Look on the feet of world class players such as Sergio Agüero, Marco Reus, Radamel Falcao and Antoine Griezmann and Santi Cazorla nowadays and you’ll see them tormenting defenses in PUMA’s new speed boot – the evoSPEED 1.3.
Now available at World Soccer Shop and Kitbag, the new shoe has been the subject of our latest boot test by one of our team members over the past few weeks. Here’s his world exclusive Football Fashion review of the new shoe!
Before we get into my thoughts of the evoSPEED 1.3 let’s take a look at the technology behind the sportswear giant’s latest statement boot from PUMA’s specification sheet on it.
As always with the PUMA Speed silo, every detail of the new boot was designed with velocity in mind. Maintaining the use of lightweight materials, the new boot is extra light and flexible, which provides enhanced, maneuverability and makes it the perfect choice for quick strikers and midfielders. The new upper with its super thin microfiber finishing offers additional grip, control and touch for the ball.
One further innovation of the new evoSPEED 1.3 is the redesigned support system with its external midfoot cage that enables stability for quick turns and kicks. This visibly new system alongside a new optimized footbed offer a snug fit for the player, so the boot strikes a perfect balance between speed and comfort. Finally, the boot features a redesigned eye-catching PUMA wording on the lateral side, which finishes up the great look of this new boot.
With one of the best design teams in the soccer boots business, PUMA does it again with the evoSPEED 1.3. It’s the type of boot that makes you want to take a runout in it every time you see it.
The new boot doesn’t seen a major change in appearance from last year’s evoSPEED 1.2 or even the original incarnation of the line in the form of the evoSPEED 1 in 2012. The evoSPEED 1.3 maintains the sleek appearance of its predecessors with a somewhat minimalistic look intended to support the reduction of weight.
Indeed, the boot is strikingly similar to the evoSPEED 1.2 and once again uses the PUMA Formstripe on the outside of the upper and the text “PUMA” printed on its inside. The PUMA text is reversed in direction this year and made up of smaller blocks of the word “PUMA” in a gradient design.
Last year’s muscle-inspired glossy graphics and raised texture punctuated front area are gone with the later replaced by a series of glossy printed boxes. The biggest visual change to the evoSPEED 1.3 is the use of the PUMA EverFit cage on the outside of the shoe for the first time.
The launch colorway of the PUMA evoSPEED 1.3 is the stunning Prism Violet / Flou Yellow / Scuba Blue. A version of the boot in the colors of PUMA marquee club Arsenal FC is also available. New colorways are expected heading into the 2014 Holiday season.
The PUMA evoSPEED 1.3 is a very narrow boot. If you’re player with narrow feet then I recommend getting them in your normal football boot size. However if you’re of average foot width like myself I suggest going half a size up to be able to bypass a prolonged break-in period.
While getting used to the PUMA evoSPEED 1.3 via light running, ball work with a rebounder agility drills, I did experience some discomfort towards the front of the foot. This was because of the tapered fit towards the front of the shoe that I found to squeeze my toes in a little tighter than I like. I had to spend a good two week training in the evoSPEED 1.3 to essentially stretch them out to a point where I felt match ready in them.
Because of the slim profile of the PUMA evoSPEED 1.3 there is no room to accommodate any extra bulk such as ankle guards on shinguards. You’ll have to use slip-ons with these cleats.
The soleplate of the PUMA evoSPEED 1.3 is identical to that of version 1.2 of the boot. Its key feature is PUMA’s SpeedTrack meant to improve reactivity and mid-foot support. Like last year’s evoSPEED this technology works well because of its combination of light weight and foot support. My favorite aspect of the SpeedTrack sole is the extra rebound that it provides when changing directions quickly and in executing some skills moves.
Coming on the heels of the pre-World Cup release of the PUMA evoPOWER 1 and its bidirectional bending soleplate, I was a bit surprised that the stiffness of the evoSPEED 1.3 soleplate. There is some upward bend at the front of the boot but this is slightly less than that of the evoSPEED 1.2 and significantly less than that of the evoSPEED 1 and evoPOWER 1.
Perhaps because of the soleplate’s rigidity I did experience a bit of stud pressure when wearing these boots. I did get used to this after a bit of time wearing the evoSPEED 1.3 exclusively. Padded socks bettered the feel of running in them.
PUMA’s designers made a clever move by putting the EverFit cage on the outside of the evoSPEED 1.3. This now allows the wear of the boot to put the upper of the boot onto the foot via the laces for more of a customized fit. This is reminiscent of the A-Frame of many of Umbro’s boots. Needless to say this amounts to a better ride in the nee evoSPEED.
The now-time tested stud design on the soleplate of the PUMA evoSPEED 1.3 has proven itself to provide excellent stability since the days of evoSPEED 1.2. I attribute this to the long studs at the rear of the boot which really make for the foundation of great traction regardless of what you’re doing on the pitch.
The evoSPEED 1.3 is one of the few non-heritage boots on the market to use only conical studs. I found them to provide some of the best in-ground penetration around while allow for good push off when accelerating. You can’t beat classic footie technology incorporated into a modern boot!
The PUMA evoSPEED 1.3 uses an upper made of a monolayer microfiber material. From what I can tell this is the same material as with the evoSPEED 1.2 but perhaps of a little less thickness. A GripTex print is also used at the front of the boot for enhanced ball control in both wet and dry conditions.
From skills move to dribbling to both high and low passes, I thought that the material provided good touch on the ball that is almost as good as what you will get with the now increasingly rear K-leather. However, since this is a speed boot in which padding is minimal I did have to spend a bit of practice time mastering how to trap the ball with the evoSPEED 1.3. As seasoned players will know, this involved passing and shooting work with others and rebounders to figure out how to adjust my body mechanics to reduce the momentum of the ball upon making contact with it.
While I did not find any discernible benefit of the GripTex print in wet field conditions I did enjoy the now slightly elongated tongue of the evoSPEED 1.3. The design of the tongue provides better contact with the ball than the previous two versions of the boot. This makes for some nice accuracy in power shots and long crosses.
You won’t see any many PUMA sponsored hardmen wearing the evoSPEED 1.3 (Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny is one of the few exceptions). That’s because it’s a speed boot in which light weight supersedes protection.
While the microfiber upper does offer a decent level of cushioning from the odd mash and wack, it is not sufficient to protect your foot from the blows that come along with playing at the center back or defensive midfield positions. Furthermore, although the thin tongue at the top of the evoSPEED 1.3 is a strikers’ dream it is not what you want between your metatarsals and another player’s bladed cleats. Reserve these for the days when you’re more in attacking mode.
The microfiber upper of the PUMA evoSPEED 1.3 has held up well over the several weeks of wear. There is no out of the ordinary creasing or damage to the boot after wearing it on turf and grass in both dry and wet conditions. The soleplate is as solid as ever (something we’ve come to expect from PUMA) and holding up as expected as well.
The evoSPEED 1.3 doesn’t see the current speed silo from PUMA make a massive step forward. Instead it’s more of a tweak of the evoSPEED 1.2 as the line evolves. Narrow fit aside, it is a solid boot for wingers, forwards, attacking midfielders and even fullbacks (Gael Clichy has regained a starting spot for Manchester City in them) who fast being fast over all else. If this fits your description then we recommend you giving them a shot.