There is nothing like getting a new pair of boots you know have been handcrafted in the same fashion their creators have been doing it for over 100 years – this boot is built around heritage with a touch of class to add.
I have been interested to test a pair of Pantofola d’Oro soccer cleats for a while now, and took the opportunity to test the most old school looking version – the Lazzarini Canguro. Not only have these boots been handcrafted in the same way the company has been creating them since 1886, but they have the same ergonomic form, making them a timeless classic! For testing, I ordered a pair of size 9US in the Red colorway.
Right now, the Pantofola d’Oro can be found at soccer.com.
Who are Pantofola d’Oro?
Pantofola d’Oro are an Italian company whose heritage dates back to 1886 when the old Lazzarini cobbler’s shop was founded in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. It was during the 50’s when Emidio Lazzarini approached club team Ascoli to make their team soccer cleats. Within a short space of time, the quality of the boots quickly improved. They were renowned for their exceptional softness, whilst giving outstanding ball control. Emidio Lazzarini’s secret lay in the soft calf-leather he used and the boot’s ergonomic form, which perfectly followed the contours of the foot. Players such as Ferenc Puskas, Jurgen Klinsmann, Sven Goran Erikkson and Roger Milla are just some of the players who have worn the brand over the past half century.
Right out of the box, these boots are just darn right special. From their unique old school look to the smell of handcrafted leather, you almost feel like you are entering an0ther era. On your feet, they just feel right. I wore a size 9US for review and they were a perfect fit. After a short jog in them, I knew they were ready for action and took them into a training session. One of the most surprising aspects of the boot is the soleplate. It looks so rigid and bland, yet it has fantastic flexibility in just the right places. To be honest, I found that the soleplate on the Lazzarini Canguro outperforms many of the big names on the market!
Overall, what a great boot these are right from the beginning. I didn’t find any hot-spots and was absolutely satisfied with the comfort they offered throughout testing.
Built with Style
Even though I personally love the old school style of the Lazzarini Canguro, they are not necessarily going to be everybody’s cup of tea. The overall style of the boot is completely different to anything else on the market and doesn’t include any fancy add-ons like you will see on new releases.The upper is simply one piece of leather that has been hand stitched to a very basic looking soleplate. If you like fancy color combos and cutting edge technology, these boots won’t be for you.
Two important pieces of detail I wanted to point out. On the outer side of the boot, you will find the Pantofola signature stamp that lets you know the boots are legit. You can tell that this was hand pressed on as not all of the letters are crisp. And if you hate putting new laces in your boots, you won’t have that problem with these! Each hole contains a metal piece that makes it super easy to guide each lace into place. This is a finer piece of detailing add on that you definitely won’t find on any current day boots.
When on field and in action, these boots rank with the best, although I do have one negative I will talk about in a minute. In terms of touch and control, you are going to have no complaints. Although the K-leather is not super thin, you still get a good feel for the ball on your foot and just enough protection to allow for sweet strikes of the ball with total comfort. Underneath the tongue, Pantofola use a layer of suede as padding between the tongue and your foot. It is a very welcome addition that serves a very valid purpose.
My one concern comes after a training session I had with them last week in the rain. Afterward, it seemed like the boots had soaked in a pool for a week and they were very heavy. After leaving them in a shady area outside with newspaper stuffed in them, they still feel heavier than they initially were. This is bound to happen with most leather boots, but I don’t feel like it has been this noticeable before. I can tell that durability could be an issue with these boots!
Size and Fit
I ordered a pair in my regular size, but they definitely had a little extra length about them. From player feedback, the standard option is to order a pair a half size smaller to get a nice snug fit. Because they feature a one-piece K-Leather upper, you can rely on a little extra stretch through wear also, so they are a decent option should you need something a little wider than traditional fitting boots!
My main concern revolves around the above highlighted issue – durability of the upper. It seems like they really soak-in water and I have noticed some of the leather slightly wearing already. For those of you that might ask, the joining of the upper and soleplate will not be an issue and it is currently very firmly intact, meaning the boots are not going to fall apart! I am just concerned about the weight and markings that might make the upper look a little worn. One other negative, if you decide to wear white socks with these you will regret it afterward as the color in the leather bleeds (my socks are now a mix of red/yellow!)
Summary (and Should I buy a pair?)
It took me a while to get my hands on a pair of Pantofola soccer cleats – but boy was it worth it! I personally love everything about the boot, especially the old school feel you get while wearing them. They just ooze class and offer fantastic performance on the field. If you want my advice, I say make sure you own a pair at least once in your career. Should you go and buy a pair today? I don’t necessarily think so (especially since you can’t run out and buy them in stores in the US right now anyway lol). You are going to have to pay a very high price to get a pair from Europe, so unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket, take a chance and hold on to the hope that Pantofola bring some of their boots to the US sometime soon. On trying to contact Pantofola d’Oro I got no response – but maybe after this review I can get some information from the Italian giants?
Right now, the Pantofola d’Oro can be found at soccer.com.