Cinquestelle are a very special company who have been hand making footwear since 1911, with a very storied and impressive history and the fact that I have found hand made football boots to have always been the best available it is fair to say I was excited to see how the boots would perform.
When I ordered the Cinquestelle Colibri, I was asked for the exact measurement of each foot and I also informed my contact at Cinquestelle that I have a wide foot, so the boots were made to fit my feet, this is another reason my expectations were so high, but did they live up to my high expectations?
I received the Cinquestelle Colibri in a Black/Yellow colorway and I like how they look, they definitely still have a heritage/old school look about them but with some flare. The fluorescent yellow detailing and moulded studs really offer a unique look that I really like.
The leather used is called Paul’s Calf Leather and I really wasn’t sure what to expect as these are more expensive than the kangaroo leather boots available on the site, I have worn and own many kangaroo leather boots and have always deemed it to be the best available, the Colibri has definitely opened my mind. The leather used is easily the softest most flexible leather I have ever come across, you really need to experience it to believe it.
Cinquestelle’s philosophy is to create football boots like a second skin or a sock to offer the beat possible feel and touch on the ball, each pair I received (three pairs) are all incredibly flexible, you can literally bend them in half.
Break in and comfort
The fit of the Cinquestelle Colibri is exceptional, they were made to fit like a sock and they certainly do. They have a nice snug fit and feel like a second skin.
The break in was pretty much non existent, I wore them straight into a two hour training session and encountered absolutely no problems. From straight out of the box the comfort is great and the longer you wear them they more comfortable they become. After wearing them for just a training session and a full game the boots mould to your exact foot shape, the leather softens even more and I can’t emphasize as to how soft the leather becomes, it truly is outstanding, it is so soft the lace marks (where wrapped around the boots) are permanently imprinted on the leather.
I recommend when ordering these to order a snug tight fit as the the leather will stretch, the whole boot is made from leather even the sole.
Touch and Striking
The Cinquestelle Colibri offers one of, if not the best touches on the ball that I have worn. As the leather is so soft and responsive you really get an unrivaled natural feeling on the ball. I’ve been impressed by some of the synthetic boots that I have tested recently but the Colibri has reminded me that high quality natural leather really is at the very top when it comes to touch.
Striking the ball is pretty unspectacular, but I found when making passes the Colibri really excelled. Intricate passes like a chipped ball over the opposing defence and through balls for the forward to run on to were going exactly where I wanted them to go, obviously the boots won’t make you a better player or improve your passing but these really do feel like a second skin with nothing between your feet and the ball allowing you to place the ball perfectly.
These boots use a standard 12 stud firm ground stud pattern which is very basic and in my opinion does the job perfectly. I have used the Colibri on many ground types including artificial grass, dry grass and wet grass and the traction was good on all surfaces. Most of you will have no doubt used the same or very similar stud pattern before. The sole of the boot is extremely flexible and responsive which allows your feet to move naturally, even the sole on the inside of the boots is made from leather with the sole plate using a soft plastic.
Durability, Protection and Maintenance
The only concern I have with the Colibri is that with the leather being so soft and thin that it will not offer the best protection or durability. I have had my foot stood on a couple of times and it definitely hurt but the tongue is nice and thick with a generous amount of suede padding on the inside which helps in this area.
In regards to durability, Cinquestelle boots really are up there with the very best when it comes to making boots. The soleplate is entirely stitched to the upper, the leather although very soft has shown no signs of wear so far but it does stretch quite a bit so definitely buy these so they fit snug as they mould to your feet.
Maintenance is pretty easy considering these are leather boots as there is minimal stitching, and are a one piece of leather but with any natural leather boot especially delicate hand crafted ones you must ensure that you care for them, clean them and don’t allow mud to dry out the leather and you may have to occasionally apply leather food if the leather begins to feel dry (which hasn’t happened yet after many hours of use).
Would I buy them?
Yes I would buy them In a heart beat, I’m fortunate enough to have many hand made boots and they really are the best kind available. Cinquestelle are undoubtedly one of the best football boot makers around, the attention to detail, the history, the company philosophy and the quality materials are to be admired. It’s a great feeling wearing a pair of boots that are unique, knowing that someone in a little workshop in Italy has taken so much time and pride in his work and handcrafted your boots.
I have worn many different brands, materials and technologies and I believe that the Cinquestelle Colibri is up there with the very best, they are unique in the way they have been made to feel like like a second skin and they truly are outstanding. The pictures do not do justice as to how soft the leather becomes. The most important aspects of a football boot are always comfort, touch and durability and the Colibri easily delivers on these aspects, also add in that the boots are handmade from scratch to fit your feet they truly are special.
For those interested in finding out more about Cinquestelle or ordering a pair of these boots, check out their website at: http://www.akuna.it