The World Cup is over and the new Premier League season hasn’t quite kicked off yet – but that doesn’t mean football is off the brain here at Sport-locker.net HQ.
Fresh from our recent review of their SpeedForm Apollo running shoes, our friends at Under Armour have again been ever so kind in sending us a nice little pre-season motivator.
In the shape of the new Under Armour ClutchFit Force football boot in a dashing electric blue and lime green colourway!
Time for Aaron Coates to put them through their paces…
We’ve done a few Under Armour reviews these past couple of years and have been impressed each time – with each one the standard of the boot gets better.
First impressions of this boot: I’m instantly drawn to the colourway in particular. They have a real striking look to them but in a sophisticated way – they don’t tip over the garish line when it comes to making a bold statement on the pitch.
Given the name ClutchFit, you wouldn’t be far wrong in thinking that the main emphasis in this UA design is how they feel on the foot. The upper is a lot thinner than previous UA boots and superbly feels like a second skin as you put them on, aiming to enhance both your feel and touch when on the ball.
The design spec therefore pays particular attention to the ‘moulding’ nature of the boot’s feel, using a ‘trivela performance microfiber’ to give a real grip on the foot as you shift through the gears. In the past when trying boots that aim to fit very snug to the boot, I’ve found my foot sweating a bit (not a pleasant thought I know), but there’s no sign of sweaty trotters in these bad boys. Even after some gruelling sprints and a high intensity match they still feel as comfy as when I first put them on.
I must point out also the difference in the feel of the upper. You’ll notice from the pictures, but even they don’t really do it justice, just how 3D the external layer feels on foot. What I mean by that is that the texture is very grippy, whilst surprisingly not seeming to add any bulk to the boot.
They aren’t the widest boot, but nowhere near as narrow as something like an adidas F50, with still a very sweet striking zone. The mini-hour-glass style indents are most definitely there for more than just the look and their inclusion is completely vindicated when on the ball in a game situation. By no means am I saying that donning these boots will instantly give you the touch of Andrea Pirlo, but controlling the ball does seem fractionally assisted. Margins are, after all, everything in this game.
Another aspect of the boot that can’t go without a mention is the 4D foam cushioned insole. With modern boots I often find myself slipping around inside the shoe as the insole is often one of the most neglected parts in favour of overall lightness.
Coupled with the stable upper, there is a real locked-in feet about this boot. I’d probably go as far as saying this is one of the best insoles around and can see many other boot manufacturers taking note and working with similar designs in the near future. Planting your standing foot to strike a ball never felt so good.
These are not a bulky boot either – a tag which you could have potentially put on the Hydrastrike II. Weighing in at around 8oz’s, these are light enough not to prohibit movement and still remain completely solid. The two aspects implemented to enhance this are the heel and the sole-plate.
As you turn the boot around, the studs are situated in a skeleton-type formation and are all interlinked with a minimal but effective linear bump. I think this has been put in place to give that extra bit of traction on firm ground. With the stud set up though, I’d probably advise against this being a boot for the middle of winter, on a boggy Sunday league pitch.
In saying that, you’d be well advised to steer clear of the muddy trenches in these boots as I’d imagine the upper wouldn’t be the easiest to clean?! You seasoned cleat connoisseurs would have been able to tell that from the pictures anyway though!
With regards to the heel, this seems to be promoted as a major part of the boot and whilst it does lock you in, I’d say that it is in fact quite similar to others on the market. No better, no worse. This is not a negative at all, it just doesn’t strike me as having any special additional qualities – merely reinforcing the solid nature of this boot.
All in all, the Under Armour ClutchFit Force is a pair of boots I would definitely recommend. Numerous positive comments from the other guys at training also reinforce that these ClutchFit Forces don’t divide opinion.
Under Armour have come up with another beauty. Fact.
I don’t think it’s even fair to call them a growing football boot brand anymore, I feel they’re right up there with other big name competitors.
They’ve set a great benchmark here, so anything less than a top-tier boot for their next release will be viewed with massive disappointment in my eyes. I don’t see them disappointing though!