If you are looking for a speed boot that offers a different take from the mainline releases, the Umbro GT2 Pro is a boot that is worth checking out. When this boot was released, they actually garnered plenty of media attention for their full-flavored look and independent charm. In a sense, that has a lot to do with how the Umbro brand has won back some of its swagger through a series of very promising boots. Before testing the original GT Pro, I had little expectations yet they proved to be a surprisingly good package. So, going into the GT2 Pro review, I deliberately raised my expectations. The end result still proved positive, which you can read more about below.
For testing, something that has taken a little longer than expected to conclude, I wore the newer Black/White/Acid Green colorway.
The all around make-up of the GT2 Pro allows for them to be a comfortable boot to take out of the box and right into a training session. The soleplate, in particular, flexes in just the right areas and offers enough freedom for your feet to easily adjust to their new surroundings! The upper is a one piece Teijin microfiber that is designed to offer support right around your foot. Unlike many other speed boots on the market, this upper is slightly more rigid and offers more protection throughout the forefoot. Don’t get me wrong, it is still soft but it doesn’t compare to the likes of the Hybridtouch on the Adidas Predator LZ or the suede synthetic upper found on the Nike Vapor VIII. Because it is slightly more rigid, it takes time to really mold to your foot shape and mesh in place. I found that there was an areas just below the lacing system that bunched through the first few wears and caused an uncomfortable feel on quick turns when my toes curled. It did dissipate as the upper loosened, but it took a few wears.
For players who want a speed boot that has actually been designed with material rather than air, this is a solid option. The entire boot offers a protected feel, while you still get that lightweight, easy to accelerate in attitude. Something that surprised me with these was the level of control offered through the forefoot. Looking at the design, things are very minimal and there is no apparent technology through the zone. In fact, there isn’t any technology anywhere on the boot. But the Teijin microfiber upper does have a slightly sticky feel that adds an element to first touch. Dribbling felt great and I didn’t encounter any slippy feel like the upper suggests you will experience. An addition to the boot that I like a lot is the PORON insole. It has been perforated, proving a breathable feel inside the boot, something that is extremely useful on hot artificial turf surfaces.
Then there is the new blade configuration, that is designed to offer optimal traction on FG surfaces. There is definitely a distinct Nike feel about this transition and if you were to see the soleplate without knowing who created the boot, I think most people would vote for the house of the swoosh. Results from testing indicate that the design does in fact increase traction and aids in the initial motion of acceleration. But, to be honest, I found that certain directional movements felt a little off, with some unnecessary drag. I think this is an area that different players will have their own experiences with.
Speed Boot Category
We are at the point where 8.6oz is not pitted amongst the lightest grouping of boots on the market, yet the GT2 Pro is built to be a speed boot. Here, it is more about balancing the entire package for what they have to offer. The upper is minimal and sleek, while the stud configuration is designed for traction and fast acceleration. Even if they are not an SL, they can still be classified as a speed boot.
Compared to the Original GT
When it comes to straight up performance, the substantial difference between both boots lies in the soleplate configuration and Umbro’s decision to choose blades over conical studs. Weight wise, things have been dropped from 9.0oz to 8.6oz. Finally, Umbro has switched to off-centered lacing and removed the A-frame cradle on the GT Pro2.
Design – The Looks
You have to applaud Umbro for the design improvements they have made through their last few releases. And there is a level of bravery that goes into releasing a boot with a fade as seen on the GT2 Pro. The Black to Acid Green fade seen on this release is bold and very in your face, yet it works pretty well. They are definitely not the best looking boots I have seen, but they are different and add some spark to the market. One unusual aspect is the scratch like design seen on the Black region. It looks as if someone has taken sandpaper and gone to work trying to redesign the upper. The latest colorway in the range comes in a very outlandish Prism Violet.
How do they Fit?
I actually ended up testing a size 9.5US, rather than my regular 9US, and proved hugely beneficial. I would definitely recommend checking out the half size up to get the best fit. In terms of width, these boots prove to be the widest of the speed boots, which in a sense is a huge plus for the boot.
The one problematic issue I encountered was a fold in the upper, just below the lacing system, that created a sort of bunching effect. It proved to be a nuisance until the upper loosened up and felt sufficiently broken-in. It has a lot to do with the synthetic upper and the off-center lacing employed on the boot.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A well protected speed boot that provides a lightweight feel with plenty of traction. Offer players who need a wide fit the opportunity to wear a speed boot!
Category: Speed – the entire package is built toward speed.
Weight: At 8.6oz, these are the lightest boots we have seen released from Umbro.
Would I Buy Them: Not my top choice all around, but the wide fit fits very comfortably and I like the fact that they are a speed boot you can get stuck in on tackles with.
Player Position: This is a mixed bag. Attacking players will benefit most, and that includes outside backs who like to push forward. The upper is strong enough to withstand harsh challenges, while they still provide that lightweight feel.