Mixing power with lightweight to create a new type of hybrid seems to be a common theme for companies right now. Adidas has done it with the Predator and Nike are on the verge of doing it, so it only makes sense that Puma would also have a boot to suit the niche. Their attempt comes in the form of a trimmed down PowerCat 1 SL release, a boot that weighs in at 8.4oz. Puma has formulated a way to shave a full 2oz off and it creates a new type of performance.
It has been a while since the PWR-CT 1 SL was actually released, so this is somewhat of a delayed review. Shame on us! But there are still several colorways to come and a lot currently available at extremely competitive prices. If you decide to pick up a pair, your best bet is to checkout the selection currently available on soccer.com.
Visually, it seems extremely difficult to differentiate both the regular and SL version. These do feel particularly light out of the box and are impressive visually. Since they are a high tier release, I am disappointed that they don’t come with a free boot bag, to be honest.
There is a definite ease and air of simplicity to breaking in these boots and I doubt any players will have any difficulties with them. Because they have been trimmed down, there is less material to bulk things up and they flex really well. In saying that, don’t get a negative opinion of the original PowerCat 1.12 as they were also a breeze to break-in.
This is the type of release that offers players a type of hybrid performance that is new to the market and the name of the boot gives it all away. Puma has mixed power with a lightweight package and it works really well. To keep things simple I’ve broken performance in several section below in order to understand the power and lightweight characteristics of the boot.
The only other important note surrounds the soleplate and traction. Puma again go for consistency and have stuck it out with the same configuration we have seen on previous models. Most notable is the close knit 6 blade heel design, which produces one of the most stable boots you will find on the market. The only downfall would be the fact that more studs means a greater chance of sticking in the surface – or you don’t get the same acceleration opportunities you get with something like the Nike Vapor IX.
As a Super Lightweight
Compared to the market, it is a little odd to place an 8.4oz boot into the super lightweight category. They are light, don’t get me wrong, but we are currently at the point where a “light” boot like the Adidas Predator LZ weighs in at 8.0oz. In a sense, it seems like outdated advertising of the boot and its performance. The only saving grace is the fact that they are much lighter than the original and I get the sense that Puma are emphasizing its lightweight nature as a power boot.
3D Power Shooting Technology
Along the strike zone, you will find the same innovated 3D PST, or Power Shooting Technology, that is found on the original PowerCat 1.12. The area is comprised of two separate TPU regions, both featuring different densities and serving opposite functions.Falling in line with all releases in the range, each zone is colored to coordinate with the specific colorway,so on this release you get Red and Blue. The Red region is a soft TPU that is positioned to retract and allow the ball to cushion against your foot, aiding in first touch and control, while the Blue bars are a more solid TPU that offer more rebound as the ball contacts the region, particularly as you strike shots.
Ultimately, the performance is pretty much the exact same between the regular and the SL. Of both pieces, I found the Blue TPU to be more effective and useful. You definitely get more pop out of shots and there is a nice rebound effect that will be particularly useful to players who prefer power over placement.
How do they Fit?
Loving the overall fit and shape that these boots have. We are well aware at this stage that Puma is a company that likes to fit their boots tight and snug, but the PowerCat SL is slightly different to their other releases in that regard. You get a nice wide fit from the midfoot through the forefoot that keeps things comfortable, without giving up too much space. I’d consider these to be very much true to size.
I really don’t know if Puma actually needed to create an SL version of the PowerCat. I do believe they needed to drop the weight, but that should have been something they did on initial release. In fact, this boot should have been the new PowerCat! It seems like Puma might have made a discovery somewhere after release and jumped on the idea of immediately releasing an SL. Performance wise, there is nothing obviously negative to report about the boots.Buy the Puma PowerCat 1.12 SL
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A lightweight PowerCat that offers consistent performance in a durable package. Features “Power Shooting Technology” along the strike Zone.
Category: A hybrid that mixes the benefits of a power boot in a lightweight package.
Weight: An 8.4oz super lightweight, which in theory shouldn’t really hold the “Super” title.
Would I Buy Them: I like them, but not enough to shell out $210 on a pair. If you can get them at a discounted price or during a good sale, they are well worth considering.
Player Position: There are a broad range of players who could benefit from these and to be quite honest, you could argue that each position is better. I personally see the PowerCat 1.12 SL as a solid option for Goalkeepers and defensive style midfielders.