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Puma Ultra 5

Dean Ariola

With Nike and adidas leading the way for speed boots, Puma steps up to the challenge and releases the Ultra, now at its Ultra 5 iteration. First launched in 2020, the Ultra marks the successful return of Puma in the said category after the discontinuation of the iconic evoSPEED. Together with the Future, the Ultra helps the Wild Cat brand provide distinct choices that cater to a variety, sometimes even opposing, boot preferences.

Ultra 5 Page Content Summary:

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The Future and Neymar might be hugging the limelight on the glamour of Puma boots, but the Ultra by itself is hugely deserving of a co-star recognition. After all, it can certainly hold its ground against the Superflys, the Vapors, and the F50s.

How We Tested And Reviewed The Puma Ultra

For our ways and means when it comes to boot testing, you can check them out here. Puma views the Ultra as its top speed boot option, and so I involved the Puma Ultra in actual training and matches to see how it really performs in practice. This way, we could also see the Puma Ultra for what it is and what it provides on its own. Puma also offers the King, but the situation on the ground dictates that it’s actually the Future and the Ultra that is carrying the Puma brand when it comes to boots, so I included a short comparison of the two in this review.

Known Football Names and Price Options under the Puma Ultra

Antoine Griezmann comes to mind when it comes to the Ultras. He is not alone though as he is now joined by a cast of quality players like Kingsley Coman and Christian Pulisic. It’s also worth mentioning that the Puma Ultra has a dedicated women-sizing, and with the likes of Fridolina Rolfö on board, should not have any problems getting a following in women’s football.

Puma Ultra 5 Carbon

The latest from the Puma Ultra speed boot line that directly competes with the Nike Mercurial and adidas F50

Women’s Ultra

Designed with the female footshape in mind, Puma have been at the forefront of designing specific women’s boots for the last few years, especially with the Ultra, launching slightly different colourways in packs for the girls game.

Some Questions about the Ultra Ultimate

  • What’s new with the Ultra Ultimate?

The Ultra overhauls the the Puma speed silo from the ground up. The outsole now is a full-length carbon-fibre SPEEDSYSTEM soleplate. On top of it is a mesh upper with PWRTAPE SQD support frame. A central lacing system caps off the one-piece upper.

  • Can I go laceless with the Puma Ultra?

That’s a big NO. The boot does not have any mechanism on the midfoot despite having a one-piece upper. Perhaps you might want to take a look at the Ultra Match LL, just not the top-end Ultra please.

Our Ultra 5 Carbon Review

SPEEDSYSTEM Soleplate

The highlight of the Ultra 5 is the full-length carbon fibre soleplate. Whenever we talk about carbon fibre tooling, we always recall Nike’s attempt from years back to incorporate such material to its Mercurial line. I think SPEEDSYSTEM is the best application so far of carbon fibre on outsoles, even better perhaps than the Carbitex Speedframe of the adidas X. The snapback is relatively off-the-charts, and the overall plate feels solid and dense under your feet. Then there’s the toe lift that keeps you on your toes and gets you ready to accelerate. You can not go wrong with the Ultra 5 if you’re after that high degree of responsiveness, especially when you push off the ground and start running on the pitch. For certain, the SPEEDSYSTEM is not for everyone, and I believe those who are not fans of this tooling are those that might prefer a lighter, more flexible soleplate.

The stud configuration is pretty much unique. FastTrax are these long, web-shaped studs that are aggressive in design. Besides the shape, it’s also distinct because of the three-stud setup rather than the usual four on the heel. For years Puma has labelled their top-end boots FG/AG, so I think the decision to stick with the FG assignment for the Ultra 5 is definitely warranted. The harder the pitch is, the more that you’ll get pushback and pressure from the FastTrax configuration.

Mesh Upper with PWRTAPE SQD

What we get for the upper is a mesh-based material with strategic coating reinforcement and a cut-out frame for structural support. I liken it to the Vaporposite of the Nike Mercurial Superfly8/Vapor 14, but only softer and more pliable. It might lessen the boot’s responsiveness and lockdown, but I think what you get in return is a material that comfortably presses against your feet. It’s almost translucent, and from there my expectation of the ball touch being sharp and direct is certainly met. There’s also this Grip Control Pro Skin, which is a combination of a texturing and a bit of sticky coating on the upper to give it some sense of ball grip. Despite not being Gripknit sticky, I find it a welcome feature on the upper for at least preventing the ball from sliding away from my boot when dribbling.

Fit, Feel and Sizing

Whereas the Ultra 5 has gone hardcore speed when it comes to the outsole, I believe Puma has decided to become conservative when it comes to fit. For my narrow feet, the boot still wraps my them closely, though I can feel some space around the bottom part of my midfoot. If you have a bit more width or flat-footed, that will certainly address the issue. It’s easy to stretch it sideways to open it up and take in more width thanks to the stretchy integrated knitted tongue. There’s also this minimal heel padding, which is noticeable less than what you’ll find in other boots. This does cause me to have some spaces around the top part of the opening. I think you can remedy this by taking advantage of the extra lace holes and doing a runner’s loop. This also significantly increases the lockdown for me.

The sizing is where it gets tricky. The length runs a bit long, a quarter to half-a-size even. The toe box is a bit pointy though, and so you should only go half-a-size down if the tighter fit wouldn’t crush your feet.

