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Puma Future Z: First Impressions

The Puma Future, evolved.

It’s the end of an era for Netfit, the custom lacing technology that has defined the innovative Puma Future line. The Puma Future was developed to provide ultimate comfort through a customised fit. It has had its ups and downs but the Puma Future has ended its journey with Netfit in the strongest possible way – with the Puma Future 5.1 and 6.1 being not just the most comfortable of Puma boots but easily the most comfortable football boot in the market today.

With the new Puma Future Z, Puma sought to keep to its roots in providing the right fit but with an entirely new formula.

Transitioning from Netfit to FuzionFit+

I can’t deny that the Puma Future Z is an improvement in the looks department compared to later models of the Future though it would take a lot to look more ground breaking than the first ever Puma Future. The Puma Future Z looks pretty simple and civilised. Much of that can be attributed to the removal of the Netfit technology for a simple compression band across the midfoot called the FuzionFit+.

It reminds me of the adidas Nitrocharge concept which had a rigid band across the same midfoot area. While the Nitrocharge promised energy return, Puma’s FuzionFit+ aims to accommodate all foot shapes as the band adapts accordingly to each player.

A great idea in principle but I’m concerned it doesn’t have the more holistic approach of its previous interations when it comes to providing a one to one fit. It’s quite possible the laces and the stretchy lace area would aid the FuzionFit+ band in providing a more custom fit but we’d only be able to judge when we have the Puma Future Z on feet in January.

Touch on the ball

I loved the balance of padding and the close touch of the ball the Puma Future 5.1 provided me with. Striking the ball felt very clean despite all the distractions Netfit brought to the boot’s upper. With the much cleaner Future Z, I’m genuinely keen to find out how it feels as the toe box now carries a bit of foam padding, possibly for an elegant touch and some protection.

Puma’s also rumoured to add a layer of grip texturing to the upper for extra traction with the ball during dribbles so that’s one to look forward to.

Z under the feet

Puma never changed the soleplate of the previous Puma Futures and while they worked just fine, I am glad they tried something new with the “Z” design. It’s meant to help with diagonal cutting and movement, especially with the stiff horizontal area that runs through your arches and mid foot to provide stability. The moon-shaped studs look to balance mobility and traction with the conical and bladed elements respectively as opposed to the incumbent’s conservative conical setup.

I think this will be a popular move for Puma as most players prefer an aggressive stud pattern and a stiff soleplate. I do worry a little about AG compatibility as the FG studs look pretty long but we’ll have to see how they really perform on our personal feet.

Another strong step forward for Puma

  • Puma Future Z Neymar
  • Puma Future Z Neymar

It’s been a strong year for the big cat. The Puma Future 5.1 was surprisingly popular (and critically good), the new Puma Ultra just won our Boot of the Year award and Puma has significantly expanded their stable of sponsored athletes.

From a marketing standpoint, the latest Puma Future Z is another positive step forward for the brand. It’s a handsome boot and now they have a big star in Neymar backing them. I’m not sure how Puma can top the performance and fit of the previous model (they probably can’t?) but I’m keen to see how other new innovations like the new soleplate can make up for that shortfall.

What do you think of the Puma Future Z? Let us know in the comments below.

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