Puma v1.11 Synthetic Review
The Puma v1.11 is the next version in the lightweight evolution of professional cleats that gives you the confidence to be your fastest! Built on a new last for a roomier fit in the forefoot, making this version of the v-series more comfortable. With a microfiber upper with grip texture and a lace cover for increased strike zone. TPU injected external heel counter for added stability. Puma AptoLast technology that mimics the natural shape of the foot and a Pebax outsole with TPU and carbon fiber inserts for stability and support. Pointed stud configuration for optimum traction.
The V-series from Puma has become a shoe that many people have become somewhat intimidated by, due to its very unique fit and strange sizing. Don’t be afraid! Right off the bat you will notice that the shape of the toe area is very unique in that it is anatomically shaped, meaning that it follows the shape of your foot rather than being completely rounded like most soccer shoes. Basically the toe comes to a point at the big toe and then from there, curves back towards the pinky toe, forming a toe box that resembles a foot. While this sounds like a very good concept, many people will find it odd, and admittedly, it does take some getting used to. This anatomical shape also messes with the sizing a little bit because not everybody has feet where their big toe is their longest toe. Many people, including myself, have a longer second toe (the toe next to your big toe), which one would think would make the anatomical fit no good for them. This is not the case, and is an issue that id fixed through proper sizing. If your big toe is your longest toe, I recommend going a half size up from your normal size. If you second toe is longer, like me, then I would recommend going a full size up, so where I would normally wear a size 9US, I needed size 10US. Once you’ve cleared the sizing obstacle, the boot fits very well. The forefoot area of the boot is fairly wide, with the midfoot area being not nearly as wide, as it will hug the sides of your foot. This makes the boot feel a little bit strange at first, and there are some funny feeling arches at first, but give the shoe some time to break-in and they will feel great. The synthetic version does not require really any break-in, but there is a period where you will be getting used to the overall feel of the boot. Since they are synthetic, they will not stretch much at all, which is always a good thing.
The heel is lined with a perforated synthetic leather, which is nice and soft and provides plenty of comfort. The lacing system, under the lace cover, is central, which allows you to tighten up the boot very well, making for a very secure fit. Another unique aspect of this boot, also associated to the toe area, is how the plastic of the soleplate lips up over the front of the toes about ¾ of an inch. Although it feels a little strange at first, I didn’t have any problems with it, and I actually came to like it. I found that this plastic lip helps in keeping the shape of the boot and it also helped to maintain a unique stiffness towards the front of the boot, something that most lightweight boots generally don’t do as well in. The sole plate is part carbon fiber at the front of the boot, sitting underneath a thick layer of clear plastic, making for zero stud pressure and a very comfortable feel. One small detail that I really liked on this boot is what you find underneath the insole. Puma have placed some small rubberized dots that are there to keep the insole in place. It’s small details like this that make for a good soccer shoe. This is a very comfortable boot and it fits great, but because of the anatomical shaped toe, it just isn’t for everyone. That being said, I am confident that 8 out of 10 people would come to love the anatomical shaped toe, should they give this boot a chance.
This boot weighs in at a lightweight 8.2oz, which is about the same as the Nike Mercurial Vapor VII as well as the Superfly III. The 8oz mark has somewhat become the minimum requirements for what is technically considered a “speed” boot. That being said, while it only just meets that minimum weight, they are still lightweight soccer shoes, and offer the most material and thickness of any other lightweight soccer shoe, which is definitely a plus. What I am getting at is that these will feel lightweight, but do not feel like your typical “speed” boot.
The v1.11 uses a stud pattern that might look like a little on the simple side, but it is actually a very well thought out design that works well. It is an all blades stud pattern that is pretty straight forward, with the blades down the sides of the boot and the strange looking heel studs. If I had to compare it visually, it would be similar to the adipure IV. What makes it perform differently is the shape of each blade on the front half of the boot. The blades each have a smaller surface area thatactually touches the ground, so instead of being completely flat surface touching the ground when your run, only about half of the length of the blade comes in contact with the ground. This makes for a more conical stud feeling stud pattern, along with the added grip that you get from the blades. This is the only bladed stud pattern where I was never locked into the ground when my foot was planted, making this one of the better stud patterns out there. It doesn’t offer the most grip that you can get, but you always have to sacrifice grip for agility and I feel that the v1.11 does a good job of offering a combination of both.
The lightweight synthetic category of soccer shoes is a tough one, simply because there are some really good synthetics, but there are also some that aren’t so good. This particular synthetic from Puma is different from anything else currently on the market, besides the v1.11 SL. Puma’s synthetic is a very pliable, almost leather-like in terms of how flexible it is. I would say that it is moderately thin, at about the same thickness, if not a little thicker than the Vapor VII. The finish on the synthetic offers some good grip on the ball, and is overall very natural feeling, due to how pliable the upper is. The main thing that you are going to notice about the touch on this shoe is the very large lace cover. It comes from the instep and wraps over top of the foot, to be secured in place by Velcro on the other side. The lace cover is a little on the bulky side, but is a true lace cover. This is another part of the boot that I had to get used too, but after I did, I really came to like the extra bulk on top of the foot. There seems to be just a very small amount of space between the lace cover and your foot, so the feel of touching the ball on the lace cover is very cushioned. The first time you start juggling the ball, you really feel how much padding is there, but once you get used to it, I found that it made controlling the ball just a little easier. Some people may not like the extra padding, but I had no issues with it.
Shooting with these boots also felt very good. The lace cover provides a nice amount of padding that feels great when shooting the ball. I felt like the extra padding helped ever so slightly in keeping the ball down when striking the ball, which is good if you are one of those people that is always trying to shoot as hard as you can and end up putting it over the net. One unique aspect that I would like to point out is the front of the boot. The toe, like I described earlier, as a piece of plastic that lips up and basically covers the front of your toes. This gives the boot a very stiff feeling when shooting the, due to the extra structural support, which is exactly what you want when shooting the ball. I also found the lip to help with lifting the ball off of the ground and scooping the ball, since you have that extra stiffness and protection from hitting the ground. The last, not so important benefit of the plastic toe, is that you can pull off some pretty amazing toe kicks if you really wanted too, and fairly pain free at that.
Puma always puts out a very high quality product. All of the seems are double and triple stitched to ensure that they stay together over a long period of time. Since these are synthetic, they require no maintenance and will not stretch much at all, which is always a plus. The plastic toe also ensures that you definitely won’t experience any separation between the sole and the upper. The Velcro used to hold down the lace cover is also very high quality, and will not wear out. These boots will certainly last an entire season, even on turf.
The big lace cover will provide some of the best protection that you can get from a soccer shoe. It covers the entire top of the foot and will take a fair amount of the blow should you get stepped. If you want a lightweight boot that still offers some protection, this is a good option.
The Puma v1.11 is different from any other boot on the market in almost every way. If you go into it with an open mind and are prepared to try something new, I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointment. This boot offer a multitude of unique features that you can’t get anywhere else, and the option of leather or synthetic is also great. If you have tried it all and want something completely new, or are just looking for a great soccer shoe, the Puma v1.11 is an awesome choice.
Comfort/ Fit 9 out of 10
Weight 8 out of 10
Traction 10 out of 10
Touch 9 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%