Following on from the highly talked about evoSPEED SL synthetic release, Puma brings you an even better “Leather” version. I term it better for several reasons. First off is that masterfully stitched upper design, and second would be related to the fact there is no 10-game lifespan warning with these. In other words, you can rejoice in the fact they are intended to make it into double digit games!
In all seriousness, this is a very different boot and its purpose is focused far more on performance than innovation. Weighing in at 5.5oz, Puma has still taken a very futuristic approach with this particular boot but they don’t battle with the lightest of the light boots currently on the market. For most, that will be seen as a positive!
Available from soccer.com.
It is the stitching on these boots that really sets them apart. Adding leather to a speed boot creates many challenges. In this case, Puma has added a multi-level, strategic stitch pattern to double up visual appearance and durability. The stitching acts a binding agent that allows the leather to stretch and mold, without going too far. What you get is a material that gradually adapts to your foot shape as you wear them. Plus, there is a Tiempo-esque look about them that puts a deliciously classic twist to the range.
I’m also a big fan of the colorway. Listed as an Electric Blue/White/Orange Clown Fish, the colors mesh together perfectly. The orange pop around the ankle line gives them something a little extra. That standout white PUMA sidehit features a stitched outline, giving it a more dynamic effect up close.
How Long Will They Last?
So, since they don’t come with the same 10-game warning that the super lightweight 3.5oz synthetic version come with, how long should you expect a pair to last? That is still to be discovered, but we do know they are definitely more durable than the “lightest boot ever released.”
Testing on this pair has already started, with a positive initial interaction. In terms of durability, I expect the leather upper to easily last a season. It is buttery soft and folds extremely naturally. Given the amount of stitching holding it together, they shouldn’t rip in any areas. Where I do have some reservations is in the soleplate to upper connection, an area that has the potential to split apart. As I said, I’ve got them in testing so I’ll update once there is more concrete information to share.
What Is With The Soleplate?
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. Up front, you get a mix of blades and conical studs, all intended to produce an absolute speed machine.
Are They Worth Buying?
Ah yes, the all important question! As SL releases go, there is something a little extra special about these and they’ve definitely sparked my interest. The definitive answer to that comes when we know how long players can expect a pair to last. But, from initial reaction they are a boot definitely worth checking out. If you are trying to decide between these and the synthetic version, there is no doubt which you should be gearing towards. The leather version is a far better boot, with the upper providing a more natural feel and touch, with stitching that provides extra durability.
If you decide to pickup a pair, they come with some additional inserts in the box. These inserts are placed inside a pretty fancy foam pouch, keeping them handy to grab from your bag should you need them. And one other random note worth mentioning. Puma has created a new style box where there is closing lip underneath the cover that holds it down. Normally, when you turn a box upside down the boots fall out. They won’t in this box! Of course, that has nothing to do with the actual boots or performance, but it is a sign of box innovation!!!
Find out more about the evoSPEED SL Leather at Soccer.com.