I’m a massive fan of Uncle Ben’s express rice. You know the one, the rice in the bright orange packet with the uncle himself beaming away on the front.

My favourite is the Chinese style but a decent substitute, should the supermarket fail to stock it, is the egg-fried version. In the competitive and sometimes (probably) vicious world of the rice market there are many different brands to choose from. Obviously you have Uncle Ben, the kingpin if you like, then you have the other horses in the race, Veetee, the supermarkets own-brand and Tilda.

The other day, instead of buying the usual Uncle Ben’s rice, there was an offer on the Tilda version. “Ah” I thought, “a challenger to Uncle Ben’s throne, let’s see if this can cut the mustard.” Needless to say it was a disappointment. Uncle Ben has nothing to worry about as the Tilda rice provided a weak side dish to my chicken. I vowed that I will never again be suckered into offers, tempting me away from the uncle and his delicious rice. The next night I went back to using Uncle Ben’s rice and my dinner was superb. Even though, behind his smile, Uncle Ben was fuming at my treachery.

pantofola d'oro football boot testimonial

This leads me nicely to the Pantofola d’Oro football boots. For years I had been an avid fan of the big brands. Nike, Adidas and PUMA have all, at some stage, taken the prominent place in the football boot box in my garage. The speed boot was my usual choice. I have owned pretty much, apart from the Vs, every version of the Nike Vapor. A pair of PUMA v1.06’s. A pair of Adidas F50+’s and a pair of Lotto Zhero Gravity football boots. Honestly, I can say that not one of the aforementioned pairs have been trouble free.

So one day I thought that a drastic change was needed. I needed a football boot that would still be light but comfortable at the same time. So I did my research and a name that kept coming back to me was Pantofola d’Oro. There are limited reviews on the internet, forums are usually awash with Vapor lovers and the like and you do not see much in the way of professional-footballer endorsement. I have never even seen an advert for them, in any form of media.

Based on what little information I had I decided to take the plunge and get a pair. I opted for the Lazzarini version, simply because the blackout colourway was too irresistible. I am usually a size six, or half a size larger depending on the boot. If I want a tight fit a size six is usually my choice. With the Pantofola d’Oro I opted for the six, hoping that a tight fit would allow the boot to mould to my foot.

Getting these out of the box and feeling them, the leather is incredibly smooth. I instantly liked the boot. No bells and whistles attached to them, no pass shield or curving plates. Just a simple leather boot with twelve PU moulded studs on the bottom, four at the back and eight on the front. I slipped them on and unlike the other speed boots I have tried, I felt instant comfort. It was as though I had owned the boots for ages. Things looked positive from the start.

pantofola d'oro lazzarini

I have owned the boots since early September, so around five months of usage has given me a fair idea of what they are like. Every game, every training session has been a blister-free experience. It’s hard to put into words how comfortable they are. If you get the right size, and I would recommend that you get either half or a full size down from your usual then they should shape to your feet. Getting your normal size may leave too much room in the top, it’s a personal preference but for me a tighter fit is needed.

Because of the comfort they feel light on your feet. I would say 80% of the time I have used the boots on 3G turf, so perhaps the lack of mud sticking to the boot is clouding my view. Nevertheless, the times I have played on grass they still feel as light and as comfortable.

The stud layout could well be slightly behind the times. What with adidas Traxion and the bladed equivalent of many other boots, the Pantofola d’Oro could be perceived as lacking in the technology department. For the sake of a few grams I am happy for the high amount of studs. They provide excellent grip and are pretty sturdy. So there is no danger of slipping over.

After five months of use they are holding up well. There are no signs of tears, no rips in the leather and they really have moulded to my feet. The studs have not worn down excessively. The leather is still connected to the sole and there is no evidence that the boot is starting to come apart. The build quality on these boots is nothing short of superb. A little tip, should you choose to purchase a pair, is to also buy some dubbin. It keeps the leather supple and waterproof, so it’s a must have, if you like taking care of your boots.

One small drawback, and it is only small, is the length of the laces. They are ridiculously long. Whether they are intended to be tied around the bottom of the boot, or used as a skipping rope when you are not playing, I’m not too sure. Either way I purchased a pair of shorter laces. So problem solved.

On the pricing front, I paid £90 for my pair. The different models can range from £60 right up to £110. That may seem steep, since Wayne Rooney’s face is not affiliated with them but trust me they are worth the money. Comfort unfortunately has a price, as does exclusivity. I don’t know anyone else who have the same boots as me.

pantofola d'oro lazzarini testimonial

The Pantofola d’Oro boot range is evidence that changing from the mainstream can be a good thing. I like the idea that the company are offering no gimmicks. They are not interested in getting Cristiano Ronaldo down the laboratories to see how he runs or to see how he strikes a ball so the new boot can curve the ball better. The boot is the equivalent to the brand of rice I’m still seeking that will knock Uncle Ben off his perch. In my view, the Lazzarini boots have blown the Nike Vapors and the rest clean out of the water. It is simple barn-door technology. And it works.

