Review: PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 Soccer Boot
PUMA’s much-loved evoPOWER soccer boot is back with its fourth version – the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1. Still a power boot at its core the evoPOWER Vigor 1 has been updated with some of the latest in football shoe technology for what is a major overhaul of the series. One of our team members has been wearing the Vigor 1 in training and league matches over the past few weeks. Here is our review of a potentially game changing boot!
Where to Buy It
The entire PUMA evoPOWER Vigor boot range (including turf and indoor versions of the shoe) is now on sale at World Soccer Shop, Lovell Soccer, Pro:Direct Soccer and Kitbag.
Who’s Wearing the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1?
The growing list of players currently donning the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 is quite impressive. Wearers of the evoPOWER boot since its first version such as Oliver Giroud (Arsenal FC and France), Yaya Toure (Manchester City FC), Mario Balotelli (OGC Nice and Italy), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC and USA), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus and Italy) and Petr Čech (Arsenal FC) have traded in the evoPOWER 1.3 for evoPOWER Vigor 1.
Relatively new PUMA players Marc Bartra (Borussia Dortmund and Spain) and Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund and Germany) have joined the fold and have been playing in the Vigor 1 since its release.
The PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 sees the synthetic, padded upper replaced with a sock / Adap-Lite combination. The result is a slip on boot that hugs the foot. The AccuFoam technology that has been a fixture of the evoPOWER series is still there but not as a layer under the Adapt-Lite. Instead it comes in the form of 3D foam dots that a present on both the sock and synthetic upper of the boot. PUMA says that they “regulate the uneven surface when the foot comes into contact with the ball, which maximizes precision when striking the ball powerfully”.
PUMA has placed an emphasis on fit to improve the kicking mechanics of the evoPOWER Vigor 1. This includes on the inside of the boot whey they’ve used their GripTex technology to increase the grip of the foot on the boot and avoid slipping.
evoPOWER series fans will appreciate the fact that PUMA has not changed the tried and tested soleplate of the evoPOWER 1.3 with the Vigor 1. It’s back for another year with its combination of blades and rounded studs that we’ve found to work well on a variety of natural and artificial grass playing surfaces. The innovative barefoot kicking flexibility of the soleplate is also back to allow natural up and down motions of the feet on the soccer field.
The evoPOWER Vigor 1 is a completely true to size fitting boot that you should get in your normal soccer boot size. However that’s just the start of the story with regards to how it fits on the foot!
Knowing that fit an important characteristic of any soccer boot, the designers at PUMA have placed an emphasis on creating a glove like, near customized fit for the evoPOWER Vigor 1. This starts with the sock that makes up a lightweight, stretchable spandex enclosure that wraps the foot is a sheath-like manner.
The synthetic part of the boot is also close-fitting and does stretch to accommodate the contours of the foot. The back part inside of the Vigor 1 is lined with a soft, padded, velvet-feeling material for additional comfort. The result of all of these elements put together is a remarkable, comfortable feel that makes for splendid contact with the ball.
The PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 is one of the easiest contemporary boot to put on from the very first time that I tried it on. It’s simply a matter of loosening up the upper row of lacing, holding on to the pull tabs conveniently located at the top of the lacing and heel area and sliding your foot into the boot. There is no struggle or nothing to figure out to get this cleat on.
Since the soleplate and stud configuration of the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 has not changed since version 1.3 of the boot last year it offers the same excellent ride as its predecessor. There is no stiffness at the bottom of the foot and the evoPOWER’s amazing near 180 degree forefoot flexibility at the front of the boot is back for another run.
The is a noticeable weight decrease in the evoPOWER Vigor 1 with the boot shedding half an ounce since its last version to come it a near speedboat weight of 7.0 ounces. Needless to say this creates a boot that is easier to move around in and easier to pull off quick skills move with.
The evoPOWER Vigor 1 is one of those rare boot that require no break in period to speak of. I took them for one and felt at home in them right away while running and trying them out for agility drills and ball work. They’re light, comfortable, easy to move in and supportive of just about anything that you want to do on the field.
Stability reigns supreme with the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 thanks to its carryover soleplate from the last edition of the boot. It also have a hidden but quite effective heel counter that works with the Adapt-Lite upper to wrap the entire back portion of the foot and to keep it in place with no slipping.
The relative long bladed studs at the back of the Vigor 1’s soleplate continues to work well to lock you into position during shooting, passing and even defending while the rounded studs towards the front of the boot allow for quick turns and changes in direction. Like all of the boots so far in the evoPOWER series, the Vigor 1 provides solid stability on both natural and artificial grass surfaces.
The combination of the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1’s Adap-Lite upper, sock foot enclosure, AccuFoam dots and tried and tested soleplate create a touch with the ball that has previously been unseen in a synthetic boot. The contact with the ball is more like what you will experience with the K-Leather version of a boot like PUMA’s lightweight King SL. The touch is close and extremely intimate. This results in distraction free touches and makes the Vigor 2 one of the few soccer boots on the market that requires little to no break in time. It’s simply a matter of putting the boot on, knocking ball around with it and you’re ready for action on the pitch.
A clear benefit of the first three versions of the evoPOWER series was the layer of AccuFoam built into the upper. It worked well for adding a little power to shots when combined with the incredibly flexibility of the line’s forefoot. Interestingly the replacement of said layer with a series of dots does not diminish the power of shots, clearances and passes made with the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1. From what I can tell shot power with the front of the foot is about the same. However shots and passes made with the outside, instep and ball of the foot seem to have more slightly power than before. The change doesn’t require much getting used to at all though. I found it to be quite natural and started enjoying this added benefit after four to five touches.
The protection offered by any soccer boot is based on what materials the layers of its upper are made up. With the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 representing a reworking of the series through its Adap-Lite / synthetic sock upper, the good protection of previous incarnations of the shoe has diminished. The Adap-Lite portion of the upper provides a decent level of foot security from the inevitable whacks and stamps that we experience on the soccer field. However there is not much between your foot and your opponent’s cleats under the sock portion of the boot. All you’ve really got to rely on there are the Vigor 1’s AccuFoam dots.
The PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 has held up incredibly well after roughly six weeks of play. Its synthetic construction has resulted in very little creasing while its soleplate is as stellar as it was out of the box. I’ve seen a YouTube video speaking of the AccuFoam dots cracking when worn in colder Nordic weather. No such problems so far while wearing the Vigor 1 on both natural and artificial grass surfaces down here in the milder Southeast section of the US.
The evoPOWER Vigor 1 sees PUMA’s power boot series evolve with advances in modern soccer technology. This year’s evoPOWER is light and better-fitting than its predecessors and does have the best touch of the line to date. As you can tell from the list of pros wearing it the boot can be worn anywhere on the soccer pitch. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great multi-faceted soccer boot.
Design – 9.5/10
Fit – 9.5/10
Ride – 9.5/10
Touch – 9.5/10
Protection – 8/10
Overall Rating – 9.2/10