Having had a few weeks to play around with the Puma V1.11, one thing is for sure – these boots are built for a specific type of player! They offer a very similar package to their predecessor’s, the V1.10, but my personal opinion is that Puma have made some very positive changes on this version.
Weighing in at 8.2oz, these boots have been developed as a speed boot to match the requirements of players with pace. I wore the new Fluo Green/Midnight Navy/White colorway for review, with this one covering the synthetic upper.
Important: Getting the Right Size!
I originally received a pair of size 9US in the V1.11, but had to swap them out for a size 9.5US in order to get the right size for testing. If you are not familiar with Puma shoes, they generally fit tight – so I recommend going a half size up. For those of you who know their size in previous V series releases, these fit very similarly, with some additional width at the top of the boot.
It took some time to get the V1.11 into game shape and I found the soleplate to be stiff starting out. The front of the boot has that strange “V” angle design we have become familiar with on the V series. I refer to it as a box toe because of its sharp angle appearance. To be honest, I was concerned it would cause some discomfort/blistering through wear.
Thankfully, in this instance it didn’t cause any problems through testing, that is with the additional half size up. It is an odd comment, but if you have a toe that is longer than your big toe, you will probably want to avoid these! I ended wearing them in several training sessions before the first game. I am currently 3-4 games in and they are now fully broken in, with a very competitive level of comfort.
Insole and Heel Fit
One of the reasons I feel the V series has continually fit tight is connected to the shape of the insole, right round the heel region. Basically, they are designed to sit about as flush as you can get to the sole of your foot, allowing for no gaps unlike conventional shoes. This really allows for a glove like fit, but again it is a cause for the sizing issue.
When it came to game time, the V1.11 perform at a competitive level. The lightweight nature of the boot suited my game and I found them to be an effective tool in terms of acceleration. Crossing felt ok, it is one area they fall slightly short. Along the front of the boot, stitching is applied to ensure you are getting a durable boot, but this causes the material to rise slightly. Getting under the ball on a pitch with little grass might cause issues. On grass, they worked out well and I felt like they were more suited. The strike zone itself feels fantastic and the materials offer a very well protected feel when contacting the ball. Puma use a soft microfiber offer that is abrasion resistant yet soft enough to offer good feel on the ball. In terms of touch and control, a new textured region lies in between strategically positioned “holes” of sort (as seen in the images.) Realistically, I can’t quiet tell if they make a difference as you dribble with the ball or take in passes, but psychologically they offer an advantage!
Velcro Tongue Design
This is a unique touch added by Puma. Basically, the addition of a velcro along one side of the tongue allows the opportunity to loosen/tighten laces while maintaining a large strike surface. And the best part is that it works effectively! Because only one side of the tongue lifts up, you don’t have to stress about it flopping about the place and the velcro is also super sticky, staying firmly in place during play. On the V1.10, the tongue was also effective and although I didn’t see any particular reason that it needed to be changed up, I like this upgrade.
V1.11 vs V1.10
From a style perspective, there really hasn’t been much change through the V series releases. This latest V1.11 release still holds a very similar look to the V1.10, with the shape staying true. The big difference lies in the materials that are used. In the upper, a textured microfiber is used in place of a smooth microfiber that was used in the V1.10. What the new version offers is better touch and control on the ball. The other big difference lies in the last, where Puma has allowed for a roomier, more spacious fit. Other than that, both versions hold a lot of similarities! Also worth checking out is the post covering the V1.11 vs V1.11 SL releases.
The negatives I have with the V1.11 are primarily centered around size. There were definitely moments when I thought I needed a full size up rather than the additional half size I wore. This is pretty much the same complaint I had while reviewing the V1.10, so If you are familiar with the V series and find them comfortable disregard this! I can’t offer too many other negatives as they performed just as well as expected during game time.
With each new release in a series, companies look to go bigger and better – Puma have achieved that with this release. It is the simple things such as the addition of a fully functional lace cover, and the redesigned front strike zone that features a more textured effect. I definitely don’t think the Puma V1.11 are suited for all players and I have no doubt that people will buy them only to discover the shape and fit causes them problems on the field. But those players who find them to be effective will experience a fantastic match and a high performer. In terms of my player recommendations, fast paced players will benefit more. Samuel Eto’o is the face of the current release and he seems to be one of those players that has found a perfect match! If you are looking for a different colorway, Puma also has a White/Black/Dresden Blue colorway available!
*Boots supplied for review by Puma Soccer