The moment we heard that Puma would be offering a leather version of the new evoPOWER, immediate excitement spread through Instep HQ. The synthetic evoPower surpassed all of our expectations and is an easy contender for 2014’s boot of the year honors once we revisit our “Bootie awards” at the end of the year. While we will post a full comparison post on the leather and synthetic version soon, this post is dedicated to seeing if the leather version is worth the extra $ and still as fantastic as the synthetic version was/is.
Absolutely stunning. The blackout leather look that Puma have given this boot is a knockout. The only other color is a small “evoPOWER” logo near the laces on the outside of the boot, giving the boot a fantastic old-school look. Old-school, until you get closer and see the EverFit cage on the instep and the AccuFoam pads located all over the front half of this boot. While it does mean that there is stitching running across nearly every inch of this boot, it still looks great and would be an easy addition to anyone that likes understated boots. Couple this release with how bright the launch synthetic evoPower was, and it is a perfect foil for Puma.
The leather evoPOWER feels more like a classic boot built for a no-frills leather touch on the ball than a “power” or “control” boot. The leather is a bit thicker than what would have been perfect for this boot to mix the goal of the evoPower with leather, but it is still a nice thickness. The touch is nice and smooth on the ball and the AccuFoam inserts make for a nice addition whenever you bring a ball out of the air or try to strike through a ball. Once again, while it is definitely enjoyable, the boot could be improved by a slightly thinner leather. Perhaps it comes from how impressive the synthetic version was, but the leather version did not have me immediately rushing to tell others about how great it was. The boot still gives a very satisfying punch as you drive through a ball as the AccuFoam and leather blend nicely to give a strong platform to strike with. If we take away a few small aspects, is this a Puma King? The leather evoPOWER does several things very well, but if the Puma evoPOWER is a boot you are interested in, then the synthetic one feels to outshine this one by quite a bit.
Not the most comfortable leather boot we have ever experienced from right out of the box, the fit once the boot has formed to your foot is fantastic. While we mention this later in the sizing, the half-size up was still a bit tight and the leather does not have as much give/stretch as other leather releases currently on the market. Be prepared for a few run-outs in order to get the best fit and the comfort that Puma’s superior insole, the evoPOWER’s quality leather, and flexible soleplate come together to create. While we have already praised the soleplate configuration for the evoPOWER, it cannot hurt to give it another round in the spotlight. A nice blend of blades and conical studs help aid your freedom on the pitch while the Gradual Stability Frame adds-in to make sure that the soleplate will cause zero in-game worries for you.
Perhaps it comes from how much we enjoyed the synthetic evoPOWER and, because of that, how high our expectations were for the leather version, but this boot felt like an impressive boot that slightly underperformed for us. Still, a great leather option and a fantastic looking boot, but wearing and testing the leather evoPOWER had us heading back to the synthetic version as soon as the testing was done. However, if you love the Puma King and are looking for something similar but with a few modern additions, this is the PERFECT boot for you. Keep in mind that this is purely how we felt about the boot, and someone else might actually prefer the leather version. Once again, an impressive move post-PWR-Cat from Puma, but we are left wanting more…
Sizing: Half-size up Similar to the synthetic evoPOWER, this boot absolutely must be ordered a half-size big if you ever hope to fit in it or experience the comfort on show. The leather does not stretch as much as other leather boots and the last still fit a bit tight right out of the box. Simply put, it seems that ordering these true to size would result in you owning a boot that you will not be able to enjoy…