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Puma evoPOWER 1 Review

Puma evoPOWER Review

In what could be one of the smartest moves by a brand in recent times, Puma has tackled the Power category and produced a boot that goes against our natural expectations of a conventional “Power boot”. Aptly named the Puma evoPOWER 1, this is a release that combines the foots natural motion new technology to provide a completely different shooting experience. At least that is what we can take from the advertising campaigns. So, how do they actually hold up against the hype?

I’ve had a pair of evoPOWER in testing for the few past weeks and after some rigorous training and games, here is what you can expect.

Find your pair at soccer.com >> Puma evoPOWER 1

Initial Reaction

Puma has radically changed their Power release and it comes as a much needed change-up. The PowerCat ran it’s course several months back and this latest release is packed full of new innovation, making it an even more exciting proposition. The concept of providing a more natural strike, with downward flex will be interesting to test, as well as the actual performance of the new strike zone.

Puma evoPOWER Boxed

evoPOWER Adap-Lite Upper

Sideview of Puma evoPOWER

Breaking In and Comfort

One of the aspects that Puma immediately pointed out about the evoPOWER was its ability to bend as close as possible to the biomechanics of the bare foot. It is a bold statement and one that sets the tone for the boot. Right out of the box, they do flex extremely easy in both directions and when you put them on for the first time there is a very natural feel. Into a training session, they feel like you have been wearing them for several weeks! Coupled with that soleplate is the super soft synthetic upper, that in itself would probably feel pretty snug across the foot. But the addition of Accu-Foam really sets these into a new level comfort wise. Think of it this way. You know when you go to a bed store and take the opportunity to lie on those devilishly inviting memory foam beds? As you do, the mattress soaks you in and envelops around your body. This is exactly what happens with the evoPOWER. As your foot presses against the upper, the foam acts like a pillow and softly runs around the contours of your foot.

When we compare this to something like the PowerCat series or even the current Predator LZ, it takes these boots to a new level of comfort. The Predator LZ, for example, has a layer of rubber material on the outside (these are the lethal zones) and although they are very pliable and comfortable, they don’t offer that natural, perfectly in-tune fit across your forefoot. The most comparable boot would be the recently released Nike Tiempo V that has a layer of honeycomb mesh along the inner lining. But the difference is Nike kept the fit of the boot as is, where Puma has made them wider to accommodate.

Puma Accu-Foam

Puma evoPOWER GSF

Tech Breakdown

There is a lot of new modifications included with this new release. Here is a short breakdown of each piece and the basics of what you need to know.

GSF – Gradual Stability Frame. Basically, there is a spine bar that runs from the heel through the midfoot in the shape of ribs. It is very stiff but gradually loosens as you approach the midfoot. Then, underneath the toe bend, it becomes very flexible, with the ability to move on both an upward and downward direction, as close as possible to the biomechanics of the bare foot and replicate its natural power.

Adap-Lite – The upper is a Japanese synthetic that stretches vertically from the toes, allowing for a stretch in both direction with the soleplate, but not laterally.

Accu-Foam – A foam insert located on the upper which, upon impact, creates a smooth and flat kicking surface. There are 19 individual pieces on the upper and 2 on the tongue.

EverFit Cage EXT – Normally located inside the boot, Puma added a durable system on the outsole to ensure the boot keeps its shape along the instep and last through many wears.

Puma evoPOWER EverFit Cage

In-Game Performance

It seems to be standard that all companies look to develop a soleplate that only flexes upward with the movement of your toes and not in the opposite direction. This seems to make sense for stability and to remove any rocking motion as you take off on short, quick sprints. But here, Puma has gone against that norm by producing an all new type of soleplate. This falls in line with the idea of true foot movement, or the natural shape a barefoot takes as it strikes a ball. As a result, the soleplate flexes down and away from the laces. You can feel the difference by simply pushing your toes down against the soleplate.

In a regular boot, it wouldn’t do much as the more rigid soleplates keep your feet in place. But with these boots you can feel the soleplate bend. Obviously, you can’t push it into an irregular shape, but it does give you some indication that they will flex with the movement of your foot as you strike shots.

evoPOWER 1 Flex

Is this beneficial? It is tough to say, but it definitely doesn’t cause any discomfort when striking shots. In fact, there is a more natural feeling when you are using them and it has the potential to add some additional spring back on your follow through. Durability is something I will be interested to hear more about over the next few months, and I realize that Puma has probably done extensive research and development to ensure it doesn’t snap from repeated flexing. Pulling off a soleplate with top level durability properties would be a real coup.

