Speed boots are consistently seen to be a top choice for soccer players right across the pitch. The latest installment from Puma, the evoSPEED 1, offers a fresh break from their long serving and speed driven V series. There is an air of simplicity about the boot and they take on a whole new level of development and design, yet they are intended to perform at the highest level. My speed boot of choice has been the Puma V1.11 SL – the evoSPEED is almost an updated version of that boot with an all new stud configuration. For this review, I am specifically choosing to focus on the Leather version, but since I have also tested the Synthetic version, I will include info about them where it is relevant.
Puma has instilled several important changes between these and the V1.11, and several of those changes are responsible for an overall improved level of comfort. It starts with the lightweight one-piece outsole, which offers plenty of flexibility from first wear. I found it offers a great balance of stability and traction, without taking away any natural level of movement from first wear. Next, the upper is super soft and molds extremely well to the foot. Puma has gone with a traditional rounded boot design in the forefoot, rather than the box toe we seen through the V series. In reality, it is a positive move that was needed. I’m sorry for those players who enjoyed the V series fit, but in reality there were far more people that found discomfort in the fit and Puma needed to transition in order to satisfy a larger audience!
All-in-all, I didn’t have any problems breaking them in and I like what Puma has done with this boot in terms of comfort and ease to break-in.
Different Uppers – Leather vs Synthetic
Puma offer two different offers to suit different player styles. I am personally a fan of the K-leather version, especially because of the level of touch you get on the ball. For those who want a more lightweight option, the Monolayer Microfiber upper is designed to be durable and it is ultimately much easier to clean. The Microfiber upper is also a one piece, so there is no stitching right through. Again, preference on the upper will simply vary by player taste!
There are several aspects of this boot that I like a lot. First is the basic simplicity of how it is constructed. You are getting what seems like a minimal leather upper with an uncomplicated soleplate – and that’s pretty much exactly what they are! There is no added technology, no carbon fiber in the soleplate and no funky stud configuration. It is simply designed to be a functioning boot that serves a no-nonsense purpose.
If there was one area where performance has been modified, it is in the soleplate. Puma has removed all carbon fiber materials and gone for a TPU outsole instead. There is excellent flexibility right under toe-off, which makes them perfect for accelerating away. Puma use what is referred to as DuoFlex in the region, basically a double crease that allows for different angles of movement as you turn. When you match that with a 6.8oz weight (6.3oz for Microfiber) they are a boot crafted for speed. The final addition that makes these a high performer is the stud configuration, which I actually found to be an improvement over other Puma releases. You get a mix of conical up top and oval shaped studs on the back that offer great traction. I felt very comfortable wearing them on both grass and synthetic, so they make an ideal choice for players who find themselves playing on both surfaces!
Additional notes about the Stud Configuration
Plenty of you have asked about stud pressure, which has been an issue on other Puma models. The insole in the evoSPEED is not very thick, but it doesn’t need to be as the configuration disperses pressure right across the foot. The use of a midfoot stud is smart as it balances the middle region of the foot while allowing for extra torque as you make quick turns. Stud pressure wasn’t an issue with these! Finally, there is the fingerprint design on the end of each stud. I am sure this is more design than performance and I can’t see it really adding to traction although it can’t really hurt to have it included!
How do they Fit?
We all know that Puma boots tend to fit slightly tighter than other brands, but these run pretty much true to size. I found they offered a snug fit right through the forefoot with the more rounded boot shape serving a much more valuable purpose than the box toe on the V1.11. Surprisingly, I actually found they offer a great fit for wide fitting players in the forefoot, although not so much for players who need it through the arch. They definitely have a more natural fit than the V1.11 SL.
Compared to the V1.11 SL
The one boot that these are very similar to is the Puma V1.11 SL, a boot that tops my list in terms of performance. Having tested these for several weeks, I can tell you that these top what the SL has to offer. The stud configuration, in particular, makes these a better all around performer. If there was one area that they are not upto par it is in the overall visual design. Another important note, these fit to size, compared to the V1.11 SL, which was a full size small.
My only negative resides in the aesthetics of the boot – they are the not the most visually pleasing boots in the world. And along with that, I found the leather version picks up a lot of dirt, meaning you need to spend more time cleaning them.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A pretty simple boot that offers no-nonsense performance in a lightweight package. Puma’s new speed boot takes on a different style, with the V box-toe completely removed.
Category: Speed – in the words of Sergio Aguero “I like how flexible the sole is, it helps me to change directions quicker and really distinguishes it from other football boots“
Weight: 6.8oz for the Leather version, 6.3oz for the Synthetic.
Would I Buy Them: I would absolutely buy these as they suit my playing style to the tee. In saying that, I can see future improvements in terms of aesthetic design.
Player Position: Quick forwards and pacey wingers are the ones who will really enjoy what these have to offer. They are the target demographic for the boot. In saying that, the overall make-up of the boots is geared toward attacking players – so if you like to attack, they are an option!