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Tekela v4+ Review

Dean Ariola

The Tekela is the first laceless silo by New Balance, going full collision course against the very best boots of adidas. Is the New Balance Tekela sub-par, on-par, or above-par than what the Stripes brand can offer? See more details below…

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When it comes to its football boots, New Balance is headlined by the Furon, the speed boot worn by Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling, and Bukayo Saka. To be fair, the Tekela, generally considered as a mere support option, does offer something unique from the Furon and is worthy of consideration as a New Balance silo. 

Tekela Boot Tiers

As in the case with the leading brands, New Balance offers the Tekela at multiple price points. 


TEKELA PRO

The Tekela at its finest; all the best of the silo in build and form…


TEKELA MAGIA

First takedown of the Tekela line; follows along the line of the NikePro and adidas Pro boots


TEKELA MAGIQUE

Your budget Tekela; same takedown concept as the Nike Academy and adidas League

New Balance in Football

  • What football teams do New Balance sponsor?

Porto, Roma, and Bilbao are some of the known teams that have a technical kit partnership with New Balance. It even had Liverpool from 2012 (through its subsidiary Warrior Sports; rebranded in 2015) to 2020, before the club moved to Nike. 



It is slightly more affordable than the Nike, and might partly explain why the brand is overlooked in football (and football boots for that matter).



New Balance is actually an American brand, founded in 1906 in the Boston Area. The founder, William J. Riley, was of Irish descent.


Tekela v4+ Review

The Tekela is usually thought of as the supporting act for the Furon. But I think New Balance has mixed things up to the point that it can definitely stand now on its own. For one, the v4+ has a high-cut, laceless option and a laced low-cut one. Both have the same upper and outsole construct, so let me get it out of the way and say that the laceless model has that great midfoot tension to really lock the fit down. I do struggle to put it on even with my slim foot, but once in I can imagine most will agree that the laceless setup is a rewarding feeling. There’s still that a bit of give and internal movement as is the case for any laceless pair, but it certainly is not that pronounced. I see that wider foot types will have an even more struggle to put this on, but also reckon that the width and/or volume of their feet would better suit the boot, given that my narrow feet have experienced some material spacing here and there (not much but noticeable).

Much of this review then is on the low-cut laced model. The Tekela v4+ has a one-piece upper construction from the brand’s Hypoknit material with TPU coating. And I can say it’s one, if not the most sock-like upper you can get, most especially given today’s speed boot options. This jives well with the laceless model and its collar, but it also feels comfortable and pleasant in this off-centred laced variant. The meshed pattern on the forefoot and the raised texturing on the midfoot do not offer anything on ball grip, I think. But at least the multiple contact points prevent the boot from slicking away from the ball. Speaking of the forefoot, it has a foam liner which gives it a slight padded sensation, but the overall upper profile is thin, soft and pliable as you would expect from a sock-like material.

As a narrow feet player, I have experienced some room here and there (again, not much to affect overall fit), so I see how this can be better for wide feet players and how the boot improves on fit and responsiveness when worn by the right players. But what I really like about the Tekela v4+ besides the upper is the sculpted heel. It’s deep, anatomical and feels a lot more free than the uberly stuffed and padded heel of some boots. I find the heel setup the perfect balance for heel lockdown and comfort.

The Tekela nylon outsole remains in that it is heavily dominated conicals with angled rim studs on the edges. Snapback is fairly decent and the choice of conicals seem to me the Tekela is the safer option for AG rather than the chevron-dominated Furon. The rim studs might seem insignificant at first, but I feel they are most impactful when doing side-to-side, and it might even have practical application of aiding a goalkeeper when doing that saving dive.

Now if you are coming from the v4, I think you’ll find that the Hypoknit is slightly thinner, softer and more pliable. The toe box I think is lower, more pointy and rounder than the relatively higher and more boxy shape of that from the v4. The thing is the v4 by itself is still a very good boot, so I would suggest to move in to the v4+ only when it’s really time to move on to a new pair.

