By Coach Cip
I have worn more cleats than I can remember over my playing career and I am yet to find a pair of synthetic boots that mirrors the properties of leather. The R9 Nike Mercurial was the closest and more recently the CTR 360. These two were very comfortable, but I am a player who relies very heavily on touch and technique because of my build. I was not 100% comfortable on the ball. The intricate dexterity was missing.
There was also a huge problem in wet weather with the synthetic, as the ball seemed to slide off the boot in situations where you had to stretch and could not get a full surface to the ball to soften the bounce or change the direction of the ball. Then we had the problem with break in. It took much longer than leather boots and I had to suffer through blisters. Always on my heel for some reason (I think I wear my cleats too small to be honest). I do not blister in leather though.
I have worn many major brands on the market over my 30 years of playing. They include Adidas, Nike, Puma, Diadora, Lotto, Pirma, Concord, Umbro and Mizuno. I now only wear Nike and Adidas. The Adipure IIs were fantastic if you like blades on the sole. I did not like the first version or the third. The new Adipure IV is available in mid January, so I will try a pair of these. The Nike Tiempos are also great cleats. A little heavier, but they have great touch.
I have gone through many phases as a player, as far as choice of footwear goes. I have come to the conclusion that there is beauty in simplicity. This is how I now choose my footwear.