The PUMA 365 evoKNIT NETFIT CT is really not your conventional style shoe. There is a definite air of intrigue that develops when you see them for the first time, with their unusually high collar and NETFIT upper. Puma has created them more as a lifestyle shoe, comfort and the forefront and the ability to provide street performance anytime you want to jump in a game.
Of all the NETFIT boots and shoes I’ve had the opportunity to test to date, these have been the most difficult to assess. Not because of he technology but because of the design and purpose. In terms of actual NETFIT, you get a fully customizable system that wraps the midfoot, allowing you to personalize your lacing system however you want. That has huge positive implications for players that struggle to get the right fit through the upper. On this version, there is a lot more NETFIT material to chose to lace from. On the FUTURE FG, you have limited choices, but pretty much every whole on this version can be used to create a completely custom fit.
Along with utilizing their game changing NETFIT technology, evoKNIT is used through the upper. The evoKNIT material offers a breathable feel and soft touch on the ball. Because it is a knit material, it is extremely useful when you are playing on hot summer days. But they don’t provide a lot of padding while striking shots, so you do feel a lot of the impact as you connect with the ball.
The final piece of the upper is the high cut collar, that to me resembles more of something you would see on a basketball court. It is intended to provide a seamless fit from leg to foot. It does fit pretty snug around the ankle, a lot more than other mid-cut collars currently on the market. Getting in and out does take a little work, but the real positive is the fact that you can completely loosen the laces before trying to slip your foot in. That obviously doesn’t help with the actual opening, but it does offer some freedom as your foot pushes in.
Underfoot, a low-profile rubber outsole with Ignite midsole provides excellent grip for quick turns and supreme cushioning. This makes them ideal for use on indoor and street surfaces and they definitely are quality in play. The grip provided is just enough to keep you upright through quick turns and changes in direction without locking you to the ground. It is simple, yet effective.
The one thing I’m not a big fan of with these is the joining between the midfoot and forefoot, basically the blue strip of “tape” that locks down the NETFIT across to evoKNIT. Inside the boot, there is a dramatic shift in the angle of each piece of material, so it is flat along the toes and then cuts up across the midfoot. This produces a very evident edge that doesn’t feel overly comfortable in the area just above the big toe joint. If you are wearing thick socks, it isn’t as noticeable. But I could feel it in play when I was wearing low-cut socks. Moral of the story, wear thicker socks while wearing them or you won’t enjoy them as much!
As a lifestyle shoe, it is not a pair I personally see myself wearing often. They offer a lot of quality and do serve a purpose, but they are not in the mold of a shoe I can see using daily. I prefer something that slips on easy and am a stickler for more of a leather style forefoot to provide some padding on the ball. These are different to that in every way, something you need to evaluate if they are a shoe you want to invest in. That is my personal take anyway.
Let’s finish with a big positive, and that would be their retail price at the moment! Originally listed at $130, they are available to those that want to test them out for as low as $79.99 right now. Not bad for something that doubles as a lifestyle/street ready shoe.