The Puma evoSpeed 1.2 are one of the latest additions to Puma’s burgeoning line of boots. The 1.2, is somewhat of a mix between a retro yet contemporary style, and is designed to give the player maximum efficiency when it comes to speed.
For the purpose of this review, I wore a 10.5 in the Black/Fluo Yellow/Brilliant Blue colorway and the opinions in this review were based on multiple training sessions. The boots are also available in pink to support breast cancer awareness, or Blackberry Cordial/Fluo Orange/Fluo Pink.
Updates in the evoSpeed 1.2 include:
- The EverFit Cage designed for stability and flexibility when making sharp turns
- DuoFlex technology in the outsole with updated stud configuration to enhance maneuverability
- A MicroFiber upper which is softer and lighter than ever, hopefully improving your first touch and strike
- SpeedTrack spine in the outsole with increased support and stability
Alright, so there’s a pattern I’ve been noticing when I’ve been reviewing Puma boots and that’s the time it takes to break them in. I first wore these boots when doing a goalkeeper training session which lasted about an hour, and by the end I had blisters on both my litte toes. I somewhat expected this, but not to the extent that I would end up with soreness and blisters.
I believe that there were a couple of things at play here. The first being that Puma’s boots tend to run narrow, which was one of the issues I first noticed when unboxing them. The second being that the Keeper session I ran was the first time I wore them, and I was doing a lot of shots on goal during the session. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have worn them for the very first time during that session, but I didn’t expect to get blisters on both feet either.
However, the more often I wore the evoSpeed 1.2 boots, the more comfortable they became and I have no problems with the comfort level now. I’ve also adjusted the laces so that they don’t go all the way through the top set of holes, so that’s made things a little better.
As a coach, I’m always aware of the nuances that boot manufacturers implement to try and help the technical side of a players game, so I try and not get too carried away when judging boots based on their updated design and technology usage. What I’m seeing recently in latest releases is the use of inverted or everted cones on the striking zone (or dimples to you and me).
If you’re looking for these dimples to radically improve your first touch, it’s not going to happen, that will come with consistent and efficient practice. But, they’re certainly not going to have a negative impact, and if these dimples give you increased confidence as a player, then I’m all for it. They’re just just part of the overall package that the 1.2 boot range offers.
These boots are currently priced at $184.99 at soccer.com, and I would look at getting a GoalClub membership to get a little decrease on the price. But that being said, there are certainly more expensive speed boots out there. I’ve been using these for months, through all different kinds of surfaces and they haven’t suffered any at all. Over time though, since the striking surface is black and has the dimples, they may get scuffed and wear out a little, but again, the dimples aren’t going to have that much of an overall impact so it’s all about making the difference as a soccer player through practice.
I’ve read some reports of the lining coming away at the front of the boot, but that’s not something I’ve experienced during about four months of reviewing. However, if you want to maintain the quality of the studs, I probably wouldn’t wear these on very firm ground surfaces since the studs may suffer more than they would on soft ground.
Whenever you pay around $185 for a pair of boots, you not only want them to last, but you also expect to perform, and the new technology should be an improvement over the previous iteration. I think there’s enough new about the 1.2 evoSpeed boots to be worth the $185. Just.
Puma have staked their claim with the new generation of speed boots and their willingness to put the Puma brand out there for everyone to see on the side of the boots means only one thing, they have a lot of faith in them. The additions of the new cell technology, alongside the new stud configuration, as well as the EverFit cage, mean that they’re serious about performance. Is $185 a lot to spend on a pair of cleats? Absolutely. But you get what you pay for, and so far, they seem great value for money, and coming in at just 7oz, they’re designed for the player who utilizes speed, such as a striker, winger, or attacking midfielder.
Areas for Improvement
If you’re looking for these boots to be playable from the get-go, you’re going to be disappointed. I found them difficult to break-in and it took me several training sessions before I was comfortable wearing them for longer than 90 minutes, but once I did, I was satisfied with their performance.
Another issue I had with these is that I found them to be pretty rigid. The SpeedTrack spine as a feature has a lot of upside, but I would like to see Puma ease off on the rigidity. I found my feet throbbing slightly more than I felt they needed to when I wore them on really firm ground surfaces.
Also, these cleats do run narrow and are tight fitting, so if you’re a player that prefers a less than snug fit, be sure to order half a size up.
The Final Say
Players who wear the Puma evoSpeed 1.2 soccer shoes include Gael Clichy, Sergio Aguero, and Yaya Toure to name but a few. As professional players who are among the world’s best, Puma are establishing themselves amongst the world’s elite. However, that’s not to say that these boots are without their problems. The issues I had with the blisters on my toes I’ve never experienced before, and it took me by surprise.
You would be hard pressed to find a boot that would significantly improve your game as a speed player, and the 1.2 evoSpeed are definitely worth a look, but you’ll need to give them time before you fully experience the benefits the boots offer.