Let’s start this review of the new Adidas Kakari Z.1 with a 3D look at the boot. Turn down the sound if you don’t want some dramatic music!
Because the Z.1 is a recently launched boot, we don’t have as many club player reviews as for other models.
But we’ve brought you the direct feedback from nearly ten players who have worn the boots for a season.
Best Suitable For:
Forwards who want maximum traction on soft ground with extra flexibility for dynamic open play.
Weight, Sizing, And Width
Weight: UK size 8.5 is 390g.
Sizing: Most club players we surveyed went up a half size for a comfortable fit.
Width: a wider fit than many other manufacturers.
Z.1 Performance Ratings
Adidas Kakari Z.1 Pros And Cons
- Maximum leverage and traction for scrums, rucks, and mauls
- Flexible sole plates for dynamic open play
- More durable than cheaper models
- Uses proprietary studs, less easy to find replacements
- True size is a narrow fit, you may need to go up a half size
The Adidas Kakari range is designed for forwards who need the best grip they can get on soft ground.
The stud size and configuration are designed to give maximum stability in scrums and mauls.
The boots have an 11 mm heel drop to give explosive acceleration when taking crash-ball or hitting rucks.
They are very popular with players in the tight five: props, hookers, and locks.
Kyle Sinckler wore the Z model in the 2022 Autumn Internationals. Check this out:
Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong and Scotland’s Zander Fagerson also wore the model.
The Kakari Z.1 has an eight-stud configuration designed to give the best grip in rucks, scrums, and mauls on soft ground.
The Z.1 model also comes with an inner support strap to provide extra stability. You shouldn’t feel your foot slipping within these boots.
The entry level boot for the Kakari range doesn’t come with the strap.
“Great leverage when scrummaging, rucking, and mauling on different surfaces.”
“Perfect combination of support, strength, stud size and comfort”
The Kakari Z.1 has a split outsole. That means that the sole is built in two pieces: a heel pad and a toe pad.
If you’re curious, this design is also a feature of ballerina shoes. The goal is the same in both activities: providing maximum flexibility for the foot.
The boot flexes more when your foot twists or rolls on the turf. This is a great advantage when twisting to roll players out of rucks.
The extra flexing also supports a quick side-step to target a soft shoulder.
The flexibility also helps when twisting in the tackle to get an offload away.
Extra flexibility in the upper material
The upper material is synthetic leather from about the midfoot to the toe. However, the upper is textile from the midfoot backward.
Textile is more flexible than synthetic leather so this gives extra give and stretch while your foot moves on the ground.
In contrast, the upper of the entry-level Kakari model (the SG) is entirely synthetic leather.
Width And Size
The extra inner support strap and the design of the tongue makes the Kakari Z.1 a snug fit when you go true to size.
Players with narrow feet may find this perfect.
Based on our survey, we suggest that you go up a half size if you have wider than average feet. I’d expect squat props and tall locks to have wider feet than the average person.
“Went for 1/2 size bigger (11 1/2) based off previous feedback and it was the perfect fit for my 16 year old son.”
“Soles are fairly comfortable but slightly on the narrow side.”
Adidas has put significant padding inside the boot to protect your foot.
Many respondents in our survey of club players in England and Ireland commented on how comfortable these boots are.
The padding, the textile rear upper, and the split sole combine for a softer experience.
“Very comfortable and really nice to play in.”
Perfect for on the pitch.
The Z.1 is the highest tier of the Kakari range. One of the big differences between the Z1 and the cheaper Elite model is in the material of the upper.
The Z.1 utilizes what’s known as a “ripstop” design. This means that the yarn is interwoven in a way that provides extra reinforcement.
The ripstop technique also uses extra yarn over a traditional fabric. This may be why the Z.1 is very slightly heavier than the Elite model.
But don’t worry about comfort – it’s only one gram heavier. That’s not so much that you’d notice.
Basically, the ripstop upper makes the Z.1 less prone to tearing over a long hard season.
How long does the Z.1 last?
Well, this model is too new for us to assess how many seasons you’ll get out of a pair.
Most players who own the Elite model (one step down from the Z.1) told us that they get at least two seasons from that boot.
We expect the Z.1 to be at least as durable. Hopefully, you’ll get an extra third season of it.
“Perfect for on the pitch and don’t tear away after tons of games.”
Has Adidas fixed a durability issue?
Before the Z.1, there was the Z.0. Adidas has discontinued producing the Z.0, but you may find a few pairs available at a cheaper price.
However, one player drew our attention to his problem with the Z.0:
“Been through 2 pairs of Adidas Kakari Z.O this year before halfway through the season.”
It’s possible that the manufacturers corrected a durability issue with the latest Z.1 version.
Soft Ground Studs
The Kakari Z.1 comes fitted with eight sizeable soft-ground studs.
The configuration is in what’s known as the “forwards pattern”. There are six studs at the front of the boot, and two slighter longer studs at the heel.
Some forwards told us that the studs that come with the boots aren’t long enough for very muddy grounds.
They upgraded to inch-long studs for the back two, and slightly shorter ones for the front six.
Warning: only buy Adidas studs
In recent years, Adidas switched to using a proprietary stud thread in their new designs.
This means that you can only use their own-brand studs as replacements.