Happy Wednesday, dear readers. The heat-wave we’re experiencing is getting intense to say the least, so to take my mind off of it I’d like to talk about the Umbro GT Pro-A HG boot in the yellow and black colorway. The boot sees a couple minor alterations from last season that I think are definitely improvements. Is it enough to win over some fans of other brands? We’ll see.
Let’s begin with the most obvious change, which is the colorway and gradient. Last season’s boot had a very sharp gradient of orange at the soleplate to black at the top of the boot. The gradient on this year’s boot is still just as sharp, but the colors are lighter, making the gradient’s sharpness less noticeable. The light silver at the soleplate gives way to the yellow abruptly about midway up the boot, but, again, the colors are so light that it isn’t as jarring as the black/orange. That’s largely it for the look of the boot, save a couple minor details. The A-frame cradle, which looks like the Gateway Arch from an angled perspective, has three curving black lines just to add a small touch to the boot. Then there’s a silver piece of material on the inside of the heel. That rounds it out, folks. It’s a simple looking boot with minimal elements. The yellow has grown on me a little bit since the boot arrived, but it’s just not my style. Some people may dig it, though.
The other notable changes in the boot come in the construction. After slipping a pair on, I immediately noticed how much wider they are from the heel to the balls of the foot, which is great news for people with wide feet. The boot itself is actually made wider than the previous rendition, even in the tapered toe. The laces are also spaced farther apart, but luckily the elevated eyelet on the A-frame allows the wearer to lace the boots tightly. I found that, after I tightened the laces, the tapered toe was still too narrow for my foot. The toe is still wider than before, but, as I’ve said over and over, my foot is wider than most and shouldn’t be the standard to judge against. If you can fit into a pair of Nike boots comfortably, these soccer shoes should fit you fine. The sole-plate stayed the same in this year’s boot, with the two flex points at the toe keeping tension in check. The difference lies in the cleats. The front eight cleats have been widened just a smidgen, which I think greatly increased stability. There is also a little more give in the cleats which puts less pressure on your foot, due to the cushion. Other than those alterations, the boot is basically the same. The upper is still made of a one-piece Teijin synthetic and is bonded to the sole-plate. The touch pads on the instep are still there as well and don’t compromise the structure at all, while the heel cup is still sturdy and protective.
Overall, I don’t know that Umbro improved the boot enough to make non-believers into believers, but it’s certainly a step forward. The $149.99 price tag may be a little high given the other options in the same price range. I still recommend giving the boots a shot because they may end up surprising you with their comfort and simplicity.
Written by: Kris Dyer, contributing editor, soccerprose.com
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