Review: PUMA Ultra 1.1 Soccer Boot
PUMA’s biggest soccer boot release of the year so far is the exciting Ultra 1.1. The shoe is the sportswear giant’s first to use the new MATRYXEVO material for its upper. Its innovative soleplate and stud configuration are also brand new. The result is a boot that creates a wonderful combination of speed, stability and touch. Read on for our World Exclusive review of the PUMA Ultra 1.1 following several weeks of wearing it!
Where to Buy PUMA’s Ultra 1.1
The PUMA Ultra 1.1 is now on sale at at PUMA.com, PUMA stores, World Soccer Shop, UK Soccer Shop, Lovell Soccer, Pro:Direct Soccer and Kitbag.
Here are the key features of the Ultra 1.1 via PUMA. See our launch article on the shoe for additional details on it.
Providing elite level touch and control benefits at explosive speeds, the UTLRA 1.1 is the ultimate combination of speed, touch and comfort. The extremely lightweight MATRYXEVO® upper is built on a lightweight PEBA SpeedUnit outsole, featuring a split sole design inspired by PUMA running spike DNA for rapid bursts of speed. The sole plate combines subtle ‘spikes’ in the forefront and V-shaped studs configured to provide uncatchable speed.
LIGHT: Lightweight MATRYXEVO woven upper constructed with reactive aramid and carbon fiber for support during fast forward motion
SPEED: Ultra-fast Pebax SpeedUnit outsole infused with running spike DNA for rapid acceleration
FINISHING: GripControl Pro coating for decisive command over the ball when on the attack
COMFORT: Lightweight removable sockliner with Nano Grip Technology
Who’s Wearing the PUMA Ultra 1.1?
Apart from new PUMA signing Neymar (who has opted for the timeless King boot) it seems just about every well-known professional soccer player endorsee of the firm is rocking the Ultra 1.1. The boot has been the first choice weapon on the pitch of stars such as Antoine Griezmann (FC Barcelona and France), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City and Argentina), Kyle Walker (Manchester City and England), Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund and Belgium), Harry Maguire (Manchester United and England) and Jordan Pickford (Everton and England). As the list indicates, the boot is worn by players in attack, midfield, defense and goal at the highest levels of soccer.
PUMA has given the Ultra 1.1 and sleek, attractive look built around its functionality. It was launched in a stunning, modern “Shocking Orange / PUMA Black” colorway. The black on the orange base of the boot is added via individual yarns that make up its MATRYXEVO upper. This is done in a way to create a clever fade effect that conveys a vibe of motion and speed.
The front part of the PUMA Ultra 1.1’s soleplate (including the studs) is in a glossy black with a PUMA Cat print in white. The look created is exceptional!
Possibly influenced by the much beloved PUMA ONE series, the Ultra 1.1 has a low built-in sock that continues under its laces. The sock collar has been given a clever V-shape at both sides of the ankle in a novel move by PUMA’s boot designers. The lacing beneath the sock is secured by loops attached to the upper to create a curved effect that’s also a first in the soccer world.
Lastly, the PUMA logos on the Ultra 1.1 are well-placed and not at all garish despite the magnitude of the release. There is a relatively small Cat logo on the outer toe box and a PUMA logo on the inside of the upper towards the back. The look is classy and a bit reminiscent of something you’d find in release from PUMA x Porsche Design.
PUMA’s Ultra 1.1 is a true to size fitting soccer boot. The MATRYXEVO upper is a high tech material that does not stretch with wear. The size of the boot on your foot the first time you put it on is the same even after weeks of match play in it.
The Ultra 1.1 is one of the easiest boots to get your feet into that we’ve ever seen. The feet almost slide into it via its sock collar with a gentle pull of the tab just above the heel counter. The boot is almost easy to lace up with no adjustment to the default lacing system needed. Simply pull each side of lacing to achieve your comfort level, tie the flattened laces and you’re ready for action.
The PUMA Ultra 1.1 provides a very comfortable glove like once on the foot. There are no unwanted loose areas, hotspots or rubbing. Its sockliner uses PUMA’s Nano Grip Technology which enhances the lockdown of the foot in the boot. The feature creates absolutely no slip regardless of your movement on the field.
We also immediately noticed the light weight of the shoe (under 6 oz.) and the pleasant feel of the soleplate. The underfoot stiffness often felt with new boots was absent with the Ultra 1.1. This made for a fun break-in runout of running and ballwork with the boot.
Training and matchplay was next!
Stability and Ride
The stability and ride of the PUMA Ultra 1.1 are based on its lightweight PEBA SpeedUnited outsole and unique running spike-inspired studs.
