By Kelvin Tan
The PUMA PowerCat 1 FG is made for the power hungry with its powerCELL properties, and helps improve ball grip and kicking precision with its soft, premium K-Leather upper. Puma Europe
While there’s clearly some improvements the Powercat 1FG boasts over its previous iteration, the 1.12, they’re quite subtle, which makes us wonder why we should shell out for this boot.
– Finally, a boot that still comes in K-Leather! While all the other big bootmakers have been hopping on to their own versions of synthetic materials, any experienced weekend warrior will tell you that there’s no substitute for a good ol’ pair of K-Leather boots for the material’s overall comfort, as well as the way it will wrap around your feet comfortably over time.
– A powerboot that holds no pretentions of being anything else- from the powerCELL technologies to its double-density 3D Puma PST Duo grooves- everything about the PowerCat is built for power, and you know what you’re going to get with this boot.
– Again, in our opinion, Puma gets it right by sticking to old favourites with the Powercat, which is epitomized by it’s bladed stud configuration. We’ve not fully understood why bootmakers around the world have popped back to rounded studs, when in our opinion bladed studs are still the best when it comes to pressure distribution while we’re trying to weave our way around the pitch.
– Simply put: What’s new? While everything to love about the Powercat is still there, we found it difficult to distinguish this version from its predecessor, and that will make it hard to shell out Puma’s $219 asking price.
– One common issue we’ve had with the Powercats as consistently as since since the 1.10 version, which was released three years ago, is how the boot tends to stretch out quite quickly because of its K-Leather upper material. Given your average weekend warrior does tend to put his boot through both wet and dry conditions quite frequently with our tropical weather, this means that the Powercats have tended to become quite loose towards the tail end of their use. If you’re finicky about how tight boots need to fit, you might find the Powercats have a far shorter lifespan.
Getting them on
We’ve been slipping on football boots for the better part of our adult lives, and our humble opinion is that there’s no pleasure greater than putting on a kangaroo leather boot. The trouble is, with animal conservation and protectionism being such a priority these days, it’s getting harder and harder for boot manufacturers to get large quantities of the good stuff, which is probably why K-leather boots seem to be going the way of the dodo. With these Powercats, all it took was a moment to slip on and some tightening of the laces, and we were off to the races!
What’s the difference?
Running around on the pitch with the Powercat, we couldn’t help smiling to ourselves- after having tried on several other pairs recently, it certainly was a pleasure to return to the one boot that’s always met our mark. Yet while the sense of familiarity was certainly a good thing, the one question lingering as our game reached its halfway mark was: so what’s new with this Powercat compared to the previous version we were wearing recently?
Hitting the crossbar twice in quick succession, we had to wonder – was that because of the boot or because of a lack of accuracy ourselves? We took a closer look at the Powercat’s double-density 3D Puma PST Duo grooves, and compared it to our own pair of Powercat 1.12’s – and found no difference whatsoever.
We then sat down and compared both pairs of boots, and their blade configuration — again, no difference whatsoever.
Still a great boot
Gripes about the lack of newness with this iteration notwithstanding, the Powercat 1 FG is still a pretty fantastic boot. We found no issues with it on synthetic turf, weather-beaten grass, or even synthetic pitches, which make it quite a good buy for the weekend warrior who plays in a variety of games. In addition, the general thickness of the K-Leather is just right when it comes to protection, yet not too clunky to affect touch, though some midfield maestros may find the PST Duo grooves a tad too unyielding for bringing down the ball quickly and moving on with it.
You’ve obviously read enough about how we think this boot doesn’t seem to offer much than its previous version released earlier last year, but if you are looking to replace a boot that’s wearing out soon, you can’t go too far wrong from the Powercat 1 FG- it’s got something for every player.
$239 each, available at Weston Corporation, #01-22 Queensway Shopping Centre