The death of the “power” boot has been greatly exaggerated. No matter how many other brands decide to toss the hallowed boot style by the wayside, PUMA continues to dominate the arena with their evoPOWER. Has the newest version stepped right into the boot’s lineage, or seen the silo’s first stumble? We lace them up to find out…

So, Is there still power in this big cat?

The PUMA evoPOWER line has made its money on being ridiculously flexible, giving a great touch on the ball, and still feeling like it’s putting some major heft behind each and every strike of the ball. While the initial evoPOWER was a revelation, the second (despite being impressive) felt like a bit of a step back from the explosive start that the silo created. PUMA’s introduction of their third evoPOWER is meant to continue providing an incredibly flexible soleplate, giving a great strike on the ball, and, even with the AccuFoam under the hood, providing a clean touch on the ball.  Will the third version continue taking up the mantle as a great “power” boot, or does the future not have any room for the 1.3?

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While the ever-odd Camo version for the new release was actually one of the tamer camo versions we’ve seen from the Big Cat, the first two launch colorways are a great look for the boot. With one version boasting a "Black/White/Atomic Blue" combo for anyone attempting to keep their evoPOWER a bit under the radar, the main headliner is a bright "Safety Yellow/Black/Atomic Blue" that has been lighting up pitches across Europe. The PUMA form stripe on the lateral side of the boot stands out in an intense black and lets everyone know who crafted these boots, and the cat logo sits at the top of the tongue and on the heel. The evoPOWER callout sits on the instep, and a small mention of the Adap-Lite underneath the hood sits on the toebox. The stark contrast in colors makes all the raised AccuFoam on the boot really stand out and shows off all the tech on this boot.

The evoPOWER has always been a comfortable boot, but can the newest version stand up to the same high standards?

PUMA has crafted the newest evoPOWER with the same Adap-Lite upper that we’ve come to love over the last few years. Not only does this material allow the boot’s flexibility (which is one of the main tenants of the evoPOWER), it also helps provide a fantastic fit. As soon as you put the boot on, the boot already shifts to your foot and feels fantastic when you pull the laces tight. Despite all of the tech that PUMA stuffs into the 1.3, this is a boot that feels comfortable enough to wear straight into a game or practice.

Despite being comfortable enough to use immediately, a short break-in sees the upper continue to soften up and form to your foot. PUMA has removed a lot of the odd foam pads on the tongue to allow the laces to sit a bit closer to the boot and give a better fit. PUMA continues to have one of the best insoles on the market, and the heel set-up allows it all to create a comfy fit.

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If you have ever experienced break-in pain from a soleplate being too stiff, the evoPOWER 1.3 is never going to have that particular issue. The soleplate is probably the most flexible set-up on the market, which is something that is a big part of what PUMA is trying to achieve with their 1.3. Despite being very flexible, you shouldn’t be worried about any negatives emerging from this style of build.

If you’ve used the evoPOWER in the past, then you’ve definitely experienced the goal of PUMA’s premier power boot. PUMA has built this boot to mimic your foot’s natural bend as you drive through a shot. With a high level of comfort under the hood and quick break-in, it seems like the table has already been set to have a great touch and feel for the ball.  

Luckily, PUMA came through with the goods on the newest evoPOWER 1.3.

While most synthetics have difficulty flexing or moving in relation to your foot while still having a nice bit of padding for when you are on the ball, the evoPOWER 1.3 has no such problem. PUMA makes this happen by having the synthetic on the upper stretch, but using the AccuFoam padding within the boot provide the type of feel that all players like on the ball. When you look in the boot, you can see the small pads all over the boot on the other side of a very soft mesh. The foam pads do provide a dampening effect, but they’ve been kept thin enough to still let it feel like you are close to the ball. The thickness of the foam decreases as you get to the toe-box, but there’s still enough to give a great feel when you bring the ball out of the air. The tongue still has some nice padding as well, but the odd pads of the 1.2 have been removed to something that makes the boot look uniform and still give a uniform feel across the boot.

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Short passes and dribbling with the ball at your feet is extremely enjoyable with the evoPOWER, but this boot’s true shining moment comes whenever you try and put any type of power on a pass or shot. The padding that we talked about during passing helps your shots feel like they absolutely launch off your foot while still giving the warmth that we’d normally only expect from a high quality leather. We also love that PUMA was able to marry the feel between making it feel like your shots have a great padded sensation, but making it feel like you still feel every bit of the ball. If you aren’t driving through shots with the 1.3, then you’re missing out.

The oddest aspect of the evoPOWER 1.3 has to be the new soleplate. While PUMA didn’t change anything on the first two versions because of the quality of the Gradual Stability Frame, the newest version has a set-up that we definitely haven’t seen before. A mix of conical and blades in the forefoot is what we’ve seen before, but the heel has a mish-mash of conical studs and blades that PUMA claim will help provide a better lock down while shooting and better traction when running. We really didn’t notice a huge change, but we did love the traction that the 1.3 provided. However, because of the blades, we wouldn’t suggest using these too often on any AG surfaces. In terms of fit with PUMA’s newest toy, we found that they fit absolutely true to size.

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PUMA might currently have the strongest stable in the market, and the newest evoPOWER only adds to that impressive grouping.

For us here at SoccerBible, we keep waiting to see when the evoPOWER will stop being one of the more impressive boot silos in the last five years. With the newest version, it seems like PUMA has made upgrades where necessary, but kept everything that had already been proven with the first two versions of the evoPOWER. The high level of comfort, great feel on the ball, and the smile you instantly get when shooting in these boots can no longer be seen as surprising...this kind of release is now business as usual for the big cat.

If you’ve found yourself bemoaning the lack of a Predator or T90 in the last few years, then it is definitely time to switch over to the evoPOWER. It hasn’t needed a collar or any type of knitted synthetic to provide top notch fit and function, and it comes as no surprise that this boot is always near the top of everyone’s list when naming their favorite boots.

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Sure, there’s no Swoosh or three stripes on the side...but the PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 is about as sure a thing as you can get. The only mistake you can make from this point on? Hesitating on snagging your own.