The outsole provides excellence balance and weight distribution of natural and artificial grass surfaces. We attribute this to the studs on the boot which provide a good level of “dig” into playing fields. At the same time the soleplate / heel counter / upper combination keeps the foot in place and ready for the multitude of dynamic moves that soccer players must execute at an instant.
The PUMA Ultra 1.1 has excellent traction on both ground types mentioned and keeps you well-grounded regardless of whether you’re marking someone or sprinting. We did not experience any slipping or ankle turns in any form while wearing the shoe.
The pushoff and acceleration offered by the Ultra 1.1 is out of this world! The sprinter shoe influence and benefits of the spikelike studs in the forefoot of the boot are evident from the first time you run in it. Throw in the sub-6 oz weight of the shoe and you find yourself sprinting with ease. While this gives you an extra step on your opponent it also makes movement through the course of a match (from cutting to skills moves to tackles) near effortless.
The underfoot comfort provided by the PUMA Ultra 1.1 is surprisingly good. There is absolutely no stud pressure or rigidity on the underside of the foot. Instead the Ultra 1.1 feels like a running shoe once you’re on the move in it. This is definitely a first for a state of the art speed boot. Thus it comes to no surprise that some many world class players are wearing the boot.
PUMA’s natural and synthetic leather and knitted upper soccer boots are known for their good touch. Did the firm’s MATRYXEVO woven upper boot continue the tradition for the Ultra 1.1? Simply put, “Yes it did!”
Since MATRYXEVO is a brand new material type some time must be spent getting used to how it feels when you make contact with the ball. While the upper is coarse to the touch on the outside of the boot a thin layer of inside foam creates a soft feel on the inside. It does feel a bit stiff compared to leather uppers initially but after half an hour of ball work we found ourselves quite confident in the Ultra 1.1.
The PUMA Ultra 1.1 provides a ball feel and contact combination that rivals the natural leather PUMA ONE boots. It has little to no bounce for trapping with the inside and outside of the foot and for dribbling. Though unassuming, the GripControl Pro coating on the front of the boot does indeed seem to enhance the contact with the ball by providing increased friction.
We found the PUMA Ultra 1.1 to be an excellent boot for short, inside and outside of the foot passes and shots. They transfer the intended force onto the ball similar to control boots such as the PUMA One and evoPOWER. The passes and shots made were extremely accurate and delivered as intended. So despite being branded a speed boot the Ultra 1.1 makes a great foray into the realm of playmaker boots.
Low and high driven passes and shots made with the inside front of the foot are intuitive with the PUMA Ultra 1.1. The toebox volume and GripControl Pro work with the MATRYXEVO upper to give the contact with the ball needed to raise and curl it as desired.
Some practice with Ultra 1.1 is required to master long passes and shots made with the top of the foot. We think that this is because the area isn’t just MATRYXEVO but also contains quite a bit of knit under the shoe’s laces. Our main boot tester did an hour of solid work driving long balls with the shoe before he felt confident enough to try them in match play. This isn’t something that we’ve not seen before with new boot silos. In fact, we regard it as part of the boot break-in process.
The PUMA Ultra 1.1’s MATRYXEVO upper material provides much more foot protection than the often thin synthetics used for most speed boots. We’ve received the standard range of kicks, mashes and grazes while wearing the Ultra 1.1 and have emerged unscathed for the most part.
However, protection is on the lighter side under the lacing as is often the case nowadays. Although the knit fabric used there is quite comfortable and well-ventilated it does little to absorb the impact of collisions or the force of studs to the top of the foot. The only way around this is to wear some thicker socks under the boot unless you’re in a casual or training scenario where in-game contact is minimal.
The PUMA Ultra 1.1 has held up remarkably well for a lightweight speed boot after six weeks of use at least twice per week and counting! The only signs of use that can be seen on the boot is some is slight creasing at the front of the upper front pushing off while running and some dirt that it has picked up. The soleplate looks like it did when the shoe was unboxed upon being cleaned.
The Ultra 1.1 reflects the quality and workmanship that we’ve come to expect from PUMA throughout the year. We expect it to last for at least two years of regular use.
The PUMA Ultra 1.1 is a fantastic successor to the vaunted ONE series with the added benefits of lighter weight, an upper using the latest soccer boot material technology, and sprinting shoe elements for speed. It is suited for play in any position on the soccer pitch and is built to last. The Ultra 1.1. certainly has our recommendation for soccer players in the market for new professional grade boots this autumn!