I’m sure you’ve all heard the buzz about the new Concave cleats. There has been a ton of hype surrounding them since the announcement that Concave was introducing their cleats to the US. Previous to this announcement, they were only available in the UK and in Canada. The basic premise of the cleats is this: Putting a hard, concave surface on the upper of the cleat will allow for a better touch and much more power. That was the claim, and independent studies confirmed it. And just in case you need a little more assurance, we can confirm it too.
Concave was generous enough to send a few pairs of cleats over our way to test out. We’ve been out over the past couple weeks rigorously testing out these cleats, trying to figure out everything we possibly can about them. So here’s our review; we’ve tried to make it as comprehensive as possible, but if you have any questions, please ask us in the comments!
The most notable part of the cleat, and the brands namesake, the Concave Component (CC) (see below), immediately stands out. My initial reaction was that the Concave Component would be uncomfortable and cumbersome.
Putting on the Concave is slightly difficult, because of the CC on top. To eliminate this problem Concave supplies a shoehorn which makes getting into the shoe very easy. Once my foot was in I noticed that the bottom of the CC dug into the top of my foot with each step, however as I continued playing this problem went away. At first, I believed that the CC would make the cleat heavier than most others. To my surprise I found it very light. Running around in these was fun and I found it easy to make quick, sharp turns.
So what exactly is the Concave Component? This strong polyurethane cover is concave shaped which allows the cleat to better cushion, absorb, and put more power into every shot. I found that if you strike the ball and it does come into contact with the CC it is a far more powerful and accurate shot than normal. I also found that the CC makes juggling far easier as the ball just springs right back up each time. Another added bonus of the CC is extra protection for your foot. Normally, if you are stepped on by cleats, it can be excruciatingly painful and even dangerous, as I’m sure you know. However with these cleats it is hardly noticeable. I found that the CC’s highlight is on volleys. When you volley the ball, the CC strikes the ball directly and you get a huge amount of power behind your shot. Shot after shot found the back of the net.
The material of these cleats is a combination of polyurethane, full grain leather, synthetic leather, and kangaroo leather. This combination I found not to be the most comfortable or soft but with time my foot adjusted and I began to enjoy it more. What I did notice immediately however was the touch provided with these cleats. I was able to execute smooth turns and quick touches with these cleats.
Concave makes four different types of studs, the Rounded Mold, Firm Ground, Soft Ground, and Hard Ground (see below). I tested the rounded mold. I found that these were very good for executing turns but one problem may be their softness. When walking on pavement to my field I found these very soft and I fear that with time they may wear down. But on the field they were excellent.
The only problems with these cleats that I had were related to comfort. The ankle lining dug into the side of my foot especially when shooting as did the CC occasionally. However I feel that with time and as you break in the cleats you will find them very comfortable. Also, putting on the shoe provided some problems, but none too drastic.
This new ingenious brand of cleats is sure to start catching on around the world, and has already been seen on professional pitches.
The innovators at Concave have really pushed the boundaries of soccer footwear with their new PT+. The boot itself is made of soft leather, and has Concave’s unique metatarsal guard (the Concave Component) that protects your foot from injury while improving the sweetspot of the cleat by a factor of four. The idea behind the concave guard is to prevent metatarsal injuries (which seem to be afflicting many footballers today such as Wayne Rooney and David Beckham), and provide a concave surface to connect with the ball, so the ball “fits” right onto the sweetspot which results in a cleaner strike.
I couldn’t put on these boots until I found the convienient shoe horn that accompanies the cleats (above). At first it took a fair amount of effort to get the boot on, but once it slipped in, my heel locked into place. It took a good amount of dribbling and shooting to get used to the PT+ because the metatarsal guard is unusual. Once I became acquainted with these unique boots I decided to test out what type of power could be unleashed. The Concave Component is advertised to increase accuracy by 30% and power by 15% – and the numbers don’t lie. After adjusting to this new boot, my shots seemed to zip into those upper corners faster. Also, the CC makes it much easier to take volleys from the air. With these boots, slicing a volley is a thing of the past.
I also tested out the guard itself to see if it could actually prevent injuries. I had a friend with cleats on stand on my foot and no pain was felt. This is a particularly ingenious innovation from the designers at Concave, because if you are ever on the recieving end of a dangerous tackle, this MetaGuard could save your season by protecting you from an injury.
However, I did have a few issues with these cleats. The guard seems to dig into the top of my foot a bit, but this could be that they are not entirely broken in yet, or that I ordered a size to big (I wear a size nine shoe, and got a size 9 PT+, you may want to consider that). This problem can be remedied by using the age old “double sock trick” (simply wear two pairs of socks!). Even though I thought these shoes were great for shooting with and sending long balls with, I felt that they were a bit bulky in normal play. The CC seems a bit tall. Once again, this could just be me not being fully adjusted to this new style of boot. I would highly, highly recommend these for keepers, fullbacks, and to players who are the main set piece takers for their team.
Concave is definitely on to something with their metatarsal guard and the increased sweetspot, but I feel that a few changes or alterations could be made which would make this boot very popular on a world stage alongside adidas, Puma, and Nike.
Max and Calvin have covered a lot of the main points about this boot, and I agree with them on most of those. The thing that stood out the most for me was when I struck volleys, like Max and Calvin said. The ball just sprung off my foot into the net, and I practically never sliced it. The CC also is excellent for preventing injuries.
I’ve been wearing my Concave cleats for indoor soccer over the past few weeks, and they’ve functioned beautifully. With them, I’ve been able to hit strong shots from far outside the box and hit volleys perfectly. Also, since indoor soccer is such a fast-paced and sometimes violent game, the extra protection for my foot has certainly helped.
The strong point of these boots is definitely the power and accuracy that comes with well-hit shots. On those moments when you strike the ball perfectly with the Concave Component, you can just feel the power coming off of that shot. In addition, these boots have a fantastic touch for quick cuts and turns.
As with any boot, however, these cleats cannot save you from slicing the ball if you hit on the side of your boot. Also, as Calvin and Max noted, they are a little hard to put on. However, I did not experience any of the discomfort that they felt.
These are fantastic cleats that any serious soccer player should check out. They provide great power and accuracy, as well as a quick touch and great protection for your foot. Only weaknesses: slightly hard to get on, and can be uncomfortable until you get used to them.
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