For this review I delve down in to the $60 boot range that is oft looked down upon by savvy cleat connoisseurs and boot snobs alike. Having said that there are still a lot of players on a budget who are still looking for a boot that can perform, or are looking for something they can at least count on as being reliable. So I shall be giving the Puma Etereo a fair and unbiased review after having given it a thorough bout of testing.
The etereo is pretty much on par with what is to be initally expected from a $60 boot though they do come in lower weight wise than one would initially expect. They match up with the Nike Phelon at 8oz while still keeping a healthy amount of EVA in the mid-sole for shock absorption. It is relatively low profile which is also to my liking so testing shouldn’t be all that bad. The etereo is a stand alone boot as it has no take down versions or up scale versions so I have no idea what to expect.
Oddly enough at the same time the Etereo feels light weight (turf wise) it also has some bulk to it. The 8 oz mark is a respectable area to be in and isn’t really anything to complain about. Basically it is a turf option where you don’t have to choose lighter weight over protection or vice-versa. Style wise and quality wise it really plays to the stereo types of boots found in the $60 range. The Fluo Peach/Ombre Blue/Fluro Yellow colorway I received the Etereo in is very much like the release colorway of the evopower though that is where the resemblance ends. Alot of the style points are lost between the two. The overall feel of the Etereo reminds me of some of the bargain bin indoor cleats I’ve gotten my hands on. I hoped that this impression would not last through testing.
Odds and Ends
The major area of interest in this boot is the mesh sections around the ankle and down the lateral side of the boot and the stitching/design on the instep. The mesh area is to mainly reduce weight and increase breathability and after testing I can confirm that it does a nice job or bringing down weight, unless the mesh gets wet that is. The stitching on the instep had minimal effect on performance, if the upper were leather then it may have had a positive effect on first touch. One thing I really like is the consistency of the EVA, it keeps the boot in the low profile range while still supplying shock absorption. But the main stand out in all this is it manages to clock in at 8 oz which is on the light side for a turf boot.
Fit and Break in
Fit seems to be right down the middle with wise, it is somewhere between narrow and wide. Length wise true to size. The material used in the upper leaves little wiggle room for the wider feet and it only molds to the shape of the foot to a certain level. Surprisingly I would say it is a little bit more comfortable than the nike phelon.
Considering the quality of the material, break in time was a concern of mine but thankfully everything went smooth and I was able to use them without discomfort throughout testing. Initially there was only some forefoot pressure where the material folded in before it synced with my foot movement.
Performance and Durability
Having had a very mixed bag in terms of turf boot experiences I fully expected it to to rank with the adidas x-ite in terms of disappointment. But surprisingly enough the Etereo has surpassed the x-ite by a decent margain. Despite the quality of the material the touch and control of the upper was decent, not good, but decent. I would put it on par with what I’ve experienced with basically every mid-quality lower level boot I’ve used. What I did like was that whenever I was on the receiving end of a challenge the boot took a nice amount of brunt off most of them. Well save for the well placed ones that hit laces or the outside/mesh portion. The mesh areas are sturdy but not extremely well padded save for the instep pod. Overall nothing outstanding performance wise, traction and security were all on point. The one thing I really liked was the low profile and lighter weight feel of the boot. It gave the feeling similar to wearing the phelon to some degree movement wise.
One of the main selling points Puma is pushing in this package is durability and they do not fall short. Other than usual scuffing and marking that comes with turf play and creasing there are absolutely no concerns here. These are made to last which is a must for a budget boot.
At times wearing the boot I did feel like I was back in the day wearing some older synthetic leather boots but other than that I think the Etereo performed up to par with whatever I needed to get done at the time. I most likely only ran into one instance where I was wishing I were wearing a different pair of boots. Though it is fair to say that happens with a few of the boots I wear. I think the upper could have been a touch better but I can honestly say it could have been much worse. The tongue of the boot is the Achilles heel, I took a rear-vapor stud right to the laces and the tongue is padded very lightly (it is basically poofy mesh) and I felt ever bit of that stud. However instances like that aren’t something that would happen often as that is a small target but still, ouch.
I won’t go so far as saying “The Etereo is basted in mediocrity when compared to other boots of its standing.” But I would go along the lines of “The Etereo supplies a little bit of everything for those on a budget.” Truthfully while it may not have excelled or stood out it did supply me a bit of everything making it versatile. It is light, offers protection (minus the tongue and lace area) excels in terms of durability and affordability while still performing to a satisfactory level. Basically this would be a good boot to get if you are looking for an all round turf boot or are stuck between options.
You can currently find the Puma Etereo LT at Puma.com.
Total Score: 80%