Over the few weeks we’ve been testing the PUMA ULTRA 1.3 Firm Ground soccer boot. Footie fans may have seen this flashy boot being worn by the likes of Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Kingsley Coman (FC Bayern) and Christian Pulisic (Chelsea FC) since the beginning of the 2021/22 soccer season. Read on for our World Exclusive review of one of the most exciting soccer cleats of 2021!
Here’s a brief description of the boot from PUMA Football:
Ultra in every sense, these boots are ultra-light, ultra-fast and ultra-powerful on firm or artificial terrain. This lightest-on-the-market boot has been created with cutting-edge design and construction. The ULTRAcut upper gives impressive multi-layered support, while MATRYXEVO carbon yarn technology and a microfibre SPEEDCAGE with cut-out windows are feather-light for unparalleled speed. The Ultra-fast Peba SpeedUnit outsole draws running-spike inspiration for faster acceleration, while the GripControl Pro skin uses its unique texture to provide control and confidence on the ball. A formidable partner for your most demanding games.
Features & Benefits
- GripControl Pro: PUMA’s coating for decisive command over the ball when on the attack
- MATRYXEVO: Lightweight technology constructed with reactive Carbon yarns for support during fast-forward motion
- Ultra-fast Peba SpeedUnit: PUMA’s outsole infused with running spike DNA for rapid acceleration
Our soccer league is in full flight right now so our test consisted of the following:
- One break-in session in which we ran some dribbling and shooting drills and practiced skills moves
- Two pickup games
- Two club scrimmage sessions
- Two Sunday league matches
We tested the Sunblaze-Puma White-Bluemazing PUMA ULTRA 1.3 pictured above. While the ULTRA 1.3 comes in several colorways from red to black, this is the ULTRA 1.3’s brightest colorway and definitely catches the eye. It was definitely a hit when the boot made the rounds at Football Fashion and when we showed up on the pitch with it. One female Football Fashion contributor who’s somewhat of a celebrity at local L.A. Fitness’ where she teaches spin and dance classes immediately wanted to know if PUMA makes trainers that she can wear to the gym in this colorway.
Regardless of the colors used, the PUMA ULTRA 1.3 looks great. From the front with an underlying textured finish to the PUMA Cat logo on the outside to the large ULTRA print on the outside rear upper, theULTRA 1.3 is a soccer work of art. The design team responsible for the boot did an excellent job in making the ULTRA 1.3 soccer eye candy. As you might expect, it pained us to take them out onto our muddy fields.
Upon first trying on the PUMA ULTRA 1.3, the first thing that struck us was its low weight. At only 5.4 oz, theULTRA 1.3 rivals performance running shoes. Given that most normal soccer shoes weigh anywhere from 8 — 12 oz., the lightweight of theULTRA 1.3 can possibly make a difference in the fatigue encountered by a typical soccer player running anywhere from 5 to 10 km over a 90 minute game.
The fit of the PUMA ULTRA 1.3 was glove-like, true to size and extremely comfortable. Coupled with its great stability, at times you forget that you’re wearing a cleated shoe. This is definitely welcome given that cleated shoes can be extremely uncomfortable at times. Within 45 minutes of knocking a ball around with theULTRA 1.3, we felt that they were ready for match action.
PUMA stresses the ULTRA 1.3’s light weight as one of its statement features. It is a speedster’s shoe that best serves players in attacking roles such as wingers, wingbacks and strikers. Thus we wore the ULTRA 1.3s whilst playing in a right-sided attacking midfielder position for our test period to fully appreciate its main attributes.
After taking about 10 minutes to get used to using the news shoes in a game situation, we felt quite at ease in them. We felt as if the light weight of the shoe made it easier to move on and off the ball. Whether psychological or because of the fit of the shoe, skills moves seemed to require a little less effort. Our break-in session with the boots probably aided with this.
In terms of touch, the PUMA ULTRA 1.3 performed splendidly. You may wonder how easy it will be to trap a fast-moving ball and kill its momentum with an ultralight shoe that may not have the padding of heavier shoes. No worries with the ULTRA 1.3. We suspect that this may be because of its form fitted instep and the unique texture on the forefoot area of the boot. The latter also works excellently for chipped shots, long crosses and lofted passes. It’s almost as if the wedge created between the foot and ball when executing these moves is improved.
As with any new soccer boot it does take a bit of practice to get the feel of shooting in the ULTRA 1.3. However, provided you’ve got some skill in the art, the PUMA ULTRA 1.3’s lace area, light weight and forefoot can combine for deadly shooting. The ball-hugging feel provided when executing volleys and half-volleys is absolutely superb. The end result is shots that were often more accurate when compared to those made with a standard boot.
We regard stability to be one of the most important features of any soccer shoe. The PUMA ULTRA 1.3 did not let us down in this area. Before even trying on the boot, we suspected that it was designed with stability in mind from the sturdy heel support that appears on the back of the shoe and the fact that it is a contiguous unit with the plate of the shoe.
From our break-in session to the games we played in the PUMA ULTRA 1.3, we loved the stability that the boot offered (even on summer rain-beaten fields). We felt well-balanced and ready to receive the ball when moving off of it and very comfortable when dribbling with, holding up, trapping and passing the ball in these shoes. The extra stability provided by theULTRA 1.3 worked particularly well when doing drag backs and Cruyff Turns in tight situations.
When Not to Wear
We do not recommend that rough and tumble central defenders and defensive midfielders use the ULTRA 1.3. Again, it is a light weight speed boot with thin upper material. As such, it is not built for dishing out or receiving the abuse usually associated with these positions. One ill-timed tackle or step on the foot in light weight boots like theULTRA 1.3 could result in injury or even a broken metatarsal. If you play in central defense or as a defensive midfielder, please stick to a sturdy padded boot like the venerable PUMA King.
We’ve logged about ten hours of practice and game time in the PUMA ULTRA 1.3 thus far. While they no longer have the brand new, out of the box look because of the abuse and wet and muddy fields that we’ve subjected them to, the ULTRA 1.3s have held up quite well. We see no unusual wrinkling, shape distortion or ripping in them. They also do not retain water because of the synthetic materials used for their construction. By all accounts, the PUMA ULTRA 1.3 is well-constructed and should stand the test of time. We can’t wait to give them a run when it’s warm and dry on lush green fields!
The PUMA ULTRA 1.3 is a quality professional grade soccer boot. We recommend it for skilled offensive players. Its light weight is something to behold and will impress the fleet-footed. At the same time, the ULTRA 1.3’s remarkable fit, touch and stability are features to be enjoyed by intermediate to advanced players with a good knowledge of the game of soccer.