We have been inundated with new boot releases over the past few weeks, and we had yet another big name release last week with the re-launch of the timeless Puma King. While new heritage boots are sometimes very similar to their predecessor, the new Puma King definitely does not go down that path. With names like Pele, Maradona, Eusebio and Cruyff being past wearers of the boot, there is no denying the ‘Heritage’ feel of the boot, but there are some new things about the Puma King that suggests anything but that. We run our eye over what Puma have actually done in the release of the new Puma King.
This is without a doubt where the biggest change has been made, but we are surprised that this has not been publicised that much by our readers. While the Puma King had a full K-Leather upper, Puma raised the eyebrows of Soccer Reviews staff by rolling out the new Puma King with a “soft, premium leather upper”. While Puma have tried to decorate it by saying the new upper also comes with touchCELL properties that enhance ball control and feel, there is no hiding from the fact that Puma have ditched K-Leather off the new King.
The new Puma King has a lot of measures ultimately aimed at reducing down the weight of the boot, something that definitely goes against the traditional ‘Heritage’ boot that normally weighs over 250 grams. The old Puma King Finale had an outsole constructed from a “high performance thermoplastic elastomeric material” (think of it as a TPU injected outsole). While the outsole was engineered to be lightweight, Puma have used Pebax on the new Puma King. Pebax is not something we have never seen before, the Puma V1.11 SL and the Mizuno Morelia Neo are just two boots that have used Pebax in the past. An external heel counter is something we have never seen before in the history of the Puma King, which is meant to aid heel stability and fit.
We have seen a big shakeup in the stud configuration of the new Puma King. A mixture of conical and bladed studs on a football boot is not overly world-breaking, but the new Puma King featuring a mixed soleplate has definitely raised some eyebrows. With conical studs on the instep providing a quicker release from the ground every time you take a step. Meanwhile, the bladed studs on the outstep provide the traction we need. In other words, when we decelerate and change direction, the bladed studs provide the ‘push off’ we need to change direction, and the conical studs draw out of the ground quicker to aid acceleration.
These are two pretty obvious sections, but they are important none the less. We all remember the Puma King in the good old days coming with the fold over tongue right? Well Puma have decided to give it the chop. We feel the fold over tongue is a part of the Puma King that can never be removed, like the fold over tongue on the Predator. Removing the tongue may have the weight of the boot at heart, but it is a move that may shed a tear in the eye of the traditional Puma King fans.
Which leads us nicely into the weight of the Puma King. Puma have successfully brought the boot down to 237 grams (approximately 8.36 ounces) from 260 grams (9.2 ounces), bringing the boot below the unspoken yardstick of sub-250 grams. The removal of the fold-over tongue, the change in the material of the upper and the use of the lightweight Pebax soleplate have all worked together to bring the boot down below 250 grams.
The new Puma King has it’s full retail launch over the next few weeks, but will you be picking up a pair of the boots? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.