Right before the World Cup started this summer in South Africa we got a first glimpse at the new Pele Sports range. I have to admit, when I first heard about the release I was pretty excited knowing that a boot was going to be designed through the inspiration of one of the best players to ever have graced a pitch. Pele Sports have placed a large emphasis on delivering top quality cleats for use by anyone, regardless of circumstance. This means establishing value at different price points and including features not usually found in competitive boots. Top of the Pele Sports list is the 1970, which I have had the chance to test out over the past few weeks! For testing, I wore a size 9US in the Black/Yellow colorway.
Whats with the leather?
The first thing you will notice about the 1970 is the incredibly shiny leather upper. I have spent a lot of timing marveling at how it actually looks and feels! The entire upper of the 1970’s is a one-piece kangaroo leather, one-piece in order to minimize seams. The leather undergoes an incredible 150 separate processing steps, some of which include:
- Hi-tech polymer treatments provide permanent water resistance, yet preserve breathability.
- A permanent branding process prevents fading and keeps the K-leather color-fast.
- A secondary tanning process protects against sweat damage.
- A friction enhancing treatment is impregnated in the fiber structure of the leather. This means it won’t wear off, like a coating treatment.
Fit and Size
One important thing to note is the size. Length wise, I could have done with a half size smaller. My advice is to order down a half size, so if you are a size 9US go with a size 8.5US. They also have plenty of room for those of you with wide feet!
Breaking the Pele Sports 1970 in was a breeze. I wore them for 2 training sessions before getting them into a game. I encountered no blisters and no discomfort, although at times the soleplate felt a little sluggish. I spent 5 minutes bending the sole of each boot in order to loosen them up and this did the trick. In the second or third game, when the cleats felt like they had fully molded to my feet, I started to notice that while running, contact with the ground felt very smooth, almost like the boot is designed with impact absorption in mind.
Comfort and Performance
These are a super comfy boot full-stop. Pele Sports have invested plenty of time ensuring that the design incorporates a high level of quality padding to keep your feet safe. The insert in particular offers great protection and is pretty thick compared to other brands. The actual boot has plenty of padding that feels good surrounding your feet. The dual-density compression molded midsole absorbs shock and keeps the foot more comfortable and I found this to be effective. While wearing in games I never felt the need to take them off – very important for players who play on a regular basis. In terms of performance, I felt like the 1970 played its role, but at times I wanted a little more from them.
With a high level of comfort comes weight, and I felt like that held me back at times, although this is something that Pele Sports are aware of. The boot weighs in at 11.7oz. When I asked the company about this they stated that “While we find the new superlight boots very interesting from a design perspective, we wonder about their utility for a true all-around player. By our definition, every player should be prepared to track back on defense, make hard challenge when necessary and play aggressively for 90 minutes. To do so requires great fit, support and comfort.”
I can’t get past the leather on these boots, it is something absolutely unique to the market and I love it! Trust me when I say that if you get your hands on a pair, you will spend time holding them to get a taste for the feel! While testing, the area around the strike zone lost some of its gleam, but the K-Leather itself worked out fantastically and really molded to my foot. Another development is that Pele Sports have ramped up the midsole by 5mm in the heel area for improved Achilles tendon support.
I think my main negative was addressed by the Pele Sports team, and that was the weight issue. But, it is clear that these boots have been designed with comfort and an increased level of protection in mind. They ended up breaking in really well, but I did feel a little sluggish in them at times. Again, I simply had to work on loosening up the soleplate to resolve this issue. The final thing that irked my was the tongue that I never felt at times got in the way a little. I had a similar problem while testing the Diadora Kobra K, where I actually didn’t know where to place the strap underneath the boot.
I have a feeling we are going to hear a lot more about Pele Sports in the near future. They have created something completely unique for the market, which they needed to do in order to make an impact. And the fact that their top line boot is priced at a reasonable $160 also helps (although I do realize that this is still a lot of money!) In terms of positions, these cleats are pretty versatile. They offer a great deal of comfort and protection, so they are more than suitable for defenders. They are also a good option for strong strikers who need good touch and a boot that will aid in shot power. Overall, I would highly recommend checking out a pair if you get an opportunity.
(*boots supplied for review by Pele Sports)