The latest speed boot in the Under Armour (UA) collection hit the market recently with barely any media attention. The Blur CBN IV just seemed to arrive from nowhere and became a viable option for fans to test out. From what we have seen in recent times, this was an unusual approach for UA who have continually promoted anything that offers a fresh alternative for players.
These are definitely fresh and built for explosive players that like to play a forward, attacking mindset role. Thankfully, that is my style and I’ve spent a few weeks with them, to see just how effective the changes UA have made to boot have been and what real role the fourth edition will actually have on the market.
Find the current available range of UA Blur CBN IV boots at soccer.com.
On release, it was very interesting to see the entire range of changes that Under Armour made to this boot. The upper seems to be completely revamped and the material has a more modern feel. In all, there is a more calming visual effect to this latest edition – but performance is where we can really determine if they are improved or not!
Break In and Comfort
It took one or two wears to get the unusual soleplate on this boot loosened up, but once it was in-tune they offer a very high comfort level. Featuring a spine through the soleplate (it is there to add additional strength) you are going to need to loosen them up before they truly feel adjusted. Where UA has changed things up is in the upper, with a new microfiber material, called Wallaroo, introduced for the first time. Wallaroo has a soft leather like feel, but it holds the properties of a synthetic material. Right from first wear, it feels smooth and comfortable across the foot, providing a natural feel. My only issue was the fact they fit a little tighter than other speed boots currently on the market. It was around my little toe where they felt tight, making them a less accommodating option for wide fitting players.
One other area I really like is the ankle lining, with a layering of padding securing your foot in a comfortable position through play. From experience, they are a boot you will want to test out in a training session or two before breaking them out in a game just to be sure they fit your mold.
Being that they are designed for speed, you would expect the Blur Carbon IV to be a boot that excels for fast paced players, and yes you would be exactly right. UA has focused on creating a more effecient balance between a high level of acceleration and a boot that lasts longer than a season. To improve the range, a new upper has been implemented and it proves useful in play as well as increasing the durability of the upper. As a result, there is a fresh new balance about these boot, creating an ideal platform for striking shots. It is slightly thicker than other synthetic materials we have seen used, and although this takes away from first touch it offers an ideal surface for striking clean shots.
It is difficult to add much else in this area as they are literally a well balanced boot. So, I’m breaking the rest of the details into smaller bite-size sections for your consumption!
Designed For Speed
Weighing in at 7.5oz and featuring that lightweight synthetic upper, these boots are definitely designed for players who value an explosive change of pace in their game. One added bonus is the low-tier, conical stud configuration that keeps you close to the ground and ready to release from FG and AG surfaces very quickly.
Unusual Outsole Design
One of the key features of these boots is the BZM soleplate and the conical stud configuration. I mentioned in the Break In section how these boots feature a spine through the sole, designed to add strength. It serves a purpose but initially it feels stiff and you need to be patient as it adjusts to your movements (or as you adjust to the feel). This is the same system we saw in play on the Blur CBN III, so it has got the thumbs up during a prior review. In similar fashion, the conical stud configuration is the very same as we saw on its predecessor and we also give it the seal of approval. Where they are particularly effective is on AG surfaces, as the low profile keeps you close to the surface without causing any drag. In play, you can definitely feel a difference in how they break the surface and in a positive way.
The Durability Factor
If you are on the market for a speed boot that is built with durability in mind, these are definitely a top option. The Wallaroo synthetic upper is slightly thicker than your traditional lightweight material and offers plenty of strength through wear. They hold up very well and are also secured in place by an additional layer of material around the toe/soleplate joining. Durability is definitely a part of what these boots have on offer.
Compared to the Blur Carbon
Under Armour has done a pretty impressive job of improving this range with this release. The Blur CBN III actually performed really well and was a boot that I appreciated through testing. But there were several aspects that might have put a selection of players off. For example, the design and shape of the upper around the ankle was very unorthodox. It felt very clean and secure around the ankle, but it just looked uncomfortable. On this version, UA has gone more traditional with a standard cut that fans will be more familiar with. It is almost like an entirely new design team was used to create both boots, with the first group demanding something “space-age like” and this group choosing something a little more “mainstream, tried and trusted.”
Another significant change is the choice of lacing system and thankfully the new version is million times better. You won’t have to worry about spending time re-lacing them when needed and this system feels more secure across the foot. Finally, as a result of the changes, the boot has increased from 6.3oz to 7.5oz, so they are now much more balanced. Both boots offer quality performance, but my preference is leaning more toward the new edition.
How do they Fit?
There is a definite tight feel about these boots and they have an almost Puma-esque style about them. In saying that, there is a slightly longer feel compared to other UA boots we have seen released in the past. With those boots, ordering a half size up was a must. With these, the option of choosing a half size up should definitely be considered but it it not a must. The important thing to remember here is that these boots are designed for players in need of a thin fit rather than a wide fit. If you prefer something snug, stick with a true to size but if you find boots normally fit tight, choose to go up to a size that will be more accommodating.
My only qualm is with the overall shape of boot. They make for an ideal recommendation for players who enjoy a tighter fit, but I’m a little hesitant for players with a wider foot. I’d also like to see some sort of change in the soleplate and the spine implemented. It serves a purpose but in similar fashion to the Puma evoSPEED SpeedTrack system, I don’t think it offers full performance value. In other words, a similar release with a generalized soleplate could dramatically improve them.
Find the current available range of UA Blur CBN IV boots at soccer.com.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A very balanced, lightweight speed boot that features a new Wallaroo upper material and has been constructed with improved durability in mind.
Category: Speed – but again it is worth noting there is also a high level of durability to these.
Would I Buy Them: Worth considering. It doesn’t reach my list of top boots currently on the market, but there is value in them and I appreciate what UA has done to improve them.
Player Position: The natural recommendation is for wingers and forwards who value pace, but I also see them as a solid option for outside backs who like to get up the line.