Don't call it a comeback!! Umbro soccer cleats are making some noise in the soccer world after being quiet for the past couple of decades, but is the noise enough to get everyone wearing them again is the real question. Umbro was a household name in soccer apparel and boots in the 90's but as Adidas and Nike rose to new heights Umbro stayed basic and safe but these days their shoes are coming roaring back with anything but boring and safe.
Umbro has expanded the variety of shoes they offer and have created shoes in a speed category (light and thin material), shooting category (thicker upper material) and control category (new memory foam flex material). This upgrade finally takes Umbro out of the old school basic boot to the new modern school of soccer cleats. Not only that Umbro has added different styles and colours so if you aren't just into black leather you can now wear a boot that fits your foot properly and looks the part.
At a decent price Umbro may be one of the best bang for your buck cleats out there right now, well under $300 along with quality materials and design it's looking like Umbro really is making a comeback. Okay I get it you like your Adidas and Nike boots since always, if you're looking for a back up pair of boots for pre-season or the off season give these bad boys a shot. Not only will you not be breaking the bank, you are getting supreme quality and comfort that just might lead to your considering moving them into your first rotation of cleats, hey you might even get some of your buddies to be saying ummmmm bro, where did you get those Umbrosssss!
1. Quality Materials - One thing you can always count on when going with Umbro soccer cleats is that you know everything from the stitching to the sole will be made of high quality and nothing cheap goes into the shoe. Whether it is kangaroo leather or top end synthetic materials Umbro boots will be put together with high end dependable materials.
2. Comfort - I know it's all about the looks these days but we all need an element of comfort to support our feet through a grueling 90 minute plus match. Thankfully Umbro is a shoe you can count on when it comes to a high level of comfort both in their kangaroo leather shoes and synthetic ones. Extra cushion in their insoles and breathable upper material allows for you to rely on this brand to keep your feet from aching throughout training or a match.
3. Variety - Umbro has boots in three categories, speed, shot and control so no matter the type of boot you're looking for there is a good chance Umbro has it. On top of that they've added colour and style variety too, gone are the days of the standard black boot with no flash, Umbro has really stepped up their game when it comes to the fashion of their boots, only took 40 years!!
4. Technologically Up To Date - When we all think of Umbro we think of 4th division old school English leagues but believe me a lot as changed to switch that perception. Not only the look and colour ways of their boots but also the technology they've put into some of their most recent boots such as the UX Acuro 3's. Their new D30 memory foam material they use on outside of the boot is like no other material currently on the market and could be the difference maker when selecting your next boot. This tech kills the bounce of the ball so when you bring it down to control it you will really feel a close touch of the ball to your foot like none other.
5. Price - It's all about the Benjamins! Of course price matters and when it comes to Umbro they are priced slightly below the big boys (Nike, Adidas & Puma) but still will put you back about $200-250 for their top end cleats. If you're looking for a high end quality shoe then paying under $200 isn't going to happen so when we talk bang for your buck Umbro definitely delivers on every part of the shoe.
1. Buying Without Trying - Don't let the new hype video or colours get you click happy and buy a brand new pair of Umbro (or any for that matter) boots without personally trying a pair on. Go the local soccer shop, try them on and get a good idea about the shoe shape and feel before swiping that credit card in store or online. The last thing you want is to be at training or a match and not like something about the shoe because you didn't try it on.
2. Leather vs Synthetic - Lucky for you Umbro now has great options in both their leather and synthetic made cleats. If you thought Umbro only had the old school leather cleats we are used to then don't write them off completely and avoid their synthetic boots because they are making a serious comeback. Umbro has done a great job in combining the old with the new so whichever material you prefer be sure to give both a chance.
3. Stud Pattern Preference - If you like studs that aren't the traditional round studs or if you want a stud that's a bit longer then most you may want to stay away from Umbro. Their stud pattern is very traditional and a touch on the shorter side so depending on which you prefer really have a close look at the stud shape and pattern of Umbro soccer cleats. Another thing to consider with regards to studs and stud pattern is how much of your game involves using the sole of your cleat on the ball. An incredibly technical player might want to have a certain stud length and style for a closer controlled touch, whichever camp you're in remember that Umbro has a very specific stud style and pattern that may not be for everyone.
