A super lightweight boot, these are perfect for forwards, with off-centre laces allowing for clean strikes. New Balance have created some of the best football boots around.
Some of the lightest boots on the market
Snug fit and comfortable from the off
Great for first touch and clean strikes
Design is unlikely to be seen as a classic
Some quick cosmetic wear-and-tear along the side
Laces are a bit long
The New Balance Furon v7 is another step forward for the American brand in the football boot market.
If you've never worn a pair of New Balance boots before, these are certainly some to think about, and easily hold their own in comparison to the major offerings from the likes of Nike and Adidas. In our testing, the latest Furons exceeded our expectations and impressed us enormously.
So how do they compare to some of the best football boots around right now?
How we tested the New Balance Furon v7 football boots
Like the New Balance Tekela v4, we did our initial run out with the Furon v7 at the New Balance centre The Track on an artificial pitch, mainly doing training drills to test the elements of the boots the brand wanted to put focus on.
But we've also taken them out independently, trying them out on a variety of grass surfaces (mostly worse for wear surfaces, at that) in more informal kickabouts and small-sided games.
We tested a pair of the New Balance Furon v7 in a UK size 10 (US 10.5/EUR 44.5/BR 43.5/CM 28.5).
Comfort and fit
• RRP: £190
• Gender specification: No difference in gender specs
• Sizes available: 3.5-12
• Colours: Bright Lapis with Hi Lite accents (Blue with bits of yellow)/Black with gold
• Recommended for: Forwards and finishers
These are very, very comfortable boots. The first thing we noticed, even before putting them on, is the cushioning on the inside heel, which helps provide a snug fit.
Adam Lyon, category manager for football, footwear, equipment and accessories at New Balance, told FourFourTwo that the aim with the Furon is to create a "fit [that] is super, super tight".
Fortunately, that doesn't impact the wear-in time, and you shouldn't be hobbling around the first time you try them on. Our feet can be be one of two sizes depending on brand and style, and we opted for the smaller of those two here, and found them to be a perfect fit.
Lyon also claims that the boot is a "market leader" when it comes to weight, weighing just 180g a boot. FFT, your humble scientific investigators, put this to the test with a hi-tech kitchen scale, and found our independent research put them at 190g. This is still, however, 46g lighter than the Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 boots when we did the same rigorous testing with them.
The designers tell us that they judged every part of the boot's make-up by where it could be made lighter, even down to the laces (ironically, one minor criticism we have is that the laces are too long).
On the pitch
The big takeaway here is the off-centre laces, creating a flat canopy across the top. This is not exactly revolutionary, but it does make a difference.
Furons are essentially designed as boots for strikers, with a focus on finishing – New Balance prefer to think of it as "threat potential", with a slightly broader meaning, but fundamentally it is a boot to be judged on how cleanly you can strike a ball.
On that basis, it scores very highly, indeed.
"What we find with a typical laced boot, with the laces down the centre of the boot, is that that can feel a distraction," Lyon argues. "We’re maximising the strike zone by bringing over the canopy, and a by-product of that is the lacing moves to the lateral side. So it really just opens up a significant strike zone."
Trying them on, it's something we were hugely convinced by. And not just in shooting, but in control too – we found that the shape of the top of the boot really helps with our first touch, too.
Speed is another factor. These are phenomenally light boots, as we've already covered, and while we're unlikely to win any 100 metre sprints, we certainly feel that these boots make a difference when running from a standing start.
These aren't the most eye-catching boots on the market, but the royal blue standard colour is smart, and the yellow and blue 'NB' logo that runs from instep to toe blends into grass in an unexpectedly pleasing way.
We're personally not super fond of the silver heel, but the off-centre laces are a great choice from a visual, as well as practical, standpoint.
Each to their own when it comes to aesthetics – but the many strengths of the Furons v7s are not necessarily visual.
We did find a minor bit of plastic peeling on the side of the sole after just two uses, and being carried around in a boot bag containing just the other boot. This was purely cosmetic, but is still a little disappointing.
Which footballers wear the New Balance v7 football boots?
Raheem Sterling, Bukayo Saka and Sadio Mané will all be wearing the New Balance Furon v7s.
We said that the New Balance Furon v6 boots were "a giant leap forward for New Balance". We expected a similar product from the v7, but instead, they've taken another big step in our opinion.
These are top-end boots that will work for your everyday player. Some boots that aim to forego 'distraction' between foot and ball end up being exposing those of lesser talents, but these help rather than hinder.
Released alongside the New Balance Tekela v4, it's difficult not to compare them – and while some will prefer those, we think the Furon v7s are the way to go.
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Conor Pope is the former Online Editor of FourFourTwo, overseeing all digital content. He plays football regularly, and has a large, discerning and ever-growing collection of football shirts from around the world.
He supports Blackburn Rovers and holds a season ticket with south London non-league side Dulwich Hamlet. His main football passions include Tugay, the San Siro and only using a winter ball when it snows.