The Concave PT+ is a boot built on the concept of support and protection! Every soccer season, we see new developments and innovation in soccer cleat technology, and this past year was no different. One of the latest cleats to arrive on the market and cause a stir is the advanced Concave PT+. Concave have put a lot of work into creating a cleat that provides an advanced level of safety while also matching some of the current big sellers in relation to style and functionality. So, here is what to expect from the Concave PT+:
- Front Concave Metaguard component
- SBS: Shank Balance Stabilizer
- Soft K-Leather Upper
- Light weight upper
- Removable sock liner
- 15% shooting power increase in independent testing
To be honest, testing these cleats became a personal challenge as I wanted to see if the technology was all that! The front cover plate looks like something from a science fiction movie, so it has to do something special, right? So, I got a bag of soccer balls, grabbed my goalkeeper buddy Bryan Hill, and headed out to a local soccer pitch to see what damage I could do! For this review I wore a size US9, and although it is a little long, it is needed for these to feel comfortable. If you normally wear a size 9, that is what I would recommend.
Getting your foot into the PT+ for the first time is the biggest challenge! Because of the design of the front plate and how it is positioned, there is little room to slip your foot in. But don’t worry, Concave include a pretty nifty shoe horn to help you get them on! It did take a few training sessions to break these in, especially since the whole feel of the cleat differs from any other brand. Over the first few sessions, the boot became more comfortable and it does end up giving you a glove like fit. One thing going for the cleat is the Shank Balance Stabiliser (SBS) on the soleplate. It is very easy to find this area as it is a series of ridges on the bottom of the boot and it serves a great purpose, support and reinforcement. Even though there is plenty of flexibility in the sole plate, the SBS area keeps the sole from over extending and reduces the risk of metatarsal injuries.
Front Concave Metaguard Component
Since it is such a key part of this boot, I thought it only right to give it its own section! I call it the front plate out of convenience, but Concave refer to it as the ‘Concave Component’. It is designed to increase the sweet spot area, while also giving increased protection to the metatarsal region. Over the first few training sessions, it takes time to get used to it. Initially, you are giving up the feeling of the ‘first touch’. The front plate is raised off the cleat, and is made of a material that feels like plastic, so when the ball meets your foot you feel less impact. Another issue is that they make your foot a little top heavy, and when you run in them it feels a little odd. After some time wearing them, you become more familiar with how they feel. To perfect these boots, you need to be patient….knowing when you do adjust to them, they will offer something no other boot can.
Are they Effective?
They are extremely effective for their purpose. In independent testing, shooting power was increased by 15%, while accuracy was increased by 30%. After wearing them for a few weeks, I strongly agree with the results! Sh0oting with them is sweet, especially when you catch it right where you want or you just catch it along the front plate. The negative to playing long balls or shooting with these is the fact that you have a lot of room for error, the front plate is long and wide. In terms of protection, there is probably not a better cleat on the market! The front plate does take a lot of the impact out of shooting, so no matter how you strike the ball your foot feels protected.
Performance and Technology
So, I guess the question is how good is the technology. Well, first thing is shot power. I do think that there is an increase in shot power with these cleats after. One thing is for sure, it makes it a lot easier to strike the ball and you don’t have to worry about the impact on the front of your foot. The second question is does it protect you from injury? Fortunately for me, I have not had to encounter a tackle that could have inured that area on my foot while testing these cleats (I am sure I will at some stage) but I do believe that the front panel will offer substantially more protection than the normal cleats. Important to note is that these cleats do take a little bit of time to transition to. If you are willing to take the opportunity to adjust to the technology then it is completely worth it, but for players who wear light cleats like Vapor’s or F50i’s it would be a little more difficult. If you wear Total 90’s or Adidas Predators then the transition would be easier.
It’s Place On The Market
Here is the thing, Concave are going to need to make changes to this boot in order for it to become a staple. Overall, they serve their intended purpose but they are extremely bulky and the shot shield makes for a clumsy feel on the ball. My suggestion would be to use a lighter material and make it more rounded at the edges. Then focus on marketing them to the right type of player!
As a winger, I found the front of the cleat to be extremely top heavy for me – not a boot I would use. If I was to recommend these cleats for a player, there are a few I would choose. First off, goalkeepers, as these cleats are ideal for knocking long balls, and will offer a great advantage when trying to clear back-passes! Kick outs will also be easy to drive straight down the field. Defenders will have the advantage of complete protection, and the opportunity to knock quick long balls at speed as will the ‘Kaiser’, or hard hitting center midfielder. The final player is the target center forward. The target man has the job of taking the ball down and either laying it off or turning to shoot on target. Having a boot that offers improved accuracy and shot power, while also protecting from defenders studs is a very suitable match!