It's Good To Be The King
Updated: Jan 14
It was 1982 and Spain were hosting the World Cup. I was just 15 years old and it was an amazing time to be living in Spain. Like everyone else watching the matches, I couldn't stop watching a stout Argentine player named Diego Maradona. He just blew me away with his individual control and mastery of the ball and his unique ability to be the impact player. And those boots! I wanted to be a player just like Maradona. Everyone did! And I wanted boots just like his.
To be honest, Maradona had some standing to gain in my eyes. Just 9 days prior to the start of the 1982 World Cup, Maradona signed with FC Barcelona. As a madrileño and fan of Real Madrid, that was not welcome news to me. Still, his performance at the tournament made me a fan of not only the player, but also his iconic boots.
I wanted those boots! When my mom and dad finally took me boot shopping, they rightly steered me toward a bunch of lower priced boots with molded cleats. I was not happy. I wanted screw-in studs like the pros and I wanted the Toreros. They made me try on all the cheap boots, but I kept that permanent teenage scowl on my face. I knew what I was doing. I tried to make it look like every pair I tried on was uncomfortable or not right for my feet. My parents also knew what I was up to. I wanted those damn Toreros! Mom and dad finally gave in and I had my Maradona boots! It really was a love affair between me and those boots. After practice I would pull out a little tool bag I always kept with me to remove mud and grass from the boots, brush and clean them, tighten up the studs or replace a worn one. It was a ritual. But those were MY Puma Kings.
The boots never made me into a Maradona (or anything close) but I always felt confident wearing them when I played and I was a pretty good little player in my prime, all things considered. A few months after we bought the boots my family moved to Turkey where I continued to play. We lived in Ankara, where the summers are hot and dry and the winters are really cold and rainy. Those temperature extremes can be tough on leather boots and the pitches we played on were often soft and muddy. My Toreros took a real beating but served me really well.
In 2017, Puma did something really cool and released a limited edition 35th anniversary edition of the Torero. It was a terrific homage not only to the classic boot, but also to Maradona and the memory of his exploits in that '82 World Cup. The marketing lines were all about the Torero as the boot Maradona wore during the 1982 World Cup, but it was redesigned with gold accents, a sleeker style and a modernized soleplate . Click here for a great review featuring super photos of this collectors edition boot.
Fast fast forward to 2019 and Puma is once again reinventing the King. Though my competitive playing days are over, I can still get excited about a quality pair of boots. That's why in 2018 I took special notice when paparazzi tracking Thierry Henry's start as head coach of AS Monaco started posting photos of him wearing an all-black, never before released pair of Puma boots. You see, there had not been a new Puma King boot released since 2013! That 6 year wait surely meant something special was coming, or so I hoped. According to the boot-spies, the only thing on the boot that was not black was the word "KING" in white on the knit tongue of the boot and the white Puma cat on the back of the heel. A low-cut, all-black leather boot with no fold-over tongue? Yeah, I was intrigued.
BACK IN BLACK
Eight months later, Puma announced the release of the King Platinum. This was the boot Henry was wearing in those spy photos. They looked incredible! Sleeker than my old Toreros, these boots were definitely a head turner precisely because they don't have colored stripes or swooshes. Just blacked-out. A classic King! This boot is throw-back and future-trip all at once. Black has always been the classic color of soccer boots. With its sleek shape and modern knit tongue combined with the all-leather upper, the King Platinum brings black back and makes it very sexy at the same time.
It wasn't that long ago that the New York Times reported that all boot makers were done with black boots. Everything on the market was red, blue, green, purple, pink or some other bright color that pops. The Times quoted Italian football star Daniele DeRossi as saying, "I love seeing the pictures of me as a kid wearing black,” he said. “It is almost too much now; you wonder where the designers will ever end.”
And that's a huge part of the appeal of the King Platinum, the idea of back to football basics and history with modern sensibilities, style and materials. Back in black!
When I coach youth players at Eagleclaw Football Club, I like to to have two different types of boots with me, a synthetic all-weather turf shoe and a pair of proper leather cleats. Although my competitive playing days are over, I feel it is important for me to wear proper cleated boots when I'm training my players as I sometime need (or want) to get into the rondos with them as I teach and demonstrate. Wearing a proper boot allows me to get the feel for the field and the ball and, at least in my view, helps me be a more involved, engaged football coach. And I prefer leather. When the weather goes south, I turn to my synthetic turf shoes but leather cleats are my first choice.
So when the Puma King Platinum dropped, I jumped. I have to say they are probably the best leather boot I've ever worn. I loved my old Toreros, but the King Platinum are on another level. I'm not a professional boot reviewer, so I leave that to the professionals. What I can tell you is that the way these boots feel when I'm working with the ball is extraordinary. They are extremely light, but I never feel unprotected. They are likely not the lightest boot on the market, but certainly the lightest I've worn. I was initially skeptical about the subtle raised profile on the top of the boot, but after hitting few shots I can see why it is a useful addition. I'll never say a boot dictates my shot, but the ridges did seem to help me get a little more action on my knuckle ball.
If you want some professional reviews of the King Platinum, see below. I'm just really excited about this boot and recommend it highly. The colorful history of this iconic boot line is definitely continuing with this blacked-out instant legend! I can't wait to see which professional players will be wearing the King Platinum this season.
If you want to pick up your own pair of Puma King Platinum boots, I highly recommend Soccer.com where Goal Club members can get their hands on these boots for $179 instead of the regular price of $199. And if you hurry, you can take advantage of a spectacular promotion from Puma and get 35% off, taking the price of this amazing boot down to just $116! Order by August 31, 2019 and use code PUMA35. That's it!
And you can get your hands on these fantastic boots for even less if you are a Soccer.com Goal Club member and order wisely. Soccer.com often allows you to cumulate your discounts, which can make a huge difference. Log into your Soccer.com account and have a look at your Goal Club discounts that you have accrued. You may see some Loyalty Rewards codes you've earned from prior purchases. Also, Soccer.com often offers free shipping codes on footwear. SHIPFW is the code to use. And of course, the PUMA35 code offers a huge 35% discount. If you checkout wisely, you can get your own King Platinums for a lot less than $116.
Here's what it could look like. Note that the boots are automatically reduced from $199 to $179.99 for Goal Club members (be sure to log into your Soccer.com account first to see this discount). The green box shows the PUMA35 code has been applied, taking the price down to $116.99!
Then when you checkout, be sure to add all your Loyalty Rewards codes, shipping codes and Goal Club rewards codes. I used the PUMA35 code, three Loyalty Rewards codes and the free shipping code SHIPFW. Bottom line: I ordered King Platinum boots for $73.76. That is a HUGE deal!
Still not ready? Then check out the reviews below and make your move. Whether you decide on the King Platinum or not, remember that the PUMA35 code applies to ALL Puma footwear, so you can choose a different Puma boot. The code expires August 31st, so don't miss it.