For a while now, we have been wondering what is going on with Umbro and how their sale from Nike would affect what direction the company takes. Well in between the changeover, we have been treated to what looks like a Nike/Umbro hybrid of sorts in the form of the Umbro Geometra Pro II. For a while there, Umbro releases were starting to produce super exciting feedback and the initial Geometra release was a true winner. This latest version takes on a different look and role, and although not as functional as the first edition, it does have plenty of unique positives to offer a specific type of player.
Those interested in the Geometra Pro II can currently find them at Soccer.com.
There is a definite Nike feel to the release right out of the box, yet there is also an obvious change from the original Geometra. The sandpaper like texture runs right around the upper and sits in some slightly unexpected areas, while the A-Frame is positioned in an unusual fashion. The boots come in the box wrapped in Umbro’s personalized paper, but no other extras are included.
Even though it is a K-Leather, there is a slightly stiff feel about the upper and I’d definitely recommend wearing them into one or two training sessions before deeming them game ready. This should allow the stitches to loosen up slightly and give you a more natural fit. You could easily take them out of the box and into a game as they are plenty flexible in the right areas, but to really get the most out of them I’d recommend a TLC approach. Umbro has kept the soleplate very consistent, so you can expect it to be flexible and non-problematic through the first few sessions. Overall, they were comfortable and easy to get going.
Whats Different With The Upper?
This is a boot that Umbro has modified to fit in a slightly different fashion to your regular boot. If you look at them from the side, there seems to be a ridge or higher point just above the strike zone. It is almost like the rigid nature of the A-Frame Cradle on the lateral side of the boot lifts the overall shape of the boot into a more upward position. When you put your foot into a regular boot, the upper lifts with the shape of your foot. The only difference with this is the fact that the shape is already elevated, so in a sense it means your foot slides in slightly easier. In similar fashion to the original Geometra, there is plenty of stitching that runs along the forefoot, although you don’t get the barrel layered stitching that creates the pillow effect.
In order to really understand what these boots are about, there are two main areas to focus on; the touch control upper and the lateral ECZ.
Touch Control Upper – Immediately you will notice what feels like a sandpaper type textured design that runs right across the upper. It is actually a rubberized print that has been scraped to provide a grippy feel. On the ball, the surface acts just like sandpaper does on a smooth piece of wood. It provides some extra grip, so the ball doesn’t simply slide away from your foot. The actual arrow like pattern is simply there for design – there is no real performance benefits to its direction or positioning. Either way, it proves an effective tool if you want to increase the traction between your foot and the ball.
Lateral ECZ – This is an area that Umbro has completely redesigned, although that results in some disappointment, in my opinion. I was a real fan of the padded region on the original Geometra. This version offers a different type of functionality. The main difference is the inclusion of an A-Frame Cradle. We have seen this addition on other Umbro releases but it was something I was under the impression they had retired. The concept is simple; to provide additional support around the midfoot and a more secure fit. In between, you have 2 memory foam regions with a zig-zag patterned overlay. This provides some nice cushion on the higher region, but because of how the A-Frame is composed, it is difficult to really take advantage of the entire region. The A-Frame has a tendency to act like any sort of rubberized material would in the region. As everything else stretches and adjusts to your fit, the A-Frame stays the same and this causes everything to sort of bunch up. I get why it is there, but it really doesn’t need to be there!
Finally, the soleplate and stud configuration is again a winner. Right through wear you get a consistent and uniform level of traction no matter what the surface! The shape and design of the blades are very effective and having worn them on turf and natural grass, I give them the thumbs up. Also, sitting right under the toe joint is a circular bladed region. As you swivel and turn, it gives you a stable feel when you are looking to turn and accelerate in another direction.
Geometra Pro vs Geometra Pro II
Ironically, Umbro seemed to have addressed every negative I had to report about the original version. They altered the size, fixed up the stitching and lowered the weight. So, they should be an all around better package, right? Surprisingly, that is not the case. The one extreme positive I had with the originals was the ECZ and its functionality. Loved is and found it very easy to recommend to other players. On the latest version, things have been changed up and it seems like Umbro has produced an overly complicated region, when simplicity was the key.
Nike Back To Umbro
How much influence is there from Nike on this release? We can’t really tell as this release was in the design phase when Nike announced that they were going to sell the English brand. There seems to be some characteristics of the boot that we are familiar with seeing on Nike releases, yet there are also pieces that scream former Umbro. I have a feeling that both companies were working together on the release initially, but that changed with the announcement and Umbro’s remaining design team were left to finish the product. If you ask me, this is an “in-between” release that acts as a stop gap, and I expect further improvements from an Umbro direction next time around.
How do they Fit?
Umbro has done a great job of altering the fit and making these a much more natural true-to-size. The have a natural fit right through the forefoot, which is aided by the the positioning of the A-Frame Support that lifts the midfoot into shape. Players who need some support in the region can view these as a boot worth considering.
As above, the only real negative I have is the transition from a highly effective ECZ to the current set-up. Its an area that really didn’t need to be altered too much and it seems like Umbro and the addition of the A-Frame only increases the problem as it causes some bunching in the region over time. The other note is that the white version scuffs very easily, especially the textured region that soaks in dirt stains. On a darker colorway you probably won’t have this problem. Other than that, they are a pretty solid boot that performs as you would expect.
Again, you can find several Umbro Geometra Pro II colorways over at soccer.com.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A boot that features plenty of control and first touch technology, built to be comfortable in typical Umbro fashion and featuring a secure traction optimized soleplate.
Category: Another Control release, with the touch technology on the forefoot adding some extra grip on the ball.
Weight: These come in at 9.2oz, Umbro has shaved some weight off the initial Geometra release.
Would I Buy Them: If I had the option to pick up the original Geometra on sale, I would go for that deal first. But for the price, I like what these have to offer.
Player Position: Midfielders rejoice – this is a great option if you simply need a consistent boot that offers a comfortable fit and some additional touch and control features.
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