If you are looking for the most lightweight and aggressive speed cleat, PUMA is the brand that should be on your top list. With its release of the latest generation, PUMA ULTRA 1.3, the brand has stripped 0.2 oz from its already super lightweight predecessor. PUMA ULTRA 1.3 is one of the most famous soccer cleats, with over 450 professional players using it in high-level competitions for season 2021-22.
Not only that, but PUMA has also improved the performance of the ULTRA 1.3 and added an important lightweight technology, the Internal SPEEDCAGE, which provides support during rapid acceleration. The upper is now more skin-tight and less padded compared to its predecessor. But despite the massive upgrade, PUMA has maintained its selling price at $200, which makes it the cheapest top-tier speed cleat on the market today.
But it’s not the first time PUMA has made a super lightweight soccer cleat. In the past, the brand has introduced the lightest soccer cleat in the world, the Ultra SL, which only weighs around 3.1 oz. Although the Ultra SL is a fully functional soccer cleat, it only has two studs under the heel, and you may use it on natural surfaces only.
The ULTRA 1.3 Design
PUMA ULTRA 1.3 has the thinnest upper among speed cleats, but it is very supportive and will give you a tight and secure fit on straight-line runs and multidirectional movements. The upper has a new Internal SPEEDCAGE installed along with its lightweight MATRYXEVO woven upper.
It has a lightweight lacing system, which offers a custom fit that doesn’t distract the touch on the ball. These technologies offer a comfortable, stable, and closer-to-the-foot sensation. The upper also conforms to the shape of your foot better than its predecessor.
It uses the GripControl Pro coating for a better grip on the ball, and an ultra-fast SpeedUnit outsole, which provides aggressive traction and grip for rapid movements in all directions. It also has a Nano Grip sock liner, designed to help reduce foot slippage as you make quick movements on the soccer field. The ULTRA 1.3 has older professional players who admire its comfortable footbed.
Fit and Feel
The ULTRA 1.3 will fit most foot sizes. However, it now feels narrower in the midfoot than before, which can be a concern if you have extra-wide feet and you loved the wide-fitting design of the Ultra 1.2. This new model also feels less padded than its predecessor, which gives you a sign that performance is the top priority on this upgrade.
The outsole feels less rigid than the Vapor 14 and X Speedflow.1, but it provides excellent protection from the elements of the ground, and you won’t have the studs pushing upward against your foot. It provides a responsive toe-off, but since the outsole feels less stiff, be careful not to over bend in the forefoot when pushing off.
What Player Position is Best for PUMA ULTRA 1.3?
The ULTRA 1.3 is most effective on straight-line acceleration, so it is for the players whose roles rely on speed to gain control of the match. PUMA ULTRA 1.3 is most famous among forwards, but you’ll also see midfielders and defenders using it in their respective positions. The only thing to be aware of (when you use it in defensive positions) is the super-thin upper that provides virtually no protection from any impact.
Should You Choose a Takedown Model?
If you want the best performance, go for the top-tier ULTRA 1.3 model. It is the most lightweight model and has the most premium materials and the best technologies. And if you are a female soccer player, the ULTRA 1.3 has a women’s model offered in all-conical studs. The women’s version is a top-tier model with a design taken from the feedback of women soccer players using PUMA boots. It has the most comfortable and best fit for the female foot.
If you want to save some cash, go for the ULTRA 2.3, the first takedown model with some technologies of the top-tier model. Because of the massive upgrade of this new generation speed cleat, its takedown models also benefited from the improvements. The ULTRA 2.3 has a thicker and more padded upper compared to the top-tier model but doesn’t have the Nano Grip sock liner and other technologies found in the ULTRA 1.3.
The ULTRA 1.3 is PUMA’s lightest and fastest soccer cleat. It is a better speed cleat than its predecessor, especially in fit and performance. It feels different from the product it replaces, which you may either like or dislike if you had a great time using the ULTRA 1.2 on the soccer field.
The upper, where the massive changes occurred, now offers a better fit and a more barefoot-like touch on the ball. The locked-in sensation in all directions is excellent. However, it may not be the most comfortable speed cleat anymore because it misses some of the cozy paddings of the ULTRA 1.2.