A brand that many of you might not familiar with or only know from their production of goalkeeper gloves is Sondico. Over the past few months, the head chiefs at the brand have decided that getting into the boot market and pushing their products would be a good idea. Rather than just testing the boots and having one player write about them, we wanted to really put them to the test and laced up three of our guys in the Sondico Precision.
With a few weeks of training and games, we sat down for a round table session in order to find out exactly what players can expect should they decide to get a pair. As we all know, three heads are better than one!
What was your initial reaction when the Sondico boots arrived in? Were you familiar with the brand?
Ethan: Before my Sondico’s arrived, I hadn’t heard of Sondico and only after a little research (and Richard giving a heads up) did I realize that they are also known for their goalkeeping gear. I was actually pretty excited to get a pair in because Sondico looked like a solid brand that could produce a high quality product. The boots themselves seemed a bit on the bulky side but still looked promising. They had a few characteristics fairly similar to other brands but the leather and stitching seemed very unique. After testing it is still the unique leather and stitching that sets these boot apart from any other I’ve tested for me.
Jim: I have seen some Sondico equipment before as I have spent most of my soccer career in the keeper circuits so I am familiar with the brand. However never have I seen the the brand put out a pair of cleats. So when the opportunity arose I was curious about how the boots of a company that mainly markets to just the keepers would do. The Precision in hand feels like it was born to be a goal keepers boot. It has the bulk, the comfort, and the simple leather upper. The stitching of the forefoot and look of the upper is quite similar to of some of the throw back boots from the era of black, white and leather.
Richard: As for my initial thoughts, I was reasonably impressed with the product Sondico had sent out. The Nappa Leather was very soft and supple which is always a plus for a midtier release. Also the SG model came equipped with a stud wrench and an extra stud (just in case, I suppose). Growing up in the UK I had known about Sondico, in the late 80’s to mid 90’s you weren’t considered a proper goalkeeper if you didn’t have Sondico gear.
In one sentence, describe your experience through the break-in period.
Jim: Break in was uneventful, they can be comfortably worn from box to field.
Ethan: Yeah, I didn’t really have an issue.
Richard: Much like the other gents break in was easy breezy.
Ethan: The leather didn’t stretch that much for me, even though I thought it would with the minimal stitching. What about for you guys?
Richard: Nothing to disagree with there ethan although they seemed to be a slightly longer boot with the design of the toebox so this could explain it?
Ethan: Definitely, I would have to say it’s wise to go down at least a half size.
Jim: If I went a half size down I would have had issues with fit personally, it just could have been I got the perfect size for me, I did notice some stretch with it.
Richard: I swear I must actually be a size 9.25
In game performance, how did they work out in play? Anything to note in terms of technology?
Ethan: The only real technology would be the Sondico lettering on the instep. I thought it kind of helped with controlling and passing the ball.
Jim: In game they did supply alot of comfort, the texture on the inside of the collar left no slip room, and the texture of the S did help a bit just like Ethan said. However I think they best performed when in a more defensive mindset, not meant for speed by any means.
Ethan: Definitely not. The texture helped but the heel was just too bulky for me.
Jim: I kinda liked the heel, that is the one area I usually have issues with fit wise. I found it to my liking.
Richard: In play they were solid if unspectacular, I personally found no benefit from the ‘Sondico S’. It’s definitely a comfortable boot which caters to the no nonsense centre half. Also the SG model provided very good traction on the quagmires I played on in late spring.
Compared to the market, where do they stand and are there any other boots you would currently compare them to?
Jim: This would be a good boot for a goal keeper really, the best time I had playing in them was when I took up my goalie gloves. They would also make a good coaches boot or a good choice for a ref as they have a black out version.
Richard: I’d rank them as right in the wheel house of the Sunday League hacker who’s looking to get a pair of decent boots which will last but not spend the top dollar. There’s no bells or whistles to speak of, so in terms of a comparison the closest you could get would be like the Lotto Stadio Primato K which in my opinion provides better bang for your buck.
Jim: I wouldn’t go so far as to compare it to the Stadio as they don’t give you the slogged down feeling that the Precision does. Maybe they are a little closer to the f30 leather version from the previous installment of the adizero series.
Ethan: Hmm it looks a lot like a pair of Tiempo but I agree that I wouldn’t compare it to anything.
Richard: Well Jim you raise a good point, the Stadio provides exceptional performance for price, which is why you should get them everytime. Perhaps a closer comparison might be the X Blades Legend Elite I tested last year. It was a heavier boot which definite caused a bit of a slogged down feeling. But both of you haven’t had the chance to try the original Legend Elite. It would be an interesting battle which the Sondico would take as it is designed for footy and not rugby and AFL like the X Blade offering.
From a design perspective (visual and how the boot is pieced together) is there anything you like or would have changed?
Richard: Lighter, it could definitely have been lighter. It just felt so cumbersome, like you were running on quicksand when you tried to sprint. Visually the boot was fine for me. It ticks all the boxes you’d be looking for in a no nonsense boot with a quality leather upper.
Jim: Yeah, this boot would be much better if it was a few ounces lighter. I would have also liked a more of a streamlined fit. Visually they remind me of the generic boots from earlier versions of FIFA. The color splice looks odd, I much prefer the look of the blackout version. A single solid color looks much better.
Richard: A blackout version would be fun but given the boots are the red, white, and black of my beloved Sheffield United, I am more than happy with the “generic FIFA boot look” as you put it Jim.
Final Question. Who would you recommend these boots to or for?
Jim: I would recommend these for players who are looking for a solid long lasting boot. Personally I found them most enjoyable playing on the defensive end of things. As a keeper I really liked sporting them between the sticks. But players who rely on speed stay away. These are a Pirlo kinda boot.
Richard: I don’t think Pirlo would be caught dead in these to be fair Jim, he’s a craftsman and these are the tool of the hulking centre half! Someone in the guise of a Per Mertersacker type player but on a much more recreational level
Ethan: Definitely agree that the boots could drop a few ounces. And somehow Per Mertesacker just seems like the player that would wear then for me!
For those interested, find the Sondico Precision listed at SportsDirect.com.