No matter how enamored you are with anything that bears a Swoosh or three stripes on the side, the simple truth is that Puma has been the owner of the strongest top-to-bottom stable for the last two/three years. From the evoSpeed, the King, and all the way to the evoPower, there isn’t a weak link in the entirety of Puma’s chain. For anyone that has taken a dip in Puma’s waters, it doesn’t take long to realize that everything is top notch.
The evoPower’s newest update is a big question on whether the one of the few remaining “power” options is still as impressive as the original version, or if this boot is destined to soon go the way of the Predator and T90…(little hint…the evoPower is definitely here for the long haul).
Time to step into the office!
Although the camo version did a perfect job keeping most of the new tech under wraps, the launch colorways hit both sides of the spectrum. The yellow/atomic blue look is a fantastic color combo that will make sure you stand out on any and every pitch. The blue/black set-up is more reserved and will fit into any player’s sensibilities when it comes to their soccer gear.
One thing you definitely notice is the creases along the instep that make their way on to the toe-box. All of these smalls dips and raised areas are where Puma has placed the AccuFoam that has been ever-present on the evoPower series. No matter what colorway we see on this boot in the future, the tech will definitely be easy to spot (we’d love a redux of the “POW” evoPower 1.2!).
Puma’s plan with the evoPower is to provide a great touch on the ball while still making every shot feel like it absolutely leaps off of your foot. The original version definitely set the bar, and, despite falling a bit backwards, the 1.2 still gave you that great blend of touch and power. The 1.3 fixes several of the issues on the 1.2 and moves the boot forward on all fronts.
The upper is totally smooth to the touch, and you definitely can tell that Puma has made sure that your touch on the ball feels totally unhindered. While the AccuFoam is everywhere on this boot, you still get a touch similar to what you’d expect from a very thin leather. Even though this isn’t the first boot we’d think of if we were looking for a barefoot touch, it’s surprising how much we enjoyed our time on the ball in something that’s supposed to be a “power” boot. Short passes and quick flicks feel great, and (even though the boot shines all the greater when putting true power behind the ball) it’s obvious how far Puma has come with their synthetics.
The build of the evoPower has always been to create the perfect boot for driving through a ball. With the insane flex of the soleplate and the feel of the upper, the boot is meant to mimic your foot’s natural shape and movement when driving through a ball. Everything used on the evoPower combines to its highest level when shooting: the AdapLite upper provides the light stretch for your foot to bend, the soleplate bends enough in any direction to accomodate the flex, and the AccuFoam gives a nice bit of padding to give that perfect warm sensation when you put your foot into a shot. Whether launching a 30-yard blast, a 65-yard pass, or just putting everything behind a goal-kick, the boot blends to show you exactly what a “power” boot should be all about.
One of the big improvements on this boot from its previous version is on the tongue. The 1.2 had some oddly shaped pods of AccuFoam on the tongue that were in unnecessary places and didn’t totally contribute to the feel of the boot, but the 1.3 still has some slight padding on the tongue while still giving a great feel that doesn’t feel any different than if you address the ball on any other part of the boot.
The flex of the soleplate doesn’t sacrifice any traction and the conical studs throughout the set-up are long enough to help keep you from sliding around even in slightly muddy conditions. However, the length of the studs (and inclusion of blades) makes these a bad option for anything other than natural grass. One of the biggest worries we had with this boot would be, with the natural stretch of the upper and the flex of the soleplate, a large amount of rollover. Luckily, Puma has encased the AccuFoam in such a way on the instep and on the lateral side of the boot that keeps your foot from rolling over during play.
In terms of weight, the evoPower is a surprisingly light boot for how much it has going on. The 1.3 does weigh a bit more than its predecessor, but the boot is still an impressive sub-7 oz boot. Even for players looking for a lightweight option, the evoPower 1.3 still packs a serious punch.
Right out of the box comfort. A synthetic with a slight stretch, some well-placed padding, and Puma’s constant creation of high quality insoles all combine for a dream fit and feel. Although you get a great fit right out of the box and could easily take these straight into a game, the boot does improve as the upper continues to shape to your foot. Where some synthetic boots have difficulty accommodating your foot even after being broken in, the evoPower series has always done a great job of getting the comfort right.
With the laces pulled tight, you feel totally locked in and feel like the boot is hugging the entirety of your foot. Like most evoPowers, this boot is also going to be a good option for a wealth of foot types.
Despite being light, the durability is impressive with the evoPower. If you take care of the boot and use them on the advertised surface, they should last you for well over a season.
Bang For Your Buck
As is usually the case, Puma’s top tier options usually sit comfortably below the boots from the other big companies. The new evoPower 1.3 sits right under the $200 mark and you can definitely find them for a great price from our friends at SoccerPro. Expect to see Puma rolling out a host of new colorways as we get closer and closer to the summer, and you will be able to find all the latest and greatest from the big cat over at SP.
Who’s Wearing It?
Puma’s player stables seem to grow daily, and most of their high profile players can be found in the evoPower. The biggest names, and the ones carrying the advertising torch for the power boot, are Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas, AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli, and a whole bevy of other players. Expect to see all of the folks on the Puma payroll to be rocking the yellow/atomic blue during the big matches, so there will be no missing them.
I’d be the worst liar ever if I had said that we had expected the evoPower to be anything other than impressive. Puma hasn’t really missed their mark for the last few years, and the evoPower has quickly become one of the boot world’s favorites. The 1.3 is no different, and we won’t be too surprised when Puma’s power option is still near the top of the charts when the calendars begin to flip over for 2017.
The evoPower 1.3 has been a joy to test and it will continue to be one of the boots that stays in our boot bag long after this review goes live. Puma is definitely ready for the big stage that is 2016…and their first showing has definitely been a winner. The only mistake made on this boot? The fact that we haven’t been able to enjoy it sooner.
Sizing: True to size
Fulfill your Puma evoPOWER needs at SoccerPro.com.