Puma evoPOWER

The truth of the matter is, after years of being a fly on the wall in this industry and watching every equipment release with bated breath, there are aspects of the gear world that can get a bit under the skin. Luckily, my bosses {big thanks to Tony/Drew/and especially Matt [gone but never forgotten;) ]} and long-time partner-in-crime Jordon have always asked me to be completely truthful with reviews, articles, and opinions every single time that I write a post for The Instep. So, when things finally build up to the point where they creep past my filter that exists as some sort of “self-preservation” in this industry, I have to share it.

Enter “The Boot Rant”….Part Deux

My second target (the first was a particularly fiery tirade against “Boots By Position“) is the notion that a boot can make you a better player/improve your shots/increase your speed.

I touched on this in the first rant, but it demands more attention (and greater detail).

First, if there was a boot that could genuinely improve some aspect of your game in a marked way, every player (at any level) would be wearing it. Jordon often tells of the only boot he has noticed a true difference with was the Zygo Deztruct (a bit extra power in his shot), and I have yet to stumble upon any boot myself that has made my shot harder/more accurate/have more spin/insert gimmicky sales tactic here. There are boots that can be extremely satisfying to strike a ball with, a boot particularly fun to sprint in, and boots that might even be more enjoyable to use if you play a certain way. However, there is no boot that will do the work for you…only you can improve these skills.

That leads to my second point, which is that no boot is a substitute for hard work and technique. Sure, jumping up from a Mercurial Veloce to a SuperFly IV because you think your game has improved and you need a “better” boot to continue seems like a great idea, but the only “jump” that will help your game comes from your time spent on the pitch. The commercial may show the F50 wearer getting to the ball first, it might show the Magista wearer playing better passes than the competition, and it may show the evoPOWER breaking goals down with their power, but these are all marketing tactics meant to appeal to the aspect of our game that we enjoy the most. Have you ever gotten beat to the ball by someone wearing a Copa? If you have not, just wait…it will happen (I guarantee that). The only thing I will say about the lightweight boots is that I do feel that they do not give you the same “lead foot” feeling in the 90 minute that some boots can. However, it does not change how fast/slow you are…it’s just how your feet feel.

My last point might sound like it is in direct contrast to the idea of this post, but I will stand by it to the death: a boot can make you worse. Your game flows at its highest level when your confidence is high and when you can place 100% of your focus on the task at hand. If a boot is painful on your foot, does not fit right, or distracts you from your game in any way, it makes you worse. This has nothing to do with pricing…in fact, if a person is able to focus more on their game wearing an F10 than an F50, then they should stick with the F10 (and pocket the $150 price difference…or spend it on the amazing Nike Ordem).

When looking for a boot, the entirety of your focus should be on a boot that you can be comfortable and confident in. Also, understand that a reviewer is a different person than you are…read into the details and make sure that you find the information that means the most to you. I typically hate speed boots, but the current SuperFly IV is one of my favorite boots of all-time…it’s all just a matter of me being confident and comfortable in them!

So, the next time you hear someone ask what boot they need to help them “run faster,” or “shoot harder,” then tell them that what they should truly focus on. As someone that began his time enjoying soccer products by buying into a lot of these ridiculous notions, understand that I see both sides of the argument because I have stood on both sides…and, trust me, this side is the one that rings true. I hope that your next boot gives you supreme confidence…and that you never have to worry if a boot will slow you down or make your shot weaker…

*end rant*


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