There's a fine line between gimmick and genius on a football boot. Some technology can create an entire boot franchise, but a gimmick can bring the reputation of a brand into disrepute. Concave know the risks of being so different from the rest of the market, but they believe they’ve found the formula to create success in 2016 and beyond. The only question remaining is: will others agree?

So, is it a speed boot or a power boot?

For those new to the brand, Concave places a “Concave Piece” at the top of the laces that the brand claims “allows for a 4 times larger sweet spot on the top of your foot when kicking.” Not only that, but the Volt is built to be in a category with the speed boots of the world while still including the famous Concave tech. So, to answer the original question, all Concave boots are built for power and accuracy but the Volt has been created for speed.

How does the rest of the Volt look?

Well, don’t let the name scare you off. The popular “Volt” colour is nowhere to be found, instead replaced by a boot dressed primarily in a gorgeous black. The Concave logo on the forefoot is a bright pink, with some pink also adorning the studs on the soleplate. The pink, bright, to be sure, but definitely not “volt.” The boot name sits on the heel in silver, and when you look closely, you can see hundreds of small Concave logos across the entirety of the upper. Overall, it does strike a great blend between a modern and classic look.

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Is that one-piece upper comfortable or stiff?

This is where we really start to see that, despite Concave being known for their shooting/control tech covering the laces, the brand has put serious focus into improving their overall boot build. When we first got these boots out of the box, the upper is a little stiff. Despite being a thin upper, it took a full session or two before we really felt like the upper softened up. Once the boot was broken-in, it was quite surprising how comfortable the boot’s make-up actually was. Underneath the insole sits a gel-like cushion in the heel, and the comfort sits near the top of what we typically expect of speed boot style boots.

The boot is lined with what Concave calls a “Fusion lining” and it looks like the entire boot has a miniature chain-link fence running along the entirety of the boots innards. The lining just ensures that the boot maintains its shape and that the upper can mold and move to whatever your foot demands. The soleplate does have some stiffness to it, but it feels more like the type of build that provides responsiveness instead of causing foot cramps. We experienced very little break-in pain and only one blister during the entirety of testing.

The only issue we have in the comfort region, and this rings true for all the Concave boots we tested, is that the Concave Piece makes slipping the boots on a bit odd and makes it difficult to get your laces as tight as some of us would like. The laces after the first four lace holes actually run through the shooting element, so it's tricky to really work them around a lot while lacing up the boots. We also tried to unlace and relace the Volt after we first received them, and we strongly suggest you avoid that multi-hour venture… This shouldn’t scare you away, but you should be aware.

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So, is it a gimmick or is this the future of boots?

Is it a cop-out if we say neither? When we got the Volt out on the pitch and started to play, the boot does shine on its own. It plays like a slightly stiffer Vapor VIII, and speed boot enthusiasts will quickly find a home in the Volt. The Concave Piece sits so high on the boot that it doesn’t change quick flicks and addressing the ball for dribbling, and soft-touch microfibre makes sure that you get a supreme feel for the ball. The Concave logos that adorn 95% of the upper have a bit of texture to them, but we did find it is a bit sticky for the first few times you get a ball at your feet.

Even with the added tech on the laces, the boot feels light on your feet. It isn’t going to be breaking any sub-seven ounce records any time soon, but it isn’t noticeable when you’re laced up and ready to go. If you start playing, you really forget that the main focus of this boot is the tech on the laces, it's just enjoyable play in.

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Then, when you do start striking the ball, you start to see what the Concave Piece can offer. We did notice that any volley or strike where we caught the ball that high up on our foot and the Concave Piece was involved, it really seemed to zip off like a rocket. You start actually trying to catch the ball on the piece just to get that extra perceived power, and it is a fun piece of tech. However, the tech just feels like it's slightly forced and you find yourself searching for that 7.5 cm X 5 cm that you have to nail in order to use effectively. Like we said, a perfect strike absolutely leaps off your foot, but we only felt like we used the piece three or four times every game. But if they're three or four sweet volleys into the onion bag then we'll take it.

The soleplate on the Volt is something we were quite impressed with on the boot, but some of us felt it looked familiar. After a bit more time, we noticed it had a striking similarity to the Pele Trinity 3E from years gone by. The similarities are definitely there, but the Trinity had more elongated and conical studs and the Volt’s studs are a bit closer to blades. The traction on these boots is good, but we would really avoid using them on anything other than a firm-ground surface. Also worth noting that these boots are a bit longer than most. A typical 10.5 would probably want a 10.

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So, what’s the verdict?

Concave have made a really quality boot here, and the Concave Piece should be treated as a somewhat of a small bonus. The Volt has a good feel on the ball, quality build, quality comfort, and great traction. While the main focus will be on the striking element, it really is low on the list of reasons why we would recommend this boot. We did enjoy the way it felt when we caught anything on top of the shooting element, but it isn’t going to start popping up on other boots any time soon, not that it can't be used effectively.

If you are hunting for a quality boot with speed boot stylings, and especially if you are in the market for something new, the Volt is definitely going to be something worth trying. Concave has done a good job here, and we're intrigued to see where they go from here.

Want a pair? Grab them here.