Next up is the upper material, which is called Adap-Lite. This is the first time we have seen this material used on a soccer boot and it makes for a pretty interesting addition. The properties of the material allow it to stretch length wise, but not laterally. This proves useful as you strike shots and the soleplate bends back, it actually stretches across the contours of your forefoot. It is a very soft material and although it has a smooth texture, there is a slightly tacky feel as you run your fingers across it.

Then there is the Accu-Foam that sits underneath the surface of the upper. It comes in rectangular chunked pieces and when you couple it with the Adap-Lite it makes for a fantastic strike surface.  There are 19 individual pieces in total that are far enough apart to remove any notion of stiffness and allow for the upper material to mold around your foot shape.The foam has a squishy feel to that serves a dual purpose; it cushions as you control the ball in close situations, while it acts like a rubber rebound as you strike shots. Since the upper material is so thin and light, you get some much needed added protection – as you would expect from a power boot.

evoPOWER Foam Panels

Puma evoPOWER Accu-Foam

Puma evoPOWER Tongue

Lightweight Power

The other thing to consider is the fact that these boots weigh in at an incredibly light 7.2oz. Not only is that an ultra light weight for a power boot, it also destroys our prior opinions of the PowerCat, which weighed in at 10.4oz. If you look at the PowerCat SL that still weighed in at 8.4oz. It goes to show how Puma has re-engineered theit thinking and adjusted to the market. There is a completely different level of performance from a power boot that weights in the 7oz region compared to the 6oz.

How do they feel to strike shots?

From my experience, I feel like they provide as much power behind shots as you would expect. Power comes from your own technique, so the benefit of a power boot comes into play when it aids and improves the movement of your foot by allowing you to comfortably strike with a full, natural motion. There is some common sense behind allowing the soleplate to flex in both directions and I am on board with Puma development on the evoPOWER. When combined with the upper and the addition of some foam in the correct areas, it makes for a really clean strike. And the real positive lies in the fact that you don’t feel the sting of striking shots like you would with a thin material, giving you the opportunity to be more confident striking with full power.

How do they Fit?

This is a very comfortable, wide fitting boot that will feel natural for a wide selection of players to wear. Right through the boot, they have a wide girth, we are talking along the lines of the T90 Laser or Hypervenom mold here. Even though the upper is a synthetic, it has an unusually high level of stretch that allows them to mold with your foot shape. When it comes to length, they are very much on a true-to-size level, maybe a tiny bit tight starting out, but definitely not enough to consider anything other than your normal size.

Something to note here is that the lacing system is cut wider than regular boots, which again provides a more spacious feel about the boot as you slip them on. It is when you tie the laces that they grasp on to your foot for that glove like fit.

evoPOWER-Team

As Worn By

There is a wide selection of players sporting the new boot, as we covered in a Puma evoPOWER Opening Weekend Recap last week. But the primary players to watch for include Mario Balotelli, Cesc Fabregas and Marco Reus.

Critics Notes

The only important note here is that they are a wide fitting boot, something that won’t work well with those of you in need of a thin, snug fit. Obviously, for players who need a wide fit that is a positive. Other than that, there hasn’t been anything critical to note about the boot yet. Well played Puma!

Find your pair at soccer.com >> Puma evoPOWER 1

The Skinny Summary

Highlight: A soleplate that can flex in both directions, an upper material designed to stretch laterally but not vertically, accu-foam through the forefoot – there is a lot to love about this new style power boot.
Category: As the name points out, there are about Power.
Weight: 7.2oz, which makes them one of the lightest Power boots we have seen released.
Would I Buy Them: I would, there is a lot of positives to take from this one and it is the type of release that is worth investing in ever with his high price-point.
Player Position: The selection of players currently wearing them shows how broad their reach is. Anyone that likes to strike shots is goinf to love them, but they also have that extra padding that ensures they are a top option for defensive players also!

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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33 comments

  1. The bendable sole plate makes me a bit leary about these. I love Puma because their sole plates generally break in very quickly, but I noticed in my Finale SL's that after a few wears the super thin sole plate started to bend downward a lot more, a couple days later I took a hard cut during a fitness session and tore a ligament in my big toe (turf toe). I switched to the evospeeds after that and didn't have any problems with those because the spine of the boot was stiffer.
    Fingers crossed that this boot offers no protection issues. It really does look impressive.