How We Tested The Tekela v4+

You can read our general boot testing principles here. But at least for the Tekela v4+, we have to consider that it has laceless and laced variants. With that said, the star of the testing is the Hypoknit material and how it gives the v4+ its competitive advantage given that most boots are either synthetic or leather. Another point of interest with the Tekela is the inclusion of rim studs and how it might be put to good use on the pitch, as not every boot could say it offers the same stud configuration.


Previous Tekela v4

Five Things You’ll Want to Know:

  1. Priced around £190
  2. Regular and Wide sizing options available, just like with the Furon
  3. One of the few laceless silos outside the adidas + boots
  4. Now on its fourth generation
  5. Knit-based, high-cut, and nylon outsoled

Our Tekela v4 Expert Review

✔️ Pros
  • With its knitted upper, stands as a viable alternative to the laceless boots from adidas
  • Laceless lockdown works fine; high tensile knit covers the midfoot and extends upwards to form an ankle sleeve
  • Made lighter by the fact that texture zones are limited to the medial and lateral contact points; best used to prevent the ball from sliding through your boot
  • Cutting traction supported by angled outer rim blades
  • Wide option available
❌ Cons
  • Still needs to be marketed even more; popularity might have been affected by the misses from the Tekela V3 (not to be confused with the 3+)
  • You might need to consider grip socks if shape doesn’t have a one-to-one fit with your foot, as might be the case with any laceless boot
 

Whether it’s just a matter of additional star endorsements or marketing, the Tekela is poised to breakout as a popular laceless boot, at least on the retail level.

Boot Rankings, Best For…
 
 

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Tekela v4 vs 3+

To get it out of the way, let’s just state first that the laceless closure and knit-base identities of the Tekela 3 make their way to the v4. From there, here are some key differences:

The texture on the v4 is minimalistic, streamlined, thinned out and limited to just the lateral and medial sides, whereas the Kinetic Stitch on the 3+ essentially covers the entirety of the upper. The end result is that the new Tekela feels more connected to the ball as opposed to the slightly padded touch of the preceding Tekela generation. It also makes the latest Tekela feel like it has shaved off some bulk, allowing it to be more pliable.

Lockdown-wise, the v4 gains a slight advantage in securing the foot in place because of its synthetic overlay, replacing the strategic balance of stretchy and tensioned areas in the 3+’s knitted upper. The v4 also extends its high-tensile knit material upwards to form a sleeve around the ankle, raising the collar height even further.

There are also significant changes on the outsole as the v4 is now comprised of a conical stud configuration on the forefoot with smaller angled blades around the edges. This encourages the wearer to attack and cut forward a little bit more.  The squarish studs with rounded corners (one of which is chipped for added penetrating sharpness) remain on the heel section. Together with a nylon plate, the v4’s outsole has that solid underfoot feeling where you might think that you are stepping on a flat surface but still get some amount of snapback.  

Generations of Tekela Football Boots

The Tekela has gone through quite a number of changes despite being relatively young for a football boot silo. Take a read at the following to see how the boot transformed from one generation to the other.

Tekela 1.0 (2018)

New Balance started the Tekela in 2018 ahead of the World Cup to replace the Vizaro line. The beginning of the Tekela saw it equipped with an NB70 synthetic upper with the first iteration of the Kinetic Stitch texturing. It had a high-cut neoprene collar that also comprised the extended tongue piece. The lacing system was noticeably shallow.

Furon 2.0 (2019)

A year later, New Balance updated the Tekela by shortening the tongue and deepening the lacing system. Together with the fully-bonded no-sew seam technology towards the tongue and collar, the deeper lacing system helped improved the fit and lockdown of the Tekela in v2.

Furon 3.0 (2020)

With the v3 in 2020, the New Balance Tekela turned into a laceless, knitted football boot for the first time. The Kinetic Stitch texturing transitioned away from its curved webbing design and towards a branch-like aesthetic that still covered much of the upper. The v3 finished off with a high-cut collar.

Furon 3+ (2021)

New Balance was right not to name this release the v4 in 2021, considering that the only changes applied were the form of the Kinetic Stitch (which still looked similar to the v3’s, to be honest), the slight lowering of the collar height, and the reengineering on the knitted upper itself to make it more pliable and comfortable. The 3+ was the last Tekela generation to use the stud configuration implemented by the v1.

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!