One of two boot silos currently on the market from New Balance Football (the other is the Furon), the Visaro is the subject of our latest boot test. NB says that it is for who ‘Make Chances’ and is not position specific. Read on to find out what one of our boot testers of it.
Who’s Wearing the New Balance Visaro?
NB Football has been signing an impressive roster of world class footballers since its previous incarnation as Warrior Football. Some of the soccer luminaries spotted in the Visaro include Vincent Kompany (Manchester City and Belgium), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal FC and Wales), Samir Nasri (Manchester City and France) and Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United and Belgium). Impressive to say the least!
Here are the specifications of the Visaro courtesy of New Balance:
Visaro is designed for the players who need to be everywhere at once; those who are surging forward from box-to-box or wing-to-wing. It features a Vari-zone Ariaprene upper for incredible ball manipulation, a Super-Flex soleplate for exceptional ground contact and a low pressure zone Instep for instant control.
These players play a pivotal role for the team, so a Medial Pivot zone has been built for supremely quick turns. Players wearing Visaro still can take advantage of the Fresh Foam insock, which provides superior cushioning, and a pro-form last for unsurpassed feel and unbelievable comfort. Visaro players control the game with exceptional ball retention and creative distribution. They control the game with their vision; making passes that others can’t.
After all of the hype this summer from New Balance and the pedigree of the players wearing the Visaro, I was very excited to try out Version 1.0 of a brand new boot model. Upon pulling it out of the box I was very impressed by the modern yet classy look of the shoe. From its stunning Baltic / Serene Green colorway to the understated incorporation of a host of modern soccer boot technology, the Visaro has an elegant appearance about it but at the same time looks like it means business on the pitch. Throw in a suede like lining inside the boot and a non-removable insole and I could not wait to get these on my feet.
Day 1 – Breaking In
The first thing that struck me about the fit of New Balance Visaro is the fact that the standard size of the boot appears quite narrow. This turned out to be the case when I loosened up the top three rows of laces and slipped the boot on my foot. Honestly, I was a bit dismayed and about ready to switch to another pair of cleats for a kickaround at the park with a friend. Nevertheless, I persevered in the name of Boot Testing.
I got my usual soccer boot size in the Visaro. However, based on the fit of the boot I recommend going a full size up if you’re interesting in getting a pair. Apart from the narrowness, the heel area fit very tightly and can cause some discomfort. The front of the boot where the toes sit is even tighter and squeezes the big toes greatly. I’m not sure what the professional players wearing the boot do but the boot is by no means true to size! Go bigger than usual or suffer the consequences.
During my break-in session I did some running to get the feel of the Visaro followed by on the ground and in the air passing and trapping. I also took a few shots a goal. Given that this was a non-match situation, it provided a great avenue for getting the feel of the Visaro.
Running in the New Balance Visaro for the first time did not feel as uncomfortable as I expected given its fit. I was able to pick up some good speed thanks to its relatively light 7.7 oz. and was very impressed by the stability and quick turns afforded by its soleplate. The mix of blades and rounded studs worked very well to provide ample traction on a natural grass surface.
The modern upper of the Visaro is something to behold. The touch on the ball that it provides is fantastic and gives you a high level of intimacy with the ball. I was able to quickly become adept in making accurate and perfectly weighted passes, shots and low crosses in the New Balance Visaro within thirty minutes of wearing it. High crosses and long distance shots with the front of the boot required a bit more practice because of the thinning thickness of the Visaro towards its upper frontal area.
I took the Visaro off once done with our training session and checked my feet for damage due to the tightness. No blisters, hotspots or numbness were to be had after the first forty five minutes of play and I hoped that they were molding to my feet.
Day 2 – A Kickaround at the Park
A few days after breaking in the New Balance Visaro, I took them for a runout at a pickup game at a local park with a bunch of club team mates and some invitees. This type of session is not typically casual given that we use them for helping us to maintain match fitness during our league’s winter break.
Upon slipping on the Visaro I noticed that there was no improvement in its tight feel. Some much for the boot stretching out a bit during my breaking in session. Given that this was not a league match I decided to play in them in a competitive situation that can be pressure-filled at times.
Everything went well for first fifteen minutes or so in the Visaro. I enjoyed its light weight, pivot zone and touch. I also noticed that it provided good acceleration and a decent level of protection for what is essentially a lighter weight control boot. Then the pain started.
As the game progressed and I moved about in my position as a rightback, I notice that what I can only describe as the “squeeze” of the Visaro on by big toes increased. At first it was on the left big toe then it was on the right big toe then it was on both. I could also feel a great deal of pressure on the back of my left heel and on the top of both feet. Needless to say this affected both my mobility and resulted in me walking instead of running towards the end of the match. Given the pain on my big toes, my confidence on the ball and ability to pass accurately were also affected for the worse. Eventually things got to a point towards the end of the pick-up session where I had no choice but to exit the field of play and get the boots off.
During the subsequent post-game foot examination I found that a blister had formed at the back of the left foot, redness as apparent on the tops of both feet and my big toes were throbbing in pain. It took a full four days for the pain in the toes to fully subside.
Because of the success that I see the pros enjoying in the New Balance Visaro, I’m not giving up on them. Also, their touch makes it worth giving them another shot. As a result, I’m doing some ball work with the boots using a rebounder. The more I wear them, the more they seem to be molding to my feet ever so slightly. I think that these are the type of boots that require an extended break-in period unless you get them in a size bigger than you are used to.
Chock full of modern footie boot technology, the New Balance Visaro can be worn just about anywhere on the pitch. The key to getting the best out of the boot is to size it properly. Based on my experience, you must go big or go home with these unless you have narrow feet.