Within the world of boots, we often get caught up presenting everything that we enjoy as a package deal with the boots that we discuss. If you’re wanting to discuss the beauty of the Puma’s leather usage on boots, we typically find ourselves focusing solely on one of their boots…be it the Puma ONE or some of their past creations, we typically never just praise one component that a band does well. So, it’s time to start slicing and dicing up some of the best boots on the market (and maybe a few that aren’t so great as a whole unit) and see what we think each member of the “big three” is best at in today’s footy world.
Puma currently has a ton going for it, but it sometimes feels like a ton of stuff that just isn’t getting recognized by the public. The big cat giants testing the potential of NetFit, really giving a go with EvoKnit, and the evoPower is STILL one of the most underrated boots on the market. However, while some brands have given one or two winners when they turn to the classic stylings of leather, Puma hasn’t had a leather “miss” since the evoPower 1.2 leather. Whether dabbling in kangaroo, calf, or something that they simply call “leather,” it’s always a winner from Puma. Every version of the ONE is incredible, but the leather versions show that anything that the big cat drenches in leather is markedly improved. It will be interesting to see if the FUTURE or any upcoming boots from Puma take advantage of their track record, but we definitely think that putting their NETFIT system on a lightweight kangaroo leather boot would be a world beater. The only sad part about Puma’s current line-up is that we don’t have many boots to see them utilize leather with…fingers crossed we see a King revival at some point.
There is no doubt, especially when one looks at the current Nike line-up, that FlyKnit is a precious commodity for the American juggernaut. However, after the introduction of the FlyKnit Ultra, HyperVenom GX, and Tiempo VII, it seems that the FlyKnit aspect of Nike boots isn’t going to be leaving the market any time soon. These three boots have shown that Nike can develop a FlyKnit tongue that has an incredible fit with great lockdown, and then surround that FlyKnit with an array of different materials and styles. This means that they can start with that incredible fit (possibly the best on the market), and then turn in any direction they choose. We definitely expect the upcoming Nike boots to utilize this style, and wouldn’t be surprised if everything that hits the pitch in Russia next summer to have this FlyKnit dependent tongue. Not only is FlyKnit what Nike currently does best, but it might be what Nike uses to propel themselves back into BEING the best.
Before the adidas revolution, there was no doubt that Kanga-Lite and Nike ruled the synthetic roost. Adidas had long depended on a leather Predator, leather adiPure, and leather Copa to compete. However, a shift to boots that demanded high quality synthetics meant that the three stripes had to start improving one of their biggest deficiencies. Fast forward to the Predator, Nemeziz, and adidas X, and you have three of the best synthetic materials on the boot market. Almost forced to avoid PrimeKnit dependence because of Nike’s FlyKnit obsession, adidas would be floundering without the synthetics on all of their current silos. The Predator has a softness that the previous ACE models lacked (thanks to the synthetic), the Nemeziz has one of the softest synthetics in the market, and the X+ has shown that adidas can blend the right amount of padding with synthetic to give comfort and touch. If adidas is to continue to rule the roost, it will be on the back of their superior synthetics.
What are your thoughts on the matter? What is it that Nike does better than everybody else? Adidas? Puma? Are there other brands that you think are miles ahead with certain aspects of boot production? I’d say Under Armour has the best factory insoles and that Mizuno has the best out-of-the-box comfort. Do you have any additions to the list? Or, have we uncovered the best of the boot world? Let us know in the comments.