The Puma V1.11 K has become a soccer cleat that many people have become somewhat intimidated by because of the very unique fit and 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 instead of being a rounded toe like most soccer shoes. Basically the toe comes to a point at your big toe and than from there, curves back towards you pinky toe, forming the shape of a foot. While this sounds like a very good idea as a 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 make the anatomical fit a no go. This is an easy to fix issue, as it all has to do with sizing. If your big is your longest toe, I recommend going a half size up from your normal size. If your second toe is longer, like me, than I would recommend going a full size up, so where I would normally wear a size 9US, I needed a size 10US. Once you’ve cleared that obstacle, the boot fits very well. The front of the boot is fairly wide, but not too wide and the mid foot area is slightly tighter fitting in terms of width. This makes the boot feel a little bit strange at first and not uncomfortable, but annoying, until after break in. As this is the kangaroo leather version, it does require some break in time to mold to your foot, and after about 2 hours or so of use, they will feel very comfortable. What I really liked regarding the fit is that although they are kangaroo leather, they do not stretch very much at all, making them fit exactly the same as when you buy them even after you break them in.
The heel is lined with a synthetic swede material and the kangaroo leather is very soft and padded. The lacing system, under the lace cover, is central, which allows you to tighten the boots up very well, making for a great fit. Another unique aspect of this boot, also associated with the toe area, is how the plastic of the sole plate lips up over the front of the toe area about ¾ of an inch. Although it feels a little weird at first, I didn’t have too many problems with, you will soon get used to it and forget it is even there. I actually came to like it for two reasons, the first is that it helps to keep the shape of the boot and the second reason is that it helps to maintain a stiffness at the front of the boot, an area that most lightweight boots do not do as well in. The sole plate is part carbon fiber at the front of the boot, underneath a nice and thick clear plastic, making for zero stud pressure and a very comfortable feel. One detail that really struck me as a nice addition is underneath the insole in the heel area, Puma have placed some sticky rubber spots that help to prevent the insole from sliding when wearing the boot. Although this is a little thing that most people may not even notice, these are the little features that make a great boot. This is a very comfortable boot and it fits great, but because of the anatomical toe, it just isn’t for everyone. That being said, I am confident that a 8 out of 10 people would come to like the anatomical toe should they give this boot a chance.
This boot has a listed weight of 8.4oz, which is on the limit of what is now being considered a “speed” boot, similar to the weight of the Vapor VII. This may not seem impressive, but if you consider that this boot is made completely of kangaroo leather, this is a very lightweight boot. All leather speed boots, the most popular being the leather F50 adizero, are made of a much cheaper, lower quality calf skin leather that only covers a very small portion of the front of the boot. The v1.11 K is kangaroo leather all the way around the boot, no synthetic whatsoever in the upper. For this reason, the v1.11 K will impress in the weight department because it does not skimp out on materials to shave weight.
The v1.11 uses a stud pattern that might look a little on the simple side, but is actually very well thought out and functions very 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, 4 heel studs. If I had to compare is to something visually, it would be 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 that actually touches the ground, so instead of being a completely flat surface touching the ground when you run, only about half of the length of the blade will come in contact with the ground. This makes for a more conical stud feeling, along with the added grip that you get from the blades. This is the only bladed stud pattern where I never locked in to the ground when I planted my foot, making this one of my favorite stud patterns that I have ever used.
The touch on this boot is one of the best that I have ever used. The kangaroo leather is very high quality and just feels so soft on the ball. I would say that it is in between a thinner leather, like the adizero, and a thicker leather, like the Diadora Maracana, and to me, felt perfect. One part of the boot that will take some getting used to, is the lace cover. It wraps from the instep over top of the laces to secure itself on the Velcro fastener on the outside of the boot. What makes it feel strange at first is that the lace cover is made of kangaroo leather that is the same thickness as the rest of the boot. The reason that it feels weird at first is because it doesn’t yet have a shape from right out of the box. Once you begin to wear the boot and the leather begins to soften up, the lace cover will wraps your foot much more closely, making it feel like a part of the boot rather than a bulky addition. Once you work out all of the kinks through about a 2 hour break-in period, this boot will feel like it wraps your foot with quality leather. This is one of the only leather boots that I have ever worn that has the exact same feel on the ball anywhere on the boot, making for a very consistent touch.
Shooting with these boots also felt very good. The lace cover provides a nice amount of padding that feels great when shooting the ball. If you’ve ever shot the ball with a quality kangaroo leather boot, this won’t feel far off. One unique aspect that I would like to point out is the front of the boot. The toe, like I described before, has 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 ball, which is what you want. I also found this lip to help with lifting the ball off of the ground and scooping it very easy, making chip shots feel very natural. The last, not so important benefit of the plastic toe, is that you can pull off some pretty hard toe kicks if you really wanted to, and fairly pain free at that.
Puma always puts out a very high quality product and the v1.11 K is no different. All of the seems are double and triple stitched to ensure that they stay together over a long period of time. The shoe also does not stretch much at all for being kangaroo leather, which will help it to maintain its shape. The plastic toe will also make it nearly impossible for the boot to separate at the toe. Keep in mind that the boot is made of a natural leather and it does require regular maintenance to ensure that it stays soft. This is a boot that I can safely say will last you an entire season of play.
The big lace cover and padded leather upper will provide some of the best protection you can get out of soccer shoe. If you want to be lightweight and still have some protection, this might be a boot that you should consider.
I was skeptical about this boot because it can be a little intimidating in how different it is. The v1.11 series is not trying to copy any other boot on the market and is very unique in every way. The anatomical shape of the boot is a little weird at first, but given the chance, I can almost guarantee that you will come to love it. The leather quality is phenomenal and the stud pattern is one of the best around. If you’re looking for a new leather speed boot that will actually provide you with the true feel of leather, I highly recommend that you give this boot a try. It’s really that good.
|Comfort/Fit||9 out of 10|
|Weight||9 out of 10|
|Traction||10 out of 10|
|Touch||10 out of 10|
|Shooting||8 out of 10|
|Protection||9 out of 10|
|Durability||7 out of 10|
|FINAL SCORE||62 out of 70 or 89%|