Pele 1970 Review
The Pele 1970 is a somewhat modern take on a classic style of soccer shoe. While the 1970 first comes across as a very “old-school” soccer shoe, but when you put them on your feet, the feeling is probably not what you would expect. What you get is a shoe that offers a modern soleplate, including a 5mm rise in the heel, and a classic, high quality, kangaroo leather upper. The shoe itself fits fairly wide all the way through, but is still well suited for even narrow footed players. The reason for this is due to the actual leather, which is a little stiffer from right out of the box than you might expect, meaning that there is somewhat of a break-in period. Breaking-in the 1970 is fairly easy, and at no point will you experience any real discomfort, but it just takes some time for the shoe to really soften and start to feel like it is a part of you, like any quality leather shoe should. The unique stitching pattern does a very good job of keeping the leather from over stretching, making sure that the fit remains as snug as possible, even after break-in. The lacing system is slightly to the outside and is very shallow, still allowing you to tighten up the shoe in the mid foot, but leaving the toe box area with a little more wiggle room. The overall fit of this shoe is very comfortable and very solid. The heel is cut on the higher side, so your heel is very securely locked in and there is plenty of ankle support. As far as sizing goes, the 1970 seems to fit a little long, so I would recommend going down half a size for the best fit. Where I would normally wear a size 9US, I needed a size 8.5US for a perfect fit in the 1970. The 1970 offers a very traditional fit, with a slightly modern feel.
The Pele 1970 weighs in at a slightly above average 11.7oz, which is not a huge surprise to me. While this may seem like an obscene amount of weight by today’s standard of soccer shoes, but if you compare it to a more classic shoe like the Copa Mundial, it is exactly on par. Another thing to take into consideration is that the 1970 is pretty much 100% leather, and a fairly rugged and padded one at that. There are not many shoes that are full kangaroo leather past the forefoot, let alone the entire shoe. While this shoe clearly not a shoe that many have there eyes on, you have to appreciate the use of quality materials over weight, just like how soccer shoes used to be.
The 1970 uses a more modern styled stud pattern than its upper may suggest. What you get is a bladed stud pattern, where the blades are shaped like the letter “L”, making for a stud pattern that feels like a combination of conical and bladed studs. The reason for this is because the “L” shape doesn’t allow the stud to dig as deep into the ground, so you get some of the grip that you would get from the blades, but because they don’t dig as deep, you get that little bit of extra mobility that your standard bladed stud pattern would not normally provide. It is also worth noting that there is a 5mm rise in the heel, which is supposed to reduce the risk of injury. The lift is somewhat noticeable, but is something that you can easily get used to and will forget about after only about 20 minutes of use. This is a stud pattern that will perform well on nearly any type of surface and is even turf friendly. It doesn’t do anything revolutionary, but it gets the job done.
The touch on the 1970 is not off from what I expected it to be, simple. The upper is a slightly more bulky leather than most other “modernized classics” on the market. Especially from brand new, the leather will feel a little on the stiffer side, but once the shoes begin to wear in, the touch only improves. It is certainly worth noting that entire upper is coated with a shiny finish, which gives the shoe very sticky to the touch from brand new. While this may feel a little weird at first, the coating will wear away fairly quickly, not wear it disappears, but to where it becomes much less sticky. Think of the coating as more of a protective coating for the leather, rather than a grip element. Another key feature that you can’t really miss is the large flap tongue which bears the company logo. It is one of those elements that is quickly disappearing from modern soccer shoes, and is an element that many prefer to be gone. Normally it doesn’t really bother me to have the flap over tongue, but I did find the tongue on the 1970 to be a little on the bulky side, and while I don’t think that it will at all hinder the quality of your touch, it is still noticeable. The overall feel is definitely on the padded side, which many love, including myself, but plenty of others do not. If you are looking for a truly classic feel, you will like the way that the 1970 feels.
The 1970 is pretty barebones when it comes to shooting. There are no striking elements of any kind, leaving you with a big patch of leather in between your foot and the ball. The laces are pushed to the outside, so the instep and top of the foot are left clean, with nothing in the way. It is also arguable that the coating on the leather does provide some extra grip, but these effects are very minimal. The solid fit in the heel makes for a very solid feel when striking the ball and the soleplate provides plenty of stiffness. Shooting feels exactly how it should in a leather shoe.
There are more and more foot injuries with the modern soccer shoes in comparison to the amount there were 20 years back. The 1970 is a perfect example of how protective a simple soccer shoe can be. The leather is solid and provides plenty of protection against impact, should you get stepped on. The internal, plastic heel counter comes higher up the back of the heel, providing even more solid protection. To sum things up, the 1970 feels very safe and will definitely provide you with plenty of protection.
The quality of materials is fantastic. Every single element of this shoe uses premium materials, and it all comes together to make a very solid soccer shoe. This again goes back to that “old school” direction of soccer shoes, where the shoes were built to last. I am 100% confident that the 1970 will last an entire season, with little to no issues. Keep in mind that this is a natural leather shoe, so some maintenance is required to keep these shoes in good shape.
The 1970 is one of the only soccer shoes on the market that really tries to captivate the feel of soccer shoes from several years ago, while including some of the modern technologies of today. The leather quality is some of the best from any soccer shoe, and will allow for a good fit for nearly any foot type. If you are a fan of that “old school” feel or are looking for truly quality kangaroo leather soccer shoe, the Pele 1970 is a great option.
Comfort/Fit 9 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 59 out of 70 or 84%