The latest power boot to hit the market comes in the form of the creative Puma PowerCat 1.12, or PWR-CT 1.12. The PowerCat line has dramatically changed through its existence and this edition offers a very unique final package. Right after release, the response from players was extremely popular, with the boots design being one of the most positive aspects. And then there was the fact that Cesc Fabregas made the surprising decision to jump ship from the Nike CTR360 Maestri to the PowerCat!
For testing, I wore a pair of size 9US in the very fresh and bright White Pearl/PUMA Royal/Team Gold colorway and for the first time, I am including a short video to accompany the review – located at the bottom of this page.
Check out the latest colorways available at soccer.com.
To be honest, I didn’t find these to be the easiest boot in the world to break-in. The soleplate does eventually produce a really nice fit, but starting out they were a little stiff. I wore them for 2 training sessions before trying them in a game and this proved effective. The upper easily molds to your feet and feels great on the ball, K-leather again seems to be the winning formula! I was hesitant about how the Power Shooting Zone would feel through first wear, but it didn’t cause any problems. Matched with strategically positioned stitching across the front of the strike zone, it moves pretty much in unison with your foot. Because they are a little above the average weight of boots currently released (10.4oz) you get plenty of padding, particularly through the heel, which is nice.
3D Power Shooting Technology
Along the strike zone, you will find Puma’s newly innovated 3D PST, or Power Shooting Technology. It is comprised of two separate regions of TPU, both featuring different densities and serving opposite functions. The blue region is a soft TPU that is positioned to retract and allow the ball to cushion against your foot, aiding in first touch and control. The Gold bars are a more solid TPU that offer more rebound as the ball contacts the region, particularly as you strike shots.
Does It Work?
The concept definitely does – but in reality it is tough to tell exactly how much of an impact it has on your game. The key question I have received is “Do the two regions counteract each other?” Puma has placed each piece of technology pretty effectively and with its own purpose on the boot. The blue touch/control TPU sits right across the region where you should be controlling the ball as you dribble and it is angled slightly down to ensure it doesn’t conflict with the gold power/rebound TPU. Plus, the Gold TPU sits right where you should be contacting the ball on solid shots. Of both pieces, I found the Gold TPU to be more effective and useful. You definitely get more pop out of shots and there is a nice rebound effect that will be particularly useful to players who prefer power over placement. I also tested to see if it offered any benefits in terms of putting more swerve on shots – this proved inconclusive.
Everything Else Performance
In terms of traction, Puma again stick with a similar blade configuration that is pretty effective. The blades are long enough to offer excellent twist and turn on firm ground while also working efficiently for the most part on turf. The only time I did question them as while playing in wet conditions on turf, they gave out once or twice as I tried to accelerate.
Something I really like is the tongue design. Puma allow it to be very breathable and have placed a slit on the top, so it forms and hugs your ankle comfortable.
Initial feedback after release was centered on how good the boots looked! Puma put together an excellent combo of colors – White Pearl/PUMA Royal/Team Gold – that has really grasped the attention of fans. Personally, I feel like the gold detailing has a lot to do with it, as it adds a more sophisticated look. Plus, the 3D PST region gives the boot a curious look, and it makes you want to know more about the boot. Since they are white, you need to consider the fact they will need regular care. There are darker colorways coming soon.
How Do They Fit?
The one company I regularly encounter sizing issues with is Puma – but they seem to have got these spot on! Length wise, they are absolutely true to size and make for a perfect fit. If you are a player looking for a wider fit, these make for a solid option. From the midfoot, right through the forefoot, you get plenty of room and nice stretch to ensure your foot is not cramped.
The biggest problem was scuffing that occurred around along the front of the boot. This is related to using them on turf and the white colorway is also a factor. Check out the video below for more details. It is definitely something to take into consideration if you are looking for a long term option.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: Stealing Cesc Fabregas from Nike before releasing this boot was a very smart business move from Puma, and I am sure it won over a lot of new fans without them knowing how the boots test.
Category: In actuality, they are a solid power boot with some neat technology, the 3D PST Zone. Designed to offer both better touch and additions power, you are getting a hybrid of sorts.
Weight: They come in at 10.4oz, which is slightly above average although ideal for a power boot. It is noticeable if you are familiar to wearing some of the lightweight boots currently on the market.
Would I Buy Them: If you are looking for something new that looks really fashionable, they are a good option and I would probably fork out on a pair for that reason – but considering durability, they are not the best value for money currently on the market – retail around $180.
Player Position: Cesc is a playmaker, so add that to the list – but I think center-backs and strikers will benefit most. As a winger, I enjoyed them but there are better options (like the V1.11 SL!)
(*boots supplied for review by Puma USA.)