If you are interested in a boot made entirely from animal-free materials, PUMA has released one called the KING Platinum 21 Vegan. The forward-thinking, future-conscious new boot retains the KING signature style, touch and comfort but adds a special new spin. What does it mean to be a Vegan boot? Well, it means that it is created from animal-free products. That includes a super-soft 100% Vegan leather and 100% Vegan knitted yarns for exceptional fit and comfort. PUMA continues to strive for more sustainable and eco-friendly products.
We are on the tail end of this release, but we still wanted to cover some of the more important aspects of what they have on offer and how they feel to play in. Best part is that remaining pairs are on sale right now, well worth exploring at SOCCER.com.
Performance wise, the KING Platinum 21 Vegan integrates exclusive KINGForm technology – a rib structure that fuses to the Vegan leather upper in key contact areas to deliver a responsiveness players expect. Starting out, they are definitely stiff on foot and it takes some time to naturally stretch the materials.
I spent some time wearing them in practice before wearing them in a game to really loosen them up. It helped, but they definitely take a little longer to break-in than your typical release. The rib structure has a very valid use, adding extra definition in key contact areas. When you combine it with the lighter diamond pattern across the upper, it really enhances touch and control. That is one aspect that played out really well!
Underfoot, PUMA use a super lightweight PEBA soleplate that is built around a stability spine to provide optimal traction and support. This is most useful for dynamic movements without the use of any animal-based adhesives. I’ve got to say, this change in sole design does creates some unexpected stiffness. There is no natural bend out of the box, so it is another area that takes time to adjust to. Additionally, they feature multi-directional conical studs for enhanced agility on both FG and TF. I’d rate them as a solid option on both surfaces. Inside, a molded sock liner sits on the footbed with NanoGrip technology to ensure superior energy transmission, cushioning and anti-slip properties.
Because of the style of materials used through the upper and soleplate, they are a slightly heavy release, dropping in above 9oz. That is substantially higher than some recent PUMA KING releases and is worth keeping in mind!
Are they worth buying?
Ultimately, this is a milestone release for PUMA that begins their journey of using Vegan friendly materials and offering an alternative to animal-based leather products. Performance wise, there is still a lot of work to do to make them a competitive performer. After breaking them in, I could wear them comfortably. But, being realistic they are not going to end up in my boot rotation. They will end up being a pair that are worn, tested and passed on to someone else to try. For what they are, they are worth exploring, but they don’t compete with other similar priced options.
Price wise is where you can find some added value right now, if you are interested in seeing what they have on offer for yourself. Currently, you can find the Ivory Glow + Green Glare colorway – which is an incredible sharp looking combo, by the way – available on sale for $130 (down from $200) at SOCCER.com.