Following on from the Pan Legenda K-2 review, we bring you the review of the Pan Potenza II football boots. Marketed more as a Power boot than anything, Pan have come up with a few interesting design features that help it stand out in the current football market. Interestingly, this boot is the most popular boot over in Thailand (correct me if I’m wrong) and is worn by a multitude of higher end players in the South East Asian leagues. Carry on reading to find out more about Soccer Reviews’ thoughts on these boots.
Design – 3/5 (A clean, modern design that is appealing to the wearer)
The boot is busy, but is complimented by a nice white colourway. The actual striking area, called the ‘responsive dual strike’, reminds me of the Nike T90 Laser II and looks intriguing. When I first picked the boots up, this was what was my eye was drawn to first. It’s certainly unusual. The outside of the boot contains the Pan logo, and not much else. The leather portion of the boot has little stitching patterns sewn in that appear to imitate the Adidas AdiPure IV. It’s not clear what purpose these serve, whether its aesthetic or practical, but it makes the boot look comfortable on first viewing.
But my favourite part of the boot design wise is the heel lining (picture below), it has these strange designs on them that add to the appeal of them in my eyes. All in all, it’s a bit of a confusing mixture of ideas, but I like it. Pan have created a decently designed boot. While it’s no Mercurial Vapor, it’s effective. It draws attention to the technology on the boot and that’s a big positive in my book.
Comfort – 4/5 (A very comfortable boot with added technology that works in this department)
After reviewing the Pan Legenda K-2, I had high expectations from this boot. At first, the leather was hard and I was quite disappointed. But after a couple of hours of wear they softened up considerably and now hug my foot very nicely. The leather itself is VERY padded, but unfortunately it’s not of a high quality in all honesty. The stamp on the boot calls it ‘genuine leather’, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in me.
The soleplate has some technology called a ‘stabilizing frame’ which allows it to bend easily with little force required in just the right areas. I experienced absolutely no problems comfort wise there. But for me, what really makes the boot shine is the insole and what’s located just beneath it. The insole itself is relatively simple, and is comparable to other boots on the market. But beneath the insole is this peculiar jelly like thing that is absolutely superb. It’s the type of thing you’d see in top-end running shoes, never mind a football boot. For me, this is what made the boot sparkle in the comfort department, and it’s something I’d like other companies to try and adopt and improve.
Performance – 2.5/5 (Difficult to tell whether the technology works)
As previously mentioned, this is Pan’s ‘Power boot’, and therefore should excel in striking the ball. The results were slightly unsatisfactory however, and didn’t really strike me as standing ahead and above other Power boot contenders, such as the Nike T90 Laser IV.
Please note: The boots themselves weigh in at 300 grams in a UK8.5.
Touch: Definitely the worst area in the Pan Potenza II. The leather is too chunky for my liking, and the ‘Responsive Dual Strike’ zone often led to the ball bouncing off my foot (no fault of my own may I add). Dribbling felt clumsy, which for a player like me isn’t ideal. After 5 hours or so of training, the leather did become softer (as mentioned above) but it didn’t really feel any better when controlling the ball.
Kicking: The critical area in any power boot. Again, the Potenza II didn’t strike me as particularly effective. Striking driven shots was okay, but was rather unspectacular compared to other power boots. However, where the boot did excel was with lofted passes and curling shots. This is where the ‘Responsive Dual Strike’ zone really came into the fore. But, in the end the boot is designed for extra power and I didn’t feel like it offered that, the kicking aspect of the boot was a slight let-down, and I’d struggle to recommend these purely on striking terms.
Traction: The soleplate on the Pan Potenza II is pretty much identical to the old Laser III soleplate. It is similar to the standard Nike plate, and it works pretty well when accelerating and cutting. However, I must stress that these are almost completely unusable on turf. It would be extremely dangerous to do so as the blades themselves are absolutely huge.
You may be led to believe because of this this, the firm ground Pan Potenza II would be okay on softer ground. I suppose that’s reasonable, but they are no match for actual studs themselves. One little point I’d like to touch upon is these little bars running across the second and third row of studs. It seems like more of a support kind of thing, but I could feel it gripping the turf slightly when turning sharply so I think the bars are a decent addition.
Protection: Thankfully, there is some respite for the padded upper and ‘Responsive Dual Strike’ zone. The whole boot is thick. It almost strikes me as being completely over the top in every department, the thickness of the upper, the studs and so on. Believe me, if you were to wear these you’d have no problems with pretty much any tackle. They are comparable to the V-Konstruct from Puma that were released a few years ago. Arguably the finest aspect of the Pan Potenza II in terms of performance.
Value – 3.5/5 (Excellent value for a boot that will easily last you a minimum of a year)
The Pan Potenza II retail at around £100, and that is fantastic value in my eyes for this package. You get an awful lot of technology, and there is so much thought that has gone into this boot it’s hard not to be drawn into it really. In terms of durability, they have held up fantastically, and could arguably last you around 2 years in my eyes. No mean comment in this age when football boots seem to last a few matches.
Top marks to Pan for that, I’m pleased that at least one football company is capable of producing a football boot that will last you a while.
Design – 3/5
Comfort – 4/5
Performance – 2.5/5
Value – 3.5/5
Total – 13/20 or 65%
1. Comfort – Pan have created a boot that is supremely comfortable. In my eyes, this is the most important aspect of any boot, and the sheer genius of their inclusion of the jelly in the heel is really top class. Believe me, if other companies were to introduce this technology into football boots then the footballing world would be a more comfortable place.
2. Durability – After suffering numerous problems with seemingly every boot on the market, it’s refreshing to finally find a boot that isn’t going to fall apart after a few uses. I heavily wore these, and they still look brand new. You will definitely get your money’s worth with the Pan Potenza II.
3. Design – This is of course down to personal preference, you may or may not like the design of these boots. Personally however, these have grown on me a lot during testing, and the little touches on them really make them look great. I received a few compliments while wearing them, and that’s always nice.
1. Touch – After reviewing the Pan Legenda K-2 boots, I had high expectations with these Pan Potenza II football boots. But the touch just felt a little off. I never felt truly comfortable with the ball at my feet, which is a distinct problem with performance really.
2. Striking – The Pan Potenza II is dubbed as a Power boot – does it make your shots harder? I didn’t notice any difference. With boots such as the Puma Powercat 1.12, you can really feel the ball ping off your foot. With these, it barely felt any different. I was bitterly disappointed with this aspect of the boots.
3. Blade shape – Unfortunately, these are completely unusable on turf, I didn’t even try it. With turf becoming a more common theme within the amateur footballing world, the stud pattern and sheer size of the blades means a lot of consumers on the market for new boots will have to avoid these just to be safe.
All in all, it was a slightly disappointing run in for these boots. The supreme levels of comfort and durability were hugely let down by the poor performance. While I understand that other players may like these, as a winger they just aren’t suited to my game and I didn’t get along with them. In my eyes, there’s a lot for Pan to work on with the Potenza III, it’ll be interesting to see whether they improve them.