When you release a new boot on the first day of the New Year you've clearly got a lot of confidence in the product. PUMA couldn't wait to get their 2017 game underway with a fourth generation evoPOWER silo, a boot that takes on the most dramatic shift in appearance of the series to date.

Shooting at goal remains the concept, but is it power over precision for the Big Cat's new weapon? A rocket launcher can cause a lot of damage from a standing position, but can you pick it up, move at pace and reload quickly? Can the evoPOWER Vigor 1 shoot from the hip? D'ya know what? We're going to make this very simple – yes it can.

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The evoPOWER Vigor 1 is fourth time perfected rather than fourth time lucky for PUMA. The concept for PUMA echoes that of the very first evoPOWER – replicating the flexibility of kicking barefoot and providing a boot that delivers accuracy and power in comfort. With the demise of the Nike Total 90 and adidas Predator series, the evoPOWER has taken the power baton and sprinted into new ground, installing it as the leading performer in a power category that has been perhaps naively neglected by other brands. Ever since you were a kid the best part of training was the shooting drill, the chance to score, to unleash a bullet at goal. That excitement never slows down. With PUMA standing strong to continue the power category, they can create a boot that is linked to scoring, the reason why many players play the game, and that's a power in its own right.

There's something extra intriguing about slipping on a boot designed for shooting, but the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 is far more intricate than just how the ball leaves the boot. Previous editions of the evoPOWER achieved a bit of added power when striking at full throttle but the Vigor 1 is more advanced. This ain't just one big old sweet spot. This is the technology on the standing foot, the way the boot bends, the way it recoils and pings. PUMA have tweaked the main three features of the evoPOWER series to create a boot that's far more of an all-rounder than just a goal-hanger. AccuFoam technology is still present on an AdaptaLite upper, and the soleplate is carried over from the previous generation. The difference being that these features now work far better in unison, each complementing the other.

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Ok, great. What's it like then?

Yeah, fair enough. The first thing you notice straight out of the box, besides that punch in the face "Green Gecko" colourway, is that the Vigor 1 looks and feels like everything you'd want from a next generation. Everything about the boot screams upgrade over update. The evoPOWER Vigor 1 is brilliantly soft and extremely flexible in the hand without feeling flimsy – it's a definite natural bend rather than a forced cripple, and that's an asset that carries onto the pitch when you lace it up – there's no restriction of movement, your feet feel incredibly responsive, they feel like the shape of your feet. A strange thing to call out but other boots can feel stiff like your feet are flat. No danger of that.

The other unmissable key feature is the new tongue construction. PUMA have gone one piece for the evoPOWER Vigor 1, a move that modernises the overall aesthetic of the silo while bringing the boot in line with other successful lo-cut silos on the market including Nike's Hypervenom, Vapor & Tiempo and the adidas ACE and X editions. The mesh based elasticated area is executed in PUMA's unique way and while it hugs tight to the top of the foot, it's thinner than other alternatives on the market, an important aspect for shooting we feel. This prevents the boot from dampening shots and results in a much faster ping, aided by the addition of the AccuFoam diamonds scattered across this area.

The AccuFoam tech has long been the stand out tech on the evoPOWER and PUMA have found a more subtle way of implementing it into the Vigor design. Rather than long strips of padding on the forefoot, PUMA have strategically placed diamonds of the material across the upper and inside of the boot, which dramatically improves the overall streamline feel of the evoPOWER Vigor 1. Previous generations of the boot have often been criticised of being chunky but the rejigging of the AccuFoam tech certainly dismisses this.

The only negative we can point out on the stretchable sock construction that replaces the traditional tongue is that players with chunky feet – "pasty feet" if you like – may be put off by the bulging the foot will cause on the upper. It starts to look a little odd but the AccuFoam tech helps balance things out. The SG versions of the boot do feel a little heavy compared to other SG versions, but the FG and AG are as light as you'd want for a boot centred around power.

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On feet...

When you first slip into the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 1 you're welcomed immediately into a home of comfort. The sock construction moulds effortlessly around the foot while locking you in for tight but satisfyingly pressured sensation. This is arguably the biggest improvement from previous evoPOWER generations that often felt loose or left gaps around the foot rather than providing an airtight seal. The lacing system on top of the boot also helps the snug and uninterrupted feel inside the boot. PUMA have chosen to keep the evoPOWER silo as a lo-cut silhouette rather than add an evoKNIT collar like on the evoTOUCH and the low profile of the heel of the evoPOWER Vigor 1 is something that feels unusual at first, perhaps we've become used to having that part of the foot covered by mid-collar boots, but the lo-profile is something you quickly become used to.

Fit wise, we went true to size with no complaints. Simple stuff. What we would point out is that the evoPOWER Vigor 1 is very accommodating for wide footed players. That's not to say they're built wide, it's just that the AdaptaLite upper will mould around the foot rather than remaining rigid and stubborn. We've touched on the flexibility and comfort of the boot already, and those are real assets for the evoPOWER Vigor 1, which allows the boot to be ready to go. No break in time is needed whatsoever  – a credit to the construction and suppleness of the boot. A cosy toe box also eliminates any empty space inside the boot, as the roof of the boot sits closely to the top of the toes. Snug.

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On the ball...

When the balls come into play you find yourself looking to shoot almost instantly. Purely a frame of mind, of course, but you can't help but look for any opportunity to smash one goalwards. The evoPOWER Vigor 1 is naturally grippy to touch and this allows for a nice feel on the ball. It feels as if you can bend your foot around the ball and apply some grip to help the ball whip and spin with the friction the material creates. Call it improved accuracy if you must, but perhaps it just shows up other boots that are stiffer and less adaptive to precision shots. The ability the evoPOWER Vigor 1 gives your foot to be flexible ensures that this is a boot that's pretty dam fun to shoot with, and so it should be – everything about the evoPOWER is designed for this exact moment.

The stud configuration is strategically built to aid the standing foot for striking and the soleplate itself its constructed from a Pebax material meaning that it's thin at the front of the foot for flexibility but thicker at the rear to provide stability to the heel. The thin sock construction that wraps around your foot offers a full contact area of AccuFoam tech to allow an added sense of ping too. This boot isn't all about running up and hammering 30 yard shot after 30 yard shot, it's about a short sharp burst of power in instinctive opportunities. See target, pull trigger.

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So what's the verdict?

The evoPOWER Vigor 1 is PUMA's most complete shooting football boot yet in its most packaged form. Plush comfort, ultimate flexibility, technology that aids shot power and a locked in fit. No boot makes you better at shooting, but what the evoPOWER provides is a boot that will allow you to maximise your full power potential, if you like. The recoil of the flexible soleplate, the AccuFoam technology and large striking areas give you the platform to fulfill whatever you've got in your locker. But it must be said that the evoPOWER Vigor 1 does provide a more enjoyable shooting experience than many other boots on the market.

The touch and ball feel of the evoPOWER Vigor 1 has ensured the silo has progressed rapidly, expanding its reach to players. This ain't a silo just for those getting into shooting positions, this is a dynamic boot that players all over the pitch will appreciate. The out and out sprinter will probably stay away but for touch and comfort it's right up there. Power, precision and pick that one out.

Want a pair? Get them here.