Pele Sports is an interesting brand with amazing potential. They offer a unique take on how to make a quality football boot and are fighting their way up the list of established brands. Adidas, Nike, and Puma better watch their backs because the brand named after the Grand Master himself is making some waves. Pele Sports first firm ground football boots are the 1970 which were released right before the 2010 world cup, A few years later and the 1970 has remained unchanged. But what about the mid-tier model? What does it have to offer? Through extensive testing and drills I have found out. For testing, I have the 1962 in the Pearlized White/Varsity Royal/Black colorway. I found these boots have a lot to offer so I’m going to go into all the little details so you guys get the whole picture.
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The Technology and Material – How do they differ from the 1970?
Pele sports didn’t skimp on the Mid Tier model of the 1970. The material is of amazing quality and it has every thing that the 1970 has to offer but instead of kangaroo leather they have specially treated Calfskin leather and instead of triple injecting the out-sole they only double inject it. Everything else has remained the same including their Duel Friction Technology and 5mm heel rise. The insole is also pretty cushioned, It is a big improvement to all the ultra thin insoles companies have been pushing. They are also 0.1 ounces lighter weighing in at 11.6 (similar to the Copa Mundial) , not much of a change but if you are looking at these you don’t want a feather weight. They might be a heritage boot but they have a good balance of technology thrown in.
The leather is absolutely amazing! If I wasn’t told that it was calf skin leather I would swear that it was Kangaroo. In some cases the quality of the leather actually is better than some kangaroo leathers. I was very curious of how the leather got to be so soft and supple to rival the quality of Kangaroo leather. Pele Sports puts it through a very special treatment process and I was able to get some info on what those processes include directly from their leather man “Dr. Leather”
Effectively we utilize very modern day leather processing techniques with just a few of the following:
1. Fibre substantive lubricants – this means that the fibre structure is lubricated deep in to the fibre structure hierarchy and also the lubricants are chemically reacted on to the fibres so they don’t wash out. Sadly such lubrication systems are not used on other leathers.
2. We utilize a specific sweat resistance backup tannage that combats the effect of sweat. Normal tannages are weakened by sweat which effectively cleave the tanning bonds. And when that happens the leather goes harder and starts to crack. Therefore we protect the tannage much better. Other leathers generally do not bother with this.
3. The dyestuffs used are state of the art types and do not affect the feel or handle of the leather.
4. The water resistance systems are again very hi-tech and so protect the fibres from being wetted with water or sweat and thus keep them in a better condition.
The care that Pele Sports puts into the upper material in the 1962, a mid range boot, is amazing. Some other companies don’t even put this much care into their Top tier boots! So far their is no signs of wear at all in the upper and that is also partly because of the Dual Friction technology which is designed to grip the ball better in dry and wet conditions and I have to say it works, the ball sometimes seemed to stick to my foot when receiving and dribbling. I have to say it is my favorite leather upper so far. Ball feel wise I can still tell it is calf leather but it is right on the cusp of rivaling kangaroo in that aspect.
Break in, Fit and Comfort
These bad boys fit a half size large and are better for a wide foot so if you have a size 9.5 us go with a size 9 like I did. I have a fairly narrow foot and I had to tighten the laces up as far as they could go for a snug fit, they should be able to fit any foot type. I wasn’t really worried about break in time, the leather (that amazing leather again) felt like it was broken in already. The out-sole did need a flexing session and half an hour of play before it felt like it was broken in enough, there was just a hint of cramping from it that didn’t evolve into anything painful or negative.
Overall there was pretty much no break in time. Comfort wise it was like wearing a boot with a marshmallow upper, the leather is just that amazing, the insole also was very cushioned and I played three hours without the amount of foot pain I have come to expect from any boot. These were meant for protection and comfort and they do the job exceptionally. The 5mm heel rise also was a big help, it is there to relieve pressure on the Achilles tendon and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (calf muscles). Just the 5mm rise reduced a lot of the muscle pain I felt after playing and also helped to make me more energy efficient in the game.
On turf the traction is pretty great, not too much and not too little. I never really use Firm Ground cleats on turf but I do just for testing. I would have to say these are safe to use on turf (though there were a few times I felt like they dragged). For grass I have no complaints at all, they give amazing grip and making cuts was good, no dragging on grass. Also there was never any stud pressure.
