A year ago, it was one of the less popular power boots on the market, crowded out of a competitive market by the more popular T90 Laser and Predator ranges. Then a makeover and some new endorsers has seen it suddenly become one of the most improved football boots on the market. It’s been a massive 6 months for the Puma PowerCat range, and the Puma PowerCat 1.12 truly symbolizes how much the Puma brand in general has improved. But it’s time to find out whether the boots of Cesc Fabregas can compete with Nike and Adidas in the power boot market.
Whenever you see a boot for the very first time, whether it be on the computer screen or in your hands, your very first impression of the design of the boot often dictates your mindset on the design of the boot long after you first see the boot. When I first saw the White/Blue version of the PowerCat 1.12, I immediately thought the look of the boot was fantastic. White leather boots ooze class, and pairing it with a blue and gold trim makes a good looking boot look even better.
Comfort – 4.5/5 (A true contender for one of the most comfortable boots on the market)
When you consider the materials used in the making of the PowerCat 1.12, the weight of the boot and the reputation of comfort that is carried by Power boots, it would have been incredibly disappointing if the PowerCat 1.12 turned out to be an uncomfortable ride. Fortunately, the PowerCat 1.12 has delivered. Puma have genuinely given us one of the most comfortable boots on the market.
There is very little that I can do to criticize the boot when it comes to comfort. In the Unboxing video of the boot, I noted that the upper wasn’t as soft as your typical K-Leather upper is. The leather broke in beautifully, in the Puma tradition, and by half way through the 2nd wearing of the boot, the upper was already soft and supple like the other K-Leather boots we love. It felt snug, and it felt fantastic. The insole is also nice and soft, and I had no issues in terms of sore feet or blisters during the review.
Performance – 4.5/5 (Does everything it says on the box, and a little bit more)
Whenever you hear about a boot belonging to the Power boot silo, you often wonder how they actually add more power to your shots. The Zygo Deztruct and the old Concave PTs were seemingly the only boots that fulfilled the brief of being a power boot. Can the Puma PowerCat 1.12 add itself to a very small list of genuine power boots?
Kicking: Before we go on about how the boot goes in the kicking department, it might be best to run through the new 3D PST. The new thermoplastic material is made up of two different degree of hardness. That sounds complicated, but the best way to explain it is that the blue part is a hard and rigid, while the gold part is a little softer and can be moves around a little bit by pushing and pulling it. This means the blue part is meant to make you kick stronger as it ensures no energy is lost when you kick the ball, while the blue part is pretty responsive and aids grip on the ball.
When a company says they are releasing a Power boot, it should allow you to hit a ball that flies off your foot and goes like a rocket. The PowerCat allows you to do that. The PowerCat 1.12 is probably the best boot I’ve ever used for kicking, it is that good. Whether I was driving the ball from 25 yards out into the top corner (ahem) to playing the perfect corner, the PowerCat 1.12 lets you do the delicate stuff and the power shots. The perfect weight of the boot makes driving fantastic, and while I think the PST could have been a little closer to the laces, it is still a brilliant piece of technology that makes kicking in the boot an absolute joy.
Traction: The Puma PowerCat 1.12 has been made so that it offers maximum traction and maneuverability with a good degree of pressure distribution. I had no traction problems with the Puma PowerCat 1.12, and when you plant your left foot for a kick, it’s safe to say that you won’t need to worry with your foot moving.
Protection: Nigel de Jong and Phil Jones are just two of the names wearing the Puma PowerCat 1.12, and while the former probably looks for boots that have nice sharp studs for those times when you kick an opponent in the chest, both need boots that maximise protection for their defensive roles on the pitch. You can be sure that the Puma PowerCat 1.12 offers just that. One of the beauties of the Puma PowerCat 1.12 is that it’s still good for your rough and ready defensive players, plus it is still versatile enough to be worn by a play maker like Cesc Fabregas.
The Puma PowerCat 1.12 comes in at a RRP of £130, but a lot of the online retailers are discounting their boots at the moment, and you may be able to knock off around £20 with some of the discounts that have been going around at the moment. Of the three Power/Accuracy boots that are being sold by Puma, Nike and adidas, the Puma PowerCat 1.12 is actually the cheapest boot of the lot. It’s £10 cheaper than the Nike T90 Laser IV (RRPs are being considered here) and £25 than the adidas Predator adiPower. Even though the T90 Laser IV is £10 more expensive, it does however come with a boot bag. Puma do not sell the PowerCat 1.12 with a boot bag. The boot bag is a big thing, and I’d be willing to pay an extra £5 if it came with a boot bag, so that’s a little disappointing, especially when you’re paying over £100 for a pair of boots.
Durability wise, the Puma PowerCat 1.12 is holding up very well. There has been no sign of deterioration and, surprisingly for a white pair of football boots, the boots still look white after one and a half month’s use! The boots will easily last a season of football, and they could probably be pushed a little further than that to a season and a half of use before they might start looking a little tired.
Total: 16.5/20 or 83%
1. Comfort: While an uncomfortable Power boot would be very disappointing, Puma have gone a long way to make their Puma PowerCat 1.12 one of the more comfortable boots on the market. K-Leather, a soft insole and a boot that comes in at a generous weight all come together to make the boot a very comfortable ride.
2. Kicking: A combination of the K-Leather upper, the PST (funny to see technology on a football boot that seemingly works!) and the perfectly weighted boot makes the PowerCat 1.12 an amazing boot for anything from drives to delicate crosses. I’d go as far as saying the PowerCat 1.12 could be one of the best kicking boots on the market.
3. Design: The White/Blue/Gold PowerCat 1.12 looks absolutely beautiful and oozes sophistication. This isn’t the only colourway that looks great though, the whiteout and blackout versions may have been limited releases, but anyone who got their hands on them would be rewarded with a gorgeous pair of boots. Hopefully Puma carry the trend on to future colourways.
Value: It’s pretty hard to pick a negative out, but considering you’re paying £130 for a pair of boots, a cheap boot bag would have been a smart move by Puma, even if it means we pay an extra £5 on top of the boot.
The CTR360 Maestri II held the mantle at the start of the season as the best boot on the market, before the T90 Laser IV shared the title with the CTR360 Maestri II heading into Christmas. Coming into the end of the season, Puma has come out of nowhere and created what I see as one of the three best boots on the market at the moment. It’s an amazing all round boot, and while it is spectacular in the comfort and kicking departments, it does everything else really well. It’s an amazing effort by Puma, who have managed to revive a faltering Power boot into the boot the other companies probably wish they’d come up with.