With nearly every major brand (and even some of the smaller ones) seeming to have returned to the drawing board recently, it seems like there are more boots on the market that are truly unique and seem to draw very little inspiration from a predecessor or other item that is available. Although most of the focus is currently being diverted to Nike’s new World Cup products, Puma decided to strike a little bit earlier with the introduction of the Puma EvoPower. While most would see this as the next step in the always-impressive PWR-Cat line from Puma, this release stands alone…but will it be as impressive as the silo it essentially replaced? Let’s take a look…
While “Peach” might be a kind term for the colorway that we received, I am a huge fan of how bright Puma went with the first EvoPower release. I am sure more subdued colorways will be available eventually, but the bright red boot with blue Puma cat and yellow EverFit cage on the instep all seem to blend together perfectly. The bumps caused by the accufoam in the upper can look a bit odd, but it does not take away from the overall package. While early pics of the EvoPower on Mario Balotelli had us thinking there was a hole in the heel, it is merely a rubbery synthetic that seems to have very little actual function, but it provides a decent accent to the boot. However, as I previously said, be aware that the launch colorway is AMAZINGLY bright…but, we at The Instep really like that.
A fantastic synthetic known as AdapLite and the AccuFoam pads have blended together perfectly here to make every moment that the ball is (or isn’t!) at your feet an absolute dream. Considering that Puma have created this boot with the idea of absolute foot freedom in mind, every action with the EvoPower seems that much easier and that much sweeter. Where I was terrified that the pads would dampen the feel of the ball and decrease feel for the ball, nothing could have been a more incorrect assumption. The thin nature of the AdapLite lends itself to great touch on the ball but has a proper amount of thickness for receiving the ball in your instep or anywhere else on the boot.
Striking a ball with the EvoPower is a completely different experience than any other boot on the market. The flexibility of the soleplate and of the upper lets your foot feel as unrestricted as possible when you drive through the ball. While thinking that the AccuFoam pads give your shot any extra power would be a bit daft, they do help give a truly gratifying feel when you strike through a ball.
There are several boots that feel fine right out of the box and boots that seem to have zero break-in time required, but none of them seem broken-in AND have the ability to wear them right-out-of-the-box and into a game like the EvoPower. The AdapLite and EverFit Cage have been utilized perfectly by Puma and the boot fits snugly but with plenty of quality in the upper to keep you from getting blisters or uncomfortable. The tongue has been given some foam inserts as well to prevent lace-bite, and it works well.
A mix of blades and conical studs also give great traction while being dispersed in a way that stud pressure should definitely not occur. This outsole also has amazing flexibility that aids in allowing the aforementioned freedom of movement, but seems durable enough to last several seasons without becoming damaged. While I hate to gush over a boot this much as it makes the review seem a bit impossible to believe…I truly encountered nothing with this boot that would give me pause when considering one for purchase.
An absolute stunner from Puma that has resulted in my early favorite for boot of the year. The fit is flawless, the comfort amazing, the touch fantastic, and every piece of technology seems to have a legitimate use and they all function well together. While the lowered weight and new look might not scream “power” as the name of the boot would suggest, the build and Accufoam pads help make for an impressive experience whenever addressing the ball. For me, Puma have quickly made the PWR-Cat silo a distant memory and brought me quickly into the EvoPower “fanboy” fold. If this is what happens when Puma goes back to the drawing board, then I would love for them to take that chance more often! If you do not have one already, if you get the chance to snag one, or if someone asks what you want for any gift-giving holiday: Puma EvoPower…you will not be disappointed.
SIZING: Half-size up
Despite the upper being amazingly pliable and seeming to fit perfect straight out-of-the-box, there is no doubt that my foot would have been unable to handle the length of the boot if I had not ordered a half size up. Luckily, we had been able to try them on a bit early to see the sizing, so we made sure to test the boot in the right size. Interestingly enough, it seems that its leather counterpart also shares this sizing situation…