Adidas New X Ghosted Cleat Looks To Bring Next-Level Speed To Soccer

One word you hear a whole lot whenever anyone from adidas discusses their products: fast. Everything that the company tries is done with speed in mind, something that is understandable as the world’s best athletes are getting bigger, stronger, and faster with each passing year. This sentiment applies to innovation, too: have the speed to keep up or blow past the competition or watch yourself get left behind.

That was a focal point during the development of adidas’ latest soccer cleat, the all new X Ghosted. They were designed with speed in mind, in more ways than one.

“The product needs to look fast, feel fast, consumers are actually asking for some sort of element of innovation that helps them in their goal to become the fastest version of themselves,” senior product manager Philipp Hagel said during the unveiling of the new boots.

The result is the lightest laceless boot that adidas has ever released, coming in at 189 grams. For Daniel James, a Manchester United winger and one of the fastest athletes on the adidas’ roster of athletes across all sports, the feeling of almost being barefoot is something that he wants when he takes the pitch. As he told Uproxx Sports, the X Ghosted manages to achieve this.


“As time’s kinda gone on, the boots have gotten lighter and lighter,” James said. “They’re thinking of new things all the time with the next boots, and these ones are obviously a lot different. As I said, they look light on your feet, you don’t feel like you’ve got anything on ’em. It’s so important to be that, but as I said, it’s gotta be comfy as well, it’s not just about speed, it’s about being able to stop and go off the turn, but they’ve got all those aspects of it as well.”

James — who joined United last summer from Swansea City and signed with adidas, the brand whose boots he wore as a youngster, “maybe a month later” — is the exact kind of player who needs a boot that lets you start, stop, and take off in the blink of an eye. A pacy, hard-working winger who is among the fastest players in all of England, James thinks that the boot feels like it could have been more applicable in another sport.

“You can feel it, it’s kind of a sprinter’s boot made for football, really,” James said. “I think when you make them, you can maybe go overboard with how light you want to be, and then not be comfy, and then not be able to move around in them. But both aspects of them are so well put together that they’re perfect for a player like me.”

It’s very, very hard to make a player like James feel any faster than he already is, but he believes that wearing the new X Ghosteds help him achieve that. He’s an especially big fan of the carbon fiber plate, which adidas calls the “CARBITEX SPEEDFRAME,” and how it supports his feet as he plants his foot and goes — while the cleats need to be light, they of course need to provide the stability that makes it so elite athletes can push off and not worry about any sort of pain or injury.


And of course, there’s the matter of how they look. “Look fast” is hard to define and varies from person-to-person, but adidas banked on a sleek, white color and a nearly see-through outer skin called “TRANSLUCENT MIRAGESKIN.” As someone who tends to like white boots — he believes they make him look faster — James is a fan of the X Ghosted’s appearance.

“I think just the style, they’re actually a tiny bit see through as well,” James said. I think if you see them on your feet, you can actually see your feet inside. I think they’re a bit, not thinner, but for them to be comfy as well, I think the top bit’s a tiny bit lower, and they just fit on really easy.”

The new X Ghosted boots are available starting on Sept. 1 at €280. But for football fans who are interested in checking them out prior to the day they hit shelves, adidas athletes will have them on their feet during Champions League and Europa League matches that will occur in the coming weeks. James started and rocked them during Manchester United’s 2-1 Europa League win over LASK on Wednesday — United went through, 7-1, on aggregate to earn a spot in the quarterfinals against Sevilla.