A company currently working on making a name for themselves in the market is Pele Sports. The Pele Radium is one of their latest endeavors, an indoor shoe that has been named after the futsal team Pele played with in Brazil. Everything about these indoor shoes is designed for control in small-sided games. I had an opportunity to test them out for several weeks in a size 9US and the Running White/Hyper Green/Lemon Chiffon colorway.
Just to note, this review was actually finished several weeks ago, but with the unveiling of so many new boots in recent times it has been put on hold. I have emailed details to some of you already but without waiting any longer, here is the full version of what you need to know about the Radium!
The nature of the Radium’s design allows for a very smooth break in. They are an extremely well padded shoe and the lining is super soft. When you mix this with an extremely flexible rubber sole, you get a shoe that starts out like a well oiled machine. Realistically, you can easily take these from the box right into an indoor game. Something else I like is that the shoe insert molds up around the line of the mid-sole, meaning you also get good support through the arch. I didn’t encounter any problems through wear, so there is not much else to cover here and I highly anticipate most players will find confidence in the overall comfort they provide.
Playing indoor, you rely heavily on how amount of traction you get from your shoes, and thankfully I found these shoes compete at a high level. I can’t say that the Radium matches the best shoes on the market, but it does give you plenty of reliability. Along the front region of the sole, you get a full lining star shaped pattern that have been cut into the rubber, while the heal features a smooth colored design. It all makes for good grip, but there is that extra element missing to make it a great shoe. The difference I would want to see is a little more texture to add dimension through the front, allowing for super quick turns when needed.
In game, these are simply a consistent shoe. I never felt like there was anything extraordinary about them, but I also never doubted their performance. The padding throughout allows for a snug fit and the shoe really envelopes your foot. One tidy addition is a reinforced TPU shank through the midfoot, it adds good support. They offer good durability and match the requirements of any indoor player!
Touch and Control
One aspect of the Radium that gets top marks is its durability – and that is due in part to how the suede toe-cap is positioned on top of a full-grain leather upper. This in turn, offers a pretty exceptional region for touch and control. I found that dribbling with the ball was very comfortable, with the suede acting as an extra level of cushion. And because of how it is positioned, it also compliments shots on goal. You definitely get enough cushion to be able to get full power behind the ball!
How do they Fit?
These are definitely a good option for players with a wide fit. From the mid-foot right through the front of the shoe, you get plenty of space to allow your foot to breathe. In terms of lenght, I wore and was comfortable in a size 9us (true to size) but for players who like some extra space, especially when it comes to the indoor game, going an extra half size up is a very viable option.
These shoes weigh in at a tidy 10.8oz, which is pretty standard for an indoor shoe. But, I do feel that the shoes are a little too bulky. There are several areas where I feel Pele Sports could cut the padding down, particularly in the heel region. Padding is extremely important when playing indoor, but I just found the Radium to be a little too bulky at times.
I see the Radium as being a solid release from Pele Sports, and it does signal their intent to produce boots that make a difference on the market. There are several aspects where improvements can be made but this is a solid starting point. There are several colorways you can choose from in the range, including a Varsity Royal and a slightly more classic looking Black/Running White (all of which I would only give a C for in design.) Overall, a solid option for those looking for a wide fit or simply a shoe that offers high durability through wear.