I love the tongue on these babies! It effectively covers the strike zone and adds to the old school vibe. There are two ways I found to wear the tongue that worked. First I tried putting the strap between the back two studs which worked great. I also tried it behind the forefoot studs which I didn’t like as much as putting it between the back two studs. I know that Bryan had some problems figuring out where to put the strap but I wasn’t a problem for me.
These are really my first boots that go over 10 ounces but once I got them into play this didn’t matter so much to me. The weight was more of a positive for me because it made me feel more protected so I was more confident going into tackles and I did so more frequently. Whenever I got stepped on the pain was quick, dull and fleeting, I can’t imagine anyone picking up foot injuries while wearing these.
They were also amazingly comfortable like I said before, I could play all day in these and not feel the need to change boots. I found shooting in them to be pleasurable. I guess the weight itself adds a power element! I can imagine every player on the field benefiting from these except for those who really count on being light on their feet. I felt like the heel rise not only reduced pressure on my Achilles and calf muscles but also changed my posture to a more energy efficient one as well as keeping me on my toes a bit better. These are like a hybrid boot, they boast control elements, the weight acts like a power element, and the leather and look makes it heritage. They will leave the player who relies on speed wanting a little more but these will be sure to satisfy everyone else. I would say these are as reliable as the Copa Mundial.
The Design and Colorway
The design is very classy and ever so slightly different from the 1970. I love the little details on them and the pattern they use for the insole, out sole and the inside of the shoe box. I love heritage boots and these find me very satisfied in terms of the style, I got the chance to ask the “Old School” gang what they thought about them and they fell in love too.
They are all into heritage boots such as the Copa Mundial but they were all interested in getting their hands on a pair. One of them even said that he would like to switch from Copa to the 1962! That is saying something since he has been using Copas since they first came out I can imagine! I thought the colorway was going to stain like crazy but there are only minor stains that have faded after a few games and a handful of cleanings. The white upper is still white even after 6 or more hours on turf. The light use of blue through the boot also adds a little extra something, they have that little dash of color in a mainly solid white upper and I like it.
Benefits for all ages
What I like about these is that (like any heritage boot) they can work for every position and they are available in jr and sr sizes so all ages as well. They are especially beneficial for the younger generation. They stress protection and performance with these boots but they also focus strongly on prevention.
A category redefining in-sock has been added: Not only will your foot-to-boot fit and comfort improve dramatically, but you will also discover greater sensory stimulation leading to improved reaction rate times, safety and performance. The in-sock technology is especially beneficial for children playing in their formative years by helping to prevent orthopedic problems that can develop later in life.
I really did notice all the extra benefits when playing related to prevention which I found very interesting. If you want your kids to have the best you can’t go wrong with these bad boys. In addition to that they are very durable so if your kid slops them around and doesn’t take care of them they will last for an exceptionally long time.
The white upper stains a bit but is still easily cleaned and taken care of so its not a crazy big negative and can be avoided by going with a darker colorway. Width wise wasn’t really right for me, they would be better for wide feet, I had to tighten the laces pretty much as far as they could tighten for a tight fit. Out of fairness this isn’t a true negative but for those with narrow feet it is. The studs also drag ever so slightly on turf but that is not the surface they are made for. Weight wise they can be off putting but they are up there with the Copa Mundial in the 11oz range. If you are all into light weight you will find these to be unbearably heavy but that isn’t so terrible for the rest of football playing population. Bryan asked the company about the weight of the 1970 for his review and they came back with this explanation to address the weight issue.
“While we find the new superlight boots very interesting from a design perspective, we wonder about their utility for a true all-around player. By our definition, every player should be prepared to track back on defense, make hard challenge when necessary and play aggressively for 90 minutes. To do so requires great fit, support and comfort.”
I find the first sentence in the quote funny now that they have their own superlight boot!
As a mid tier boot these are exceptional, they offer everything that the top tier 1970 has to offer and come in Jr and Sr sizes. If I didn’t know better I would say they are top tier. They have worked out excellently and I just wish that they were just a little narrower. But overall the good out weighs the bad, the bad being just the fact that it dragged a little on turf , it is on the heavy side and they fit a little wider than I would like. These won’t appeal to everyone because of the weight but these are great for all round players, coaches, defenders, midfielders pretty much everyone but speedsters.
Finally, the price tag is reasonable with the white version retailing for $130, while the Jr models sell for $80. You can find them on sale for lower costs like $71 on wegotsoccer.com. So you are getting top tier quality at lower tier prices which is pretty cool!
Technology Efficiency: %63
Value: % 67
Total Score: %68