Puma King Finale SL 1 Review
To say I was excited when I opened up this box is a massive understatement, the King SL has been a boot I’ve wanted to test ever since Thierry Henry returned to Arsenal and scored an absolute cracker on his debut in a pair. Straight away you feel the softness of the leather and the surprisingly minimal weight of this boot.
One of the most talked about features of this boot is its weight, or lack of it. The King SL weighs in at just 225 grams. Although this isn’t that light for a speed boot, when you dissect this boot – its incredibly lightweight for a full, premier K-Leather boot.
The K-Leather upper on the boot is incredibly soft – and gives one of the best touches I’ve ever experienced on a boot. Quite frankly, the upper on the King SL is the best leather I’ve ever seen deployed on a lightweight boot, this is only enhanced by the slight reduction in thickness to reduce weight.
The Formstrips on the boot pictured are the yellow stripes that run down the body of the boot, prior to wearing the boot I just assumed they were there for aesthetic purposes, however – during play I realised they do far more. Much like Nike’s (currently discontinued) flywire – the Formstrips allow the boot to retain its shape and rigidity while the super supple leather can easily mould to your foot. The slight rigidity of the Formstrip also allows the boot to have a padded area which feels pretty fantastic when playing a crisp pass or even just controlling the ball.
Shooting in the boot also feels great, this is mainly because of the leather upper, but also because Puma has looked at the tongue of the boot and utilised it for shooting while also minimising the weight of it.
control on the ball is simply incredible in the boot, because you retain all the touch and control of a full leather boot, while having the ease of movement of a speed boot. Puma has also looked at the stitching on the toe area of the boot, which I really like, because it gives a fantastic touch on the ball – but, much like the Formstrip, will keep the shape of the boot with that super soft leather
On to my favourite part of the boot: the sole plate. Puma has managed to keep the retro styling with a modern, performance based twist – right down to the sole plate. The stud configuration isn’t fancy, and doesn’t offer an enhanced acceleration like the Vapor 8s do. But the stud configuration is probably the most comfy one I’ve ever experienced.
The boot has an extremely smooth and even stud pressure – which feels very soft under foot, even when walking to pitches on solid surfaces. When playing, there is very little in the way of noticeable stud pressure – and this is down to Puma’s fantastic choice of materials, the studs are made from a softer, matte plastic material – which remains durable while also taking greater impact and spreading your weight more evenly into the surface.But I’m not even at my favourite part of this sole plate yet, its a tiny thing – but its absolutely incredible.
My favourite feature of the soleplate, and possibly the whole boot – is these thin lines in the forefoot of the plate. Although they seem minimal they have a massive effect on the play in the boot. These slits allow for an incredible amount of flexibility in the forefoot, which is great for turning, accelerating and striking free kicks. it also makes the boot incredibly comfortable – as it pretty much bends to your foot, giving a similar feeling to that in barefoot running shoes.
I also like that puma continues to produce small, classy touches throughout the boot, right down down to the lining, which features small puma cats across the whole lining – a small touch but very very cool.
If I had to fault anything on the boot, there was a slight discomfort on my first time wearing them – just from the achilles support, but this went really quickly as the leather on the boot softened. The slim heal counter of the boot is also really comfortable and remains very solid, even in a lightweight boot of its kind.
The King SL Finale is not the lightest of speed boots, but it is by far one of the most comfortable, not to mention the incredible touch it gives on the ball. I stand by what I said when I first saw this boot, if it was made by Adidas or Nike – this boot would be one of the most popular boots on the market today.
Here is a short Unboxing video of the Puma King Finale SL
You can purchase the King SL in the Blue/Dandelion colourway shown in our photos from Pro Direct Soccer
Posted on October 29, 2012, in Reviews and tagged boots, cleats, finale, full leather, goals and gear, how is the, king, Leather, puma, review, reviews, sl, soccer, speed boot, Super light, Thierry Henry. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.