Earlier today, the Puma evoSPEED 1.4 SL Camo was released, and it joins exclusive company thanks to its incredible lightweight design. Weighing in at an extraordinary 3.5oz, there is little material to this boot but it comes with some serious bite and a lightning fast attitude. Added to the package is a limited edition Camo style design, as Puma offer just a sneak peak as to what the boot has on offer. In order to see the full effect, you will need a pair of 3D glasses – yes, there is an extra layer of dimension to these SL boots.
With only 500 pairs released worldwide, the decision to snap up a pair is going to have to happen fast. Thankfully, we were able to secure an exclusive pair and can offer valuable feedback as to what you should expect if you pick up a pair!
Find the evoSPEED 1.4 SL Camo currently listed at soccer.com.
Meet the “Lightest of the Lightest”
We keep wondering if boots can get any lighter, and each time we are introduced to a boot that is even lighter. After the Adidas 99g, we thought that we had hit the ultimate number. But technically, these are even lighter.
We weighed them in at 3.5oz, which would be around that same 99g gram mark. But rumor has it Puma has officially weighed them in at a lightest ever 96g. We await official confirmation on this, which should arrive when the first colorway of the boot hits market. But if it is true and they do sit around the 3.4oz mark, these boots set a unique precedence that can’t be beaten. Surely no brand dares move closer toward the 3oz mark….or will they?
To put it all into perspective, my iPhone weighs in at 4.5oz. No matter how you look at it, these things are incredible and really do feel like feathers in your hands as you hold them.
DISCLAIMER – Expected to Last Up To 10 Games!
One of the most contentious aspects of this release is the disclaimer that Puma adds on the soleplate:
The evoSPEED SL is not for training days. It’s for your best days. Your match days. It may only be used on real grass. Due to its extremely lightweight design, it’s expected to last up to 10 games. But the moments it creates will last forever.
It will come as no surprise to hear that these boots are not intended to be durable. But for some, the honest disclaimer from Puma has created quite the shock. “Only 10 games – why even release them?”
Personally, I applaud Puma’s decision to be completely open with fans and tell them straight up what the boot has on offer, something other brands have failed to do. Every single aspect of the boot has been stretched to the limit in order to produce the lightest boot ever released. And as a result, there is less focus placed on durability. Realistically, most players are likely to get more than 10 games out of the boots especially if they take care of the boots. But the disclaimer ensures Puma doesn’t have a rash of three month old boots returned. They are absolutely not intended for use on AG, so that is somewhere you intend wearing them, immediately drop them into the 10 game zone.
Ultimately, it will completely depend on the conditions and the type of pitch players are wearing them on.
So, how does the upper actually feel? If I was to summarize it, I’d say it feels like a piece of cardboard that has been soaked in water and then dried in the sun for several hours. It has a crisp, synthetic feel yet there is a uniquely soft coating across the upper. In order to add support, a complete cage system lines the inside of the boot. This also includes the tongue, ensuring weight is at a minimum and durability sits at about as high a level as you could expect.
From slipping the boots on, I can tell you that the material is decently pliable and should adequately adjust to your foot shape. That is as long as they don’t fall apart before they mold, of course. Side note, I’m a fan of putting boots on without socks – before you reach out with comments, I wouldn’t ever wear them that way!
How Likely Are You To Slip In Them?
Then there is that ultra thin soleplate and re-engineered stud configuration. On the heel, you will find a tri-stud design, with a conical sitting on the inner side and two blades running along the outer edge. The single conical stud features a unique depth profile, with an inside groove surrounding its position. At this point, I’m not sure if it offers an sort of performance characteristic, but it certainly seems to have a purpose. Up front, you get a mix of blades and conical studs, all intended to produce an absolute speed machine.
I’m finding it difficult to describe how thin and flexible the soleplate is and have you take me seriously! I was going to compare it to a piece of poster board, but that wouldn’t be doing them justice! Even with its uber thin profile, there is still the benefit of a little extra material through the midfoot, in a ridge style fashion, that should increase the amount of support provided through wear.
And Then There Is 3D
How did we not cover this one already? Check that ultra unique dizzying print placed right across the upper of the boot. From first glance, you really have to set your focus on these boots, and as I was taking images of them I kept having to double check to see if they were blurry or if I was simple capturing the essence of the design.
In order to piece it together, Puma include a pair of 3D glasses in the box, so you get to experience the full detailing of the boot right after opening the box. What does it look like with them on? Well, I’m not going to go spoil it for the 499 other folk out there that end up buying a pair! Ok, I will. It looks like a block design featuring “Puma” in different shapes and sizes across the upper and soleplate. This was, of course, extremely obvious from images, apologies for the anticlimax.
Don’t expect to have other players wearing 3D glasses during games, so it is not likely that many players will get to experience the full effect of the boot. To some, that might add to the exclusive nature of the release, for others it might make the release pointless. And I’m guessing that is what will differentiate those that want to purchase a pair and those will pass them up.
Get Them Tested!
All that is left at this point is for me to wear them until they do fall apart (all in the name of testing!) I’m going to take them through their paces on natural grass and the not so recommended AG to see how they hold up through several wears. Will they make the 10 game mark? You will have to wait to find out – I’ll comprehensively update once I have an answer. Stay tuned (or just go buy a pair now!)