Review: PUMA evoTOUCH 1 Soccer Boot
The evoTOUCH is the latest addition to PUMA’s soccer boot collection. The first collared boot from PUMA introduces a new silo whose emphasis is contact with the ball. One of our team members has been wearing the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 during training and league matches over the past few weeks. Here is what he found.
Where to Buy the PUMA evoTOUCH?
The entire PUMA evoTOUCH boot range (including turf and indoor versions of the shoe) is now on sale at World Soccer Shop, Lovell Soccer and Kitbag.
Differences between the PUMA evoTOUCH Pro and evoTOUCH 1
The PUMA evoTOUCH Pro is the high end, professional grade version of the boot. It is identical to the mid-grade evoTOUCH 1 in all aspects except for its upper material. The evoTOUCH’s upper uses the increasing rare lightweight kangaroo leather while the evoTOUCH 1 is features a calf leather upper. As a result the evoTOUCH Pro is a lighter soccer boot with a weight of 7.2 oz. versus the evoTOUCH 1’s 9.8 oz.
Who’s Wearing the PUMA evoTOUCH?
PUMA athletes Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea FC and Spain), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain and Italy) and Santi Cazorla (Arsenal FC and Spain) are currently all wearing the PUMA evoTOUCH in either its launch Black-White-Safety Yellow or new limited edition Birch-Peacoat-Safety Yellow colorways.
Here’s a description of the evoTOUCH 1 from PUMA:
This boot has a unique construction, which PUMA engineered by taking the concept of touch from the inside out rather than starting with the moment of contact with the ball. PUMA’s innovation team focused on what the foot needs and doesn’t, before working on the upper. The result is a boot that enhances and encourages the creative playmaking that puts footballers such as Fàbregas, Verratti and Cazorla at the top of the game.
The boot is made from a super soft, ultra-thin and lightweight leather upper, bringing the foot closer to the ball and creating exceptional touch in all conditions. The integrated evoKNIT knitted sock gives a snug fit, and the anti-slip GripTex arrows inside the sock lock down the foot, prevent slipping and ensure stability for the foot. Touch and comfort combine with stability, created by the new outsole with a raised SPEEDTRACK spine.
The PUMA evoTOUCH 1 is built around a one piece leather upper that has absolutely no stitching beyond that affixing it to its evoKNIT sock and heel counter and that holding its Formstripes in place. Said Formstripes run on each side of the boot for a classic PUMA football boot effect reminiscent of some of the German company’s old school King boots.
The boot takes a modern spin with its revolutionary evoKNIT sock that continues under its lacing system and to just above its heel counter. The use of Safety Yellow for the sock creates a stunning contrast effect with the rest of the boot while blending well with the lower halves of the evoTOUCH’s conical studs.
The net result of the design of the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 is an eye-catching boot that harkens back to the look of the leather boots worn in the mid-twentieth century while incorporating the latest in contemporary soccer boot styling. I still get compliments and questions about the boot even after almost two months of wearing them.
The fit of the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 is built around its evoKNIT sock. The revolutionary mesh, form-fitting and breathable fabric forms the boot’s collar and lines its entire inside to provide a layer in between the foot and leather upper. Once on the foot the evoKNIT sock provides an extremely snug, comfortable fit that can make you forget you’re even wearing a shoe.
PUMA says that the evoTOUCH can even be worn without socks. For the novelty of it I tried doing so during my first break-in session with the boot. I can’t say that this worked out however. I found the texture to the evoKNIT fabric on my skin to be somewhat course and the inside of the heel counter to dig into the back of my foot a bit too much. The boot feels great with a pair of lightweight socks slapped on though.
The insole of the evoTOUCH is lined with GripTex design to provide grip for the underside of the foot and to complete sock like feel of the boot. The result is an amazing and unparalleled feel around the entire foot.
