Along with the tagline “Perfection Re-Perfected”, Puma unleashed a pretty tempting package with the absolutely devilish Puma King SL Classico. Intended to celebrate Puma’s rich heritage and 65 years of soccer history, this special edition release is a remake of the groundbreaking King SL launched in 2001. With a K-Leather upper and a modern SL (Super Lightweight) construction, there is something extra special about these that is sure to lure traditional players toward them.
You might find that this review is a little lighter than usual, with less in-depth details in each section. But that has a lot to do with the boots overall design. There is nothing complex about them and as a result, describing certain areas becomes a lot more straight forward. Still, here is our take on what you need to know if you are considering a pair.
With only 2,001 pairs released, find these boots listed at soccer.com.
Visually, these boots are striking and really have that old school look about them. Dropping in at 6.2oz, it is going to be interesting to see how the concept of tradition and SL mesh together, from a performance perspective.
Breaking In and Comfort
What you expect from this boot in terms of comfort, you most definitely get in play. Even with their modern construction and lightweight package, Puma has found a way to balance it all out and provide players with a King drafted into the modern era. These boots feature a thin K-leather upper that is buttery soft right out of the box. It is the very first thing you will want to connect with before wearing them. And the layered stitching across the forefoot brings back memories of older model King’s that were full bodied and designed with durability in mind! By introducing that stitching, it provides some extra durability and natural movement to the material across your foot.
The soleplate is an interesting one, as it features a very minimal design. Right away, it is extremely flexible and there is absolutely no doubts about breaking them into a game from first wear. The spine bar through the middle provides some extra support underfoot, but it doesn’t cause any stiffness as you bend, cut and turn on pitch. Overall, Puma gets the comfort of these boots just right!
Classic Fold Over Tongue
For those that lived through the glory days of the King, you will know just how important and iconic the fold over tongue is. It was one of the features that separated good from better releases, with the best of the best have something covering the laces. From floppy to underneath strap, companies have employed different strategies in keeping it in place. Puma go modern with this release and add a new two layer stitching that locks the tongue down in place across the front of the boot, so it won’t move very much. This is perfect for giving the appearance of an older fashioned boot with a more current day take – and best of all it isn’t floppy!
In Game Performance
There are two ways of looking at these from a performance perspective with altering viewpoints. Some players will want to know how they factor in the traditional style of the range, while others will want to know if they can be relied on as a speed boot. Here is how we see both sides.
From a traditional standpoint, they feature that glorious upper design and it just looks darn right. But, the materials employed are very minimal and that provides players with a different type of performance than they might expect from a “King” boot. For example, you are soaking in a lot of impact across your foot as you strike shots as there is no direct shooting element. Even with a K-leather upper, you have to think of them as a boot in the styling of a adiZero F50 or Vapor, where speed is the key attribute and that is what they are designed more for. For control style players, they offer a very clean touch on the ball and coupled with lightweight construction, might be the ideal weapon for players that like to run the roost in the middle of the park and get out of tight situations when needed.
As per above, you can see there is more of a speed element feel to these. The soleplate construction, in particular, with the stud configuration provide players with the perfect platform for quick turns and acceleration out of danger areas. It has a very suitable design for both FG and AG surfaces, so there is the benefit of crossing them between different surfaces without losing out on performance.
Compared to the 2001 King SL
As you would expect, both boots have their similarities and their own unique differences. The true benefit to this release is its modern construction, with Puma taking the opportunity to focus in on creating something more technically advanced.
How do they Fit?
In general, Puma boots tend to fit a little tighter but I found these to be a solid true to size option. Length wise, they are definitely spot on. Width wise, they might be a little snug for some wider fitting players, but you do have the benefit of a k-leather that has some give over time. The material has the ability to stretch, which should create a personalized fit through wear.
My only concern lies with the price tag – at an original retail of $300, you are going to want to be sure that these are the boot for you. But that comes with the fact that there is only 2,001 pairs released worldwide – as in the year the original was released. In other words, this is a limited edition boot that makes a nice addition to any collection pending you have the funds to invest!
Again, the best spot to pick up one of the 2,001 pairs is at soccer.com.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: Quality old school remake that has been revolutionized with modern features. Classic k-leather upper in a lightweight package.
Category: Lightweight Heritage
Would I Buy Them: Love everything about the design, but they are listed at a pretty high price point. Ultimately, you need to be sure that you really want a pair before buying.
Player Position: The upper is very thin, so they don’t provide any great amount of protection. But they still have a universal feel about them that will interest players of all positions. On this one it is more about the love of heritage boots wrapped in modern packaging. If that is what you like, then they have a lot to offer.