Back in November when Warrior Sports announced they were ready to drop their first ever speed boot, an air of optimism surrounded the release. With the Skreamer and Gambler already on the books, it seemed that the addition of the Superheat was set to solidify Warriors place as an established market player. The the boots hit market and the reaction didn’t hit the heights of both previous silo releases. Maybe it was the colorway choices, or maybe it was the slightly more rigid, plastic looking upper.
Since that time, we haven’t seen as much publicity surrounding the boots and there hasn’t been a great deal of players raving about their performance. Then, I got a pair in for testing and my high level of skepticism was quickly replaced by a much more positive experience. If there was ever a case of “don’t judge a boot by its upper” this right here is it.
For those interested in a pair of Warrior Superheat, find them at Soccer.com.
Straight up, this Chili Pepper/Cyber Yellow colorway is bold and rather funky. On top of that, the upper has an odd texture finish with what look like support bands covering the midfoot. Flip them over, and you notice the stud configuration that is completely different to any other traction system around. Basically, this is not the most visually graceful boots ever released and its construction doesn’t produce a good initial taste. Without testing the performance, this is the type of boot I can see a lot of people avoiding because of the wild visuals.
Breaking In and Comfort
The first step to this review was setting the visual appearance to side in order to really focus on the performance of the boot. That is never an easy task and it can be made so much worse pending the initial experience. Thankfully, comfort is an area where these boots excel and from first wear I could focus on the positives rather than how they broke in. The soleplate is plenty flexible and the upper is surprisingly pliable for a synthetic. My only note about the thin upper is it folds in an unusual fashion around the toe bend. Where a leather will generally adapt to your foot shape, the tri-fusion bonded skin creases outward. It doesn’t create any comfort issues but it does have a different feel to modern uppers.
In the heel region, you will find a pretty impressive internal heel counter. Unlike many other heel counters on the market, this one is completely unnoticeable, hidden in the inner depths of the upper. It protects the ankle very effectively, holding its shape right through the back portion of the boot, while it is well padded to ensure you don’t feel it in play.
And speaking of padded feels, the ankle lining of the Superheat has a fantastic feel. Warrior use a layer of foam around the entry that cushions as a mid-high fit around the ball of your ankle, while the synthetic material used has a slightly grippy feel. I’m big on the inclusion of materials that keep your foot locked down through the ankle, such as suede for example, and this material passes the test sufficiently.
Weighing in at 8oz, this is not exactly a super lightweight boot compared to the market. Although adequate for pacey players, we are in an era when boots need to fall below the 7oz mark to be super light. The inclusion of so much technology increases the overall weight, and that is definitely not a bad thing. In fact, it plays in favor of the Superheat and gives it a unique level of speedy performance.
Packed With Technology
As is pretty typical with Warrior, they have also introduced us to a whole new dictionary of terminology associated with the new boot. Next up is the actual performance section of the review, so in order to figure it all out and save me from having to review every part, here is your cheat sheet of what is what:
- Revolutionary TRI-FUSION bonded skin for limitless touch and speed.
- ORGANITOUCH super-thin outer film for natural feel and close control.
- NEOWEB mesh base layer with DWR water resistant treatment for lightweight infinite comfort.
- NANOCRADLE 2nd layer balances efficient support with optimum agility.
- Superlight TRI FUSION tongue for perfect feel and fit.
- Membrane HEEL SHIELD for unseen support and protection.
- SLIPSTREAM lacing system for optimum fit and comfort.
- FG WAR PLATE – Dual Injected Clawtech blades provide traction and acceleration on dry and firm surfaces.
My emphasis in this area is going to be based on the upper and everything it has going on. It takes a few seconds to comprehend the bizarre nature of the design, but as a system it comes together and offers a high level of competitive performance. Breaking it down, the material used through the upper is called Tri-Fusion, with three different layers aiding in the overall creation of the boot.
The primary base of the boot that everything is built on top of is called Neoweb. Looking at the boot, this is the material seen through the back portion of the upper, or the mesh region. From there, it runs though the internal forefoot and it sort of disappears from view toward the midfoot. Right through, it has a soft feel and it is the perfect material to build a flexible boot on. Warrior refer to it as a “water-resistant mesh”, which is a little confusing considering water definitely gets through to the foot. Specifically, there is a portion of mesh through the midfoot region that doesn’t have any synthetic material on wither side of it, and you can feel the water on the inner side of the boot if you pour water on it. The term water-resistant seems inaccurate in this case, unless Warrior are referring to the fact it doesn’t soak in and retain water.