    Quality review Bryan. Looking forward to the durability update

  2. This thing needs a Powerspine!

    All kidding aside, I don't know that Puma can call this a power boot. Nike doesn't call the CTR a power boot, so why would this be one? I'm not saying that power boots have to weigh 10+ ounces, but this shoe is def a speed boot through and through. Adding memory foam blobs to the upper doesn't make it otherwise.

    • CTR is a control boot not a power boot. The Hypervenom was supposed to replace the T90 which was their power boot. Yeah these new power boots are more like speed boots but in all honesty the whole power thing was always a marketing thing more than anything (although some designs did help on getting spin on the ball more easily).

      • I know the CTR is a control boot, but I guess what I'm saying is that the CTR had foam pods, and so does this, so why would they be in different boot categories?

        In the end I agree, though. The whole power/speed/control/agility categories are just marketing ploys.

  3. Hey Brian,

    Which size should i get in the EVOpowers when i wear a size 44,5 EU in Maestri 2,3 and in Laser 4?

    Thanks a lot!

  4. I am a Puma fan and these seem interesting but again they really need to get some better graphic designers. The camo version was nice though.

    • The camo version is pretty epic. Have a look around the web, there are a few different colorways on the way. There is also a leather version leaked not too long ago.

  5. Jonathan Gonçalves Freire

    Hello, evopower on which the main differences between it is the mizuno wave ignitus 3 and nike total 90 laser

      , And what would be the most complete or the best boot. hugs

    • Well the ignitus and t90 both have rubber shooting elements so that's a pretty huge difference. The laser might be more affordable now, especially the III. Best boot? Probably ignitus. Most complete? I'd say laser, but I haven't tried these new pumas.

  6. Are these good for overpronators? My ankle rolls in, so I was wondering if these have arch and ankle stability.
    What are some good boots for overpronation?
    Thanks

    • They feel stable in play, but there is limited arch support. The best feedback here would come from other players with ankle issues that wear the boots (if that is you, we'd appreciate if you can add your update below!)

    • No, they aren't great for overpronators. The fact that they really bend and conform with your foot makes them more track shoe that support shoe. If you've ever run in something like a New Balance Minimus, you have an idea of how these will work. I found that after just 5 minutes trying them on, the inside cleats had begun to wear.

      I mildly over pronate, but really only need a light support shoe for races over 10k (DS Trainer). However, I've found that Power and some Heritage boots are pretty good for overpronators as they usually have more structured uppers and stiffer soleplates. Another option is with a heritage boot, you can get a supportive insert to replace the stock one.

  7. i heard these boots DONT have very much grip on the ball when playing in wet conditions. it this true??

    • The upper is pretty slick, so the level of grip is minimal compared to some other control focused boots. In saying that, the padded area adds some texture that can help with keeping the ball closer to your foot.

  8. Besides price, what is the difference between the evoPower 1 and evoPower 3?

  9. Not really a Puma fan, the powercats 6 rear studs gave me many problems…But I think i'll break my history with Nike and get a pair of these.

  10. Hey, I’m planning on getting the blackout leather evoPowers, and I was wondering how the sole plate is on turf.. A quick response would be great.. thanks!

  11. Which one do u think is better?
    Regurlar evopower 1 or evopower blackout leather version?
    Can u please give a quick response thanks

    • I have both and i prefer the leather black-out version over the synthetic one i use the synthetic for our training and games on turf the leather for training on grass and games aswell. Before this shoe uses T90 was pretty pissed even Nike dropped the shoe but in retrospect i'm happy is a solid and comfortabel shoe.

  12. Hi. My size with other boots has always been 28.5cm length (9.5 UK) when I try these on, they fit perfectly, but I can't help it feeling a tiny bit tight on top of my big toe. Did you feel that? Do they eventually stretch? I'm a bit confused in regards to sizing because of this. Thanks

  13. Have these shoes a good pasning accuracy and how is the touch?

  14. Has anyone had a problem with the blade-shaped studs breaking? I've been using mine for a couple of weeks on firm and a somewhat hard natural grass, and the surface of the bladed studs is clearly breaking..

    • Yes I have had my boots for just under 2 months (have also only worn on firm ground) and one of my studs has completely ripped off, I really liked these boots and would buy again but would like to know if this is a common issue.

  15. what is the difference between this and evopower 4fg

  16. i want to buy them i wear 43eu in puma king i have to go size up or not please tell me

  17. Just bought a pair. Love them. I have a flat, wide foot so the shape is awesome, and I play wingback so really need a running boot.

    Question – I have the screw-in version but can't find plastic replacements that guarantee a fit, anyone have advice?

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