Over the past two weeks we’ve been testing the Concave PT+ Classic soccer shoe from Concave Sports. This professional grade boot currently being worn by Manchester United midfielder / defender John O’Shea is Concave’s 2010 follow-up to the magnificent the Concave PT+. In fact, it may be regarded as the Concave PT+ 2.0. After all, if a product is world class and lauded then why re-invent it in the name of novelty? Why not improve it? In keeping with its trademark of Game Evolved, Concave has done just that with the PT+ Classic.
Here’s a brief description of the PT+ Classic from Concave Sports:
The Concave PT+ Classic; a boot that combines our latest technology with some of the world’s finest materials and workmanship. The PT+ Classic has been designed for footballers who want it all but don’t need to shout about it. Put simply this is a boot with both potent performance and enduring appeal.
The Classic was created to sit at the very top of the Concave family. Our designers responded to the challenge of exceeding the formidable PT+ range with a boldly subtle premise; uncompromising performance within a classic boot form.
Remarkably though, for a product that packs all the technology of our PT+ range, visually this boot is beautifully understated. Its subtle detailing, restrained proportions and quality materials will always look in style.
Now there is no need to compromise style for technology; form for function or tradition for performance. The Concave PT+ Classic boot simply has it all. The Concave PT+ Classic; a boot that combines our latest technology with some of the world’s finest materials and workmanship. The PT+ Classic has been designed for footballers who want it all but don’t need to shout about it. Put simply this is a boot with both potent performance and enduring appeal.
Now here’s the Football Fashion review of the Concave PT+ Classic soccer boot from a former NCAA Division 1 player currently plying his trade in one of the our local leagues.
I tested the Concave PT+ Classic on the parched soccer fields of the South Eastern United States. I have not had a chance to use them on watered or rained upon fields because of near drought conditions. My test consisted of:
- Two break-in sessions in which I ran some dribbling and shooting drills and practiced skills moves.
- Two pick-up soccer games
- One league match
The Concave PT+ Classic definitely carries somewhat of a retro look. In my opinion, it is a cross between the Concave PT+ and the venerated adidas Copa Mundial in terms of appearance. Gone are the modern stripes of its predecessor in favor of a more traditional soccer shoe look but with the all-important Concave Metaguard incorporated. The end result is a handsome yet rugged looking boot that looks ready for business on the field. Below is a picture of the Concave PT+ Classic boots that I reviewed.
I usually wear US size 10 shoes but got size 9.5 Concave PT+ Classic shoes because of my preference for snug-fitting game footwear.
Because of the sweetspot / MetaGuard, Concave’s boots are not the easiest to slip on since the wearer doesn’t have access to the shoe’s lacing system. However, after a few tries, I got used to maneuvering them on. Concave have now thankfully included a shoe horn with the Concave PT+ Classic. Now I can just slip in the rear of the shoe, slide into it and be ready for action.
In terms of fit, the Concave PT+ Classic is snugger than the PT+ and even glove like in feel. I suspect that this is because of the increased padding that the shoe offers (more on this later) and a new Concave feature called F3 (Footballer Form Fit) Technology. I’m not sure what’s behind it but I do like it. Here’s Concave’s description of F3.
Uniquely delivers superior internal boot fit resulting in better safety and natural control. Many players today use slightly undersized boots to get a fit tight enough. As well as increasing the risk of injuries, this practice compromises a footballer’s optimum movement.
I would advise new wearers of the Concave PT+ Classic to spend at least two one hour sessions breaking them in before trying them in a game situation. They do take a bit of getting used to due to their unique fit and Metaguard component.
The Concave PT+ Classic has all of the features that make the Concave PT+ one of the best soccer shoes on the market. The excellent touch, wonderful stability and amazing ease of executing powerful shots are all there. Therefore, I won’t rehash the detailed Football Fashion review of the Concave PT+ but instead focus on the improvements made with the Concave PT+ Classic.
Lace Fold Over Tongue Removal
The Concave PT+ had a fold over tongue to cover the shoes laces once they were tied. This has been removed in the Concave PT+ Classic. I don’t see any difference in how this changes the performance of the boot. In truth, I rarely did snap the fold over tongue into place via its Velcro holding mechanism in the seven months that I used the Concave PT+.
Increased Instep Padding
The Concave PT+ Classic offers quite a bit more instep padding than the Concave PT+. I found this to be a wonderful change as it made it easier to trap fast moving ground and aerial balls. As any seasoned soccer player will tell you, the more padding a trapping surface has, the better of a momentum killer it is. The less momentum a ball has, the easier it is to control.
The increased instep padding of the Concave PT+ Classic also makes it easier to make accurate instep passes (on the ground, low or even one touch aerial) and inside of the foot shots. Perhaps this is because of my preference for a bit of cushioning between my foot and the ball that I believe lets me impart the perfect amount of force for it to reach its intended point. Nevertheless, the additional instep padding of the PT+ Classic is very welcome in this age of paper thin soccer shoes that sometimes make you feel like you’re playing barefooted.
The forefoot area of the Concave PT+ Classic features traditional soccer shoe padding made famous by legendary boots like the adidas Copa Mundial and PUMA King. While the forefoot padding of the Concave PT+ was nothing to complain about, that of the PT+ Classic is my favorite feature of its successor.
The forefoot padding of the Concave PT+ Classic is an ideal complement to the Metaguard that it sits below. In addition to the additional injury protection it provides from Metatarsal injuries, the additional forefoot padding / Metaguard combination works in n superb manner for executing long distance passes and shots made with the front of the foot. These are aerial passes or shots made in situations such as counterattacks where a defender sees an open man and decides to bypass the midfield and send the ball straight to an open striker or in which a keeper is off his line and you decide to blast one over him. When executing such passes and shots with the Concave PT+ Classic, I found the effort required to ensure accuracy and the right power to be reduced significantly. The Metaguard has already proven that it does indeed increase pass and shot power with the ConcavePT+. Throw in some more padding and you’ve probably got the perfect shoe to set the ball on accurate long distance flights!
As one would expect because of increased padding, the Concave PT+ Classic weighs slightly more than the Concave PT+. I would estimate this to be about an ounce per shoe. Given that I am a defensive player who used the Concave PT+ Classic in the centerback and fullback positions, I was fine but cognizant of the weight difference. It did not affect my game in any way. However, speedy strikers and attacking midfielders may prefer the lighter Concave PT+.
I have logged about four hours of practice and game time in the Concave PT+ Classic shoes thus far. As with the Concave PT+, they have held up extremely well. Given their robust construction, world class materials and what appears to be excellent workmanship, the Concave PT+ Classic could very well be the last soccer boot that you ever buy. As with some many other “classic” products, they don’t make then like this very often anymore!
Given that I am lucky enough to own both the Concave PT+ Classic and Concave PT+, I’m left in a predicament of deciding which of these exceptional and truly world class soccer boots to use for any given game. I’ve concluded that I will use the PT+ Classic when playing in defensive roles (including defensive midfielder) because of its tougher nature and increased padding. I’ll stick to the Concave PT+ when asked to play in more attacking roles and for small sided games (such a 5-a-side) in which I make many more forays up front and even the odd appearance as a striker because of their slightly lighter weight.
Thanks to Caitlin G. for arranging this review!