Then along the forefoot, Warrior add a second layer of synthetic material called Organitouch. This is the material that holds a textured feel and is intended to enhance touch and control. Rather than being a rough, gritty material like we normally find on control boots, it is much more like a bumpy plastic. On the ball, it is a very welcome addition and it really does offer a little extra when it comes to first touch, especially when dribbling with the ball.
Then on top of all that, a final ultra-thin layer of Nanocradle is added, offering additional support to the boot. Think of it as a bonus addition that improves the durability of the boot by holding everything in place, without creating a stiff feel. We have seen similar additions to this on the likes of the Puma evoSPEED and the Adidas F50 adiZero, but those sat underneath the hood rather than on top!
All pieced together, it creates a very effective lightweight upper that will actually hold together a lot more effectively than other speed boots on the market. The final note here lies with how it feel to strike shots or long balls. The use of a Organitouch ensures you have a controlled feel when placing shots or trying to get some additional spin on the ball, but it doesn’t make for an overly impressive feel when striking shots. You definitely feel the ball and your foot does endure the impact of solid hits. This leads to the conclusion that this is a better option for pacey players who like to move quickly toward goal with the ball, as opposed to target men who look for opportunities to turn and shoot further from goal.
War Plate – Traction
This is the same soleplate that we were first introduced to on the Gambler. Warrior has decided to stick it out with the same configuration and although some fans might see this as a more boring move, it just emphasizes the confidence Warrior has in the traction offered. Overall, it is such an odd looking setup that seems like it would be better suited on a space boot. You have to wonder how they came up with the final positioning of each blade. I am sure there was some research behind it, but it looks like someone just drew together a bunch of odd shaped blades and placed them on a soleplate!
As an FG configuration, most players will want to know how it performs on natural grass and artificial surfaces. Surprisingly, it is the latter where I found they really excelled! Since there are 17 blades, you get a high level of traction and a pretty even weight distribution without your foot soaking into AG surfaces. On FG, they are also effective, but when the surface is wet or in anyway sticky, they do tend to drop in traction off of quick turns. It is almost like there are certain turns where the config doesn’t work in unison. As a recommendation, I would say they are a top option for players who regularly play on AG but also need a suitable boot for some FG games from time to time.
Whats With the Design?
With each new Warrior release, a completely new visual appearance has been introduced to the market. Where they got things spot on with the Skreamer, things have slightly gone downhill and I feel like this release hits a low. From a technical perspective, the boot is spot on so it is a shame to imagine fans will avoid testing the boot because of how it looks. Lets be honest, when has the Red/Yellow combo really worked on a boot? Maybe on the McDonalds sign, but it has always been funky on boots. Then the odd toe-cap design really makes them look like a bowling shoe. It just doesn’t work well. In saying that, the Blue/Yellow version released does have a much more appealing look, but again with the toe-cap. I honestly think if the toe-cap was changed up and the combo of colors was correct, they would automatically sell themselves!
How do they Fit?
Visually, the Superheat looks like it fits longer than it does. But it is actually pretty close to a standard length. There might be a smidge extra space, but I found the fit to be pretty ideal with no need to stray from my normal size. I wore a size 9US like normal, and right through testing I was satisfied with how they felt. For players who desire a truly snug fit, considering a half size down might be an option but it is not something I would push as a necessity. Width wise, they do fit a little narrow, although there is plenty of space inside the boot. Think of them as having an overall shape that is very similar to the current Vapor series, except the Superheat doesn’t sit as low across the forefooot. They have a slightly higher profile that will accommodate a wider selection of players.
For me, it is all about the design. From a performance perspective, there is not a great deal to be critical of. But, what good is it having top performance if players are scared away by the visual appearance. Even with a simple modification like removing the Organitouch that runs around the tip of the forefoot would make such a huge difference. I’m going a lot off of feedback here, so maybe there is a large following who appreciate the look (if so let us know in the comments). Getting the look right on the 2.0 version of the Superheat would be a game changer.
Pick up your pair of Warrior Superheat S-Lite right now.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: Warrior’s first lightweight speed boot release that features a textured forefoot for enhanced touch on the ball.
Category: Speed. Lightweight, with the added benefit of textured control.
Would I Buy Them: Simply based on visuals, I would be inclined to skip them. But, from a performance perspective they are definitely worth checking out.
Player Position: With the combo of lightweight and a textured upper, they make for an ideal option for pacey players who like to dribble and take defenders on. Since they are well constructed, they are also one of the best speed options for defenders.
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