Gear review of the new adidas 111 equipment line.
A few moons back, @ConnorWilsonLAS reviewed some adidas arm protection units and we’ve got three new pieces of gear from the 111 line and the pads he discussed for a second opinion. If you don’t want to read any further, remember this one sentence summary. The Shoulder Pad Liners are incredible the rest is average.
Now to the DETAILS.
111 Arm Pad, $49.95
These are a good option for middies and d poles who require a touch more protection for whatever reason. Your middie that dodges the pole. Your pole that has a tendency to carry the ball over the mid line. While lightweight and comfortable on your arm, they feel bulky compared to the protection they offer. In other words, you tend to notice them more than you should because those indentations you see are just thin foam. They are possum pads. And the deception factor favors a wild checker not the ball carrier sporting them.
The 111 Arm Pad can’t decide if it wants to be a guard or a sleeve. Trying to do both was a bad choice. If you’re a minimalist, try the STX Cell Defense AP. Maximalists, go with the Brine King III AP.
At $49.95, you are better off springing for the fully protective $60 King IIIs or saving a few notes on the Cell APs at $45.
Indecision is expensive. An expensive confused product is a cardinal sin. The only saving grace on this unit is it offers four customizable color zones. Final grade 6.3 out of 10. Only worth purchasing if you are getting a team discount.
111 Arm Guard, $89.95
@ConnorWilsonLAS provided a detailed review of the 111 Arm Guard in October. Our second opinion mirrors his diagnosis. There are three types of attackmen. Play makers, crease monsters, and shooters. These pads would not be appropriate for a crease monster or a play maker because there is simply not enough protection. The white elbow cap is obnoxiously thin and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few crack this season. The forearm padding is consistent with the 111 Arm Pad and therefore not enough for someone expecting to deflect meat head checks for 60 minutes.
As the primary ball handler for Pitt, I wanted to feel bullet proof in my arm guards. STX G22s and Brine King IIs did the trick for me. I warded off with the best of them and never felt the sting of a goonish check. The moment I strapped up the Adidas AGs I started to sweat. That’s the opposite of bueno for an attackman’s arm protection unit. THE OPPOSITE.
If, however, you are a shooter who handled the ball only long enough to transport it to the back of the net, these would be a good fit assuming you wanted to spend the $90. These are over priced for what they can handle but again they offer four customizable color zones which is essentially unheard of for arm pads. Final score 6.3 out of 10. But only if you are Ze Shooter.
111 Shoulder Pad Liner, $49.99
My STX shoulder pads ruined many a photo over the last two seasons. It’s a shame that I didn’t have these in 2009 and 2010. These are my most favorite pads I have ever tried. Low profile shoulders yet strong enough for me to feel confident throwing my former MCLA attackman weight around.
The fit is snug yet nonrestrictive. The price point is fantastic. If I ever had to wear shoulder pads again, these would be the first thing I packed in my bag from now until Tron Legacy made lacrosse equipment.
Adidas is also customizing them for their college teams so look for that eventually for non sponsored teams.
I know I’ll be suggesting it for the IU in the future.
Final score 9.7 out of 10. Not a 10 only because the draw string on the chest plate reminds me of 1960s football pads. Because I was alive in the 60s.
111 Shoulder Pad, $119.95
I have never used top of the line shoulder pads. Aside from Sean Morris, I don’t know who does these days. These pads remind you of their girth the moment you slip them through your arms. Protective, but heavy and large. Like a Rhino. If you were trying for a walk on role in The Hurt Locker, you could wear these and likely be cast.
If you have a debilitating fear of stingers, buy these immediately. The top layer of padding on the shoulders will probably reduce stingers from now until 3018. Unfortunately, this structural design brings a lot of weight on stop of the pad and the problem aesthetically is they sit really high making your uniform bulge as if you own Goldberg’s trapes, but you don’t.
If you wanted to spend $120 on shoulder pads, you’ll be able to find something lighter on the market and thus more worth your parents hard earned dollars. However, if you’re of the mindset that heavier is better, sign up. Final grade 7 out of 10.
Total review: Adidas is off to a good start but we’ll wait for another year of progress before contemplating putting the Hoosiers in Three Stripe protective gear. A Godfather like offer would be required for me to put the boys in the 2011 line.
Prices from Sport Stop