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Review: PUMA King Soccer Boot – 2013 Edition

Football Boots

Review: PUMA King Soccer Boot – 2013 Edition

The 2013 incarnation of the legendary PUMA King soccer boot has been gracing some of the world’s biggest matches of the past few months. This includes the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final where it was worn by Bayern Munich and Brazil international defender Dante.

PUMA King Soccer Boot - 2013 Edition

Highly-rated players such as Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) and Kevin Nolan (West Ham) have also been regular wearers of the latest version of an all-time football boot classic that is now available at  World Soccer ShopBig Toe Soccerand Kitbag.

PUMA King UEFA Champions League 2013 Final Soccer Boot

Over the summer, one of our seasoned boot tests has been wearing a pair of blazing yellow / black / white 2013 PUMA King boots for training and in local league matches. Here is what he thought of them in what is Football Fashion’s exclusive review of the new PUMA King.


The 2013 PUMA King takes a decidedly modern turn in appearance from its predecessor, the King Finale, as it evolves with the times.

While the front of the new King is reminiscent of its predecessors with classic soccer boot stitching, the look of the shoe enters 2013 with a glossy, contrasting in color, prominent PUMA Formstripes on both sides.

PUMA King Soccer Boot - 2013 Edition

The heel counter of the PUMA King is integral to the boot’s aesthetics in gleaming black and silver. A ultraclassy touch is added via the placement of the word KING on the back of the heel counter. A panel of white surrounds the counter (more so on the inside of the boot) to really made it stand out.

PUMA King Soccer Boot - 2013 Edition

The good looks of the King are completed with what is probably the smallest tongue in the 40-plus year history of the line. Minimal like most of today’s boot tongues, it is peppered with PUMA touchCELL perforations and graphics leading up to protective padding at its top.

All of these features combine to give the new PUMA King a striking looks that cleverly melds its heritage with the contemporary.


Perfect! One thing that I’ve come to learn and love about PUMA football boots is that they fit true to size! The King is no exception to this rule. I wore a US size 9.5 that fit exactly as expected. There was no unexpected slippage or tightness or unwelcome blistering. The only anomaly that I found in the fit of these was that the upper just behind the tongue was slightly wider than expected. However, this did not hinder my in match performance by any means.

PUMA King Soccer Boot - 2013 Edition


The first thing that struck me about the 2013 PUMA King was its light weight. Given that this is a heritage boot and not a speed boot, I was expecting it to be of similar weight of others in the genre such as the Umbro Speciali or even the King Finale. However, the footie shoe engineers at PUMA managed to shave 0.8 oz off the last King to make the 2013 version only 8.4 oz. A few years ago this would have been in the speed boot realm. Needless to say this made for some a pleasant surprise in what was a feel that melded the classic with the speedy. This was excellent for playing in my usual roles of defensive midfielder and fullback and made for some nice forays into attack and subsequent track backs to defense.

PUMA King Soccer Boot - 2013 Edition

As a former King Finale wearer I was excited to try the 2013 PUMA King and only spent about half an hour breaking it in before wearing it in a training session. For the most part the boot broke in well and I got used to running at a variety of paces from jogging to sprinting in the quickly. The only point of concern was a bit of a stiff feeling on the sole for the first fifteen minutes of running. This quickly diminished as I got used to the new King.


The stud configuration of the 2013 PUMA King is the same as that used for the King Finale. However, while all of the studs on the Finale and previous versions of the King were rounded, the 2013 King features all bladed stud with the exception of those on the ball of the foot. Though a departure from the King tradition, I thought that the blade / conical stud combination was a step up as it resulted in excellent traction on both dry and moderately wet surfaces. The only time I encountered slipping was in some muddy spots more suited to soft ground boots.

PUMA King Soccer Boot - 2013 Edition

The PUMA King’s heel counter is part of the same contiguous piece along with the boot’s Pebax soleplate. Seemingly inspired by a similar setup in PUMA’s evoSPEED range, this is another improvement over the King Finale that provides a feeling of great stability on even some patches of dry, grassless field that I have played on this summer.

Finally, the lower rise at the back of the PUMA King Finale has thankfully been eliminated in favor of a standard height in the Achilles padding at the back of the new King. While the low rise on the Finale did not impede performance, it did make for a feeling of vulnerability and took a while to get used to.


The current PUMA King is the first that I know of to feature an upper that is not made of kangaroo leather. Instead PUMA has opted to produce the boot using a combination of calfskin and synthetic leathers as the firm and many others move away from K-leather. While this did not greatly reduce the level of intimacy afforded by the softer touch Australian product, the difference was somewhat noticeable to a veteran King wearer like myself.

PUMA King Soccer Boot - 2013 Edition

Nevertheless, the touch of the King remains among the best around for natural leather boots. From trapping to passing to shooting, the PUMA King retains the properties of its classic predecessors with deadly accuracy.

The only “Touch” change that I found to be unwelcome with this King was the minimal padding and use of synthetic leather only on the inside of the foot that is some important to trapping the ball. While this is by design to give the boot alignment with the natural curves of the foot, it does take some getting used to. Indeed this is quite reminiscent of the evoSPEED series.

PUMA King UEFA Champions League 2013 Final Soccer Boot


The lighter weight of the new King does come with the sacrifice of some of the protection offered by its earlier versions. This is mainly for the top of the foot where the elongated and fold over tongues have been replaced by previously mentioned minimalistic tongue in the name of better ball touch. What this means is that if another player steps your foot then you will feel it profoundly. I experienced my first time out in the PUMA King and was left limping for a short time. I later compensated for the lack of protection by wearing two pairs of socks.

PUMA King Soccer Boot - 2013 Edition

With ample padding everywhere else and a solid heel counter, there is little else to worry about in terms of foot protection when wearing this boot.


The 2013 PUMA King is a tough boot that will stand the test of time. I’ve worn it for about fifteen matches and counting in a variety of conditions ranging from arid to wet. After a good, post-match cleaning, it looks great apart from the expected creasing and scuffing that comes with the game. I expect that it would last at least a year if worn for two to three matches and training sessions per week.

PUMA King UEFA Champions League 2013 Final Soccer Boot


Final Thoughts

Another solid effort from the soccer boot design team at PUMA, the 2013 King continues the fine tradition of the line well. Suited for any position on the pitch (see the diverse list of footie stars wearing it at the start of this review), it is also among one of the best-priced professional grade boots on the market today at an MSRP of $149.99. Some colorways are retailing for even less.

Check out our Football Boots section for more on the latest soccer footwear.

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