We speak to the guys at PUMA who answer all our questions surrounding the PUMA King II's development and what we can expect from the new look boot.

On the back of the PUMA King II launch we sat down with Arnaud Redon (Designer Teamsport Footwear), Mauro Bonin (Head of Development Teamsport Footwear) and Peter Stappen (Senior Product Line Manager Teamsport Footwear) who answered a few queries surrounding the latest edition of the legendary boot.

How did you determine the changes and updates you needed to bring to the new King?

We wanted to make the new King II more modern, lighter, softer and sleeker yet keeping its modern classical design DNA. As for every new generation of products we looked at what can be improved and what worked well and should be maintained. Using premium leather for the upper for example or the lightweight yet reactive PEBAX material for the outsole, was a given. With slimming down the external heel counter, a new Formstrip construction and the integration of the EverFit lacing system we found ways to make the new King II more contemporary and a better performance product. 

Can you take us through the key differences in performance and design between the new King II and the previous model?

On a performance and design perspective, comfort and fit are the two key features of the King. To improve comfort, we focused on the formstrip construction, reducing layers to increase softness and fit and the toe box. The full leather toe box enhances overall softness and ball touch. The EverFit lacing system brings a new take on fit in the midfoot, where upon tying the shoe, you feel the midfoot wrapping around your foot. On any KING boot, fit is key! The EverFit system is composed of free-moving intertwined webbing’s that connect laces to the outsole. This gives a fit in motion, moving together with the foot and delivering the right support in every position.

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Previously you’ve used names such as ‘King Finale’ and ‘King XL’ - why did you go with just ‘King II’ for this release?

King Xl had a direct relation to the timing when this boot was launched. The King Finale was linked to the Mexico Finale model The King launched in Spring 2013 and this new model take the inspiration and conceptual values like comfort, fit and class from the King franchise, but in design and technology are not linked to a model or player from the past. Rather then inventing a link, it felt right to call the 2013 model KING and it's successor KING II.

Has the modern King created its own identity now, separate from the classic King?

The classic King is in concept the inspiration for the modern King. It keeps the leather upper, the simple and classy aesthetic, a comfort and touch performance oriented shoe.  The modern KING has its own personality, reinterpreting different elements with a modern construction. The external heel counter, the moulded tongue and the EverFit system are modern executions of KING elements. Style wise, the King II adopts a modern look and is even simpler and more aligned with the needs of the players. No extravaganza, only straight lines stepping away from its great inspiration. 

With the ‘King’ being such an iconic name, do you take extra care not to move too far away from the roots of the boot?

The KING carries by nature class, comfort, elegance, softness, touch, quality, history... These words form an identity so strong that you can't and should not move away from and you naturally take care of these specificity's when creating a new King. The KING II expresses it's own identity by fitting in, in our contemporary world, being linked with "l'air du temps".

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Can you talk about the “Majolica” launch colourway and why you decided to go with that instead of a classic black/white design?

The Majolica navy blue, as every deep colour, brings this classy and elegant appearance to the shoe. Mixed with the white, it's a fresh interpretation of the -slightly expected- classic black/white colourway. And the Lime Punch colour pops subtly underline the performance and modernity of the shoe. This is the launch colour, more colours will come and you can be sure there will also be room for more traditional colours in the life of this KING 

With most PUMA players wearing the evoPOWER or evoSPEED, how would you describe the King’s position in the market?

The King is the foundation of PUMA football. The target consumer is different compared to evoPOWER and evoSPEED. The King II doesn't need on-pitch support to justify its existence. The player who is buying a PUMA KING knows exactly what he or she is looking for, a boot with a glove like fit, perfect weight, in short: a top class leather boot with superb comfort and excellent touch to the ball. 

The previous King model featured an SL version, is that something you’re going to bring to the new model?

We love working on extreme products and a SL version is something to consider There are always exciting things in the pipeline at PUMA football and I'm sure you will not have to wait too long for something a little bit more unexpected and a better "fit", then a SL version... 

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It's been two years since the last King model launched. How quickly after that release did you begin working on this one?

When we develop a new product the findings from testing and players feedback from previous models play an important role. The new KING II has been briefed roughly 18 months ago. We had a strong foundation to build off of from the previous KING model and in that period of 18 months created various prototypes have been tested and refined until they met the highest, KING, expectations. 

How would you compare the King to the other leading leather boots on the market - what makes it unique?

The PUMA King is the longest serving franchise - since 1968 - in the football boot industry. Enough said.

The PUMA King II is available at selected PUMA online stockists including Pro-Direct Soccer.