Puma King Finale Review
Premium kangaroo leather upper with synthetic suede ankle lining for maximum comfort and durability. Fold over tongue provides greater strike zone. Cushioned comfortable EVA insole. TPU injected outsole with conical stud configuration. For use on firm, natural surfaces.
This is a unique boot from Puma in that there are no attempts to add any form of modern technological innovations on the boot, trusting that the style and heritage of the Puma King reputation is enough to compete with other boots in its’ category. From the first time that you hold this boot in your hand, you can immediately see the detail and quality of this boot, making this a very comfortable boot. The heel is lined with a synthetic swede material that is super soft and very comfortable. The shoe also has a nice and soft silk-like material that just feels very high quality and suits the boot perfectly. One of the biggest fit elements when you look at a kangaroo leather boot is the boot fits from right out of the box. Because kangaroo leather will always stretch, the fit should be very tight in any area where there is kangaroo leather, which in this case is the front of the boot. When you put this boot on for the first time, in the proper size, you will most likely feel like the boot is on the verge of being too tight and feel like you need to go a half size up. Please do not go a half size up. If you truly want the best fit out of these boots, you need to give them some time to break in and form to your feet. Give this shoe about an hour of light practicing out on a field and they will form and stretch to perfectly match the shape of your foot. This makes the boot feel really great on your feet and is also the reason why the boot is so comfortable. The soleplate on this boot is also much thicker than what you would get from most modern soccer shoes and I would say is of similar thickness to the Copa Mundial. This means that there is no stud pressure and the boot will remain comfortable for longer, as the soleplate will not break down as quickly. Another unique part of this boot that I really liked was the insole. The heel area of the insole has a piece of memory foam inside of it and it really provides a nice amount of cushion in the heel area. As far as the fit goes, like I said before, the shoe will fit very snug in the width at first, but after some break-in, will form beautifully to pretty much any foot type. This shoe runs true to size as well. I wore my usual size 9US for review and would recommend that you order your normal size.
Given that this is a shoe that hasn’t sacrificed anything to shave weight, it is actually one of the lighter heritage styled boot, weighing in at 9.2oz. If you compare it to the Legend IV at 9.6oz and the adipure IV at 9.8oz, it’s pretty impressive that this boot is actually lighter. This boot is a little below average weight for soccer shoes and certainly doesn’t feel like a heavy boot at all. Once the boot molds to your foot, I would say that it is hardly noticeable.
As this is a very traditional styled soccer shoe, the stud pattern that it uses is also very traditional. What you get is four conical studs at the heel as well as conical studs at the front of the shoe. This stud pattern doesn’t use any bladed studs, like you see on the Legend IV, but I didn’t find that any traction was lost because of it. The reason that I have always preferred conical studs over blades is that you never feel locked in to the ground when planting your foot. I feel that conical studs have a concentration more on agility and being light on your feet, where as blades have always been solely about grip. It’s very difficult to differentiate one conical stud pattern from another because performance-wise, they always end up being the same, which is not a bad thing at all. If you’re a fan of conical studs or have found some bladed stud patterns to be too aggressive, than you will definitely like the stud pattern that the King provides.
This boot really is a good example of why kangaroo leather is one of the best, if not the best material, for a soccer shoe. Once the boot has molded to your foot, the soft leather acts as a second skin, making your touch on the ball very true and very consistent. I found the leather on this boot to be the perfect thickness , providing just the right amount of padding when touching the ball. This is one of those shoe that feels like it controls the ball for you, and although this is certainly not true, the feeling remains incredible. The one strange, but good, aspect on this boot is the flap lace cover. This has become a thing of the past for almost all soccer shoes, so I was surprised to see that Puma chose to stay true to the heritage styling of the King, leaving it on the boot. From just looking at the tongue, I found it to be pretty thick and somewhat bulky, but once I had the shoes on my feet and started playing, I found it to be next to unnoticeable. Even when juggling and performing stalls, I couldn’t even tell that it was there. I actually came to like the flap over tongue because, due to an excellent Velcro securing system, the flap always stayed down and was a nice cover for my laces.
Like I describe shooting with most heritage styled boots, there are really no shooting gimmicks. All you have is the clean striking surface of the leather, and in reality, that is all that you need. If you think back, all of the legends who played back in the day all used boots very similarly styled to this one. There were no “power” boots. If you can shoot a ball, you will still be able too without having some kind of rubber elements on the boot. The one thing that I can say about this boot is because the front of the shoe molds to fit very tightly to the foot, I found that small, precise chip shots were pretty easy due to the lack of bulk in material on the boot.
Honestly, in terms of build quality and attention to detail, this is probably the nicest boot that I have ever seen. The materials are of a super high quality and there doesn’t seem to be one stitch out of place. Like I said before, the soleplate is a little thicker, which is always a plus on the durability side. I would say that this is definitely a boot that will last you an entire season. Keep in mind that this is a natural leather shoe, and it will require regular maintenance, such as cleaning and applying leather cream, to keep them in good condition.
Leather soccer shoes will always provide more in the way of protection over most synthetics, and this shoe is no different. The leather is slightly cushioned and the big flap tongue will also provide some good padding. You also get a hard internal heel cup that will also provide some nice protection. Overall, I would say that this shoe is certainly going to provide enough protection for any position on the field.
The quality of this boot is tremendous. You really don’t get a true sense of all the details on this boot until you hold it in your hand and look at it in person. Puma really seemed to have refined this edition of the Puma King and I can honestly say that there is not one part of this boot that feels like it shouldn’t be there. This is definitely a shoe that is on par, if not better than Adidas’ adipure and Nike’s Legend. If you’re looking for a heritage styled boot, there are not many better options than the Puma King Finale. Another plus going for this boot is the pricing. You can find this boot for below $100, and for that price, it’s hard to say no.
Comfort/ Fit 10 out of 10
Weight 8 out of 10
Traction 8 out of 10
Touch 10 out of 10
Shooting 8 out of 10
Durability 8 out of 10
Protection 8 out of 10
Final Score 60 out of 70 or 86%