The Sub’s Bench

These three boots I would call my Auxiliary boots. All in their way not as nice as the Under Armour Dominates but all have their own character.

Puma PowerCat 3.12 SG - White/Blue/Gold

When I first bought these boots I thought they would be brilliant - perhaps the best pair I owned. They were light, wide, comfortable, and strong. But the real analysis and test is from use. Such a disappointment.

Firstly, they seem to sit on the foot a little lower than any other boot I have worn. Sometimes, it almost feel like you’re wearing sandals. You feet feel terribly exposed and any big connections with the ball lack the control one feels in other boots. Secondly, they are a size nine. Every one of my boots is. But they feel like an eight-and-a-half which is frustrating as a consumer wants size consistency. There is around 1cm’s different between these and both the Nike boots (Right) and the Under Armour’s from the previous post. Thirdly, they suffer from separation in the inner heel, a real disappointment and the sign of a cheap boot. I cannot get over the fact that so many boots - even expensive ones fall apart the moment you start to give them any use apart from simply looking at them - and these are a victim of such poor quality.

On the positive side, they look good when you wear them for the first few games - but - the first few games?? I want a pair of boots to last a whole season at least. They’re Soft Ground boots, so they would not even be used all year but they feel like they’ve been around for twice as long as the Under Armour’s when they have probably been here for about a quarter of the time…

They do look good - and that why I bought them. But if you want to play football in them I simply suggest you don’t. Perhaps it’s me, perhaps I purchased the wrong Puma’s, but there is something Puma need to look at in terms of longevity - if all the other brands can do it then so should Puma.

Lotto Puntoflex FG - White/Blue
Firm Ground boots, so have only had the chance to play with them on a Rubber Crumb pitch. The leather is the crummy synthetic stuff, so it will feel like you’re playing football with your feet in a pair of drainpipes. The laces/strike zone is good - if you connect it will ping straight, but their pointy-brogue nature means any type of pinpoint cross or outside boot pass is inconsistent. And I say that purely as an (slightly above) average footballer.

The design is simple, nice and refreshing for the classic Italian wannabe striker, but they’re not much kop. The FG studs on the bottom are great though - a wide panoply of studs that you would love to see on other boots when they only have the six-stud setup. 

It’s clear I prefer material inner heels but the fact that they have the synthetic leather to ‘protect’ your feet means you will get blisters. Ahh blisters. That reminds me…

Nike Air Zoom Total 90 - Grey/Silver

A personal message to Nike. If you make a boot that not only creates a blister - but a rips off flesh through a sock and an ankle strap - don’t make them like this.

They actually have the best feel in terms of a long pass out of any boot I own. Crosses are effortless, as they have a great round shape to the front of the boot.

I played a fantastic match in these, but did feel a pain. After the game (sorry to be graphic) but the flesh, not just skin, fell away from my foot. Nike I love your boots, I love NikeTown, and all of your stuff - but oh dear - these are a disaster.

Okay - good points - they look like a throwback to boots they wore when Football was in black and white, I felt like Jimmy Greaves or somebody in them, and the grip from the studs are great even in the boggiest mud baths. They also fit higher up the foot, great in comparison to the Puma’s. But those heels Nike, those heels! Goodness me. I have played football since a young lad so I know what I am talking about - no matter what you try, you will lose patience with these once you have got through your fifth or sixth pair of feet. There is no point in designing a cool boot, with all the bells and whistles if you cannot meet Maslow’s basic needs. Let me wear them without crying after, please!