Thursday, July 15, 2010
Puma Power Cat PWR-C 1.10
Puma's latest offering, the PWR-C 1.10 or Power Cat, is a brave attempt at rivalling the Adidas Concave. Worn by the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Peter Crouch, Nemanja Vidic and Gianluigi Buffon at the World Cup, the boot is certainly eye-catching in the way it combines black, lime and white to present a modern take on the classic Puma King.
The Power Cat is a hybrid of the best aspects of speed and power boots and is aimed at players who favour a boot that does not feel bulky. The strange looking PowerGils on the front of the boot immediately catch the eye and do feel strange at first. After a few strikes of the ball, though, their purpose becomes clear. Positioned predominantly on the inside of the shoe, they enable wearers to curl the ball very easily. As a right-footed player who likes to draw the ball from right-to-left, the PowerGils really helped and are a feature that should be retained in future models.
The only downside of the PowerGils is the way in which they stretch the leather between each of the four panels on the front of the boot. After a few weeks wearing the boots the leather became visibly stressed and that damage seems likely to get worse with use.
The comfort of these boots is easily their best attribute. As someone who suffers with blisters when breaking in new boots, I never felt the need to take a box of plasters to training in case of irritation. In particular, the area around the bottom of the big toe is well protected on the boot and this helps to stop any rubbing on the foot.
The shape of the boots is also a favourable quality. I have a regular to wide foot and often feel crammed into boots but the width and flexibility on the inside allowed me to groove out a perfect fit almost instantly. The use of kangaroo leather contributes to this.
Another impressive feature of the PWR-C 1.10 is the firm heel, kept in place by a solid plastic base contoured to the shape of the back of the foot. The idea of the plastic insert is to avoid twisting and turning when planting a step into the pitch and this idea works very well.
Other boots with a purely leather heel can often crumble but this one does a perfect job of avoiding that, while also providing the user with more stability. This feature becomes even more impressive on a soft pitch.
The main weak point of the PWR-C 1.10 is the positioning of the laces. As somewhat of a traditionalist I favour centred lacing and found the diagonal preference on this boot reduced the snug-fit. Also, the laces are a touch long and their flat finish means they regularly came undone. A minor issue perhaps, but one that can become annoying.
Overall, the Puma's latest offering is one that should see them challenge Adidas and Nike in the boot-selling stakes and at a retail price of £74.99p they offer a cheaper alternative to most top-range boots. Perhaps the same boot with centred lacing would be more appealing, but, nonetheless, the PWR-C 1.10 is an impressive package and one which I would certainly recommend.