continue.