With the Football League season now officially up and running and the Premier League peeking its blockbusting head around the corner, SportLocker felt it apt to kick off its own campaign.
So allow us to present the first football boot play test review of 2011/12. The honour goes to the Umbro Geometra Pro which we brought you exclusive images of earlier this year.
1. First Impression/ Fresh out the box factor 5/10
Like a hyperactive child on Christmas morning who tore open his first gift wrapped parcel to reveal a lonely Clementine, the introduction to the Geometra Pro was an altogether a little underwhelming.
Nothing screaming out apart from a set of lethal looking studs suitable for the average quagmire.
However, due to the seasonal timing of the play test when a firm/hard ground stud configuration was the exclusive order of the day, this avoidable inconvenience was at no point allowed to negatively influence the play test.
2. Comfort 8/10
What the Geometra Pro lacks in aesthetics, it more than compensates for in comfort. The feeling is one of luxury that owes to the generously padded leather. A feature of great rarity in the current market, which appears to be one giant race to produce a literally featherweight boot.
Having laced up and crossed the white line, the Geometra appears to have undergone something of a facelift. What was once underwhelming and modest surrounded by cardboard began to radiate class against a green, green grassy backdrop.
4. Touch/Control 8/10
The leather not only serves for a comfortable ride but a generous cushion for the average match ball. Controlling the ball feels natural and one can take great confidence in doing so from the first whistle.
Ever since Claude Makelele established the six yard sideways pass as such a valuable commodity in the beautiful game, the football boot market has been crying out for some technological recognition.
And Umbro have answered that call with a memory foam pass pad on the instep. While it is near impossible to gauge whether such a simple task such as short passing was improved, the pad did serve a dual purpose in aiding ball control.
6. Long Passing 9/10
With pass masters the inspiration in its design this category is really where the Geometra Pro takes a confident stride into the spotlight.
The full grain ceramic leather upper provides a great deal of support and stability when putting your foot through the ball. Combined with the off centre lacing system, this boot was born to ping crossfield balls.
The same can be said to a similar degree when looking to provide the all important (but often elusive) finishing touch. The large striking zone a major plus point for the Geometra Pro in the shooting stakes.
As with the evergreen distinguishing feature of the adidas predator, the impact of the silicon bonded grip zone on the toe, is negligible to the average Sunday leaguer looking to bend it like a banana but the intentions are good enough and its presence is no hindrance.
8. Security/Tackling 9/10
The Geometra Pro’s all round sturdiness makes this boot a more than useful accomplice in a 50/50 challenge, which is refreshing in a market flooded with lightweights. With a solid heel wrap and stabiliser to boot, there really is no reason for any half heartedness.
In the dying stages of a pre season session, a hard earned breather offered time for reflection and the overriding sentiment was one of increased fondness for the Geometra Pro.
Having never been a merchant of speed, this boot had a lot to offer SportLocker’s reviewer with stability, security and comfort the headline makers in a story I’m more than happy to go on reading.
10. The tech factor (Does it do what it says on the tin?) 6/10
Ever the sceptic when it comes to pioneering technology applied to football boots, particularly from an amateur perspective, pass pads and silicon toes have done very little turn the tide of opinion.
Sitting comfortably in between its Umbro siblings with the Speciali oozing heritage and tradition on one side and the GT speed and exuberance on the other, the Geometra Pro is a genuine all rounder offering a little something for everyone and everything to the all rounded player.