What constitutes and makes a good indoor soccer shoe? Although I might sound arrogant in saying that I am a football boot nerd, the same can’t be said in regards to the footwear used to play indoor or futsal. However, as part of Soccer Reviews’ expanding this year, we will be starting to review indoor football shoes, so both you and I will learn more about this new category of footwear together, and to start off we have the Pele Sports Radium soccer shoes. Thanks to Paul Cattin for making this review possible!
Pele Sports have created a very ‘conservative’ line of football boots that suit the purist, and that has carried into their indoor shoe range as well… almost too much so for my liking. With that said, while the bright blue colorway I was sent for review is not an old school blackout by any stretch of the imagination, it is just too plain for me in the sense that it is all one color. The design team at Pele Sports have created a fantastic looking colorway in their black/green/yellow colorway of the boot, proving that my complaint with the design doesn’t rest with the shoe itself, rather the ‘plain’ colorway I wore for testing.
As per usual with Pele Sports, the attention to detail is absolutely astounding throughout the whole build and design of the shoe with hieroglyphs on the heel, suede lining around the front and sides of the foot, and a spectacular insole/inside of the Radium. Pele Sports leave no stone unturned with their products, and the Radium is a perfect example of that great ethos.
While it’s good in the other categories, where the Pele Sports Radium really excels is in the comfort it offers. The full grain leather upper hugs the foot, and the best word to describe the inside of the shoe is plush. The insole as well is especially padded, offering a stable and cushioned ride, something of the utmost important when you are playing on hard surfaces that can be hard on your ankles and knees. In fact, I even switched into the shoes during a match I had on an almost completely dirt pitch (with some grass patches haphazardly thrown about, not the other way around…) after feeling the pain whilst wearing my boots, and wouldn’t you know it, I started feeling significantly better.
You can wear the Radium on any surface and feel comfortable in it, and because of that, kudos to Pele Sports as it’s a commendable feature for any shoe. These are so comfortable that you can wear them into a game situation right away; I know. I did it…. (not recommended though for most football boots/soccer shoes!)
One thing that really sets the Pele Sports Radium apart from other indoor shoes I’ve tested is that it is more like a football boot without the studs than a whole different type of shoe, in the sense that it performs similarly to football boots. A perfect example of this is shooting and striking the ball and the feel you get while doing so in these shoes. Other indoor shoes I’ve worn in the past such as a pair of old Nike5s and the adidas Sala X do not offer good striking surfaces. The upper is almost too soft for my liking and shooting is a pain rather than a joy, but with the Radium, that is not the case by any means.
The suede lining on the front also offers a nice platform to control the ball with as it grips the ball, a great thing to have while playing a quick, small sided game of futsal. Something akin to Nike5 shoes is a hard surface over the toe region to allow for toe pokes, and I have to say although I don’t tend to kick with the toes, it can and does come in handy.
The traction offered by the rubber outsole is very reliable, with stars cut into the balls of the feet while the Pele Sports style logo (or at least the symbol I associate with their lifestyle range of products) is etched into the back of the shoe near the heel. The front of the shoe could offer a little more grip, but I don’t have any real qualms about that, just more of an observation.
The durability on these shoes is absolutely astounding, and is testament to the quality of Pele Sports products. The stitching could have been a disaster durability wise as there is a substantial amount considering the blend of suede and leather in the upper, but it’s safe to say that that is not the case at all. In fact, it’s the exact opposite as there is literally no sign of wear, and it seriously looks like it just came out of the box. The upper and the outsole are not separating anywhere along the shoe, leading me to think that the Radiums could last a good few years even if you neglect them and take horrible care of them, much less if you look after them.
A price tag of $85 USD might seem a little steep, but you get what you pay for and you’d be purchasing a quality shoe in the Radium, so I personally believe the MSRP is justified. If you do the math (or if you don’t want to I’ll do it for you in the next half of the sentence…) based on my assessment above that the shoes should last 2-3 years, you are paying $30-40 a year for a shoe that you can wear to school five times a week and then play in a game and go to church on the weekend, that is a pretty good investment. Especially considering that you’ll be in a pair of comfortable kicks 365 days a year for multiple years!
TOTAL: 16.5/20 or 83%
1. Comfort: Simply put, I cannot stress enough how comfortable the Pele Sports Radium soccer shoes are. If I had the opportunity to have pillows as shoes, it would not be too dissimilar to the sensation you get while wearing these shoes.
2. Performance: In terms of performance, the Radium is unique in that it performs like a top football boot, only without the studs.
3. Value: The shoes are extremely well and meticulously crafted, and it makes for an indestructible indoor shoe.
1. Design: My one complaint is the very one dimensional and plain design from Pele Sports. The build of the shoe would allow for some great designs, but it’s just not there with the current crop of colorways.
Pele Sports have set a very high standard with the Radium, and it will take something special to beat it. The shoe definitely warrants its name, as Pele’s futsal team in Brazil was called Radium and you wonder how many more goals Pele might have scored had he had these shoes at his disposal… It seems to be the all-action indoor shoe with an unparalleled level of comfort offered, great performance aspects, as well as representing a great purchase. In short, it is the best indoor shoe we’ve had the opportunity of testing, and we look forward to seeing more from Pele Sports along this successful trend!
Posted on April 14, 2012