Over the past few weeks, I have been working on testing out several pairs of turf shoes. The Pele 50/50 is one of the pairs, and this release continues along the fine line of Pele-Sports releases we have seen in recent months. Building an entire range for players to choose from is a critical step in holding down a place in the market. Rather than focusing on lightweight, this boot offers an ideal option for players who need support and comfort right out of the box. And it is important to note that even those these are a turf boot, they have more functionality than just that surface.
I tested the Running White/Varsity Royal/Tour Yellow colorway in a size 9US, which retail for around $80.
The 50/50 offers total comfort, right out of the box, in a similar fashion to the Pele Radium tested a few weeks back. If there is a player out there that found these uncomfortable through first wear email me – but I probably won’t believe you! The K-leather upper offers plenty of flexibility and easily molds through the first few wears. The upper is only about 50% k-leather, with the rest of the materials meshing effectively without causing any problems. Everything about the inside of the boot feels fantastic, from the padding around the ankle to the cushioned insole. You can always tell a boot is designed for comfort when you put them on barefoot and it feels like your foot is sitting on a sheet of silk. I wore them right out of the box with no problems, and through 5-6 training sessions they offered total comfort.
Comfort is key to the performance of any boot, and these get full marks in that respect. It is important to consider what type of footwear you are looking for and how it will match your playing style. The 50/50 is a hybrid of sorts, fully equipped to help you master control while also offering benefits as a power shoe. You don’t get a great deal of technology, but you do get several unique additions that improve its appeal. For example, Pele-Sports has placed a toe-cap along the front of the upper to enhance durability and a TPU panel runs across the strike zone adding an extra layer on ball impact. The toe-cap has been reinforced and offers an ideal platform for lofting balls during short sided play. One area where I do have some concerns with performance lies with the level of traction offered, which you can read about below.
Worth Noting – Traction
Unfortunately, I never felt secure while wearing these on turf due to the low-profile nature of the studs. The 50/50 is designed to be a hybrid of sorts, and can be used on most playing surfaces – they are not entirely specific to a particular venue. It is obviously a positive for anyone looking to play on several different surfaces – but not if you are a quick player looking for turf specific.
Inspiration Behind the Release
To give you more of an idea of how the 50/50 came to be, here is a quote on the release from Pele Sports:
Pelé, for the most part, acquired his inimitable ball control and ability to quickly react to match situations while playing on the streets of his hometown. This was the inspiration for the 50/50, which was designed for modern-day street football. Designed for exceptional feel on the ball and the joy of playing the game on every playing surface – whether it’s asphalt, sand or cinders.
Design – Sweet Hieroglyphics!
Well played to the person that designed the 50/50 – their attention to detail really adds an extra element to the boot! For example, on the side you will notice a section of shapes that look like Egyptian hieroglyphics. If I didn’t know any better, I would say that this is Pele Sports way of telling you the boots are fit for a dictator king – or maybe they were actually worn by the guys that built the Pyramids (don’t quote me on this one!!) but it is a suave edition that makes them different to other boots. The insole used also features a design that smoothly blends with the walls inside the shoe. There are two colorways to choose from, both of which offer opposite looks. I tested the Running White/Varsity Royal/Tour Yellow, but for the more traditional players there is a Black/Running White/Vapor Blue.
How do they Fit?
This is a shoe that offers plenty of room for all players. With a final weight of 10.8oz, you can tell they are built for comfort and power rather than speed. Right through the midfoot you get a wide fit, with nice support along the arch. In terms of lenght, I found they fit true-to-size, although I can tell you that some players will benefit from going up a half size based on how much room they require in turfs.
The biggest negative for me lies in the amount of traction offered on turf. As a winger, I find chopping and changing direction to be extremely important but the low stud config just doesn’t hack it in that respect. For players needing the same attributes, these are not the right option. If you play on loose surfaces, then they are a better option. Because they are built for comfort and support, they are also slightly bulky throughout.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A shoe designed for total comfort and support, well built and extremely durable. Pele Sports increase their stake in the market with a release that will suit the needs of hard working players – and of course those players that value safety. Easily doubles as an everyday wear shoe.
Category: Fall between the Control and Power category, so they are a hybrid of sorts.
Weight: Again, they are built for comfort and support – and their 10.8oz weight mark confirms just that!
Would I Buy Them: I would consider picking up a pair if I was coming back from a foot injury and needed something to help me ease back into the game. The $85 price tag is on the higher end for turf shoes, which might deter some players.
Player Position: I can see holding mids, who like to graft and get stuck in on tackles, really benefiting from a pair. Others include goalkeepers and most power forwards who look for opportunities to shoot!