New Balance Football made a splash at the end of the recent European season with the release of its Furon 2.0 boot. The new soccer shoe is the second version of the firm’s speed boot silo introduced at the start of the 2015/16 club season. This is our World Exclusive review of the exciting new boot from the American sportswear giant.
Here are the specifications of the boot courtesy of NB Football:
REVlite technology plus FantomFit in the Furon 2.0 Pro FG provides essential lightweight cushioning, so you can feel strength and support without slowing down. The shoe also features a lowered collar for greater range of movement around the ankle so your feet are free to make quick plays that turn into big victories. Stiffened soleplate helps add energy return and acceleration to give you even more swift utility to deliver your best performance.
• Aggressive TPU ‘Acceleration Zone’
• Bio-mechanical last
• Bio-mechanical stud placement
• Engineered mesh vamp with integrated TPU
• Fibre-J lining
• Fixed Revlite footbed provides superior cushioning
• Lightweight nylon outsole
• Low lying sprint spike inspired collar
Who’s Wearing the New Balance Furon 2.0?
Striker Álvaro Negredo (Valencia CF and Spain), winger Jesús Navas (Manchester City and Spain), Jill Scott (Manchester City Ladies and England) and midfielder Tim Cahill (Hangzhou Greentown FC and Australia) have all been spotted in the New Balance Furon 2.0. Negredo and Navas have been wearing them since their unveiling last month and got them some international television coverage at the end of the Premier League and La Liga seasons.
While the first version of the boot was a bit on the bigger side and included too much room between the toes and upper, the NB Football Furon 2.0 is very much a true to size boot. There is a slight but of welcomed extra space in the boot to accommodate socks without things getting too tight.
The even though the upper material of the Furon 2.0 is speed boot thin, it is extremely ergonomic and matches the contours of the feet extremely well. This is particularly so in the all-important in-step area. The result is a sheath-like fit that gives a feel of comfort and confidence for the first time the boot is tried on.
A definite improvement over the first version of the Furon is the use of a traditional center tongue and lacing system instead of the off-center “burrito” style tongue. The latter was quite unnatural in feel and interfered with shots made with the top of the foot. The updated laces / tongue combination feels comfortable on the top of the foot and is easy to loosen up and adjust for your ideal fit as needed.
The size 9.5 New Balance Furon 2.0 comes in at a weight of 7.65 ounces / 217 grams according to our scale. This is average for modern speed boots which now have an average weight of around 7.2 to 7.75 ounces for this size.
Embellishments asides, the New Balance Furon 2.0 is a high tech speed boot that has a lightweight mesh upper and sprinter spike-inspired outsole at its core. NB Football has made the boot sexy with a brilliant “Bright Cherry with Galaxy and Firefly” colorway that stands out in even in today’s sea of bright colored soccer boots. The use of the colors is quite clever and ensures contrasting and throughout the boot. The speed inspired graphics towards the middle and back of the upper area adds to the visual appeal of the cleat and sends a message that it is all about speed.
Lastly, NB Football’s designers have even made the outsole of the Furon 2.0 a work of soccer art. It completely contrasts with the rest of the boot through its mainly bright yellow color. There is a touch of black towards the front inside of the boot. This area also has a raised web design that works well with the spin of the sole. A final piece of aesthetic value is the use of white at the tips of the rear and outside blades of the Furon 2.0.
With an emphasis on speed New Balance has gone all out to focus on the ride of the Furon 2.0. The intent of NB’s designers is to provide explosive acceleration to give you’re the extra split second to capitalize on opportunities as they arise. As a result the Furon 2.0 is very much reminiscent of track and field shoes through its low rear collar and raised toe area (something rarely seen in soccer shoes).
So do they work as intended? Our testers think so! On natural grass surfaces the NB Furon 2.0 definitely provides an extra takeoff from standing, walking or slowly running following by excellent straight line speed that even Usain Bolt would appreciate. The unique stud configuration of the new Furon provided good solid traction on the move and on the all-important twists, skill moves, cuts and turns that are essential to attacking soccer. The shoes did not perform quite as well on artificial grass however. Our testers thought that there as a bit of a pull back from the studs that made them feel like they stuck to the turf a bit. Not our first issue with the increasingly maligned AG fields by any means!
The New Balance Furon 2.0’s hybrid mesh upper is at the heart of its touch. The material is a synthetic unlike anything that we’ve ever seen in a soccer boot in that it is ventilated and lightweight while quite sturdy at the same time. In terms of feel on the ball it provides contact comparable to the best synthetic leather boots on the market. The touch on the ball can best be described as absolutely natural and similar to how you’d feel kicking the ball while barefooted. After two break-in sessions in the Furon 2.0 our main tester felt ready to use them in a match. As with all new boots practice is needed to figure out how much weight to put on the ball for passing, crossing and shooting.
The awesome touch that the Furon 2.0 provides is not just a product of its upper. The boot is designed with an amazing fit that wraps around the foot in an almost sock like fashion. This is extremely supportive for just about anything that you want to do with the balls (from skill moves) to clearances. Our favorite aspect of the fit that allows accuracy in ball control is the fact that the instep of the boot follow the shape of an average foot (by that we mean one that doesn’t require wide shoes) to a tee. If you’re a pass and move player or even a play maker who thrives via short accurate passes then this is the type of boot that you will love.
The speed boot genre entered the mainstream during the 2010 World Cup when adidas released its groundbreaking F50 boot worn by Lionel Messi. Since then we’ve seen speed boots evolve and sacrifice protection by shedding thickness from their uppers in order to eliminate weight. While this has been proven effective it has subjected wearers to the extreme pain and metatarsal injuries that come about that the inevitable stamp and mashes on the top of the foot when trying to elude defenders. While the New Balance Furon 2.0 falls into the speed boot category it has changed the game a bit in that its hybrid mesh upper provides a good level of protection. Even though the upper is lightweight and generally soft in feel it gives a degree of shielding akin to lightweight versions of today’s control boots (for example the PUMA King SL). Wear the Furon 2.0 with a decent pair of socks and you can rest a little easier when the defensive hardmen come studs up at you.
Our testing has seen us wear the New Balance Furon 2.0 for over fifteen hours of play on dry and wet natural grass and artificial grass surfaces. Thus far it is holding up quite well and shows little signs of wear other than the usual creasing towards the front of the upper from the natural motion of the foot when running. Clean them up and they look almost as good as they did out of the box.
One item of note in the durability area is that we did wear the Furon 2.0 on AG surfaces in very hot conditions. At times the temperature on the pitch was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. While the boots did get hot in the sole area there were no signs of the glue that attaches the soleplate to the upper loosening up.
A great follow-up to New Balance’s first Furon, the Furon 2.0 is an exciting shoe for attack-minded players who thrive on speed. It lives up to the promise of sprinter spike grade explosiveness while providing a nice touch on the ball and a surprisingly high level of protection. Wingbacks, wingers and strikers should take note NB Football’s Furon 2.0 when looking for a new addition to their match footwear arsenals.