Puma recently released new cleats, called Powercats, or PWR-C cleats. They’ve been overshadowed a bit by new releases from other companies, but they certainly don’t deserve this! We found that they were excellent cleats. Puma was kind enough to send a couple pairs over to us for testing and reviewing. We love these cleats, and without further ado, here’s our review of the Puma Powercat cleats!
Puma’s last venture in the power boot market was a large bust. The Puma Konstrukts were durable and offered protection but never caught on well with the public and professionals. In order for the new Puma Powercats to become a true player, they need to be equal to the likes of the Predators and Lasers. These Puma cleats do in fact live up to their hype.
To start off these cleats are certainly eye catching. The contrasting PowerGils stand out against the black kangaroo leather. The bright green outsole and the golden and white Pumas on the side also stand out nicely. Putting on the Powercats is a smooth process. The sockliner and heel both allow the foot to slip in very smoothly. Lacing the Powercats is a different matter. While the off-center lacing provides a larger shooting zone, the laces can’t quite firmly hold the foot in place. However this was never much of a big problem. The two Pumas on the side of the shoe are not merely aesthetic – I found that because they were made of a much more rigid material they held my foot in place well.
These cleats are advertised for their supreme accuracy and power when shooting, and they certainly perform as such. The large striking surface allows you to hit clean strikes with no irregular flight paths, due to the even surface created by the PowerGils. However I did notice that often when I was off-balance my shots flew to the side more than usual, as there’s no shank stabilizer like there is on the Concaves which we previously reviewed. When I was not off-balance striking the ball was very easy. There is basically no pressure on the foot due to the excellent leather, and I found I could hit the ball farther with fantastic accuracy, perfect for picking out a team mate across the field.
On the Puma V series the studs were unique for being triangular and pointed to enable excellent traction and speed. Puma have nearly recreated this on the Powercats. Running is easy, and despite these cleats weighing 10.4 ounces I did not notice any signifigant loss of speed.
To play test the Puma Powercats, I wore a size nine (my regular shoe size), which is a half size down from my Puma v1.08s. So there is no more worrying when ordering online whether it will fit or not. I have a regular to wide foot and these fit like a glove. I wore them right out of the box to a practice and then a game the next day. They are incredibly comfortable, and there are no blisters or hotspots. The kangaroo leather that Puma uses in this boot molds to the shape of your foot, giving you the perfect fit.
Puma has introduced a big contender to the power range of cleats when they released the Powercats, which we should see present in South Africa this summer at the World Cup alongside the T90 Laser III’s and Predator X’s. I had the privilege of testing the Black/White/Wild Lime colorway, and they look stylish even after weeks of practices and games, however not too flashy like many soccer boots that companies have created in the recent past. This subtle colorway looks especially classy with the strips of green and a gold cat on the inside of the heel.
These cleats do not feel bulky like some power cleats so often do. They almost feel like a hybrid of power and speed boots with “best of both worlds” features like super soft kangaroo leather and the PowerGil technology. The leather is thick enough so that if you get stomped on in the game, you won’t go down with a season ending injury. They are very comfortable, have a great touch, and you can really put some nasty bend on the ball with either the instep of your foot (Beckham-esque) or the outside of your foot like Roberto Carlos is famous for, with the help of the PowerGil Technology. The PowerGil Technology also seems to add a bit more “zip” to the ball as you unleash a shot or a long ball.
The FG stud configuration is very effective for speed and cuts on astro turf and firm ground. However if the pitch gets soaked from a rainstorm, the traction is reduced quite a bit, just like most FG soleplated boots. However this is why soccer boot companies create SG sole plates for soft ground and wet ground play, so if you play predominantly on pitches that experience a good bit of rain, or just on soft pitches, looking into the SG soleplate would be a good option.
Overall, Puma has created a simple yet elegant cleat, the comfort is excellent, and shooting is noticeably improved. These will surely make a dent in Nike and Adidas’ control of the power boot market. Many professional athletes have adopted these boots as their own such as Peter Crouch, Nemanjda Vidic, Nicholas Anelka, and Gianluigi Buffon. These boots are sure to turn heads in South Africa and on pitches all around the globe.
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