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  1. says: Aussie Lad

    Thank Krishna, a decent, educated review about a no-nonsense boot. No stitching to prolong shape, no shot shield, a pair of leather boots. Great write up.

  2. says: Adam

    Loved the review. I have a pair of Pantofola d’Oro turfs and I absolutely love them. The problem is that I wore them so much, the studs are quite small now and I find myself slipping a bit. I’ll probably crack them out in the summer. The only problems I found were that the insoles aren’t the best and the heel counter isn’t very protective – it just gives the boot a bit of structure. The heel counter issue isn’t a big issue in 5-a-side but I can imagine it may be in 11-a-side. However, the boots are top class. The leather is superb and, personally, I think they look top class.

  3. says: channo

    great article! love the “Uncle Ben analogy” 😀 too bad i don’t like how the shoes looked…

    there’s this one small food stall that sells really great noodles. unfortunately, the owner sets the stall near a sewer (forgive me for hanging out in the ugly side of Asia). so most of the times, we have to enjoy our meals accompanied by rats and fly alike.

    the noodle is perfect, it’s absolutely delicious. but a little bit of this and that about the place -depends on a person’s definition of hygiene, could ruin the total satisfaction of your meal.

    i guess i’m also speaking on Adsy L (and more players like us) behalf: that sometimes, we just HAVE to like how it looked.

    to some people that doesn’t really care about rats and flies, as long as it tastes good, then it’ll do.
    but some other people just can’t stand rats and flies. they just can’t stand it. period. (cuz they have their own different degree of consideration).

    some people called us as “shoes enthusiasts”, “groopies”, “fanboy”, “shallow”, etc.
    but using the noodles analogy again: its just that we have different definition of hygiene 🙂

    PS: of course i won’t eat at some fancy, clean and shiny restaurant that sells noodles that tastes awful either! 😉

  4. says: Jay

    i have had 2 pairs of these boots, the moulds and the mixed sole. i went to these boots following a similar dilemma, i wasn’t happy with the vapors with the lace cover and needed something light and simply…………i however, have a different opinion. the boots start off good, first match, i thought, ok i need to wear them in but no, the fact that they are just leather means that contact with the ball can only be explained as awkward. almost as though each toe can feel the ball but not it a good way. the boots begin to lose shape pretty quickly due to the lack of stitching to hold them together and as silly as it sounds, the lace eyelets rust if you play in wet conditions!!!! honestly, they’re nice enough boots but they’re not as good as adidas world cups/copa mundials or similar boots. my advice is to stick to the big brands, unfortunately.

  5. says: Chris

    Cheers for the feedback everyone.

    @ Urip: They are the pictures of the boots after 5 months of use. They were only taken last week when I wrote the review. I don’t see the point in writing a review about a pair of 5-month-old boots and posting up new pictures of them.

    I guess it gives you a good idea of how I keep my boots in order.

  6. says: Chris Davie

    @ Urip: The pictures were taken last week. So that’s how they look after 5 months of use. I didn’t see the point in posting a review on a pair of worn boots and having a new pair pictured next to the review.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I will happily write another in the near future.

    Chris Davie

  7. says: MisterBroom12

    Pantofola d’Oro Dreams were on my top 20 boots of the decade list. Out of the box they feel as if they were conditioned for years.

  8. says: kuuku

    Well, speed boots aren’t the most comfortable. They aren’t designed to be so most heritage and power boots will be more comfortable.

    I would buy these boots, but even for me, they are a bit plain, I am normally a fan of clean classic looks but this doesn’t even have any highlights or a logo to draw attention to the clean look. I’m with channo on this.

    The quality of the boot is unquestionable but cheaper you can get a similar quality boot that has a bit of flash like the reebok valde pros I have now. And as far as I know all reebok boots are comfortable straight from the box. I play with a lot of running and twisting and turning bound to cause blisters and I broke these in on TURF but had nary a problem and 3 weeks later they are as comfortable, durable and good looking as the day I pulled them out of the box…though 3 weeks isn’t exactly five months lol, but it’s easy to tell these are very durable.

    A proper, solid heel counter and tough stuff on the surface of the boot to protect your foot from impacts is also important, lack of technology is sometimes a good thing, but lack of inovation and useful features doesn’t justify a high price on the boot, no matter how much k-leather is being used.

    But this is for price-minded enthusiasts like me though, for others different things are important.

