Last year PUMA released the evoPOWER 1, a boot which, at the time, was a revelation to the others of its class and became an unlikely hero within the industry. Still afloat from that success, 2015 saw PUMA launch the second generation evoPOWER. Has it picked up where its predecessor left off? We've laced up to find out.

The concept behind the evoPOWER line is to enhance the bare foot striking experience. On designing these boots PUMA undertook extensive research into the anatomy of the feet and found that the natural flexibility of your foot as well as the curling of your toes, results in increased power of your shot, while adding padding to your foot would increase accuracy. With this in mind, the purpose of the boot was to create a silo which could replicate/enhance that bare foot shooting experience.

Some description

Power and accuracy are the two main objectives. When you consider Nike have dropped the CTR and T90 series you can't help but feel PUMA have jumped at an opportunity to present those players with something here, and they're doing it well. You've got to be careful when you say a boot will 'improve' your accuracy and power, as that's not the case, it's more a case of offering a product that can maximise your natural ability.

The evoPOWER 1 was one of the most innovative shoes within its competition last year and in terms of the design or concept the evoPOWER 1.2 makes no dramatic changes, sticking to the same general shape and stud configuration. If you're familiar with the evoPOWER line you'll notice some minor changes in terms of the general aesthetics straight out of the box.

The first thing that you'll notice is that rather than keeping the shiny finish we found on the evoPOWER 1, PUMA have decided to give the evoPOWER 1.2 a matte finish, suggesting that there may have been possible complaints about the overall grip that the boot was giving players whilst playing.

Some description

Staying with the idea of grip you'll also notice that there's a feature which runs from the forefoot up into the medial side of the boot which is been branded as ‘Grip-Tex’. These are the bright graphics that give the boot its character, which might be the only thing that they do because although there is the slightest bit of friction when touching these pads with your bare hands, there wasn't a major difference when playing.

Another subtle change that you'll notice is the embossed look and feel of the boot, foam pads have been inserted right the way around the boot along both the lateral and medial sides and on top of the forefoot, whereas on the original this foam material was only found on the main striking zones of the boot. The added foam material is designed to aid the idea of generating power when striking a ball and also it ties in nicely with creating comfort and producing a more modern feel to the design.

Some description

Where the majority of change comes from with the new generation evoPOWER is in the upper. Though still manufactured using the same Adap-Lite synthetic material we saw on the first-gen, the synthetic used on the evoPOWER 1.2 is a lot thinner and is one way stretch microfiber.

This means that the boot is able to stretch vertically rather than horizontally, the benefits of having this feature designed into the upper is that while the upper can stretch, bend and flex in the direction of foot in terms of a kicking motion, replicating that natural flexibility of the foot, it won't lose its shape or stability when it comes to making short turns or cutting movements when you’re playing.

The foam material that's been mentioned previously as giving the boot its embossed feel and look, was present on the original evoPOWER, however, on the newer product the foam is actually a bit thinner and also firmer, they're apart in sectional strips rather than covering the whole boot, and our only presumptions for this change would be to allow for a better feel for the football and to allow the boot to move more naturally with the demands of the foot.

Some description

Though the evoPOWER 1.2 looks quite chunky it's undeniably comfortable and a lot of the credit for this has to be given to the lining inside the boots. A similar design to the Nike ‘HyperShield’ found in the Tiempo V, a mesh material backed by a honeycomb like structure of foam moulds around your feet coupled with the outer upper material creates fantastic comfort.

Another aspect to consider when taking comfort into account is the change to the heel counter. The previous design was much lower and was also rounded off, the new model of the evoPOWER has a much more normal heel cut, which sits nicely around the ankle and provides stability just below the Achilles.

The soleplate on the evoPOWER 1.2 is pretty much the same to the original model, it’s made of a number of different plastics. The first is a single plastic base that appears to get thinner through the foot from the heel to the forefoot in order to offer as much flexibility as possible.

The sole still features the ‘Gradual Stability Support Frame,’ which runs from the heel into the mid foot, which is effectively another piece of thicker plastic to reinforce the stability of the boot; giving the sole this rigidity acts as a sort of reflex to the flexibility of the forefoot allowing the plastic to snap back into its original shape quicker possibly creating an extra bit of shot power.

Some description

The stud configuration remains exactly the same to the original evoPOWER with four rectangular blades in the heel and three in the forefoot towards the base, which are to aid with stability and lateral movement. Along with these there are four conical studs which are fairly long in comparison to other boots and also quite narrow in profile but they're useful because they dig into the ground and provide great traction for when you need to take off and also slow down, all in all this is a great stud pattern for FG boot.

We were a little apprehensive about these boots when we first saw them, we thought that they'd be ridiculously heavy and not have the desired flex required from a boot. However, after trying them on and playing in them we totally changed our mind, these boots are brilliant, especially if you're looking for a boot which offers protection, comfort and stability.

The material they're made with is definitely durable and will undoubtedly last the length of the season. If you're considering purchasing them we would advise you to go true to size and though the boots are perfect for a person with wide feet they also fit well for those who don’t.