PUMA have stuck by their tried and tested V1 Speed boot range for quite a while, but after being overshadowed by its competitors’ speed boot offerings, have now scrapped it for the recently released evoSpeed 1. Thanks to Heather McHugh and PUMA, we’ve been able to get our hands on a pair for review.
Design (3.5/5) – A design that looks good and trendy and will have people comment positively about it, and a number of top professionals wear it.
While the company has since released much more flamboyant colorways to adorn the evoSpeed 1 such as the bright green Marley edition, the launch colorway that I had the opportunity to test was a safe one to say the least. I do not think it is a colorway that will blow anyone away; one that will ingrain itself into the mind of the average fan, but with that said, it won’t be doing itself any harm by scaring off any potential customers either. The predominantly white upper with red and blue detailing is a color scheme that I personally think is a hard one to completely mess up, and so in that sense, I think PUMA chose well. The reason I believe the German manufacturer might have stuck with this sort of colorway after launching the PUMA V1.11 in a fluorescent green colorway (see PUMA V1.11 Review) is that so many changes were made to the boot both aesthetically and performance wise that PUMA were wary of too much change.
The main problem with white boots and this one is no exception, is the fact that it is an almost impossible task to keep them clean and pristine. Scuffing does occur on these boots and while it doesn’t have any effect on performance and minimal effect to the design, it is worth noting that you might encounter these sort of problems if you purchase this particular colorway. Also, I have had some people say that the boot’s otherwise nice design is slightly ruined by the extremely synthetic or ‘plasticy’ look. While I don’t have any real issue with that, the boots are very shiny and almost radiant, and if you think you might be one of those people that don’t like blatantly synthetic boots, you might want to think about the PUMA evoSpeed 1 K.
In regards to the professionals that wear the PUMA evoSpeed 1, the list makes for impressive reading with the likes of Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, and Mario Gomez among others sporting the boots week in and week out.
Comfort (3.5/5) – Good out of the box comfort, you can wear them straight into a match and not encounter any blisters.
The comfort is surprisingly good with these boots, and the reason I say this is because of the ‘plasticy’ looking synthetic upper I mentioned above. I have had bad experiences in the past in regards to breaking in synthetic boots, but so far I have yet to encounter any really big issues with the evoSpeed 1. The heel counter cups the foot and locks it in place, preventing your foot from slipping around while playing. Another feature PUMA have implemented into the evoSpeed to help with that is the EverFitCage, which not too dissimilar to technology used on the original adidas F50 adiZero, is meant to provide increased stability and support. In layman’s terms, it helps the boot and the upper wrap itself more around the foot, thus providing for a better and more snug experience. The outsole is very flexible when compared to many of the more rigid soleplates speed boots now employ and this makes for a comfortable ride.
While the boots are very comfortable, especially compared with other speed boots on the market, they definitely do not come close to offering that natural leather fit and feel, thus the reason PUMA has the kangaroo leather version on offer. With that said, the touch and feel, which I will go in to more depth below, is very good on these boots as there isn’t all that much material in between your foot and the ball, allowing you to get a great feel for the ball.
In terms of the fit, despite past problems with PUMA’s sizing, these do in fact fit true to size, so there is no need to order up or down a size to compensate for poor sizing.
Performance (4.5/5) – Bar protection, all the performance features on the boots have a purpose and deliver.
Performance seems to be one of the main strengths for the new PUMA evoSpeed 1 synthetic soccer shoes. The 6.5 ounces, while not the lightest weight on the market, is still incredibly light when compared to your average shoe and provides more substance in this world that is bent on the concept, less is more. If you are in the market for a lightweight boot, the evoSpeed while not the lightest boot available, does make up what it lacks in the weight department with other good performance features. Speaking of lightweight, the boot feels faster’ than many of the lighter boots on the market and I believe this is down to the new and improved outsole and consequently the better traction provided when compared to past V1 Speed models. The evoSpeed’s predecessors had a peculiar stud pattern on the heel of the foot that tended to drag on many surfaces. The new soleplate is more flexible as aforementioned and has a more traditional stud pattern which I view as a good thing in this case.
