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At least I think so!

For those of you that visit my Blog regularly, you may remember my post “Picking Out New Cleats“; for those new to my Blog, I published a post a while back (21 Feb 2011) discussing my need for some new footwear for Ultimate. I spent a lot of time going back and forth about purchasing new cleats for the up-coming year and outlined my final choices in the aforementioned post. I received some great comments from my teammates and other readers, so I wanted to follow up with a post about the ones I finally went with, and talk about trying on the different products.

Flash without Flash

Well, I ended up going with the Diadora Stile LT 10 K MG 14 cleats. I almost kicked in a few extra bucks for the “Pros”, but at the last minute decided to stick with the “Non-Pro” boot. The Pro model had two additional features I was interested in: Engage (an insole that offers additional comfort, shock absorption and helps with foot perspiration) and Double Action or DA (a material in the heel that helps to absorb shock). I was interested in the DA, especially, because I come down on my heel from time to time after an awkward jump. In the end, the base model had what I wanted, so I didn’t get more than I really needed.

SHOPPINGFinding the Right Fit

I’m picky…. I spent a lot of time talking with teammates and reading reviews online before I went to a number of local sports stores (Dicks, Modells, Sports Authority, Soccer Station) to try on the different spikes. However, the first hurtle I faced was actually finding each of the pairs I was interested in. This was due to two reasons: 1) it wasn’t soccer season and 2) not many places carry my size (even during the season, as I was told by one store). Soccer Station had the largest selection, but none that were in my size; this was a huge disappointment. Of the ones I did try on, here is my personal take on them:

Adidas Copa Mundial – I originally thought that these would be the cleats I would choose, but there were too many things that didn’t work for me. First off, they felt too narrow. None of the sizes (11, 11.5, 12) I tried on really fit my foot. The studs seemed too close together (lengthwise), or at least they felt that way, which made me feel slightly unbalanced, like I was on skates. They weren’t flashy, but that didn’t bother me. Even though the leather was pretty soft and the Copa was in my price range, it just wasn’t the right cleat for me.

Nike Speed TD – I liked these football cleats for the most part. They were lightweight, had an aggressive stud pattern that would be good for cutting and quick acceleration and were in my price range. The size 12 fit OK-ish, though not perfect. The heel was a little chunky (I was looking for studs all the way around, but these had broad square spikes in the heal), but not as bad as some cleats I looked at. Sadly, I couldn’t find a place that still had an 11.5 in stock, so I started to lean away from them. Since they weren’t leather and I wasn’t completely blown away by the fit, I passed on these, too.

Nike T90 Laser III – I originally wasn’t going to try these on, but because selection was limited in the stores, I thought I’d give them a go. The size 12 fit pretty well, but were a little stiff for me. Plus, since I wasn’t going to play soccer in them, I thought the features improving ball control were a little overkill. I do drag my foot from time to time when slowing down to change direction, so maybe the five rubber pods would’ve helped against wear…maybe not. I did like the bladed stud pattern, which seemed to offer great traction. In the end, I didn’t pursue them.

Nike Tiempo Legend III – These were the next boot I thought I’d end up with, but again I couldn’t find the right fit. They were just too long. The 11.5 was close, but didn’t completely do it for me. And the 11 seemed a little too snug. I have worn a friend’s pair for a couple games, but since I’ve done some serious damage to my big toes (or rather the nails) in these cleats, I shied away from them when they didn’t fit perfect. I’ve come to terms that Nike just isn’t the shoe company for me.

Puma Kings – Since I owned Puma cleats before I thought I’d try on some of their models. The Kings were nice and the 11.5 fit alright, but there was something that didn’t feel absolutely right about them. The price was fine (though at the higher end of my price range), the stud pattern was good, the color was fine, nothing flashy, and the leather and suede material was comfortable. I think it came down to having a bit too much room in the toe for me, so I didn’t choose them.

Puma PWR-C 2.10 FG (Green/Limeade) – I loved how the toe felt on these; they fit perfectly there. The leather was soft. However, whomever designed the outsole heel of these cleats makes me wonder. The plastic came all the way from the midsole to almost the edge of the heel tab/ Achilles notch. When I flexed side to side, I could feel the hard plastic dig into my foot. Uncomfortable! No thanks.

Warrior Burn Speed 4.0 LT– The fit of these lacrosse cleats was close to what I was looking for: The size matched my foot (size 11), the insole was comfortable, they were also pretty lightweight. The biggest drawback was how stiff they were. I think that is why I decided against them in the end.

Just out of the Box!

FINAL CHOICEWhy I went with Diadora?

What a Stud!

I will say that, from a shallow point of view, I liked the look of these cleats first and foremost. I like a bit of flash, but not to the point of overstatement. The White/Yellow/Black color combination caught my eye much more than the Black/White/Silver.  That was one of the early reasons why I started looking into them. Moreover, with every review or product description, I liked them more and more.  When I read reviews, they always raved about the softness of the Kangaroo leather used in the production of these boots. And when I pulled mine out of the box I saw why. They felt like they were already broken in.

The cleat is also very flexible. The outsole and its 14 studs are very responsive without being stiff.  I also liked the low profile stud pattern, which I think will be good for both firm ground and indoor surfaces.

Bottom line they are a quality, super-comfortable cleat.

Sooooo Soft!

FIRST OUTINGSHow do the stand up so far?

I played my first game in them today (UltiNY Saturday League). They felt great! Good traction, snug fit, no blisters or other injuries to speak of. I am very happy with them and look forward to having some fun in them this season!

Thanks for reading. And a special thanks, once again, to Jen for taking some awesome pictures for the post!