The economical speed boot category has been arguably one of the more popular categories in boots. With a lot of demand coming from those who can’t afford to pay the high price tags of the top tier models, companies have modeled their take down versions to be as identical as possible to the top tier models. The end result is a boot with similar benefits with a much more reasonable price tag.
The Puma evoSPEED 2.2 is the takedown model to the evoSPEED 1.2. The range hosts high performance standards and is also endorsed by athletes such as Radamel Falcao and Sergio Aguero. The evoSPEED 2.2 has a lot of competition in the Veloce and F30, so it will be interesting to see how Puma’s evoSPEED take-down compares. To find out how the evoSPEED 2.2 performs, I put the boots through a rigorous testing over the last few weeks.
You can currently find the evoSPEED 2.2 at SoccerSavings.com.
I found there to be a lot of similarities when compared to the 1.2 straight out of the box. The first thing you notice is how similar they are visually. The same overall layout is used on the 2.2 and the only real difference is the soleplate because of the SpeedTrack system. That is obviously a plus for those wanting a similar package both visually and performance wise. Design wise, the neon stands out on the black upper. Honestly, the PUMA lettering could probably be seen from miles away. So if you shy away from bright releases, you should probably consider a more conservative evoSPEED colorway.
Fit and Comfort
The fit and comfort on these boots really go hand in hand with each other. The fit falls somewhere in between the full size and the half size so if boots generally are slightly large on you, then you should be okay. Otherwise, I recommend ordering a half size up. Throughout testing, I found the shape of the boot to change very little. The shape was designed to be ergonomic and the toe area is designed in an unique curve. The upper doesn’t stretch much and the fit stays the same throughout. Therefore, the break in process is basically loosening the stiff upper and breaking in the soleplate. So I highly recommend you try these boots out in a local store or at least check out the shoefitr to ensure a good fit. Essentially, if you don’t like how they feel at the start, then don’t anticipate them getting much better. Also note that they fit around average width wise. I found the upper to be quite comfortable as long as you had the right fit from out of the box. They were actually comfortable straight out of the box and after loosening the upper it felt very agreeable.
A problematic feature that did arise when testing on hard surfaces was the soleplate thickness. Even after breaking it in, the thinness caused a small amount of foot pain. Unless you are playing on fields that are slightly soft, you can expect some soreness from these boots. Much of my testing was in hard ground, and the long conical studs caused a fair amount of stud pressure. Part of the reason may be the thin insole, but I feel that it comes down to the bottom of your feet absorbing impact from running. The conical studs are also on the longer side, so there is more concentrated pressure at specific spots on the foot. Puma can improve on a more even weight distribution in the soleplate which would likely alleviate the pressure points.
The microfiber upper used on the evoSPEED 2.2 is one of the more interesting synthetics that I have tested. The closest thing on the market I can compare it to is the leather finish on the Vapor IX. The upper is rigid but still seems to have a leather like quality. The upper features small raised dots that provide extra texture. You can feel the raised dimples when you run your hands over them. Basically, this is a discrete control element that isn’t very noticeable but still beneficial. When you are on the ball, you get the perfect combination of control without the ball sticking to your foot. Even in wet conditions, I had a decent touch on the ball. The upper also absorbed very little water so it helped maintain the lightweight feel. I just wish Puma implemented the upper throughout the boot. On the instep (Puma Lettering), they utilized a different coating on the synthetic that isn’t as high performing.
Because the upper is pretty thin, you get a close to the ball feel when striking and controlling the ball. The close fit helps you keep the ball close when dribbling and the leather finish upper actually feels very soft with the ball on your foot.
The evoSPEED 2.2 traction is very similar to the one that is found on the 1.2. The studs seem to placed in the same spots as the 1.2 and the main difference is the SpeedTrack system. The soleplate is identical to that of the evoSPEED 1.0 (the last version). Basically, you get the same traction but with different flexibility features. The boots offer decent traction, and I didn’t feel like I was in danger of slipping at all. I advise to avoid wearing these boots on turf or hard ground, simply because there is a greater risk of injury to your joints. Overall, the conical stud layout is ideal for those looking for a speed boot with a conservative stud pattern. So it is a great option for those who aren’t confident in Nike’s bladed Mercurial studs.
The DuoFlex design really helps you change directions at high speeds. The boots are flexible in multiple directions where the flex grooves are and it helps your toes dig in and push off. The flexibility is obviously important for acceleration in different directions so the design should help you reach your top speed faster.
Durability and Protection
These evoSPEED 2.2 maintained its shape throughout testing despite the lack of the Everfit cage that is used on the 1.2. The upper isn’t at risk of overstretching and there isn’t much that can go wrong with these boots. I had a slight concern with the soleplate separating from the upper but it is safe to say that these boots should last you a long season. It is a completely synthetic upper so the only maintenance is cleaning the boots with a wet rag to keep them looking brand new. Because the Evospeed 2.2 is a speed boot, you have to anticipate a lack of protection in tackles. There will be impact collisions in the forefoot. Otherwise, the heel counter keeps you protected while still locking your foot in place.
Would I Buy These?
These boots are a solid bargain and in the end it comes down to personal preference. They are worth the price, and I wouldn’t shy away from them. However, I would also consider the Mercurial Veloce and end up deciding between the two. Having tested both boots, I can guarantee that both are high performing. Personally, I would favor the evoSPEED 2.2 but that is completely personal. You can find the Mercurial Veloce review here.
The full evoSPEED Range can currently be found at SoccerSavings.com!