We are always fond of seeing new boots hit the market, and although the Aspero Classic 2012 hasn’t hit the shores of the US yet, they are a boot that has raised a lot of interest in Europe. A German company, Aspero are currently working on finding a niche spot for themselves in the market, with this second edition giving us a glimpse of the style and direction we can expect as they develop their range. This is a boot designed with control in mind, hence the use of NeoKick technology through the forefoot and it creates an extremely unusual look! For testing, we got our hands on a size 9US in the extremely traditional Classic Black colorway.
In terms of retail, the Aspero is available to order from Germany with a price of €179. With currency exchange rates and shipping, that number will be in the $220-$260 range.
There is a definite stiff feel about the Aspero Classic and it takes some time to get them truly loosened up. This is of course related to the technology employed on the upper, with the NeoKick Touch Control having a sandpaper like feel. I spent a few jogging sessions followed by some training sessions working on really getting them game ready. The boots fit me a little long, which was actually probably a good thing as I never encountered and comfort issues through the process. The one positive is that these boots have obviously been designed with comfort in mind and it shows when you get to game time. Over 90 minutes, they offer a very snug fit right across the foot, plus the insole is well padded to keep the soles of your feet feeling maintained. There is definitely no issues with stud pressure, which is another positive for a range that is relatively new to the market.
The Upper – Nappa Leather
There is a reason that we don’t normally see Nappa leather used on soccer cleats – price! Nappa leather is seen to be a more high-end material that is used on the likes of Sofa’s and expensive chairs. It is renowned for its soft feel and durability under your butt. In truth, Aspero’s decision to use it is pretty bold, almost to the point of being ridiculous. But other than the stiff feel at first, it makes for a solid addition. By the end of testing, the boots were a lot softer and in absolutely great nick. Durability is definitely there, so I have no doubt they would easily last through a solid season.
NeoKick Technology and Ball Control
Without a doubt, the one aspect of these boots that drives most intrigue lies in the technology on the upper. Before I give you my thoughts on it, here is a short summary from Aspero that details the purpose of each zone.
Ball Control (BC)
Two parallel guides running alongside and above the laces offer the ball accurate guidance. The instep is regulated through the convex form of the Ball Control System. Misguided shots or passes become a minor statistic thanks to this technology. Shots from the instep or outside of the boot are improved through the increased control offered by the Neokick Ball Control technology.
Touch Control (TC)
The special surface developed for the ASPERO Classic offers more control and increases swerve of the ball. The patented surface layer of the ASPERO Classic allows great control and precision on the ball even in poor pitch or weather conditions. Adding to the power of control, the Neokick technology (TC) optimises the nature of your shot. Thanks to an increase in ball rotation and a decrease in energy expenditure, every shot makes life difficult for the goalkeeper.
How does BC and TC Perform?
Out of both zones, I can only give proper testament to the performance of the the TC. The BC has its use in theory and it is in a position where it could contact the ball on certain strike. But to be honest, I didn’t find it had enough value to really comment on. It just acts like a piece of rubber around the top of the lacing that gives the boot an appearance like something created by Icarus.
But the TC technology, on the other hand, plays a vital role in what these boots are all about. The surface almost feels like a sandpaper and gives an extra level of grip as you move with the ball. It became even more useful when it came to wet conditions, where they offer about the best control you will get on any boot. Another bonus is the fact that it does create the ability to get extra swerve on the ball, due to that sandpaper feel. Because the TC grips the ball, it creates more spin and I could definitely see the difference when taking shots, specifically versus a boot with a smooth synthetic surface, like the Puma evoSPEED. I still feel Aspero has some work to do in order to really make the region a winner, but they have created a new brand of swerve that really does deliver in terms of performance!
Soleplate and Stud Configuration
Aspero go with a pretty basic soleplate that simply put, performs effectively. There is nothing spectacular about it, the configuration is standard but it offers the right amount of traction right through the game. I wore them on AG and FG and they were fine. The blades do drag a bit on AG, so they are not a top recommended option to be worn. They are more suited to natural FG, where the blades can bite into the surface.
Design and Colorways
There is definitely a pretty unmistakable look about these boots! It is an area where there is a lot to be desired, with a common question being “what the heck are those things?” Maybe it is a factor that Aspero are looking to capitalize on. The colorways used are also pretty standard, with this Black version featuring some Orange detailing for added pop. Another unique feature of the boot is the NeoKick Touch Control, which naturally adds dimension to the front of the boot.
How do they Fit?
They fit long compared to other boots on the market. Because they are created to accommodate the European market, it seems like some sizing has been lost in translation. I tested a size 9US but they fit a lot more like a 10US. If you are thinking of ordering a pair, going down at least a half size is recommended.
Aspero are a new company and they do have a lot of work to do if they want to make it on the market. But having spoken to them, they have high targets set in place and are continuing to develop. In fact, they have a new installment of the boot almost ready for release. There are several areas that should be focused on including the slightly rigid upper, the inclusion of BC technology and the overall look and design of the boot.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A new type of control boot that offers technology we haven’t seen before on the market. A Nappa Leather upper is matched with as unusual sandpaper like coating that is designed to grip the ball on contact.
Category: A Control boot – technology designed to improve accuracy is also included!
Would I Buy Them: I think Aspero has some work to do before I would fork out on a pair. Overall performance doesn’t match up to the retail price.
Player Position: These boots will serve defensive style players who like to get on the ball best. They offer plenty of protection and are ideal for playing passes out of the back line.