No strangers to a speed boot, Puma have been cranking out excellent lightweight cleats since the introduction of 2006’s V1-series.
But despite having some huge names wear them over the years, many players seemed put off by the slightly unorthodox styles of the V1’s – until last year’s evoSPEED 1. Starting the line from scratch gave Puma a new approach to speed cleats which brought in new fans in droves.
Comfort & Fit – 4/5
Arguably one of the best-fitting soccer shoes on the market, the Puma evoSPEED 1.2 leaves very little between the foot and ball.
A truly narrow, ergonomic shape hugs the foot throughout the whole cleat, the evoSPEED 1.2 is as unobtrusive and low profile as it gets.
This will be a barrier to entry for some, though – a very narrow midfoot and anatomically-shaped toebox make these boots unfriendly for wider feet, despite a fairly true-to-size fit.
Feel & Touch – 4/5
Switching out the frictionless, laminate synthetic upper on the original evoSPEED for an textured version on the 1.2 is an absolute masterstroke by Puma.
A combination of Griptex nodules and a leather-like grain printed into the upper add an exceptional sense of contact on the ball with any part of the foot, whilst the thin tongue supportive fit make every touch assured.
Combine that with the flush-to-foot fit, and you’ve got one of the best-feeling synthetic boots on the market – right up there with the Vapor VIII Clash/Seaweed/Retro.
Looks – 3/5
Part smart black boot, part bold speed boot, the evoSPEED 1.2 finds an excellent compromise between classic styling and forward-thinking audacity.
The matte-black upper is really in a class of it’s own, whilst the ‘pop’ blue and fluo yellow make the details and branding a real highlight (in more ways than one).
Whilst the sublimated graphics are a nice touch, I’m less a fan of the branding on the instep. As good as it will look through HD cameras on the feet of Aguero and Falcao, it’s probably a little bold for Sunday league!
Maintenance – 4/5'
Close to top marks for the Puma evoSPEED 1.2 in this section, the black upper is easily looked after with some warm water and a cloth and the relatively simple soleplate is hassle-free to clean, too.
However, the bold fluo yellow laces and instep branding do need a little more looking after to maintain their lustre as they do dull quite quickly.
Additionally, even though Puma have made all the studs conical on the evoSPEED 1.2, we would strongly recommend against using them on older artificial surfaces.
The upper is very well attached to the soleplate, so Puma have opted against a lip to protect the toe – this means this high-wear area will be' susceptible to more abrasion against high-friction turf.
Performance – 5/5
We’ve already talked about how the low-profile fit and supple upper are beneficial performance, so moving on to the soleplate, Puma are again onto a winner.
The DuoFlex forefoot ensures there’s a lot of natural give and flex under the toes, whilst the SpeedTrack reenforcement ' in the chassis ensures proper foot form and a great level of support, without feeling uncompromising in it’s rigidity.
Whilst other brands like Nike and Pele Sports have opted to create soleplates that push the envelope with unique stud shapes and configurations, the evoSPEED 1.2’s all conical layout makes it more accessible to players who don’t normally go for a speed boot, whilst still satisfying the need for exemplary traction that veteran velocity junkies crave.
With a varying price structure dependant on whether you’d like a synthetic upper or mixed sole, you could end up paying between 'Ĺ139.99 and 'Ĺ164.99 for a pair of Puma evoSPEED 1.2 when looking at the RRP’s.
With the version we tested around the 'Ĺ140 mark, it’s hard to complain about what the boot offers – especially when that price makes it one of the more economical speed boots on the market.
Overall – 23 / 30
In my opinion, the Puma evoSPEED 1.2’s biggest strengths lie in it’s accessibility; the leather-like upper, conical studs, and central lacing all make it the perfect speed boot for players who maybe wouldn’t always go for a speed boot.
At the same time, it delivers a level of performance that will satisfy even the most demanding of players.
If there’s one caveat, it would be that the fit is less accessible. An absolutely astonishing level of comfort and support await players with an average foot size and shape, but players with wider feet might have to go half a size up and sacrifice some of the form-fitting snugness that give the evoSPEED 1.2 it’s charm.
Sizing True to Size
Upper material Leather-grain Synthetic with Griptex
Weight 212g, UK size 9.5
Forefoot width Average
Midfoot width Narrow
Arches Super contoured, high arched.