Puma Football Boots

PUMA is one of the most recognisable names in the sporting world, and is responsible for some of the most popular and memorable sporting equipment on the market.

Its list of sponsorship deals include some of the biggest names in sport, and it is a name that can be trusted, by everyone, from top athletes to the amateur sportsperson.

In recent times it has enjoyed success through its sponsored athletes, with its sponsored team, Egypt, winning the African Cup of Nations, and Samuel Eto’o, another of its sponsored players, becoming the top scorer in the competition with five goals.

With its upcoming support of five international teams in Euro 2008, the company is predicting record sales and a bright year ahead.

History of success

PUMA’s humble origins date back to 1924, when brothers, Rudolf and Adi Dassler, founded the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik, or the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory.

At the 1936 Olympics, they managed to achieve their first sponsorship deal by encouraging Jesse Owens from the United States to wear their shoes. Owens would go on to win four gold medals, which did not hurt the company’s prospects in the slightest.

However, in 1948, a growing rift between the brothers forced them to split the company, with Adi going on to found Adidas, and Rudolph going on to found Ruda, which would later become PUMA.

Success continued to grow for PUMA, and through notable sporting achievements by athletes wearing its shoes, such as members of the West German football team in their first post-war game in 1948, PUMA began to build a name for itself on the international market, as a product of quality and success.

The company continued to grow, and now distributes in over 80 countries, employing over 7,500 employees across the world in its shoe and clothing empire.

Successful boots

PUMA football boots are known throughout the world for their quality and endurance, with the latest models on the market paying specific attention to speed on the pitch and protection for the player. They incorporate a wide range of technologies in order to keep up the company’s reputation as one of the biggest and best providers of sports gear on the planet.

Their first boot was produced in 1948, and worn by members of the West German football team. Named the PUMA Atom, it was an instant hit that went on to make the brand’s name throughout the world.

It was this boot that led to one of the greatest innovations in football boots. After realising that the model could be improved, the company went on to develop the PUMA Super Atom, which was the first football boot to have screw-in studs, a claim contested by rivals Adidas.

It was this focus on innovation that would lead the brand to its current level of success, and that would define a generation of football boots to come. Indeed, in 1968 they would be the first company to introduce sports shoes with a velcro fastener, continuing this tradition of innovation.

In the same year, the iconic PUMA King football boots were revealed. They would later be worn by Pelé at the 1970 World Cup, and were made famous when he bent down to do up his shoelaces in front of the camera, in a carefully arranged publicity stunt.

As well as Pelé, they would go on to sponsor some of the all-time greats of the sport, including Lothar Matthäus, Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona, who was wearing a pair of PUMAs when he scored the goal now known as the ‘Hand of God’.

Latest models

v1.08

The v1.08 is the latest model from PUMA, released to coincide with the start of the African Cup of Nations football competition.

The official website makes the claim that it will ‘get you to the ball even faster’, which is backed up by a huge amount of technology and hi-tech sounding terminology.

As the tagline suggests, this boot is all about speed, and one of the main factors of a fast boot is the weight. Weighing in at just 220 grams, it certainly adds credibility to the claim of being one of the fastest football boots around.

Appearance

The boot comes in two different colour schemes: Red/White/Black and Black/Dark Shadow/White. Both schemes create a streamlined appearance that suggests it is built for style as well as performance.

A notable feature of the outside of the boot, and one that has become a feature on many of PUMA’s models, is the positioning of the laces slightly off centre, rather than straight down the middle of the foot as in the conventional style.

This novel design increases control of the ball for the player, reduces its impact upon the wearer and also serves to increase the kicking area of the foot to increase accuracy.

Materials and technology

PUMA’s models have always tried to incorporate the latest innovations and technology, and the v1.08 is no exception.

The midsole and the internal chassis are made from carbon fibre and double density TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane). TPU is a tough material which is used in many of the models, and serves to increase stability for the player.

The upper is constructed from textile and microfibre, which is great for durability, increasing the lasting power of the boot. Again, the upper is TPU injected for extra strength and stability.

The outsole is constructed of two pieces, which enhances the fit of the boot and reduces its overall weight.

UNI technology, which is unique to PUMA, is incorporated in the boot, whereby the upper is stitched to the sole to ensure a perfect fit for the wearer.

Click here to view the latest advert for the v1.08.

