Who doesn’t love a new and extremely in-your-face boot release, especially when it is from a whole new brand. The Warrior Skreamer S-Lite raised eye-brows when they were released. The fish-scale visuals add a completely different style than we have seen before and offer a bold statement for a debut release. In reality, it is a like or hate release, but one that has driven a sharp media frenzy around the boots. Isn’t that what every company wants?
I’ve been lucky enough to test out a pair for the past few weeks, with the following results – the big question is do they actually perform better than they look?Pick Up the Warrior Skreamer S-Lite >>
There is something quite unique about the visuals of this boot and I am interested to see how the scaled forefoot feels on the ball. I’m thinking they might be stiff to break in as there seems to be a lot going on within a lightweight package. Soleplate has an unusual curve – might make the break in period more interesting.
First and foremost, this boot has a lot going on for something this categorized as a lightweight. As a result, it takes some work to get them broken in and game ready. It all starts with the scales on the upper. Just looking at them, it appears like they would take away from the natural movement of the upper, but this is not so. Warrior has positioned and spaced them out in such a way that they flow pretty uniformly as you foot moves in the boot. You will need to wear them once or twice to really loosen them up, especially to shape them to your specifics.
Then there is the soleplate, which has a slightly stiff feel, but for a pretty different reason. Looking at the soleplate from the side, you will notice it has an unusual shape – what Warrior call the Thorax Exo-Skeleton. It is almost reminiscent of a Formula 1 racing car, where the team has decided to lower the base of the car for aerodynamic reasons or something similar. I can’t quite pinpoint what Warrior’s strategy is, but I imagine it is related to traction and how the boot performs on different surfaces.
Overall, they are a clean boot to break in…but seeing as they are a new boot from a new company, I recommend players take the cautious approach and gently wear them into game action.
Seriously, What is with the Design?
Warrior has gone created a design that turns you upside down, slaps you in the face and dunks your head in a pit of spicy guacamole. Oh yes, the aptly named Skreamer S-Lite is designed to grab your attention. Not only does the colorway naturally stand out, but the scale design that covers the forefoot makes for a slightly bizarre look. Taking a look at the boot up-close, you will notice that Warrior has superimposed some hieroglyphic designs on the darker blue area that lines the boot. It is not something that I had initially noticed when they were released, but having them in hand makes them very obvious. I actually like it a lot as it fits the persona of what Warrior are trying to achieve.
You might have noticed the two holes positioned right on the heel of the boot – definitely not something we have ever seen before. On release, Warrior basically claimed they are there to help you adjust the boot into place, in an easier manner. When slipping the boots on and off, it really isn’t something I’ve had to use and personally I would prefer to have the region sealed so I don’t accept new stud makes on one of the most important areas of the foot. An interesting addition to say the least.
In Game Performance
Lets kick things off with the most visually prominent part of the boot, what I refer to as the scales. Warrior has given us the following summary description of what it is we are looking at:
ArrowHead Forefoot Vamp for accuracy and power, constructed using an angled PU injection mold with rebound tech for added swerve.
So, basically, what we are looking for is a little extra power with the ability to strike a ball in similar fashion to something like the adiPower Predator (or a previous Predator version). Straight off the bat, Warrior’s description is very accurate and that is slightly odd considering these are definitely seen to be a lightweight release. You get a great feel while striking the ball and I have actually pinged in a few solid long range efforts in the past week. One in particular had the crown chanting “What a Skreamer”! Ok, so maybe that is slightly over-exaggerated and fact of the matter is a boot won’t improve your striking ability. But the extra padding does add rebound and lets be honest, every little helps. But with the addition of power comes some other attributes that will take away from the needs of certain players. You lose that natural, “I can feel the ball on my toes without looking” touch. I found there were 2 reasons for that, starting with the fact that the scales are actually slightly sticky and produce a much closer touch than with a bare upper. When toe-tapping the ball, the boot seems to caress the ball and want to keep it closer to your body. And then there is that fact that with so much going on around the forefoot, you have less sensitivity. Trust me when I say that this is a boot that has a lot going on, especially for something so lightweight.
Next in line is the stud configuration and the traction it provides. Warrior has developed a vastly different mold that is shaped more like an obtuse triangle than anything else. Because of the seemingly hollowed-out design and orange inner core, they almost look like teeth! And I have to admit that they kind of act like teeth as they penetrate the surface. For the most part this turned out to be effective, but there were times when I felt like I had teeth that were chewing on toffee – in other words, they had a drag or tendency to stick. This was primarily felt on turf fields, on natural grass I never noticed r encountered this problem.
How do they Fit?
If you need a boot the epitomizes a natural fit, these are them. You get a completely fitted feel right across the forefoot in a boot that is very much true to size. Each time I have worn them, I’ve had to really loosen up the laces to get my foot in (the insole and underside of the tongue can feel slightly sticky with socks) but when you tighten them up, you get a really secure and snug fit. Players that like a little extra space or need a boot they can grow into, I definitely recommend going up a half size.
Winning Over the Market
If there is one thing that a lot of companies forget about, it is getting the boots out to the market and really putting pressure on players to pick up pairs. Now, Warrior has done a fantastic job of advertising and their “What lies within” campaign has worked effectively with the high-profile personnel they have signed up. Marouanne Fellaini could be the signing of the season and the addition of a hard hitter like Vinny Jones doesn’t hurt either. In saying that, they could do with upping their attempts to share valuable details with the online review community (sly dig!)
S-Lite vs K-Lite
I think this one might be slightly obvious, but the big difference lies in the materials used in the upper, with S standing for Synthetic and K for leather. In terms of weight, there is only a minimal difference, with the S-Lite checking in at 7.4oz compared to 7.6 for the K-Lite. For those interested, you can also currently also buy the K-Lite.
The Critics Notes
To be honest, this is an overall solid release debut from Warrior and it shows there is a lot of promise. I could easily pick on the design and state it is hideous and shouldn’t be something we applaud as players. But lets be honest, this is boot designed to create attention and that is exactly what it has done. In past, we have seen companies take this approach but they have failed to follow it up with player endorsements and real advertising strategies. Warrior has got it right in this area. Plus they released the Black version to compensate for the lack of normality on this boot! Where I can be more critical is in the coverage of the scales along the forefoot and the fact that these scales take away from the feeling of having the ball on your foot. This is something I personally crave as I am dribbling with the ball.Pick Up Your Pair of Warrior Skreamer S-Lite Today >>
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: This is a boot that is designed to mimic its name – the Skreamer. Designed as a Power boot yet they fall into the Lightweight category.
Category: I’m going with a Power hybrid on this one. I realize they are lightweight, but it is the idea of Power that Warrior are looking to push.
Weight: An extremely competitive 7.4oz, pretty nice for a debut release.
Would I Buy Them: This version, probably not – but that has more to do with my personal taste in design rather than performance. In saying that, having now tested them I would purchase the K-Lite version to see what they have to offer.
Player Position: Without missing a beat, this boot is the perfect option for defensive players who have been craving a lightweight boot. The upper is well built and constructed, so rest assured that your feet are going to be as well protected as they can be in a lightweight boot and you get the extra bonus of being able to spray long-balls right around the field. In saying that, they also make for an ideal option for attacking mids – think of Fellaini on this one. He is big, powerful and not afraid to strike shots.