Final Thoughts

I believe Puma is onto something here with the Ultra 5. It’s certainly won’t be everyone’s boot, but it has a boot experience that you can only have when you try it out. The Future has always been the frontliner. But with the Ultra 5, Puma’s speed line continues to perform as an equal star of Puma football boots.

Ultra or Future: Choosing the Right Puma Silo for You

If performance is your priority, the close fit of the Ultra Ultimate, in addition to its snappy carbon fibre outsole and raw ball touch,  can give you a better sensation in improving your reaction time, nimbleness, and acceleration. Where the Future is arguably better is giving you that cozy comfort in the heat of the action to keep you fresh and focused. It also helps the Future’s case that it’s a boot that has no direct competition, unlike the Ultra which has to contend with the ever popular Nike Mercurials and the surging adidas F50 boots.


Deep Dive into the Previous Ultra Ultimate

Six Things to Know About the Ultra Ultimate:

  1. Considering all leading brands and underrated options, still one  of the most affordable top-end boot at less than £200
  2. Upper is a woven material, but the coating gives it a synthetic, plasticky feel
  3. FG/AG label causes no worries about warranty when playing on both natural and artificial surfaces
  4. Significantly restructured compared to the Ultra 1.3/1.4
  5. Getting narrower in shape, as opposed to the trend of Nike and adidas speed boots of going a little bit to the opposite direction; true-to-size in length
  6. Like the New Balance Furon, could be an alternative to the likes of Nike Air Zoom Mercurials and adidas X

Our Puma Ultra Ultimate Expert Review


Puma Ultra Ultimate Boots

One of the best value for money top level speed boots, you'll find these a lightweight, narrow option on your feet

Product SKU: 106868

Product Brand: Puma

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.08

✔️ Pros
  • Coated ULTRAWEAVE upper, despite the plasticky sensation, is soft and pliable and can be broken down further with minimal break-in time
  • Dual-density Speedplate now has some snap back sensation
  • Easily the lightest and minimalist among the leading speed boots
  • Snug midfoot and form-fitting with a nice lockdown
  • Sharp, barefoot ball contact
  • Internal PWRTAPE structure makes the lockdown and responsiveness above-average
  • Stud length helps make the boot a viable FG/AG boot
❌ Cons
  • Has some room above your toes
  • Expect no protection whatsoever; avoid getting stepped on!
  • Those who fit well in the wider 1.1/1.2 might need to look at other options
  • A bit hard to put on even for narrow foot-type players
  • Heel is on the shallow side and less anatomical than previous Ultras
  • Fit a bit restrictive and less comfortable and pliable than other speed boots

Overhauled in material but not in essence, the fifth generation of the Puma is indeed Ultimate in its own development and also in relation to its competition.

Boot Rankings, Best For…
 

Jay Mike talks about the Ultra Ultimate:

  • ULTRAWEAVE upper takes a bit more time to break-in relative to 2022 Ultra Ultimate
  • Felt the presence of PWRTAPE and thinks it’s a bit too much
  • Super snug and intimate fit on the midfoot, but there’s some space around the toe
  • Lockdown is surprisingly good
  • Super wide foot or flat foot, not the best option
  • Enjoyed the dual-density speedplate
  • Be wary of safety in using in AG
  • One of the hardest to put on
  • Heel is on the shallow side
  • Wished it could have been more pliable

Development of the Puma Ultra Speed Boot

Puma introduced the Ultra in 2020, replacing the versatile ONE with a line dedicated to speed. As you’ll see below, much has already happened with the Ultra line in that short span of time.

Ultra Ultimate (2022 and 2023)

The makeup of the Puma Ultra Ultimate began in 2022. It had the PWRTAPE as a structural support wrapped around the heel and the ULTRAWEAVE upper contained PWRPRINT texturing on the forefoot. It was also the first time we got to see the dual density SPEEDPLATE. Puma reconfigured the boot in 2023 where the PWRTAPE served as an internal cage support for the ULTRAWEAVE.

Ultra 1.3 and 1.4

Before the ULTRAWEAVE made its way to the Ultra, the Puma speed boot, in its 1.3 and 1.4 generations, sported a highly-technical  ULTRACUT upper comprised of MATRYXEVO carbon yarns backed by an internal microfibre Speedcage.

The combination produced a seatbelt-like effect during motions, whereas the Ultra Ultimate has a simpler, no-nonsense snug fit. As such, most of the comfort of the current Ultra is derived from the softness and pliability of the ULTRAWEAVE itself, while the 1.3 and 1.4 relied more on having a slight breathing space because of its plain synthetic nature (despite being soft and pliable themselves). Specifically on the 1.4, the Grip Control Pro added a sticky surface finish for ball grip.

Ultra 1.1 and 1.2

When the Ultra started, it had a knitted finish that was pretty much the standard for speed boots back then. The sock-like material, foam liner, and relatively roomy volume meant that the Ultra began as a speed boot with comfort in mind.

Since the Future Z has already excelled on that point, it’s only logical that the Ultra turns to being more competitive on the performance side. The OG Ultra had the same Peba Speedunit outsole that carried over up until the 1.4. The Speedunit already had some snapback, but the addition of the outer TPU structure adds a level of energy return to the current Speedplate that puts the Ultimate on-par with the responsive outsoles like the adidas Carbitex Speedframe and Nike Aerotrak.

Author

Dean Ariola

Dean has worked Chief writer at the Black & Orange team since 2020, he has an indepth knowledge of all the soccer shoes from the big brands, you have him to thank for all the updates to our Boot Secrets guide and he is first on the scene with all the new releases for you!