When it comes to soccer brands Umbro is up there amongst the elite. Our reviews of the best Umbro soccer cleats will give you a clear insight into which features they have, and whether they’ll help to promote your soccer skills.
Choosing The Best Pair Of Umbro Soccer Cleats
To choose the best pair of Umbro soccer cleats there are several points that need to be addressed. Some are very straightforward such as the budget you have set aside for these and the styles and colors you prefer. These might seem important to you, but in fact, they should not have precedence over the crucial factors that need to be considered.
These factors are the ones that will differentiate the various Umbro soccer cleats that are available in terms of how much they improve how you play soccer, the protection they provide and other practical matters such as the quality of grip underfoot.
Too many soccer players overlook these features, not realizing that by doing so, they could end up compromising their effectiveness on the soccer field, and their enjoyment of playing, due to wearing soccer cleats that are not suitable.
We’ll now take a more in-depth look at each of these.
Popular Soccer Cleat Upper Materials Used And Their Characteristics
The part of the soccer cleat that makes contact most with the ball is the upper, so the material this is made from has a huge bearing on how you play soccer. Whether you are shooting at goal, passing to a teammate, dribbling past an opponent or simply controlling the ball, the upper can help you do all of these.
The materials used for making Umbro soccer cleat uppers all have different qualities, in terms of their surface, suppleness, weight and comfort for example, and depending on your style of play, some will suit you, and some will not. This is not to say there are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ upper materials, but instead, different materials will provide players of different positions and styles, advantages that suit their game.
Full-Grain Leather Uppers: This material is known for being very comfortable and extremely durable. The varying grades of leather that are available allow for variable levels of suppleness and softness. If you desire a good touch on the ball, then leather is a material that has that quality.
Kangaroo Leather Uppers: You will see this commonly referred to as ‘K-Leather. It is an enhanced type of leather known to be extremely soft and supple. It provides players with a superb feel for the ball, however on the downside, it is not as durable as other materials.
Synthetic Uppers: Soccer cleats with synthetic uppers provide both comfort and durability. They are suited to players who have a need for speed or who like to turn quickly as they are very lightweight.
Synthetic Leather Uppers: Umbro, like many other brands, will have their own version of this, which is basically a hybrid of synthetic material and leather.
Getting The Best Grip On The Playing Surface
The two most important reasons for wanting to have a good grip are your effectiveness on the soccer field and your personal safety.
You might be surprised to see safety mentioned here, but it is a fact that countless injuries to soccer players are caused by them slipping due to losing traction underfoot. This causes weight imbalances to occur leading to strains, sprains and stretches.
With regards to playing, it doesn’t take much working out that if you are not surefooted then your ability to play effectively, regardless of your position, is seriously compromised. One simple example of this is a defender slipping as they approach a forward, and that forward going on to score.
To help players select the correct pair of soccer cleats in terms of playing surfaces, there is a system of two-letter codes which identify the surface.
Here is the list of codes:
IN – Indoor: For Indoor Soccer
AG – Artificial Ground: ‘Astrograss’
AT – Artificial Turf: ‘Astroturf’
HG – Hard Ground: Hard, dry surfaces
FG – Firm Ground: Normal grass surfaces
SG – Soft Ground: Soft grass surfaces
Your Position Should Influence Your Choice
The position you play in your soccer team will have a large bearing on the pair of Umbro soccer cleats you choose. The reason for this is simple. What a goalkeeper needs from their soccer cleats is different from what a forward needs, and this applies to every position within the team.
Here is a simple look at some of the factors to consider for each position
Goalkeepers: Must have a good grip so that the traction they have from a standing start is optimized.
Defenders: Preferably strong, durable cleats to give them maximum protection when tackling
Midfielders: Ideal soccer cleats are those with maximum comfort due to the amount of running required
Forwards: Lightweight cleats are best to promote fast speeds and agility.
Recommended Umbro Soccer Cleats
If you are looking for the best Umbro soccer cleats, but also have a need for lightweight footwear then the Umbro GT2 Pro FG Soccer Cleats may be the answer. They are one of the lightest soccer cleats that Umbro has ever produced at only 8.8 ounces.
Umbro has used a microfiber synthetic material for the upper which is in keeping with the lightweight nature of these soccer cleats. The upper does not appear to have any obvious texturing or technology that would aid ball control. However, when playing you should find these soccer cleats do in fact allow you a high level of touch and feel when playing the ball.
To give players the biggest and best possible strike area the lacing eyelets are configured asymmetrically as well as having many of the laces hidden within loops on the tongue.
The insole is constructed from a perforated material that Umbro call ‘Poron’ and the breathable aspect of this material will help to keep your feet cool whilst playing.
Underfoot, Umbro has utilized one of the most unique cleat configurations we have ever seen. The cleats are very thin and blade shaped but they have hollows in the middle of them so they look like a series of tiny bridges. The resultant traction these give is particularly geared towards quick acceleration. These are specifically suited to firm ground.
If comfort and stability matter most to you when searching for the best Umbro soccer cleats then the Umbro Stealth Pro HG Soccer Shoes have plenty of features that will give you what you are looking for.
