Today Puma released their much-hyped Puma evoPOWER line in the launch color of Fluro Peach with Ombre Blue and with it, new boot technology and loads of marketing. We’ll get to the tech specifics in a minute, but first things first, was there ever anything behind that mysterious marketing campaign Puma ran in anticipation of the evoPOWER? Sure enough, we got the full video today with the release of the actual launch boot:
It’s an entertaining – if a bit cartoonish – take on professional players testing product prototypes. Are there actually men in white coats running around measuring stuff while Ronaldo tests the latest Nike Mercurial or when Cesc Fábregas tests the latest Puma cleat? Probably not, but it’s fun to imagine it that way. The promotional video is a star-studded Puma athlete affair as well. Fábregas and Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus test the evoPOWER while Thierry Henry watches the footage at an “undisclosed location”. At the end, we get a Godzilla-esque shot of Mario Balotelli surveying the damage he just inflicted on a crumbling stadium. These international soccer stars do add some prestige to the release, however I’m skeptical when it comes to Henry’s future acting career (“The power… it’s unbelievable.” *awkwardly leans against brick wall*).
Now to the big question: Is the new boot actually worth all the hype? That’s up to you to decide, but it turns out Puma actually did apply new technology and design to the evoPOWER. The upper contains something known as AdapLite, which is a one-way stretchable microfiber. This material is meant to give way enough for the foot to bend in a barefoot kicking motion, which allows for optimum power through the ball. Puma also adorned the upper with AccuFoam. This creates an even and clean surface to strike the ball for supreme accuracy while still making for a comfortable fit near the toes.
The EverFit Cage External near the heel (the yellow strip with holes in it) is what provides the stability on the boot without constricting the natural feel and striking power. Finally, the most interesting bit of new technology is the Gradual Stability Frame. Since the design theme of the evoPOWER seems to be mimicking the barefoot kicking motion in a soccer cleat, how do you allow for this on the outsole, or bottom of the cleat? Puma thinks they have found the answer with the Gradual Stability Frame, which looks and works almost like a backbone. In allowing the outsole to flex in a similar manner to when your foot is bare, the GSF unleashes the natural power of your foot. This is a lightweight, yet stable way to achieve Puma’s goal of creating a super flexible boot that possesses ultimate power.
Replacing the PowerCat, the Puma evoPOWER enters the market not just to exist as an alternative to Puma’s speed boot, the evoSPEED, but also to cut into the sales of the Nike and adidas power boot options. It remains to be seen if other athletes besides Puma’s Balotelli, Fabregas, and Reus will sport it or if the evoPOWER will become a long-time success. For now, we can at least be assured that Puma has brought new technology to the table. The retail date is February 1st, so the feedback will start trickling in shortly on the technology’s quality and we can begin to see if the new boot silo on the block could be a major player.