Art director Oliver Meikle has some big shoes to fill as he steps in as our reviewer – literally
WORDS Dan Poole
Regular readers will be used to seeing Swaz’s verdict on the latest adidas releases in this column. However, Swaz is a size 6.5, and getting hold of boots that actually fit him is often a struggle. Step forward our art director, Oliver Meikle, a size 11 – and adidas just so happened to have these bad boys in exactly that size.
Now, the X Speedportal weren’t necessarily made with a goalkeeper in mind – but that’s the position Ollie plays so that’s the point of view we’re going with. He wore them for one of our regular Tuesday night games and gave them a proper airing. “Getting them on was a bit of a squeeze,” he says. “It took me a while because they haven’t got a tongue but, once they were on, they didn’t feel tight. They really hugged my feet, locked into the shape of my foot and felt snug, in a good way. They were like an extension of my foot, which meant my movement felt sharp.
“Compared to my other boots, which are more old school with a leather vibe, these are thinner and a lot lighter. They felt really springy in terms of being able to shift my weight quickly from left to right, moving across goal to close down angles, diving, that kind of thing. Really cool.”
He even had the confidence to go full David de Gea as the game wore on. “I did make a couple of saves with my feet. And, when I was kicking the ball, I had a lot more control than usual.”
Ollie was so happy with the colour he wore a complementary kit. “You have to play well in full orange kit and orange boots,” he says. “But I’ve now proven that goalkeepers can wear orange boots, even at grassroots level. And even below that, in my case..."