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Umbro Speciali Review

I find it intriguing how different companies approach different market places. One example of this is Umbro. Back in Ireland (where I grew up), Umbro is seen to be one of the absolute leaders in terms of footwear and soccer gear. Yet, here in the US, the company has taken a more subtle approach, and has not really attempted to attract the US soccer consumer. I admit that they are heavily involved in USL, but try to get in contact with a US Umbro rep, and you will soon find that they are more centered outside of our sphere. Our attempts to contact a US branch of the company were not successful, but we did manage to get a new pair of Umbro Speciali’s to review. This is something that pleased me, as I really do think Umbro is a leader in terms of comfort and style!

Check out the full selection of Speciali boots currently available.

Here is the skinny on what you need to know about the Speciali’s:

  • New and improved insole board
  • Central lacing
  • Kangaroo leather upper
  • Suitable for firm natural surfaces
  • Weight in at 9.4 oz

Style and Design
These Speciali’s are definitely one of Umbro’s best creations. The first thing to note is the fact that they are Umbro’s lightest cleats to date, at a very reasonable 9.4oz. Obviously as a winger, I am always after a light cleat! The Kangaroo leather is very soft, and offers a great look. I tested the Black/British Racking Green/Gold design. Rather than standing out, these cleats have the classic Umbro look, with a white line that runs up the outside of the cleat, along the seam. After trying on these cleats, I noticed a few things. First, the front of these cleats are roomy. I have a wider fitting foot, and these cleats were pretty comfy when I tried them on. Breaking them in was a little different, and it did take a few practice sessions before the front area felt fully formed to my feet. The inside of the cleats has EVA foam that is designed to mold to your foot, and this was true for the heal area. Thankfully, I can report no blisters as of to date! At this stage, it is important to note that I have not yet worn these cleats in games, only at training!

Umbro Speciali Described

Fit
One thing that I really like about these cleats are the seams that come around the cleat on either side, allowing you to pull the laces tighter around your foot. The main reason for this design is to give better protection to the metatarsal area. I’m not sure why more cleats are not designed this way, as it makes sense! It is a central lacing system,  the tongue is designed a little bit different than on other cleats, as it has a type of snap-down design that keeps them close over the front laces. I would personally prefer to have a strap that wraps around the sole of the cleat, but to be honest, this design works pretty well. The tongue doesn’t cover the full lacing system, but it covers enough over the strike zone.

Summary
Overall, the Speciali’s are a very tidy cleat. As I said above, I see Umbro to be the classic cleat that is synonymous with soccer. In terms of who these cleats suit, I would say pretty much any position on the field! These cleat don’t offer any specific detailing like the Predators or the lightweight Vapors, they are the in-between cleat that are designed for players who are serious about their game and have confidence in what they do without needing to stand out (being serious here!!)

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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15 comments

  1. Im unsure on what boots to buy. I want to get a more classic cleat so Ive decided on getting these the legends, or the adipures . Which cleat would you suggest buying based on comfort and durability? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    P.S. – This is one great site!

  2. Hey Lucas,

    All three are great boots, and none of them have distinct advantage! They all rank pretty evenly, and offer excellet durability for their price. One that I would factor out is the Legends, as they fit a little tight in my opinion, unless you order a size up. The newest installment of the adiPURE (III) is a pretty great boot all round. If there is one you prefer looks wise, that might be the deciding factor!

  3. my friend bought a pair of legends about the same time that i bought a pair of adipure II's. Long story short, my boots have held up much better than his on which the sole plate has snapped and broken off the rest of the boot

  4. And does it fit true to size?

  5. Is there any reason the score for this is boot relatively low compared to the other boots?

  6. honestly best boots i've ever bought i have the swan white/red colorway and just got the limited edition england red color. both are great so comfortable and i don't think i'll buy any other boot than the speciali

  7. I got the white and gold wc edition recently.

    I agree with silvy hey are the best boots I've ever bought, if you can find them on sale snap them up. Light, k-leather, so comfortable: a boot that allows you to express your game.

    I think the score would be higher if reviewed now in comparison with the other cleats. It deserves the name speciali in my opinion. It's telling how many premier league pros have remained in this cleat. For example andy carroll who chooses these freely of his own volition over adizeros and darren bent who refuses to change out of his pair as well as john terry and michael dawson. They are very very good.

  8. About the narrowness of the stud pattern on the multi–stud shoes: great forward speed, but bad for lateral goalkeeper movement. I absolutely love the uppers, but as a keeper I cannot trust the lateral stability–I have basically tripped over trying to plant the outside foot to dive. The 6 studs work fine (though the rear studs are positioned too far forward causing one to fall back on their heels). The multi–stud version of these boots should be for field players only.

  9. How much stretch is in the k-leather? Also, was this the review of the Statement or of the Pro? I'm debating whether or not I should buy a half-size down (I wear a 9.5 in the AdiCore calf-leather and it fits perfect) or get it true. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  10. The leather stretches a little bit but in a good way. When you first wear them they might feel tight but once u train in them and break them in they feel much better. I wouldn't recommend going a half size down, I wear a 12 US and ordered a 12 and had no problems.

  11. How do these fit? A nike 8.5 is tight for me and a nike 9 is too big. What would be the ideal size for this shoe? Please answer.

    Thanks

    • for a good fit, your thump should touch the longest toe and top edge of your boot. They feel loose to begin but after an hour into the game, you feet stretch and that extra room is a bonus. No more blisters. My preference, I add half to one size bigger than dress shoes, after a game, you can come back to the store exchange for better size.

  12. I have a pair of Umbro Diamondback style, they were the average $100, I got them on sale $50. I have been playing for ten years and they are still in top shape. All those guys wearing synthetic cleats looked at my and complimented. These cleats are made of leather in the front, hand stitching down the bottom sole plates, not like the Adidas glue came off after a year ( hard to find anything leather today) and leather around heel contour which feels cool and pleasant to play in them( those guys with synthetic cleats wonder why they got blisters, not me). After few games in the rain, they just moulded to the shape of my feet like a second layer of skin. I think they are not popular in North America today because of advertising ( when was the last time we saw Umbro ad in major events?)and wholesale buying deal with other brands that many chain stores don't carry them anymore here.

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