As you may have read, Christmas very much came early for Sport-locker.net this year after a host of sporting goodies were delivered down our office chimney by a bloke in a red suit last month.
It really ‘tis the season to be jolly, ay?!
Although cranberries are normally the fruit of choice during the festive period, we were ever so excited to unwrap a pair of the Blackberry/Orange/Rose PUMA EvoSPEED 1.2 football boots.
And as it’s now less than a week before Christmas, our editor Sam Van Gelder brings you his Christmas present to you all…
(It’s the review of the football boot)
It’ll be better than a pair of socks, I promise, so stick with it.
To start of the review I’d like to come clean. (A bit dramatic)
My first pair of football boots were PUMA. A simple black and white pair with moulded studs the size of giant rolos.
From a very early age I had it engrained in me that PUMA football boots (PUMA Kings to be exact) were the boots for me. Without waffling on, what I’m trying to get at is that I’ve always liked PUMA Kings.
But I’ve really struggled to like PUMA’s speed boots. I absolutely detested everything about the PUMA V1-series which were introduced from 2006 onwards –the Puma V1-06 was honestly the flimsiest, most tragic football boot I’ve ever worn.
However, by starting from scratch, with the introduction of the evoSPEED, I think PUMA could be on to something huge…
The pick up from the pros alone speaks for itself. The evoSPEED 1.2 is a boot which has proved immensely popular amongst Premier League ballers Santi Cazorla, Sergio Aguero, Adam Lallana and most recently Mikel Arteta (who has moved from his beloved Kings which is BIG news).
I’ve been trying to get my mitts on these for a while – so now that I have I was eager to find out what all the fuss was about.
As soon as you get these boots in your hands, it’s hard not to like them. For me, it’s their simplicity that is the real winner: there’s something really classic about them.
Central lacing, a simple one piece upper and conical studs makes for a real retro feeling football boot.
Yet the GripTex technology (small dimples) on the leather like upper, minimised tongue and heel counter as well as the EverFit cage (more on these later) all bring the evoSPEED 1.2 bang into the 21st century.
I’m not sure I like the huge PUMA logo running across the inside of each boot but it does add something different to the boot. They almost look like little racing cars they’re that sleek!
Enough of the gawping, it was time to see how these performed on that grass stuff.
On they go!
What’s immediately apparent as soon as you put on the evoSPEED 1.2 is just how snug they do fit.
There’s very little room between your foot and the ball, something which I feel is a huge positive.
The ergonomic shape really makes for a foot hugging boot and I’d say they fit true to size. The toe box area is truly wonderful as it’s shaped in a way that is almost pointy and curves in the same manner as your toes.
The biggest compliment that I could pay the evoSPEED 1.2 here is that they don’t feel like a speed boot. The way the EverFit cage wraps around your foot, the extra padding in the heel along the suede like feeling of the tongue is so unlike any other current speed boot on the market where weight of the boots seems to be the most important feature.
I was very quickly falling in love.
With the ball
And it’s that sense of not being a speed boot that continues when you have the ball at your feet which makes the evoSPEED 1.2 so special.
Although not leather, the matte finish, textured upper really is a joy to the touch and offers superb feel for the ball. I’d go as far to say this is the best synthetic upper out on the market currently.
That said, I’m not entirely sure that the small dimples on top of the boot actually offer that much more grip.
Another slight downside is the fact that the upper, being synthetic, doesn’t mould to your foot over time like a leather boot would. Instead, it keeps its shape which is actually quite refreshing as it feels like you’ve got a new pair of boots on every time you go out and play!
Another huge plus for the evoSPEED 1.2 is the sole of the boot.
There’s a lot of give and flexibility under the toes thanks to the DuoFlex forefoot, but the SpeedTrack reinforcement in the chassis part of the boot means that the foot form stays true and well supported. Yet somehow, these two combine to make for a fluid boot – there’s no sense of rigidity at all despite feeling quite firm and supportive.
The conical studs are unreal too. Some speed merchants might feel that these negate the quickness in turning with sharp, quick movements but I feel it adds to the boot, making it more appealing to players other than speedy wingers or strikers, something which I feel a lot of speed boots fail to do.
But don’t get me wrong, these are no slouch in the quickness of movement department. Just ask Senors Aguero and Falcao!
Passing and Shooting
Which brings me nicely on to striking the football in the evoSPEED 1.2.
There’s nothing major to report here. I would say they excel more in the passing area than shooting but I guess that can be seen as a ridiculous statement. It probably is, to be honest.
It’s just the old school central lacing and conical studs makes the boot feel like it is fit for a footballer who likes to get on the ball a lot and play.
Yet the lightweight nature of the boot then seems to play into the hands of wingers and strikers – it’s just an all-round boot really!
Also, there’s no real technology such as a pass pad or lethal zone that was designed specifically to aid shooting or passing, so I’ll skip onto the next section if you don’t mind.
Any other business
I think it’s always good to touch upon how the boot stands the test of time.
I’ve been wearing these evoSPEED 1.2s for the last month on both 3G and grass (when the games have not been postponed!)
They are extremely easy to clean. A warm cloth and a bit of elbow grease easily gets the job done on the upper.
It’s near on impossible to keep the laces as orangey as they first started, but a trip to the washing machine sees them restored to their glory days.
One thing to note is that I wouldn’t wear the boots too much on 3G – there’s no lip on the front of the boot to protect the toe area, so those black bits from 3G pitches will start to nestle if you’re not careful!
For me, the PUMA evoSPEED 1.2 is the perfect speed boot and that’s because it’s everything that a stereotypical speed boot isn’t!
The leather like upper, central lacing and conical studs all work come together to create a snug fitting football boot that exudes class.
It’s no wonder that more ball playing pros are flocking to wear them. PUMA have finally got a speed boot to be extremely proud of and I can only see this model going from strength to strength in the future.
Maybe I’ve had too many mulled wines, but I honestly thing that the PUMA evoSPEED 1.2 should be on every footballer’s list going to Lapland this Christmas!