I did have a bit of a hard time getting my feet in an out of the evoTOUCH 1 the very first time that I tried to put it on. There are pull tabs at the front and back of the evoKNIT collar to help you get your feet in the boot. With the help of these and some foot movement I was able to slip my feet in and out of the evoTOUCH for my first runout in them. Every time after that has been seamless (amazing in its own right). My only conclusion is that the knit fabric needed some loosening up out of the box and a bit of time wrapped around my feet to mold to them. I’m happy with the result and can get the evoTOUCH 1 on and laced up now faster than some standard non-collared boots that for which you have to adjust the tongue for the right fit with every wear.
In terms of size the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 fits true to size with the perfect amount of room between the big toe and the upper and no width issues whatsoever.
The soleplate of the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 is built around raised SpeedTrack spine that runs along its entire center. Its studs are all conical and run along the sides of the spin with four in the heel area and seen in the forefoot. The studs are relatively long compared to blades and typical rounded studs. PUMA decided to use them in order to give the evoTOUCH series good ground penetration and rotational movement. The soleplate is completed with an external heel counter similar to those of most of PUMA’s latest non-heritage boots.
I was able to get used to the feel of running in the evoTOUCH 1 fairly quickly. I dig some jogging and ball work with a rebounder for about half an hour to break them in. I did experience some discomfort at the sole of the feet because of the new boot soleplate stiffness at first but was able to work through it. This isn’t uncommon and is something that I usually run into. By the time I played my first pickup match in the evoTOUCH 1 I was loving the stability that the soleplate provided. It’s the type of support that had me not thinking about what my feet were riding on and more about exceling at touching the ball.
The rounded studs of the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 are a great complement to its soleplate in that they provide fantastic traction on both natural and artificial grass surfaces. Think of them as studs that really dig down into the field to give you firm footing and leading up to a stability-promoting soleplate that in turn leads to a collared foot enclosure with a glove like feel. This is a perfect setup for getting a player ready to give the ball a good touch upon receiving it.
Everything in the PUMA evoTOUCH is built around providing its wear with unrivaled touch on the ball. It does so by combining everything that I’ve mentioned already (fit, ride, stability and traction) with a one piece leather upper. In a surprising but welcome move PUMA has opted to go with lightweight leather (K-leather of the evoTOUCH Pro and calf leather for the evoTOUCH 1) instead of the latest generation of synthetics that are getting close to emulating the feel of the natural stuff.
With minimal stitching, the touch provided by the evoTOUCH 1 can best be described as pure. With nothing in the way between the leather upper and the ball for all of the areas of the foot used for trapping, passing and trapping, the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 feels like a second skin on your feet. The result is an extremely intuitive. From the time I slipped the boot on and started doing some ball work with a rebounded (including long and short passes, trapping and shots with the front of the foot) I was amazed by the level of intimacy it provided with the ball. You get a near barefoot-like feel that lets you quickly figure out how the ball with react with anything your try to do with it. There is no learning curve as with synthetic uppers of varying thickness and with inserts or other features meant to enhance the feel of the ball on the foot. With just half an hour of practicing in the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 I was looking forward to match action in them and have been wearing them without exception since.
The PUMA evoTOUCH 1 provides a good level of foot protection across most of its upper because of its use of sturdy calf grain leather. A fairly large portion of the foot is unprotected with nothing other than the boot’s evoKNIT sock under its lacing system. While this is an area that is not often the subject of many blows in match play, there is not much to save your metatarsals from the damage that can occur when cleats hit them here.
After about 20 hours of training and match play, the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 is holding up well. It does have some creasing since its upper is leather and this is expected. Otherwise the boot is a solid product that is clearly built to last.
I was worried about the collar of the evoKNIT sock losing its elasticity and not remaining snug against my ankle with time. This has no happened as yet. In fact, the sock shows no sign of getting looser at all. I think that it may last for the life of the boot.
A brilliant entry into the world of collared boots, the PUMA evoTOUCH 1 is the complete package for players whose game is built on the touch of the ball. Its combination of an unprecedented sock like fit, solid soleplate and traction, and natural leather upper makes it useful anywhere on the soccer field. With a release price point of $170 US, it is not exorbitantly priced for a boot offering its quality. Now that new colorways of the boot have been unveiled, the first couple of paintjobs of the shoe will undoubtedly be sold for less soon.