If you’ve read our review of the adult Umbro GT Pro A boots, then you know that we were happy with the improvements but were skeptical as to whether those improvements were enough to win over players. Our opinion of these youth soccer shoes is slightly different, however. As a parent buying cleats, you obviously want the most out of your money because, let’s face it, the kids will grow out of the cleats in a matter of months. Luckily, Umbro stepped up its youth game and delivered a high quality pair of boots at an affordable price.
As you might expect, the youth boot looks almost the same as the adult. Yellow has the lion’s share of the boot’s real estate, with black making a couple appearances. Such appearances are found in the Umbro logo on the outside of the mid-foot as well as in the A-frame arch on both sides of the boot. With the A-frame, the style is 3 thin black lines following the curve of the A-frame. It’s a simple, minimal look that I think a lot of kids will find appealing. It’s a bright shoe that doesn’t slip into the obnoxious realm, and it isn’t stuffed with chaotic details either. Put succinctly, the shoe won’t demand your eye’s attention, but it is nonetheless pleasing and attractive, especially for younger players.
I’m sure that, as a parent, you were extremely concerned about the color, right? Seriously, though, every parent wants to make sure their kid is wearing a pair of sturdy, solid boots, and that’s what you get with the Umbro GT Pro boots. The one piece polyurethane upper, while not as durable as real leather, keeps cost down while also minimizing potential separation points. The tension points created when bending the shoe are also pushed higher up on the shoe than with most boots. Usually, you can find these points right about where the soleplate and upper meet, and, unless they’re properly reinforced, the two elements will split. That isn’t the case with these boots. The tension points are about an inch and a half above the soleplate/upper merger, which of course boosts durability. The insole is soft and relatively thick, so it will both cradle and support your child’s foot without creating blisters or discomfort. The heel cup is pretty protective and resistant, and it actually covers the entire heel before giving way to the tip of the heel cradle. The cradle has to be flexible to adjust for movement, which is why you don’t see the cup extending all the way to the top. Finally, this boot has an excellent soleplate that is made out of high quality plastic. Umbro thought ahead and added a flex point underneath the balls of the feet which allows for a more durable and flexible soleplate. Rounding it all out are the screws at the toes and heel. This ensures that the soleplate will stay fixed to the upper, especially at the toe, where a lot of splitting can occur. On the whole, this boot is properly constructed and should definitely last as long as your kid’s feet can fit into them.
As I said at the beginning, these shoes are quality made at an affordable price, so what is that price? $34.99. In my humble opinion, you’ll pay a middle of the road price for a higher end quality boot that is sure to last until your child grows out of them. Next time you’re out at the soccer shop for new boots make sure you give these boots a look.
Written by: Kris Dyer, contributing editor, soccerprose.com
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