Football boot playtest review: PUMA PowerCat 1.12

Background

From Francesc Fabregas and Michael Carrick to Nigel De Jong and Nemanja Vidic, the Puma PowerCat 1.12 appears to be a football with a spilt identity.

So Sport-locker.net was eager to discover just what it is about these football boots that appeal and cater to both the craft and guile of Fabregas and the grit and steel of De Jong.

1. First Impression / Fresh out of the box factor 7/10

The Black/Dark Shadow/White/Lime Punch colourway featured in this review is quite unique in the current boot market and rather easy on the eye. The large feline pouncing on the side is not particularly subtle but the overall first impression is positive and they strike me as a good sturdy pair of football boots.

2. Comfort / Fit 10/10

So early in the review and we’ve already stumbled upon a perfect score. Comfort is a key selling point for the PowerCat and we’re not disappointed.

The trend for speed has often come at the expense of comfort but these have bucked the trend and gone all out for luxury.

The Puma PowerLast technology is built to follow the natural contours of each foot and consequently the breaking in period is dramatically reduced leaving the wearer with a glove like, custom fit pair of boots in next to no time. Superb.

3. On the move / Warm up 8/10

With the heavens now officially open in Britain and showing no signs of shutting any time soon, the standard ‘old school’ six stud configuration on this particular pair proved their worth offering unrivaled traction.

While that feature may not be unique to the PowerCats, the way in which they work in perfect symmetry with the flexible outsole very much is.

The two combine for a stable experience when twisting and turning on the softest and boggiest of surfaces.

4. Touch / Control 9/10

Having a wealth of midfield maestros on the roster gives a very good indication that these boots were built for touch and control.

Sport-locker.net is always hopeful when ‘K-Leather’ is included on the spec list because there is not rival material for the cushion it offers.

But Puma have decided that K-Leather alone is not enough for the likes of Fabregas and integrated a dual functioning technology to boost power (more on this later) as well as control.

3D Duo Power Shooting Technology (PST) is its official title and the half that secures a very good score in this category is the softer, grippier bit integrated into the large kicking area that covers the front and instep and helps keep ball closer to foot.

5. Speed 6/10

From the look, the tech, the spec and the professional wearers, it is clear that the PowerCats were not built for speed.

Technology features included to boost power and control add bulk but not so much that it is particularly noticeable to those partial to a traditional leather football boot.

The microfibre midfoot is the sole feature included to reduce weight so some effort has been made to balance the boots out but don’t expect to see many flying wingers wearig these.

6. Passing 9/10

The offset lacing increases the kicking zone and consequently raises the chances of making a clean connection when passing.

The benefit of this is greater accuracy to help raise pass percentages into Xavi territory!

Short sharp passing in these feels natural and comfortable but it is longer passing that benefits most from technology features.

The second function of PSO is pure power with a firmer thermoplastic integrated in order to actually rebound the ball off the boot.

All the more reason to attempt (and more importantly execute) those all so satisfying cross field passes.

7. Shooting 8/10

The benefits of PST are seamlessly transferrable to shooting and the ‘thwack’ of boot and ball that the thermoplastic creates is impressive.

Shots feel pure and clean and the softer thermoplastic bits grip the ball to add accuracy to the awesome power generated.

8. Security / Tackling 9/10

With passing and shooting done, it was time to don our De Jong masks and get stuck in.

And it is soon clear that the quest for power is not limited to shooting because at the heel end of the boot is an asymmetrical external TPU injected heel counter…

…sounds impressive but in practice it translates to support, stability and protection in the tackle. (Kung fu kicks not compulsory)

9. The endurance test 8/10

As predicted when unveiling, the PowerCats have proved to be strong and sturdy and K-Leather never disappoints as the season wears on.

10. The tech factor (Does it do what it says on the tin?) 9/10

Having previously had to rely on the phrase ‘less is more’ when it comes to this category it is a pleasure to actually have something of substance to report.

The 3D Duo Powershooting Technology (PST) is the winner,impressively serving to enhance both touch and power in one majestic swoop.

Add to that, the Powerlast comfort technology and you’ve got a seriously good all rounder of a football boot.

Sport-locker.net play test rating: 83/100

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