Umbro has used a material in the heel area that can only be called ‘grip-like’. The effect is to make these soccer cleats feel very secure around your heel area when running or jumping. Another way this is achieved is with the use of a mesh strip affixed to the tongue, which not only helps to keep the shoe in place, it also gives some protection when striking the ball with the front of your foot.
The upper material used for these Umbro soccer cleats is a lightweight microfiber which feels very soft and gives the footwear an unusual shiny effect when they are new. One downside of this is they tend to get scuffed, so you’ll need to maintain them after each use.
Across the front section, there are stitched sections which provide a cushioned area to help bring the ball under control.
Underfoot there is a ‘Poron’ insole which protects the soles of your feet from excess pressure from underneath. In the heel section, there is extra material on the exterior of the shoe to give added protection.
The grip provided by these soccer cleats is best suited to hard ground. Umbro has added two additional studs to the normal configuration which gives players added traction when needed at the start of sprints.
Traditionalists looking for the best Umbro soccer cleats, and who refuse to play in soccer footwear in any other color than black, will be drawn towards the Umbro Speciali 3 Cup-A Soccer Cleats. They have a very simple design, with no fancy colors or styling but as we know how soccer cleats look plays no part in their performance, so let’s check that out now.
The upper of these soccer cleats is constructed from kangaroo leather which should give any player a degree of touch and feel for the ball second to none. The stitching across the entirety of the footwear creates several panels which will help ball control. In addition, there are cushioned and perforated sections on both sides of the shoe to promote good ball control even further.
Because the upper is made from soft leather these soccer cleats fit very snuggly around your feet so there should be no issues in terms of how comfortable they are during play. There is light padding around the collar and in the heel tab for comfort and protection.
Underfoot the outsole is constructed from TPU which provides stability for your heel, and flexibility in the midfoot area for quick turns and maneuvers. Grip comes from the combination of round studs and bladed cleats which are best suited to playing on firm natural surfaces such as grass soccer fields.
Our search for the best Umbro soccer cleats takes us to another very traditional looking product. The Umbro Speciali Eternal Pro HG Soccer Cleats look very much like the sort of footwear you’d expect to see in videos of soccer being played in the 1970s and 1980s. We say that not to criticize them as there is nothing wrong with good old fashioned black and white soccer cleats. In fact, many of them perform much better than some modern soccer footwear that has all the colors of the rainbow.
These Umbro soccer cleats are made from soft leather and the second you pull them on you’ll quickly feel the difference in terms of how snug they feel compared to some synthetic materials. Within the construction, Umbro uses their branded ‘A-Frame’ system to give even greater stability whilst you are playing in these.
There are multiple lines of stitching to add to the traditional look, but this stitching also has a practical function in creating the various panels to enhance ball control.
The insole in these soccer cleats is extra thick so that it acts like a shock absorber for your feet when landing and running. This acts to dissipate the pressure from the undersole so that blisters are avoided.
To improve the strike area and to avoid poorly directed shots and passes Umbro have incorporated a fold-over tongue which covers the lacing area.
Grip underfoot comes from the thirteen rounded studs which are suited to firm, natural surfaces, and artificial grounds. The undersole uses unique wishbone technology to give increased flexibility when running.
To find the best Umbro soccer cleats could boil down to you simply choosing the pair that offers the best possible ball control, and it is possible that the Umbro Medusae Premier Hard Ground Cleats takes that prize. At first glance, they don’t look particularly exciting with a simple two-color design, but their performance on the field is far from ordinary.
Our old favorite, kangaroo leather, is used to make the front section upper and once you have been playing in them for a few minutes you can literally feel them mold around the shape of your foot. This bodes well for both comfort and their ability to give you better touch and feel for the ball when controlling and passing it.
Umbro has designed these soccer cleats with multiple stitched panels across the front section, whilst the synthetic rear section has various lines and grooves. This all combines to give players multiple areas where the control of the ball can be enhanced regardless of which part of the foot you play the ball with.
Internally, there is light padding around the inner rim, and a cushioned insole to give the soles of your feet some protection when landing.
The sort of surfaces these soccer cleats are suited for are hard firm natural surfaces and ‘AstroTurf’. This is achieved by using shorter than normal rounded studs and diamond shaped cleats.
Deciding on our choice of the best Umbro soccer cleats probably took longer than most other categories as each of the soccer cleats were so different. All had their own specific advantages but in the end, we believe best of all is the Umbro GT2 Pro FG Soccer Cleats.
The microfiber synthetic upper used to make these soccer cleats will give players wearing them very lightweight footwear to play soccer in. This means running speeds and agility are all enhanced.
The all-important strike area has been increased thanks to Umbro’s clever way of hiding some of the lacing eyelets. This not only increases the strike area but also makes the contact you have with the ball when kicking much better, therefore more accurate shooting and passing should follow.
To help with comfort during a game the ‘Poron’ insole is breathable to help keep your feet cool.
The final piece of the jigsaw is the uniquely styled cleats which have been hollowed out in the middle. The advantage gained in terms of traction on firm grass should help with acceleration and turning speeds.