  9. says: jenninson

    i have a pair of these boots but the dream, they are by far the best boots i have ever put on. fit like a glove from the first day have had them for over a year and they still look like new, easy to clean and take care of. great boots

  10. says: Scott - Bristol - England

    I Purchased my SG Lazzarini’s a few months ago, best boots i’ve ever had, well worth the money. However if your stupid, like me and don’t clean your boots with dubbin, the quality of the boot is vastly reduce, the leather becomes stiff. Other than that 5 star!

  11. says: dizzl

    LOL great review!!!

    i have never worn these boots, however i keep coming back to my copa mundials over and over again…i imagine these boots being very comparable to copa mundials….a no nonsense boot with quality leather.

  12. says: quaid

    good review and we wanna see more review of Pantofola d’Oro modeles and none mainstream boots…..

  13. says: ian curtis

    i have a pair of these boots & are probably the best boots i’ve ever worn…

    also, a little bonus with them is no-one has heard of them & everyone loves them…

  14. says: h,gazz

    so may i ask,
    if i wanna get these
    and im a 7.5uk in vapor ivs
    i should get the same size?
    also,do they stretch alot
    due to lack of stitching?
    thanks mate

  15. says: Glen

    Great review the best thing about pantofola is they do more types of boots than any of the big brands, and all those boots come in thrre different types of stud so there is a boot for everyone. It is ridiculous how nike dont do there elite series in soft ground

  16. says: Harry

    Good to see a belting report about them as I’ve just purchased a pair, been looking at them for ages and saving my money. So if the only drawback is mega long laces I think I will be pleased with my investment!

  17. says: Fletcher1990

    these boots look sooooooo good.. just wondering, i have a pair of copa mundials they are size 8 they fit perfectly, which size does anyone reccomend going by that

  18. says: Josephst95

    where can i buy these?!? they dont do this particular sole plate on all the sites ive looked at, would be much appreciated if someone could point me in the right direction

  19. says: Jonathan Farrell

    Hands down the best boots I’ve ever worn. I like you have been through every big brand boot, vapors, the lot! They don’t even come close. I’d definitely advise getting the full size smaller though. The tighter the better. Scouts honour. In terms of comfort, I put these boots on to walk out the house with the intention of taking them off before driving to footie half an hour away but due to the ridiculously high levels of comfort I was experiencing I had to drive in them. It felt criminal to take them off. It just wasn’t fair to my feet. 

    there’s nothing i can add to this review. Its been said. If you’re considering it, just get them, you won’t regret it.

  20. says: Cghiassi

    are the insoles removable? i wear orthopedic insoles…
    please email me on cghiassi@@gmail:disqus .com & let me know
    thank you

  21. says: Old School Master

    Just stumbled across whilst looking for a stockist for the soft ground version. Great review.. oned a pair for about 2 years and they are still serving me well. I play staurday league on grass and twice a week on 3G. Im also a fan of cupa mondials and they are both great in slightly different ways. 

  22. says: FelliniFafe

    Hi…Great review.  I’d like to buy a pair.  I’m normally a 45, US 12.  Do these fit narrow or wide?  A bit nervous about buying them since I can’t try them on first.   

  23. says: alex54

    one question, i wanted to buy them too, but I can only order them online and I have some concerns about the brand. Are they wide ? Cause all those adidas and nike boots seem to be made for people with the narrowest feet on this planet.

  24. says: Drew

    I read several different reviews prior to ordering my pair. I loved he look and always have been a fan of standard leather boots. All the reviews say that they fit comfortably right out-of-the-box but my experience was entirely different. The soleplate and the leather were very stiff and there were even scratches and discoloration! The boots looked great but they didn’t feel that way. I normally wear a 7.5 US which is extremely tight but the leather always breaks in (I only ever wear leather boots after a bad experience with vapors) I ordered a 6.5 UK which is supposed to be the equivalent but the boots were too big. I didn’t want to have to return them since shipping is expensive and would take over a week so I thought I’d try them ut with thicker socks. I wore them for a 5 v 5 game on turf and they didn’t feel good at all, the leather was very stuff. I should add that I soaked them and rubbed them down with dubbin earlier in the day to try to soften them up but that did nothing. I cleaned them up and returned them hoping they would be willing to replace them. The only sign of wear was the three white stars on the bottom looked slightly grey because of the turf. Adidas and Nike have always been great with customer service when returning merchandise but not pro direct. They refused to send me a pair that would fit and instead opted to send my shoes back to me after I spent $40 in shipping to return them. Needless to say I won’t be ordering another pair

  25. says: Sirel Mouchantaf

    Just purchased a pair of turfs. got to this brand because of real leather that is hard to find these days. Will see how they do.

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