As I promised last week, I'm going to be throwing some reviews up on FBF from time to time, probably at rate of one per month or so. The initial entry comes to you courtesy of SoccerPro.com in the form of the Nike Air Ronaldinho Rival Indoor Shoe.
I'm late to the "colored kicks" party by a long way here, having relied upon monochrome footwear up until these puppies arrived in the mail. I'm still not entirely sold on the blue, though the style and fit of the shoes are very nice. They were pretty comfortable right out of the box, and after a couple of weeks of wear are pretty well broken in.
Testing - Lifestyle and Indoor
I've tested the shoes on a couple of surfaces (grass, gym floor, concrete), and they've performed pretty much as expected--well on the hard surfaces, somewhat less so on grass. That said, I've never had flats disappoint me terribly until the treads get worn down anyway, so I wasn't expecting them to fail right off the bat. Ball control has been pretty decent as well, but then you'd pretty much be expecting that from something with the buck-toothed Brazilian's moniker on the tin.
My "lifestyle test" turned out to be more rigorous than I thought it would be. The planned day of strolling the Smithsonian/Mall in DC followed by the Metro to RFK round-trip walk turned into an all-weather affair when the skies opened just as the first half of the DC-Red Bulls game got underway.
I've got to say that the shoes did pinch a little after spending most of the day in them, but I'm thinking that: (1) I'll rarely wear them all day anyway, and (2) perhaps they'll be better given a couple of months of regular wear. What pleasantly surprised me, when I finally noticed it during the car ride home, was that my feet had remained dry despite the first half downpour at the game. Nothing's worse than having to drive a couple of hours with wet socks, so that's a big, big plus in my book.
I'm still not sold on the color, but these shoes perform admirably both on and off the ball. They're comfortable and well designed, and on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the US performance at France '98 and 10 being Japorea 2002 if Hugh Dallas had only grown a pair and blown the whistle when the Hand of Torsten kept out the US in the quarterfinal vs. Germany, I'll give the Nike Air Ronaldinho Rival Indoor Shoe a solid 8.
Product(s) for this review were provided to FBF by SoccerPro.com.