Specifications

  • RRP: £120
  • Weight: 220 grams
  • Sizes: 6-13
  • Release date: January 2008
  • Models: FG (Firm Ground) and SG (Soft Ground)

v-Konstrukt II

Another of PUMA’s flagship designs, the v-Konstrukt series was revamped with the introduction of this model in January 2007.

This line has always focused on the sometimes forgotten issue of player safety, and the design incorporates numerous features to guarantee the wearer the maximum level of security whilst on the pitch.

The upper is constructed from full-grain leather, which wraps tightly around the top of the foot to maximise comfort and increase player confidence, providing a perfect fit for the player, whilst adding to the protective values of the boot. The material is also lightweight and very thin, making for a light boot without sacrificing any benefits of durability.

The boot comes with extra padding throughout, to minimise ball impact, protecting the foot within and allowing for greater control and confidence on the ball. The heel of the boot is positioned low and close to the ground, providing greater stability for the player.

As with the v1.08, the lacing is positioned off centre once again, which benefits the player by providing a greater area of control, and reducing the impact felt by the foot on contact with the ball.

On a more technical note, the external heel cage is injected with TPU to protect the heel and prevent injuries. The boot also makes use of the unique AptoLast technology developed by PUMA, which is geared entirely for comfort by moulding to the upper around the foot to provide a tight fit.

Specifications

  • RRP: £89.99
  • Weight: 285 grams
  • Release date: January 2007
  • Models: FG and SG
  • Colour: Black/White/Gold

PUMA King Exec

The PUMA King range has achieved almost legendary status amongst players, and there are many who will simply not play in any other boot.

The PUMA King Exec is the latest in a long line of models, and incorporates a few changes to the old design to make this the most popular model ever.

PUMA King speaks of quality, and this has certainly proved the case amongst fans of the boots. However, complaints with the boot tend to focus on the limited amount of durability on offer when regularly used in wet conditions.

This is a negative feature of the leather from which the boot is made. Although there are some who swear by leather as the only material to offer the strength and comfort required by a player, there are those who point out the weaknesses of this material as opposed to its synthetic counterparts, when used in wet conditions,

Again, speed and comfort are the two marketing points of this PUMA product. AptoLast is once again used, as with many of the other boots, to provide a unique fit by conforming to the contours of the foot.

The upper is made of soft-grain leather, which maximises comfort for the player, and is designed to aid control of the ball.

The outsole utilises a TPU plate to enhance pressure distribution, and this also maximises flexibility. This is enhanced by the TPU injected stud configuration, which makes the boot suitable for soft surfaces.

Specifications

  • RRP: £79.99
  • Weight: 300 grams
  • Models: FG and SG
  • Colour: Black/Black/Gold, Black/White/Silver, White/Blue/Red

Other models on the market

v1.06

These boots are the predecessor to the new v1.08, and as such, include many of the key features of the new model.

When they came out they were billed as PUMA’s lightest football boots to date, a claim that has now passed onto their updated version the v1.08.

Similar in appearance to the v1.08, the v1.06 also include a carbon fibre plate for durability and pressure distribution.

The anatomical stud positioning is beneficial to the wearer, and the soft-ground studs offer enhanced grip and stability.

Specifications

  • Price: £99
  • Models: FG and SG
  • Colour: Black/Dark shadow/Silver, White/Jaffa Orange/Silver

v3.06

The v3.06 is another leather model. A member of the ‘V’ series, it is a cheaper and less developed version than the v1.06 and the v1.08 models.

The full-grain leather of the upper is very soft in order to maximise comfort, and tough to enhance durability. It also makes for a light boot, which allows for greater speed.

The external heel frame unit is injected with TPU for toughness and comfort.

The outsole is constructed from Evertrack rubber, and the boot has a pointed stud configuration. This makes the boot ideal for use on hard surfaces or artificial turf.

As a cheaper version of the other models in the ‘V’ series, the boot suffers from problems with looseness during playing, and does not offer as much protection from tackles.

Specifications

  • RRP: £70.00
  • Weight: 212 grams
  • Models: FG, SG and Turf
  • Colour: Ebony/Jaffa Orange/Silver, Shadow/Blue/White

Players in PUMA

Other than the notable names PUMA has attracted to its brand over the last half century, you can currently witness a fine crop of some of the best modern players on the planet wearing their boots. These include:

  • Peter Crouch, Nicolas Anelka, Gianluigi Buffon, Mario Gomez, Samuel Eto’o, Freddie Ljungberg, Alexander Hleb, Emmanuel Eboue, Robert Pirés, El-Hadji Diouf, Eric Djemba-Djemba.