4. Short Heel - Be careful of the shorter heel in some of the newer releases from Umbro. It can be a real pain if the heel tends to slip off throughout a training session or match so be sure to try it for yourself. The heel otherwise has good protection and is comfortable to slide your foot into, lace it up properly and see if the heel is up to your standards.
5. Look - We all want to look good when playing so be sure you get the Umbro shoe that you enjoy not only the way you feel in them but they way you look in them. Maybe it's the traditional black leather boots or maybe it's the new and improved synthetic light boots that are for you, either way get the right style and colour and avoid buying a boot with not consideration for the eye test.
Like every brand it ranges from their top end boots to the ones that will last you just a few months before they start falling a part. As for Umbro their high end Speciali or Acuro's go for about $200 a piece which are their higher end soccer cleats. Umbro also has several other cleats that range between $100-200 that will also do what you need them to do, try and stay away from anything under $100 from Umbro as the quality and durability will not be what you're looking for.
Upper - The upper material in the traditional leather cleat is made from the top of the line kangaroo leather, the most recent Umbro cleats such as the UX Acuro 3 have a new memory foam flex material that is supposed to help with the cushioning of controlling a ball. Either way both are made of great durable material and giving them both a test drive is more than worth it.
Tongue - Umbro has two basic tongues, one made of leather (for their leather shoes) and one of fabric (for their synthetic shoes). Both are very well made and don't distract or get in the way of you hitting the ball. If you like a longer tongue go with the leather cleats and if you want a shorter one that's out of the way go with their synthetic boots.
Toe Box - Umbro on their leather shoes has a wide toe box but on the synthetic shoes has a much tighter more narrow toe box so be sure choose the shoe that best suits your foot.
Studs - Umbro like it or not has kept its basic run of the mill stud pattern for as long as anyone can remember. Their studs are round with a flat bottom and are traditionally shorter than most other firm ground cleats.
Insole - The insoles in Umbro soccer cleats are known to be well padded then most with extra cushioning in the heel, they are also very easy to remove and put back in should you want to replace them with your own.
Soleplate - The sole plate is a full stable slab of plastic made of a strong material with relatively good flexion for the foot.
Heel - The heel in both the leather and synthetic shoes is a hard plastic which holds the heel in well but is slightly on the shorter side compared to most other outdoor soccer cleats.
To be honest, no not really. In recent years to players such as Jordan Henderson from Liverpool and Kyle Walker were among the last of the pro players to wear Umbro soccer cleats before switching to another brand. This day and age not a lot of players are wearing Umbro boots and that's why the climb back to relevancy is going to be so tough for Umbro considering nobody at the highest level wears and promotes them.
1. Wear Only for Soccer - Avoid walking on surfaces that may damage your studs such as gravel, concrete, asphalt and other hard surfaces that can scratch and wear down your cleats. Also try and avoid using them to cut the grass, go for hikes or any other activity that doesn't involved you playing soccer on grass or turf. Small actions like this week to week will extend the life of the shoe three fold.
2. Clean Out Dirt and Rocks - After every training or match pick out little pieces of rock, dirt or wood that may be stuck in between the soles, cleats and crevasses of the cleats. Each time you forget to do this the rocks and dirt will get pushed further and further into the material after every use until a hole or rip is caused so be sure to take the time and clean out your boots daily.
3. Store Inside - You don't want to be leaving your new Umbro soccer cleats out in the cold, snow or rain to damage the outer later of the boot. After you're done with them give them a good clean and keep them in your house when they won't be damaged by the outdoor elements.
4. Don't Lend Them Out - Do your absolute best not to lend them out to teammates or friends because they will never come back the way you gave them out. The material, laces and just overall shape of the boot always gets compromised when another foot plays in them, and on top of that you never know if some rips, scuffs or tears to the shoe might come about if someone else wears them.