Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan soccer cleats review: An iconic cleat rejigged for the environmentally-conscious soccer player

There's nothing like the sound of faux-leather on leather – FFT reviews the stylish Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan, made entirely free of animal products

Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan
(Image: © Future)

FourFourTwo Verdict

A forward-thinking, environmentally conscious take on an iconic cleat

Pros

  • +

    No animals were harmed in the making of this cleat

  • +

    Stylish

  • +

    Comfortable

  • +

    Just as robust as a classic Puma King

  • +

    Cheaper option

Cons

  • -

    White, green and black are a jump way from classic Kings

  • -

    Quite tight on the feet

  • -

    May need one size up

If anything's going to disrupt the Puma King's beloved reputation as an old-school, no-nonsense soccer cleat, it's this. Yet FourFourTwo was thrilled to hear Puma had created their first ever pair of "vegan" Kings and swiftly ordered a pair for review. 

The socially-aware, futuristic new design retains much of the Puma King's traditional style, but with a refreshing new spin on the iconic range. Players who are vegetarian or vegan, or those who are merely inclined to use fewer meat products in their every day life, will be particularly interested but, given how fresh these are, plenty of carnivores will be seduced too.

Let's take a proper, erm, butchers, at the most forward-thinking cleat on the market.

How we tested the Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan soccer cleats

Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan

(Image credit: Future)

For this review, FFT wore the cleats to several training sessions on artificial grass to loosen them up a little, before donning them for 90 minutes during a competitive 11-a-side match on natural grass. The pitch was a nice, big, well-watered surface. Ideal for a spring-time kick about. Perfect conditions to test the studs and to get stuck in to testing.  

We tested a pair of the Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan soccer cleats in a UK size 10 (US 11/EUR 45/BR 43/CM 29 - Women's: UK 10/US 12/EUR 45/BR 43/CM 29). (opens in new tab)

Comfort and fit

Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan soccer cleat review

(Image credit: Future)

FFT's first thought when squeezing into these cleats was that they felt quite snug. They push the foot in and feel tight and it's possible you'll want to buy half a size up (a problem we've encountered with Puma soccer cleats in the past). However, after they've loosed up a little they soon felt very good. 

Towards the end of our first training session, the Vegan Kings began to soften up, yet still maintained the robustness we love about classic Kings. And, after getting into a few tackles, FFT was satisfied that the vegan leather remains just as waterproof and durable as the originals. No soaking wet socks or damage to the new wheels, thankfully. 

Overall, a comfortable cleat. But they'll need a little wearing in. 

BUY NOW Order your Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan cleats now (opens in new tab)

On the pitch

SPECIFICATIONS

• RRP: £125
• Gender specification: No difference in gender specs
• Sizes available: 3.5 -12
• Colors: White, black and green
• Recommended for environmentally conscious players

First let's address the elephant in the room: are vegan cleats actually any good? It's all well and good championing an environmentally-friendly leap forward, but does this impact the quality of the soccer cleat?

The short answer is a resounding 'no'. Upon the Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan's launch, the brand promised "All the key benefits and performance properties of the King" and, to be fair, they've absolutely delivered. The Vegan Kings feel durable and robust, yet light on the feet, just like the classic Kings did. The animal-free "leather" upper is supple, comfortable and slightly spongey, while the knitted tongue and laces are smart, too.

The old-school stud pattern, which mirror the iconic range, means the Vegan Kings don't offer the supreme traction of a New Balance Furon or a Nike Mercurial but that doesn't really matter. Kings were always built for defenders and midfielders rather than speedy wingers and these feel on-brand in that regard. 

Looks-wise – and that's always important in this day and age – we're big fans. The "ivory glow, green glare and Puma black" might not be for the more old-school fans of the Kings, but the new direction demanded a fresh look in FFT's opinion. 

Overall this is a solid cleat, which were just as enjoyable while playing as they were while unboxing. 

BUY NOW Order your Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan cleats now (opens in new tab)

Design