If you were asked to name the most successful football boot of the 2008 / 2009 season, the PUMA v1.08 would be right up there.
Nicolas Anelka wore it whilst becoming the Premier League’s leading scorer whilst on the Continent, the football boot received brilliant coverage through the exploits of Barcelona’s Samuel Eto’o. The striker, now at Inter, was even wearing it when he scored the first goal in the Champions League final against Manchester United.
Today, PUMA launches its latest speed football boot range, the v1.10.
As the successor to the v1.08, we’d been hoping that some of the early images that started floating around cyber-space at the start of the year were wide of the mark. Sadly, they weren’t. Having received two pairs of the new football boots, we can report that the v1.10’s are something of a let down.
No doubt other reviews will be more flattering, but at Footy Boots, we don’t answer to any retailers so therefore, we are at liberty to give it to you as we see it. So buckle up…this is going to be a rough ride.
Whilst retaining some of the basic shape and measurements, the flowing lines that were achieved by the v1.08 seem to have been thrown out in favour of a more clumpy, thick set sort of look. Put these new football boots next to the Gold / Black v1.08’s and they look like a hurriedly discarded prototype rather than the finished article. We always thought that the v1.08 (and the elegant v1.815 Ferrari) had the look of a boot that could have been created by Vincent van Gogh. By comparison, the v1.10 design is more reminiscent of Dick van Dyke.
The colourways also leave a lot to be desired. Whilst the Red / Black / White is OK, the Blazing Yellow / Red screams out ‘notice me, please notice me’ like a long forgotten supermodel trying to attract the attention of a Hello magazine photographer at a Z list party.
PUMA should look at the way that Nike used the Voltage Yellow colourway in the Superfly or Vapor V. They have a look of superiority and subtlety about them. The v1.10 is about as subtle as a roast beef sarny at a vegetarians tea-party. And with the web styling within the PUMA flash combined with the bright yellow, it’s all a bit Bananaman meets Spiderman.
As one of our boot testers pointed out, while the yellow colourway may well appeal to a number of African nations (which is where PUMA are obviously aiming the football boot) it reminded him of the arches of McDonald’s. McDisaster!
Additionally, we are not sure about the lace cover. Whilst appreciating that they are almost ‘de rigueur’ these days, it’s disappointing that PUMA didn’t buck the trend and stay with the uncovered off centered lacing.
Such was the success of the v1.08 that we think PUMA could be taking one all-mighty risk here by including it now. Let’s hope for their sake that the likes of Eto’o and Anelka are well tied in to a contract to use them. If not, PUMA could always approach Jin-Hyung Song who wore the v1.10’s while playing for Newcastle Jets versus Sydney FC in round 7 of the A league last weekend.
One last gripe – it’s a shame to see they haven’t changed the toe end of the football boot back to the more ‘classic’ shape of the v1.06 as we know that some users have found the v1.08 range a little uncomfortable, particularly those who have second toes longer than their big toes.
There are positives – it’s extremely lightweight. Fantastically so in fact. It also features an advancement of PUMA’s revolutionary UNI technology in which the upper is stitched – not glued or lasted – to the sole.
And like all PUMA products, it’s well put together with extra support in the heel, a new one-piece outsole design which offers some serious traction and a carbon fibre inner chassis which gives the boot good support and strength.
Finally, the upper of the football boot is made from lightweight microfibre and synthetic leather which is thin, abrasion resistant and is reinforced on key pressure points.
It might yet grow on us, but all in all, the PUMA v1.10 reminds us of a clever but underachieving 13 year old at college. The kind of pupil who comes home all too regularly bearing a note from his / her teacher saying ‘could do better’.' Sorry PUMA, extra lessons most definitely required.
Retail sale: 10th October
UK sizes: 6 – 11
Price: Between £100 and £120