Pantofola d’Oro Lazzarini Review
It is nice to see that there is a brand out there, dedicated to producing truly quality soccer shoes, with a classic design. Soccer shoes have become all about being flashy, and with the introduction of synthetics, many people have forgotten how nice a traditionally styled shoe can be. The Lazzarini shows how good a simple shoe can be.
The Lazzarini just looks comfortable. Comfort is just something that is expected from pretty much and traditionally styled leather soccer shoe, and that’s exactly what you get with the Lazzarini. The upper is constructed from one-piece of the softest calfskin leather that I have ever felt. The leather is very soft against your foot and is super flexible, allowing for a very comfortable fit. Your foot is pretty much completely wrapped in leather with the Lazzarini, with the tongue and heel liner both being calfskin leather as well. Overall, the shoe is very comfortable through its simplistic design, but keep in mind that there is a break-in period. The shoe is very comfortable from right out of the box, but it doesn’t truly begin to feel like it is “Your” shoe, until you’ve given the shoe at least 5 hours or so to mold to your feet. You will notice a dramatic difference in the overall feel of the shoe after just 30 minutes or so, but trust me when I say, the more you wear them, the better they get. Stretching plays a big roll in the overall fit of the Lazzarini, and the shoe will stretch a significant amount. Getting the right size is crucial if you want the shoes to fit properly after break-in, similarly to the Adidas Copa Mundial. I wore my usual size 9US for review and I found them to fit just a tad longer than your average size 9US. If I were ever to get another pair, I would definitely order half a size down, to ensure a tighter fit in the length, and just a better fit overall after stretching. What I was somewhat concerned about with this particular shoe was over stretching. Luckily that didn’t seem to be an issue, and I wouldn’t worry about it, given that you get the proper size. As far as the width of the shoe is concerned, there really isn’t much of a predetermined width to the shoe. The shoe will stretch and form to pretty much any foot shape or width, so pretty much any foot type will be able to get a great fit from the Lazzarini. Imagine a pair of leather socks, and that’s pretty much what the Lazzarini feels like on your feet.
The Lazzarini, not surprisingly, weighs slightly more than most modern soccer shoes currently on the market. The modern standard seems to be at about 10oz, where the Lazzarini weighs in at 11.6oz in a size 9US, with the mixed sole stud pattern. This is almost exactly the same as the Adidas Copa Mundial, which is what I would say is a comparable shoe to the Lazzarini, and considering that this is a mixed sole, with metal studs, that’s pretty good. I would anticipate the standard Firm Ground stud pattern version to weigh in at something around 1oz less, which makes this shoe impressively light for how solidly built it is. Considering that every element of this shoe is leather, really makes for a unique feel on the ball. Obviously the Lazzarini is the type of shoe that doesn’t exactly appeal to everyone, the ones that it does appeal to won’t be complaining about the weight.
The pair that I tested, as stated earlier, was the mixed sole version, but the actual stud configuration is still very traditional, and is exactly the same as that of the Adidas Copa Mundial. If you were to take the Stud pattern of the Copa, and just replace six of the studs with screw-in, metal studs, you get the mixed sole Lazzarini stud pattern. The 12-stud design offers a nice blend of grip, as well as offering plenty of maneuverability once your foot is planted. The forefoot features four studs on the outside, three studs on the inside and one support stud in the middle, while the heel features your standard four studs. What’s cool about the this particular mixed sole design is that the stud screw-in spots are pretty much flush with the rest of the soleplate, so you can replace the metal studs with a set of plastic set, making for a pair of shoes that can be used for soft ground or firm ground. Overall, the traditional stud pattern is not going to surprise anyone in terms of performance. It is the original industry standard, as far as stud patterns go, and is proven to work well.
The Lazzarini offers one of the nicest touches on the ball that I have ever experienced. In terms of leather quality, the Lazzarini is probably the best that I have ever seen on any soccer shoe. The upper is crafted from what appears to be a single piece of premium calfskin leather, making for a very soft touch on the ball. I know what you’re thinking, calfskin? Calfskin, just like kangaroo leather, is a premium type of leather, with varying levels of quality. The calfskin leather used on the Lazzarini is extremely high quality, and is just so soft. Once the shoes begin to get thoroughly worn in, the leather softens up to the point where the upper collapses on itself when the shoe isn’t on your foot! You also get a full leather tongue that matches the exact thickness of the rest of the upper, so the touch on the ball across the entire foot is uniform. Juggling the ball in a pair of Lazzarinis just feels fantastic. The leather is not too thick and not too thin, offering just the right amount of cushion and feel on the ball. It truly is something special, and any fab of leather soccer shoes will love the feel of the Lazzarini.
Striking the ball in a pair of Lazzarinis is nothing that should surprise you. The natural padding of the upper feels great, offering some extra padding between your foot and the ball. The shoe itself just has a very solid feel to it, so I really enjoyed striking the ball in the Lazzarini. Nothing here should surprise you as far as feel is concerned when shooting, but fans of a no nonsense style shoe will feel right at home.
The Lazzarini is by no means a thin shoe, and the natural padding of the leather provides plenty of protection on its own. Just the bulk of the leather alone, will do a very good job of absorbing the majority of the impact should you get stepped on. There is also an internal plastic heel counter, offering you some extra protection in the heel area of the shoe. Overall, the Lazzarini is a very safe shoe, which is pretty much the case with any traditionally styled soccer shoe.
The build quality and the quality materials of the Lazzarini is undeniably some of the best available to the public. Each shoe is hand made in Italy, just as they have been since 1886, and it shows in the final product. Anything from Pantofola d’Oro is on the next level as far as quality is concerned. While the shoe is very solidly made and uses only the finest quality materials, the Lazzarini still requires plenty of regular maintenance if you want to keep them in optimal shape. The first major difference that you will notice once you finish wearing them is moisture intake. The leather upper takes absorbs a lot of liquids, whether it be water or sweat, all of the materials used on this shoe will take on water. Even the heel is lined in calfskin leather, so properly drying the Lazzarinis after each use is very important. Also, don’t expect the Lazzarinis to be dry after only a couple of hours, they need at least 24 hours or so to fully dry out. Also note that the entire upper is constructed from natural leather so regular maintenance is required to keep the upper in optimal condition. One last thing to note is that the firm ground or soft ground versions of the Lazzarini was not designed for use on artificial surfaces, and use of the Lazzarini on an artificial surface will have a major impact on the durability of the boot. Overall, the Lazzarini is a shoe that is built to last, but it definitely is a little more high maintenance than most modern shoes if you want to keep them in good shape. Given that you give them plenty of care and attention, you should be able to get a long life out of your Lazzarinis.
The Lazzarini is a very impressive shoe. Offering the highest quality materials, and an extremely high quality fit and feel, this is what I would consider to be one of very few “luxury” shoes on the market. Pantofola d’Oro is a special company in that they offer the public the same quality and craftsmanship that would normally only be made available to the professionals. It is a shoe that most definitely is not for everyone, and appeals only to the “elitist” in the world of soccer shoes. They truly are a special pair of shoes.
Comfort/Fit 10 out of 10
Weight 7 out of 10
Traction 8 out of 10
Touch 10 out of 10
Shooting 8 out of 10
Protection 9 out of 10
Durability 8 out of 10
Final Score 60 out of 70 or 86%