“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards”, said Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, on the subject of the future. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” claimed Eleanor Roosevelt on the same subject. “If you want my future, forget my past, If you wanna get with me, better make it fast” mused The Spice Girls many years later. The future, for generations, has remained unknown. But now we know what it is. It’s a football boot.
You’ll have seen PUMA’s new boot by now. The FUTURE has a unique NETFIT design which allows players to lace their boots in hundreds of different ways for total comfort, flexibility, and to unleash their full potential on the field. We caught up with PUMA designer Carl Wilkinson to chat about them before the launch party in an underground car park in London.
What’s the inspiration behind the boot?
The inspiration behind this boot was really the idea of customisation. We really wanted to find a solution for a fit and a customisable fit. So we’ve created a unique boot that fits the best it possibly could to every individual foot shape.
Did you think about the type of player you designed it for?
Yeah, so now we don’t necessarily look build a shoe for a certain position. We really build a shoe for a mind-set, and the mind-set of the player here is inventive play. They’re the kind of guys that play with intuition. The guys that are really explosive. The guys that can change the game with one moment; they’re the ones that are the real creative force behind the team.
Tell us about the NETFIT lacing design.
Originally, when our innovation team came up with this concept of NETFIT, it was built not just for performance, but with our sneakers in mind too. We feel that in football now, it’s getting closer to being more about the style element within sneaker culture and we feel that this boot is a good nod in that direction.
Did you face any difficulties integrating NETFIT with the striking zone on the boot?
The NETFIT itself caused a few difficulties in development because it’s an extra layer on top. So we had to come up with a way where we fused everything on top of the shoe, so it creates one unique layer. So we do this by bonding TPU skin on top, which then fuses three layers to make one.
The colourway on this boot is a bit mad, talk us through it.
The idea with this colourway came from us wanting the boot to stand out on the pitch and make a bang with the first drop. The idea with the yellow was something which really stands out against a green pitch, again wanting to make a statement, wanting to be bold. And then we have this black graphic which is really inspired by the moment where you score a goal – the explosion of emotions where you score a goal for the first time or score the winning goal and the crowd erupting and going wild. So you can see it’s a really nice way to introduce that emotion to this side (of the boot).
So many boots these days are laceless, what made you want to go against that trend?
It is true that other brands have gone laceless, but here at Puma when we were looking to create a new boot, we looked at laces and found that is the best lockdown system you can possibly get. So we decided that instead of going laceless, that we would actually celebrate the lacing system and what that stood for, and I think the NETFIT allows you to do that.
On the FUTURE box, you offer 8 different ways to lace up the boots, are any of them a nod to Puma classics like the King?
To be honest, we give the players some direction, but I think it’s down to each individual to try and lace it in their specific way in which it fits their foot. I think this is a brand new concept; it’s a unique concept. It doesn’t really fit with any of our predecessors with the power, with the speed and the touch. We really wanted to create something that was new, innovative and fresh on the market to really show the direction that the brand is going to go into next.
Are you excited to see the next generation of footballing superstars wearing this boot?
Yeah, of course. Antoine Griezmann is wearing it already, as well as Nacho Monreal and Marko Arnautović. But for us, it’s really important that the next generation of stars are wearing it. We’re always looking for the new generation of football stars, and this is what this boot is for. It’s amazing to see the boots on the pitch, but what’s even more amazing is to see people putting them on for the first time. Not necessarily pro players but semipro and Sunday league players and the reaction they get from wearing the boots is amazing.
Get yourself a pair of FUTURE from the handsome, trustworthy lads at JD Football. For a closer look at PUMA’s new on-pitch offering follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and pre-order a copy of our latest magazine here.