Words: Sam Diss
New Balance have been hard at work, stuck in the lab cooking up two new boots—the Furon v5 Pro and the Tekela v1 Pro, in a handsome black and emerald green colourway—and we were on hand (on foot??) in Manchester to try them out for ourselves.
For the Furon, the brand has focused on revamping the previous iteration of the lightweight boot with an altogether sturdier construction thanks to their Fantom Fit full-foot skeleton for what New Balance promises will be “targeted lockdown and unrivalled, explosive acceleration” alongside the sole plates new “data-driven stud placement". The future is exciting, isn’t it? The v5 is Sadio Mané’s current boot of choice, and we can tell you first-hand (first-foot??) that the improvement in strike with the boot is marked: zero slippage inside or outside, even on artificial turf, and a really solid contact with the ball. Even we were hitting them sweetly.
Imagine it now: you pegging it down the wing in the Furon (above), your feet just a black-and-neon-emerald-green-with-mirrored-silver-accent blur to finish of a cross your mate has clumsily hooked in your general direction—while you can’t rely on the pitch, you can rely on the Furon’s bonded mesh upper and integrated low-profile track collar which makes for an altogether more satisfying response on contact. It works. Lovely stuff.
The Tekela (above) is still a fairly new boot (hence the giveaway “v1” at the end of its name), and they’ve made these for players who drive the attack forward with their passing. Which... well, running is hard, isn’t it? “Touch” and “feel” are the two key themes of the boot, with a synthetic microfibre upper that’s almost leather-like in its warmth and responsiveness but, crucially, isn’t leather. Remember this is the future, so instead, the Tekela’s construction features “kinetic stitch dynamic embroidered bands” which for extreme dynamic stability, instant touch, incredible feel and extraordinary manoeuvrability”.
The challenge to test out the boots in Manchester involved us doing some kick ups while bouncing it off a couple of strategically placed trampettes. It was, at first, incredibly difficult. But once we warmed up, the touch on the instep felt very natural and controlled. Can we credit the kinetic stitch dynamic embroidered bands for this or was it simply our own natural gifts? Hard to say. But by the time we finished, popping the ball up off one trampoline and onto another before slotting the ball between a tiny cat flap in the wall on the half volley, we were big fans of the fresh colour Tekela.