PUMA released the third iteration of their evoPOWER soccer boot – the evoPOWER 1.3 – a few weeks ago. We’ve had a pair on hand since its launch. This is our World Exclusive review of the boot (including a look at its stunning presentation case) from one of our Sunday league legends on staff.
Who’s Wearing the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3?
Just about every player on PUMA’s impressive roster of endorsees who play in midfield and defense area wearing the evoPOWER 1.3. One notable exception is AC Milan and Italy forward Mario Balotelli who has been wearing the evoPOWER series since signing with PUMA in early 2015. Some of the PUMA stars boot spotted in the evoPOWER 1.3 every match since it was dropped are Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea FC and Spain), Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC and USA), Oribe Peralta (Club América and Mexico) and Olivier Giroud (Arsenal FC and France).
Where to Buy It
The media pairs of the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 came in a world class presentation case that is certainly a collectible item in its own right. It continues a long line of presentation cases that PUMA have had in recent years that are as eye-catching as the products that they support.
The evoPOWER 1.3 presentation case is in the Safety Yellow / Black / Atomic Blue colorway that the boot was launched in. Slide of the PUMA branded blue plastic cover from one side of the box and it opens up to reveal the boot cleverly displayed in gray sponge with the soleplate displayed on the left and the upper on the right.
While we’ll have to retire our pair of the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 soccer boot once it has run its course of the pitch, we will be sure to keep its presentation case as a piece of memorabilia from the world of soccer in the spring of 2016.
PUMA’s chief design for the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3, Pascal van Essen, says that the shoe is a totally new boot that included best features of the evoPOWER 1 and 1.2. Hence its new look compared to its two predecessors.
While soccer boot connoisseurs will be able to tell that the evoPOWER 1.3 is a continuation of PUMA’s latest control / power cleat line, the shoe much sleeker than the first two iterations of the evoPOWER. Gone is the pronounced AccuFoam padding on the upper of the boot and any semblance of the EverFit stability cage. PUMA has opted for a more scaled back look with the evoPOWER 1.3 that is a product of the technical improvements to the line.
The AccuFoam is still present in the upper but it stands out much less and can really only be spotted because of the grooves in between the areas of the material on the upper. It is most prevalent on the instep where it forms a series of thin diagonal lines really make it show. These lines of both sides of the boot are its main visual effect and blend well with the Atomic Blue heel area that is such an important part of the new evoPOWER’s stability.
Although it isn’t as flamboyant as the evoPOWER 1.2, the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 remains a very visually appealing soccer boot. Its vibrant colorway and striking graphics emphasize a streamlined boot to make it a great work of soccer artistry.
Simply put the fit of the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 is truly world class! I’ve tested many soccer boots at Football Fashion. This one leaves every other in the dust in terms of comfort!
The evoPOWER 1.3 fits true to size. This isn’t unexpected given PUMA’s mastery in this department. I usually wear a size 9.5 and had absolutely no issues with the width or length of the new evoPOWER while wearing it in this size.
Once on the foot, the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 wraps the foot in its soft upper in a manner that feels like it was custom fitted. The feel is akin to that of a high end running shoe. After taking a few steps in the boot I was amazed at how comfortable it was from the soleplate up. I forgot that I was even wearing cleats when breaking them in. These boots are definitely the most play-ready soccer shoes coming out of the box that I have ever worn. Even after weeks of wear I have nothing but good things to day about the comfort level of the evoPOWER 1.3. They’re the type of boot you look forward to getting your feet into for a runout.
The PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 sheds a light bit of weight of its 7.2 oz. predecessors. This is clearly felt from the time that you put on the boots and adds to the agility that it provides. However, the boot does not feel like one of the minimalist speed boots on the market nowadays because of its snug and fairly robust upper. This makes the evoPOWER 1.3 a rear low weight control / power boot.
PUMA worked with researchers at the University of Chemnitz in Germany and determined that the stability of the non-kicking foot and core are essential to the power and accuracy that can be put onto the ball. The result is an updated stud configuration that is similar to that of the evoPOWER 1.2 but with more rounded studs. The prominent spine of the 1.2 is now gone and replaced with what looks like an exoskeleton. The result is even better traction and stability than in the evoPOWER 1.3 on both natural and artificial grass surfaces.
My favorite stability feature of the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 is combination of two relatively long bladed and two rounded studs on the heel area of the soccer boot. The stability provided by this combination is superb on any dry surface. This holds true boot the planted foot when kicking or trapping and for boot feet when on the move. One advantage that I noticed from the latter is being able to quickly change directions when making cutting moves on both offence and defense.
PUMA continues to use the motion of barefoot kicking as the basis for designing the latest evoPOWER. The first revolutionized soccer boots with the first version of the shoe in which the front of the soleplate bent both upwards and downwards to mimic the motion of the foot. Even though the soleplate of the evoPOWER 1.3 is somewhat changed from the first two versions of the boot, it continues to support this bi-directional motion to allow for more energy to be transferred from the foot to the ball.
The outside lacing system of the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 continues to have an improved striking surface for better control on the ball. It is now less padded than was the case with the evoPOWER 1.2 but more curved and. I found the result to be better contact with the top of the foot when shooting and crossing. The level of intimacy provided is amazing and, needless to say, results in a short learning curve when figuring out how much force to put on the ball along with great accuracy when you do. This also works superbly for quick, one touch passes with the top of the foot e.g. in a pullback / turn / pass situation.
The instep of the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 now has increased passing AccuFoam padding thanks has near vertical notches in them. Definitely an improvement, this allows for more time to make your next move with the ball (passing, shooting or dribbling) because of the momentum dampening effect of the AccuFoam.
The overall feel on the ball through the upper on the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 is as good as it can be with a synthetic boot. It does not reach the natural touch that high quality K-leather provides but is better than anything that we’ve seen from PUMA since the King II was released in 2014. As a result, the ball will react as intended for passes, crosses and shots. I recommend spending an hour doing some ball work with the evoPOWER 1.3. If you’re a reasonably skilled player you’ll be match ready in them after that.
The PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 offers and incredible level of foot protection for a relatively light weight boot. PUMA’s Adap-Lite upper does a surprisingly good job of padding the bones of the foot when the inevitable stamp from studded soccer shoes is experienced during play. I’ve had at least five such instances playing the in evoPOWER 1.3 and have made it through unscathed each time.
After playing well over ten matching in the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 the boot is fully intact. If I were to clean it up then it would look as good as new apart from some slight creasing on its upper (a fact of like for even synthetic soccer boots). I expect them to last well into 2017.
The best of the evoPOWER series so far and our favorite boot of the year so far, the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 is an incredible soccer boot specimen that is fit for any position on the field. Light in weight, brilliant in appearance, extremely comfortable, very reactive in touch and providing fabulous stability on natural and artificial grass surfaces, the evoPOWER 1.3 is a must to look at when shopping for new footy boots in 2016!