Here it is, a full review of the Puma PowerCat! Since this is a World Cup year, there is a lot of pressure on the big companies to produce cleats that will represent well on the biggest stage. Puma have already established themselves in the speed category with the V1.10, but up until now they have not really captured the power cleat market.
Adidas has the Predator X, Nike now has the T90 Laser III, but Puma only had the V-Kon that never really took off. Well, all that could easily change now with their latest release; the Puma PowerCat 1.10. Last week when they were released, I posted some images to give you an update on how they look. Well, finally after having several opportunities to work these in I finally have a review….and it is all positive! For testing, I wore a size 9 in the Black/White/Wild Lime color.
Find the latest Puma PowerCat colorways available at soccer.com.
So, because of an injury, I broke these in over a period of around 4-5 weeks, with a lot of wearing while sitting around! With that being said, when I actually did get to wear them on the pitch, they broke in very smoothly! Unlike other Puma releases, these fit true to size. That for me is a big plus on what I have personally had to endure with prior Puma releases! One reason for this is due to the fact that these have a round toe unlike the V series (which has a box toe). I didn’t get any blisters and because the fit was true to size, I didn’t endure any foot cramping. It really didn’t take long for these to mold to the fit and shape of my foot. Puma are using a new anatomically shaped PowerLast that is an updated version of the AptoLast. The PowerLast provides additional volume to the forefront and instep of the foot. This allows the sole to follow the true contours of your foot and I have to admit that these create a real glove like fit.
Puma have drifted away from the design of the V-Kon, and what a wise decision that will turn out to be! One of the biggest complaints I heard about the V-Kon was that it looked and felt bulky. This design looks sharper and the lime on black design really takes it to another level. Puma have removed a lot of the protection seen on the V-Kon, and some might argue that this takes the cleat out of the Power category. I strongly disagree with that, as there is still plenty of protection and a new front strike feature that allows these cleats the luxury of being a ‘Power Hybrid’ if you will. One of my harshest criticisms in recent times was on the colors being used with new releases. You only have to think back a few months to the release of the intensely yellow Puma V1.10 as an example. Both of the initial Puma releases are simple yet stylish and they are not loud and brash; more of a cleat for the no-nonsense player. Another positive is the fact that Puma have gone with a K-Leather for this release! “Yes”, I hear you also shout, and this is an excellent K-Leather that is super soft.
You will find two very strategically placed Puma’s on these cleats. A textured lime colored Puma sites on the inner heal of the cleats, while the outside has a smooth white one. When you are wearing these on the field, both are pretty noticeable and you can see in the image above that they are easy to spot. On the white version of the cleat, the inner Puma is gold while the outer is blue. Rumor has it that Puma have added images of the Puma on both sides in order to increase speed in the cleat (Please note that this is not actually true!!)
There are a few things of note that Puma have added to the PowerCat. First off is the new 3D Power Shooting Technology. This is the one part of the cleat that everyone asks about, the lime green stripes that run across the strike zone. Well, to feel, these are like little ridges that overlap across the front of the cleat. The official term is SpringTech foam ridges, and they are designed to increase shooting power while maintaining touch and feel on the ball. The benefit of having this technology is that it has high rebound properties that does not absorb the typical amount of energy on ball impact, meaning more power is released when you shoot. Is it effective? Well it certainly does seem like it serves its purpose. When you strike the ball, you don’t feel the full impact, instead it feels like there is a cushioned layer. The ball does feel like it pings, but I can’t be 100% that it actually adds more power. I like the concept a lot though. Instead of have a large power zone, the 3D Power shooting technology is very minimal and not too invasive. Another addition worth mentioning is the new Puma PowerLast, you can find more info about this in the ‘Breaking in’ section.
Rather than being a ‘negative’, this is more of a word of warning/advice. Puma design/placement of the blades makes this a little more difficult to use on turf. I found that because of how the back 3 blades are configured, the boot tends to catch in the turf as you play the ball. Because of this, you should probably check out the PowerCat Turf version before you buy the firm grounds. And I do realize that FG’s are not designed for use on turf, but from my experience, the PowerCat might be more problematic than other boots.
Puma have raised the bar with this release and it is perfect timing for them! The design is sweet, the technology is effective and the comfort is superb! I am a real fan of the fact that Puma are using a K-Leather, they have followed up with the off center lacing, and the 3D Power Shooting technology is a real hit in my books. Once you get your hands on a pair of these you can tell that they are quality. My experience was very positive and I rate these as one of the best boots on the market at this moment. Expect to see a lot of players sporting these during the World Cup in South Africa.