Adidas has created new versions of its premium football boot range explicitly for female athletes as part of the brand’s continued push to speak to more women.
The Adidas Ace and X boots have been engineered to specifically fit the female foot with a unique combination of shape, design and traction.
As part of the creative process Adidas worked with numerous female athletes, including US captain and World Cup winner Becky Sauerbrunn, to gain key insights into the unique shape of the female foot.
The results showed that women’s feet typically have a lower in-step and narrower foot bend, which meant creating new outsole tooling. In addition, both boots have shorter and smaller studs, as well as unique stud positioning. The height and diameter of the studs are designed to aid both rotational and linear traction for female athletes.
Sauerbrunn described the move as a “revolution to the women's game” which she was “honoured to showcase on the field”.
"In soccer, female athletes across the world wear shoes that are not meant for us, our feet, or our game,” added Sauerbrunn. “Today, thanks to Adidas' constant drive to innovate and empower women, we finally have access to the first ever cleat for female players.”
Dean Lokes, vice-president of product at Adidas Football, said: “Through our dedicated testing with female athletes we can focus on what makes women unique and create something to help them perform at their best. It’s not just about a smaller Ace or X boot, it’s about designing a boot with technical features to suit the different female foot shape and physiology.
Lokes also highlighted the brand’s wider commitment to its creating products better engineered for women.
“It’s not only in football that we’re consulting female athletes to innovate our female product range either,” he said. “In running, the PureBoost X was designed with a floating arch and adjustable lacing system to deliver a supportive fit for the female foot.”
Players such as Becky Sauerbrunn and international teammate, Morgan Brian, will wear the new Ace boot. The X version will be worn by the likes of Chicago Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico as well as Portland Thorns players Lindsey Horan and Emily Sonnett.
The creation of the new female specific line illustrates how brands are beginning to take note of the marketing opportunities around women’s sport, something which the 'This Girl Can' campaign has championed.
As well pushing for gender equality, they are also driven by the commercial opportunities based off projections from the likes of Fleishman-Hillard which stated earlier this year that over the next decade, women will account for two-thirds of consumer wealth in the US.
Another brand which has continued to increase its female-centric marketing is Under Armour which, earlier this summer, signed Chelsea footballer and England international Eniola Aluko as its first UK brand ambassador.
Women’s sport remains a largely untapped market though with relatively few brands making the most of the opportunities. One except is energy giant SSE which committed some of its sports sponsorship budget to become the title sponsor for the women’s FA Cup final last season.
The lack of broadcasting time has served as a deterring factor for marketers’ willingness to increase their commitment, however there is some evidence to suggest that this is slowly beginning to change. Channel 4 bought the broadcast rights to the women’s Euro 2017 tournament and Sky Sports recently committed to upping its coverage of women’s sports.