The upper provides a great surface to strike the ball, something I haven’t always said in the past with synthetic speed boots. The raised ‘dimples’ (see the image below to get a better idea of what the dimples are) on the upper of the boot offer additional grip when shooting, and while it might not be the most noticeable feature on the boot, in the competitive world of sport we find ourselves in today, any advantage should be taken to get a one up on your opponent!
An extension of the dimpled upper is the phenomenal touch you get with these boots, with the thin upper aiding in that regard as well. If there is any boot that I could best compare the evoSpeed 1 to, it would have to be the first edition of the wildly popular adidas F50 adiZero. Other than the different lacing placement (adidas F50 adiZero had asymmetrical lacing while the PUMA evoSpeed 1 has centered lacing), many of the performance features are very alike and we all know how well the adiZero has done since then. The ‘cages’ inside the boot (see above for EverFitCage) are similar as they both grip the foot in a good way, and both have the dimpled surface as mentioned above, and the list goes on and on. So, if you want a good idea about what the evoSpeed 1 offers in regard to performance, look no further than the first adidas F50 adiZero.
In short, on one hand you feel like you are almost playing barefoot but on the other hand you also have a more substantial boot than many of the Cat’s competitors’ offerings.
Value (4/5) - Worth more than you paid for, a great price for a good boot which lasts over a year, where extras are available.
The boots seem to be holding up extremely well, with no sign of wear other than some scuffing on the white upper as I discussed in the design category (see above). The scuffing has no effect on the performance of the boot, so many people disagree that it should even be a factor in the value and durability section. It is just worth noting that in this particular colorway, you are bound to lose the white luster you get from the boots right out of the box.
While James was the victim of studs wearing off for both the V1.11 SL and V1.10 SL football boots, PUMA seem to have ironed out any prior soleplate problems with the new and improved Duo-Flex soleplate. Many speed boots and boots from other silos as well often have the upper split from the soleplate which can seriously damage the boot if left unattended, or even attended for that matter, but so far there I have encountered nothing of the sort with the PUMA evoSpeed 1. While I have said that the PUMA evoSpeed 1K might be better suited for some of you; the synthetic version of the boot probably has better value as the durability is most likely marginally better at the least.
Also, while most of you won’t be fortunate enough to receive the extras I did, the box that the PUMA evoSpeed 1 came in was simply incredible. In short, it is any football boot collector’s dream filled with a bucket load (or box load in this case) of goodies, and so for the effort, I have to mark the PUMA evoSpeed 1 a little higher in this category as extras are included in the rating!
Comfort: For a purely synthetic speed boot, the comfort on offer is sublime, especially when compared to other speed boots on the market.
Touch/Feel: Due to the single layer microfiber upper and the additional grip provided by the dimples on the surface, the touch you get with the ball is almost unparalleled.
Durability: After facing serious durability problems with the boot’s predecessors, PUMA seem to have remedied these issues with the evoSpeed 1 and the new soleplate in particular.
Protection: When you create such a thin synthetic upper and a light boot in general, you’re bound to give up a good amount of protection and so PUMA sacrifice protection with the evoSpeed 1.
PUMA have been making a strong resurgence into the football boot market over the past year with the strong releases of the PUMA King Finale SL and the PUMA Powercat C1.12. After being dominated for so long by the other two occupants of the ‘Big Three’ (Nike and adidas), the evoSpeed might be the final missing piece for the German manufacturer.
I’m sure everyone reading this knows someone who owns the Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII or the adidas F50 adiZero MiCoach, if they don’t own a pair themselves. But something I’m not so sure about is the number of acquaintances you have that own a pair of PUMA evoSpeed 1. If you buy yourself a pair, not only are you are not going to be disappointed by the high performing speed boot itself, you will be one of the relatively few that ply their trade in the Cat’s latest offering. So, my point is, if the promise of a great speed boot isn’t enough incentive to purchase the PUMA evoSpeed 1, the feeling of exclusivity that is so hard to replicate should be.
There you have it; my opinion on the PUMA evoSpeed 1 Synthetic football boots. What do you think of the review? Also, what questions do you have that you want answered. Please comment below.
PUMA evoSpeed 1 Deals: