Creative Soccer Culture

Laced Up: PUMA Future 4.1 Review

The Puma FUTURE has made a marked impression since it re-invogorated the brand's boot line-up. With evoKnit and NETFIT crafting a boot that has attracted a new generation of players it's no surprise to see it reach a fourth generation. Each new-gen has seen subtle upgrades, so we were keen to slip them on to see what the latest design offers.

Has the PUMA FUTURE 4.1 continued the impressive lineage of the futuristic boot? Cosmetically, this boot is certainly unique, but any fan of the big cat knows that they’ve never been one to shy away on the look, style, or colour of a boot. Covered in a crazy texture along the forefoot and heel, coupled with the holes placed for NETFIT, it really is a lot to take in. Wrapped up in the blackout of the "Eclipse Pack" though, and it looks weaponised.


Don’t be looking for a new boot bag in the box of the FUTURE, 'cos you'll be disappointed, but you will get some extra laces that will allow you to further dress up your design. Considering lacing is being sold as one of the biggest tech innovations of the boot, it makes perfect sense that they’d want you to be as motivated as possible to try unique lacing options.

The newer FUTURE models have jumped out of the box being a bit stiff, and this boot doesn’t fall far from that tree. While EvoKnit is one of the softer knitted materials available, the texture added to the upper makes it have a bit of a break-in. The touch isn’t impeded by all the additions to the upper, but it definitely takes the boot out of the realm of barefoot or super close feel. Dribbling is fine, but we aren’t sure what type of player is hunting this exact type of touch on the ball.


It is impressive how many layers it seems that PUMA have been able to hide under the hood of this boot without it being overly bulky or making the touch super dampened, but maybe we could have done without a few of the textures on the upper to let us be a bit closer to the ball.

The FUTURE looks like a boot that should shine brightest in front of goal. This all felt similar to dribbling... we were impressed, but not enough to go and retrieve the balls for another round, again, it's decent. Shooting, if you’ve found a lacing set-up that keeps the boot snug, is crisp. It didn’t quite the heights of EvoPowers gone by, but this was one of our favourite aspects of the current FUTURE. Passing and receiving the ball is easy, and you never feel like the NETFIT system is anything other than a standard part of the upper. For anyone wondering if the additions to the upper add anything to striking the ball or bringing the ball out of the air, maybe is our unhelpful answer. It's not noticeable but not many upper techs are.

When you add in the soleplate (that’s been unchanged since we met the first FUTURE) and the ability to customise the boot to squeeze your foot exactly how you’d like, this might be the most responsive boot on the market. If you lace them up to match your foot type, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about rollover or feeling like the boot isn’t always tight to your foot.


Despite adidas ditching AG/FG a few years ago, the FUTURE has stuck with the formula that lets you buy one pair of boots to give you a high level of performance across multiple surfaces. The bladed studs in the midfoot are perfectly placed, the conical studs help you dig in quickly and shouldn’t get stuck, and we’ve even come to like the stud near the front of the forefoot... wonder why we don't see it more often. The plate is also one of the most durable we’ve ever seen, and this all is helped by the build and stiffness that the boot utilises to aid that responsiveness we mentioned earlier.

There are two negatives for this version of the FUTURE that we’re having a bit of a hard time getting past. First, it feels like a lot of brands are making changes or updating boot names merely for the sake of saying that something is “new.”  However, there really isn’t a ton that differentiates this boot from its predecessor... even cosmetically. We have an almost identical upper, an exact match to the lacing system, and a soleplate (albeit a very good one) that hasn’t changed since the boot first hit store shelves. It almost feels like this is a one-off from the FUTURE 19.1; if you liked that one, you'll like this one.


Secondly, there’s not really anything about the 4.1 that has us ditching our preferred boots. Is it a quality release? Yes. Would we consider it a good boot? Absolutely, but we're still unsure who it's for. Perhaps if Puma could shed some excess on the upper and bring the touch to a more premium level or really give us something that would shine during play, then this boot could easily help PUMA have a roster that could challenge the brands around the big cat.

One of the biggest feathers in the FUTURE’s cap is its price point. With most other knitted boots sit at the height of the boot world’s pricing, the FUTURE is actually much more modestly situated. If price is what has kept you out of the knitted/collared game, then the FUTURE opens doors. However, even with this, you’d be hard pressed to not just hit up the last version on sale since the boots are so similar... but you didn’t hear that from us.


If you’re heading into your new season looking for a boot, then the latest FUTURE will check all of the boxes that you’re looking to find. It's a great boot that looks a bit different to the previous generation without really really different. Perhaps it's a testament to how well PUMA made the first generation FUTURE? There wasn't much to improve so the upgrades have come gradually.


Pick up the PUMA Future 4.1 football boots at


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