Over the past few months, Spanish footwear company Munich has gradually worked its way into the US market with a pretty vivid selection of colorways in several different silos. One of their key silos is the Gresca. Built to be a full bodied futsal shoe, the Gresca oozes muscle and a highly composed chassis. This is actually the second time I’ve got to test these out, the first time being part of the Gear Show (video seen below). But to really give them a thorough workout, I grabbed a second pair in the fresh Sky Blue/Yellow colorway and took to some futsal games.
A selection of Munich Gresca colorways can be found at Soccer.com.
Who are Munich?
Munich is a Spanish brand who have an enormous presence through the European game. The heart of the company is its factory in Vilanova d’Espoia (Barcelona), where 250,000 upmarket sports footwear and street-wear models are produced every season by more than 50 workers and artisans.
The First Few Wears
Considering the fact I test a lot of boots, most of which weigh in around the 8oz mark, starting the process of testing the Munich Gresca was slightly odd. At 11.6oz they have a lot going on and they actually feel like they stick to the ground, which has a lot to do with the durable vulcanized gum rubber outsole. It is thick and intended to provide key traction characteristics. The result is a shoe that offers full support close to the ground. Then there is the upper that also has a stiff fell and takes a few wears to really ease into play. This is actually intentional, particularly around the forefoot where the toe cap sits. Quick toe ball kicks are key in futsal, so the stiff nature ensures you don’t break your big toe the first time you snap to connect with a ball.
Key point here is the fact that the Gresca is not a boot you are going to want to wear in game right out of the box. It is worth wearing them as a casual lifestyle shoe a few times to allow them to stretch and loosen up.
Built to be…
Full bodied and extremely durable. Gresca’s direction is pretty straight forward – produce boots that last the pace of futsal games while keeping your feet protected. Looking at the boot, you can see how Munich incorporate lateral reinforcements through the upper, or overlapping layers of material that keep everything in place.
Note there is a vastly different approach with this type of shoe compared to the direction other companies like Nike and Adidas has taken. The latter strive to reduce weight and create shoes with less padding and material. The fact that so many players in Europe have taken to wearing Munich illustrates the desire of serious players to wear a boot that offers protection and a firm molded fit.
Performance on the Futsal Court
There are two aspects to these shoes that really set them apart from others on the market. The first thing is the ability to really connect with shots and strike solid shots, whether it be a dead ball or a quick toe poke. With so much material up front, it is extremely easy to get a clean, firm connection with the ball. It is a very different type of performance to something like the Adidas Speedtricks, which is better suited to quick tricks and sharp one touch play. The Gresca offers more structure and there is resistant force behind the upper as it connects with the ball.
The second characteristic is the soleplate and traction provided. At first look, there is a Wellington boot appearance to it, like a boot you would see a farmer wear. In a sense, it looks kind of intimidating. But in play it provides a fantastic level of traction and makes for the ideal configuration on a hard court surface. Up along the forefoot, there is a layer of circles with different dimensions, while the backfoot features hollowed grooves. The difference is the thickness of each region and its ability to gently flex in any direction, almost acting as a suspension system. With a thinner soleplate, you don’t get this type of performance!
Control and Dribble
For players who have a natural tendency to dribble with the ball, I don’t see the Gresca being a suitable option. Because of the stiff nature of the upper, you don’t get that all together natural feel on the ball. When it comes to control, there is the advantage of extra padding to take the ball in. As it hits your shoe, there is a cushion effect that allows for an adequate level of control. One area that I found to be interesting is the forefoot as the region between the toe cap and laces is softer. This produces a sort of hollowed region that suctions the ball in. It is a very different experience to other boots on the market.
How do they Fit?
In general, futsal shoes need to offer a generous fit in order to provide enough room for extremely sharp cuts and changes of direction. With that in mind, Munich offer a wide fit through the forefoot. I’d estimate it to be the equivalent of going up a half size in soccer cleats. It is definitely needed if you don’t want to be squishing your toes against the front of the boot every time you stop on a dime. My advice is to stick to true-to-size and take advantage of the extra space.
My Official Shoe Choice for Footgolf
True story – last weekend while playing footgolf, I turned to this exact pair of shoes as my weapon of choice and they didn’t disappoint. In fact, I am endorsing these shoes as my recommended futsal shoe of choice. Why? Well, first off you get the bonus of a well built forefoot for striking long, straight shots. Then there is the sole and traction. It is ideal for playing on grass and doesn’t get stuck in the surface like a regular FG boot would when chipping the ball. And finally, there is the bonus of the chip shot, where you can really get some backspin on chip shots onto the green. Yes, I still have to work on perfecting the shot, but you can reassured that I will be wearing these to do it. Here is how they look in action -> Heineken FootGolf Open 2013 @soccercleats101
The Critics Notes
If you are on the market for lightweight, super fast speed, these are not the shoes for you. As you might have gathered from the language in this review, Munich shoes definitely have a different style to them and they are a full bodied release. It is tough to refer to this as a negative, as that is what we were used to circa 5 years ago, but it goes against the grain and the mindset we as players expect current day.
Again, those interested in a pair of Munich Gresca can find them at Soccer.com.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A sturdy, well built futsal shoe designed to keep you close to the ground and ready to get stuck in when playing short sided, quick paced games.
Category: There is a lot of power going on with these, but I’d actual call them a “traditionalist” boot – for players who appreciate a well constructed shoe.
Weight: A solid 11.6oz, meaning they are well built and durable.
Would I Buy Them: I love the Munich designs and browsing their actual website leaves me wanting more pairs, so yes I’d be interested in some of the other designs.