on Women's Football Boots

"When you feel good in your footwear while playing football, you can focus more on your game."

August 16, 2023

"When you feel good in your footwear while playing football, you can focus more on your game."

August 16, 2023

In the world of football, every stride and kick can define the game. Our Senior Product Line Manager for Teamsport Footwear – Stephanie Vieira – has focussed on redefining the game for female footballers in the past few years through the development of our special Women’s fit football boots. We had the pleasure to sit down and chat with Steph about the importance and significance of a true women’s fit and how PUMA is investing in better women’s products that will enhance players’ safety on the pitch.

Steph has been at the forefront of revolutionising female football footwear over the past two years and continues to drive the strategic development of women’s fit boots. As Senior Product Line Manager for Teamsport Footwear, her main focus is on the ULTRA silo and managing the overall women’s football footwear strategy. Recently, she has been invited to speak at PUMAs Women’s World Cup opening panel talk in Sydney, alongside our Chief Product Officer Maria Valdes, where PUMA introduced our investment in improving female footballers safety and enhancing our women’s football boots.

Hi Steph, thanks for taking the time! Can you quickly explain how the idea of developing a women’s fit football boot came about? How did you realize that there is a need for a specific range for female footballers?

Steph: As we saw the game evolve rapidly, the football footwear team felt there was a momentum, so we looked further into what we were offering our athletes and how to better serve the female footballer. We started looking through several published research pieces around the differences between the female and male feet and what we found is that there were indeed differences between them. It didn’t seem logical that both our male and female athletes wore the same football boots.


PUMA launched its women’s fit football boots in July 2021, as the first brand to have such a special fit. Can you elaborate on the research and development process behind creating these boots?

Steph: Our research findings showed that there are three main points of difference between the female and male feet. Women have smaller dimensions of the forefoot and midfoot sections of the foot and a lower instep. According to those findings we have adapted those points on our boots. Less volume in forefoot and midfoot and a lower instep, that’s what makes the essential difference on the women’s fit. Ultimately, the women’s fit is an adaptation of the unisex fit we already had in the market for each of our football boots.

Why was the ULTRA boot the first to have a female version – not FUTURE or KING? Can you tell us more about the reasoning behind this approach?

Steph: The women’s fit was first introduced in 2021, it was launched in our speed silo, ULTRA. We opted for a staggered approach, starting firstly with the PUMA ULTRA, and in 2022 adding the FUTURE women’s fit as well. We did this so that we could steadily validate our findings and make sure we optimised each boot for the women’s fit.

We continued our investment and commitment to the female footballer and in January of this year, we re-launched our third silo, KING, and made it also available in the women’s fit. As of this year, all PUMA FOOTBALL silos have the women’s fit for the main drops of the year including a special edition, for example, that was launched around Women’s Day this year, endorsed by all of our female athletes on pitch.

We also make sure, that we don’t only have the women’s fit in our top price points, but also at lower price points and in an extended size run, with smaller sizes as well to adapt to the average size of female footballers’ feet. Because we aim to make the women’s fit available for each and every female footballer, no matter what budget or foot size.

Can you share any insights into how players have responded to the availability of women’s fit boots?

Steph: We have seen great response to our women’s fit boots in each of our silos. The adoption of the female version boot by our endorsed players raised rapidly. Out of our full roster of endorsed players in the world cup over 95% of them choose to wear the women’s fit – which is a great number and a testament for us to be on the right path. It’s great to see that the development of the investment and providing women’s fit in our 3 main silos is being received so well by our players.

How does a better fitting boot impact a female footballer’s game on the field? Can you share examples how this has translated into enhanced performance or player satisfaction?

Steph: The aim of the women’s fit is to provide more comfort for the female footballer, but also improve their performance by providing the right fitting boots for them to play in. Imagine you had to run a marathon in a shoe that doesn’t fit – you’d struggle and stumble! So, on the other hand, when you feel good in your footwear while playing football, you can automatically focus more on your game and worry less about how your shoes feel, apart from any unwanted blisters or pressure points.

As a product product line manager responsible for the women’s fit, what are your future plans for further improving and expanding the range? Are there any new developments or innovations in the pipeline?

Steph: We are committed to continue developing better products for our female players, but not only that, we’re committed to women’s football in general! For example, the significance of ACL injuries is huge and has a big impact on the wellbeing of our players. That’s why we are  investing in a comprehensive research study. We aim to gain a greater understanding of why these injuries happen and will support creating training programs to mitigate the risk of injuries. We will also utilize the findings to further develop our women’s specific football boots. Together with our partners, we want to help move the game forward and support our athletes and clubs in reducing these risks.

Lastly, from a personal standpoint, how does it feel to be actively investing in and committing to the female footballer community? What drives your passion for this project and the development of women’s fit football boots?

Steph: I’m a very big football fan and played since I was a little kid. Back then I never had the opportunity to buy boots with a special fit for women and always adapted to whichever boots were available which were always men’s boots. So, seeing how the game has been growing it is definitely very special to be able to play a small role in its development. To create a product that will help players feel more comfortable while playing football, and be able to show female footballers that we, as a brand, take care of all of our football athletes, male or female, catering to their needs and making sure they have the right tools to perform at their best.

Your insights have not only redefined performance in women’s football but are sparking a new era of inclusivity in the world of football.

Thank you so much, Steph, for your time!

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