I was having an after-work drink with a mate when he told me he played football every Monday evening with a group of guys on Pflanzschulwiese in Zurich. I decided to join them.
That’s how, after 20 years, I decided to take up football again. I used to play for a few years in the junior football league and was rather dedicated until I decided to concentrate on biking in 1998. And it wasn’t my worst idea. Since retiring from professional biking, these are the sports I spend most time doing (in decreasing order): biking, tennis, badminton, road biking, jogging, squash, swimming, table tennis, billiards, dancing (my girlfriend made me).
Being an all-rounder, I was rather confident I’d make am good impression on the football pitch :).
My first task was to find my old boots in the attic. When I unpacked them, I couldn’t help but remember the “magical triangle” which was Giovane Élber, Krassimir Balakow and Fredi Bobic who ruled the German Bundesliga in the 1995/96 season. Giovane Élber, who was the league’s top scorer at the time, inspired me to get those white boots. It was a bold move back then; 99% of all football boots where black at the time.
I had to admit though that my boots had seen better days and I was afraid my toe would need to be amputated if I kept them on for more than two minutes. As this was the only pair I owned, I decided to test the new PUMA One.
CHF 179.–instead of 230.–1
One 17.1 FG (43)
Der neue Fussballschuh von Puma, auf den auch Antoine Griezmann und Stephan Lichtsteiner setzen.
When I put them on, my first impression was that football boots have changed a lot in the last few years.
This is what’s stayed the same: the colour
This is what’s changed:
- The boots are made of a softer and more flexible material, which allows you to wear them quite tightly and get a great feeling for the ball.
- The tongue has been replaced with something like a sock that creates a supportive and comfortable fit around the ankle.
- They’re a lot lighter. I noticed a real difference when sprinting.
- The stud configuration has been changed to supports speed and stability.
«The pressure was on me»
To get used to my new equipment, I arranged to meet my mate 20 minutes before the game. I was nervous, motivated and very enthusiastic. This is what we practiced:
- Juggling: acceptable
- Push passing: okay
- Long, high passing: awesome
- Headers: very good
- Tossing the water bottle behind the goal: like a pro
- First real shot on goal from 20 metres: 6 metres over the crossbar and over the fence, directly into a tree where it got stuck. Hello, Roberto Baggio.
I’m not blaming the boots or the ball. It might well have been my kicking technique.
While we were playing, my skills and technique improved and after volleying the ball into the net to secure our 3:1 lead, I felt comfortable on the pitch and started to enjoy my new boots.
I really liked the boots. They stayed comfortable throughout our intense 90-minute match. I’d say the PUMA One is an all-rounder. It has enough material to keep your feett stable (it’s not just a sock with studs), but has a tight fit and is lightweight at the same time. The sock construction is very comfortable, as is the reactive outsole.
The only thing I wasn’t too keen on was the colour. I might have liked white boots 20 years ago, but today, I prefer simple black boots. White shows grass stains very quickly and although they can probably be removed, I’d rather spend time doing other thing than cleaning my boots. Having a post-match beer with my mates for example.