If there is one company on the market that are headed in the right direction, Under Armour tops the bill and this UA Hydrastike Pro II release pays homage to that fact! Right from the moment they arrived, I could tell that the changes UA implemented on this release were gearing it to a wider and more probable audience compared to their predecessor. It starts with a cleaner, less informal upper that is matched with a really sleek and stealthy soleplate, producing an appealing boot! Then there is a very affordable price and a lightweight feel….this is starting to sound like a Nike review (minus the price) – except it definitely isn’t.
On top of the review, we actually also had the opportunity to feature these boots in a recent edition of the Gear Show – make sure to check it out down below the review! In terms of retail, they are current available for $124.99, keeping them at a very affordable price-point compared to the market.
Breaking In – The First Few Wears
These are a pair of boots that you thoroughly enjoy taking out of the box and into a game, you want and can wear them right away. Although it doesn’t have that buttery soft feel, the upper is still decently soft from first wear. After a few sessions it does loosen substantially, with the benefits of the H2Oi treatment staying consistent throughout. I really like the Corespeed soleplate, especially the bend that lies just along the toe bend. It works really well and creates a flexible feel that makes the boot move naturally with your movements. Finally, you again get to experience the absolutely fantastic UA 4D foam insert. Taking it out of the boot, it is thicker than a normal insert and offers a very spongy and responsive feel. It is one of the best inserts that you will find in any soccer cleat right now.
H2Oi Water Intelligence Technology
Under Armour has worked to create an exclusive moisture-shedding H2Oi K-Leather upper that offers bone-dry touch, precision, and power on the ball. When water contacts the surface of the boot, it immediately seems to dissipate. I would compare it to how water slides off a car windscreen that has been sprayed with Rainex – the water just doesn’t stick to the surface. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to really test it out (see video below) and it worked effectively. By the end of testing, my feet were pretty wet through the ankle and there was some leak through the laces, but my toes were bone dry. More importantly, touch on the ball never really changed and they continues to offer efficient control on the ball.
There are several aspects of these boots that make them a top performer on the pitch. First off, UA has reduced the weight of the boot down to a pretty awesome 7.9oz. You can definitely feel that difference when holding the boot in your hand, and considering the H2Oi treatment has proven successful, these are a boot that won’t weigh you down in-game, especially in wet conditions. UA use a cross stitching that provides extra cushion and a raised area to help control the ball on first touch. It doesn’t have that high class look found on something like the Tiempo IV, but it serves its intended purpose.
What makes them an even better option if you do play in wet conditions, is the fantastic Corespeed soleplate. Again, it offers great traction whether you play in dry or wet conditions. I had the opportunity to wear them on natural grass and artificial. It was on natural grass where they performed at their best, with a high level of stability provided by the futuristic configuration. On artificial surfaces they were effective, although at times they were a little slippy when the surface was slick.
Design and Better Colorways!
UA has used a pretty sharp set of colorways on this release, and it really makes a positive statement. Between this SC101 exclusive colorway (not yet on the market), the White/Red/Black that has just been released, and the phenomenal Blackout you are getting a great selection of boots. The upper is extremely clean, with some cross stitching adding a traditional look. However, the stitching does look slightly tacky as it runs down through the toe, especially after they are well broken in, but that is simply part of the heritage look UA are going for.
Corespeed and a Sleek Stud Configuration
Gotta love the futuristic looking soleplate on these boots – it looks like something you would see in Star Wars! The CoreSpeed plate is designed to enhances the foot’s natural ability to accelerate from a planted position, in any direction. Check the performance section above for details on how it performs, but in terms of visuals it is one of the best looking soleplates currently on the market!
Compared to the Hydrastrike Pro
This boot is miles ahead of its predecessor and really signals UA’s ability to take what they have created and make it better. The design is obviously substantially better, the fit through the forefoot is more appropriate and the stud configuration is much more advanced on the second edition. For those interested, here is where you can check out the initial Hydrastrike Pro review.
How do they Fit?
The simple answer to this is “very well”. UA has definitely worked on making a better fitting boot and it has definitely paid off. One of the consistent problems I have had with UA boots is the sizing and finding the right fit. This boot offers a much more natural shape right throughout. I went true-to-size and they fit perfectly. They are a medium-wide fit, with the ability to be a comfortable wide fit due to the nature of the K-leather and stretching. I would go so far as recommending them to players who crave a wide fit!
Can UA be Taken Seriously?
They say it was David Beckham’s goal from the halfway line that paved way for him to become the face of the Adidas Predator range – something he has owned since Zidane retired – Under Armour and this release are on the look out for their Beckham, and if they continue releasing boots like this it is only a matter of time until they become a semi-leader in the US. They will never catch Nike or Adidas, but they do have a positive future!
The big negative is that this is a UA release – and UA won’t achieve a high profile in the US without mass marketing. It is a shame considering the list of positives these boot have going for them – testament to the fact that the Blackout version has received plenty of positive attention. The stitching along the front of the boot sits as a design negative for me personally. Finally, I did have an issue with the bottom lace holder, which seemed to snap during wear. After a little investigation, it turns out that this was a known issue for UA when sending the boots – this was a sample pair delivered and intended for testing before the colorway was released. On release pairs, it is not a problem UA expects players to encounter.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A very affordable, easy to break in, high performing and very comfortable K-leather boot that will impress even the most angst UA oppressor!
Category: The Hydrastrike was initially intended to be a Power boot – I see these as more of a Speed/Heritage hybrid.
Weight: An extremely light 7.9oz, which is a whopping 1.7oz drop between it and the initial Hydrastrike release.
Would I Buy Them: Considering the price and the knowledge I have after testing, it is an absolute yes. Sadly, because it is a UA release I don’t see this being a common theme amongst general consumers.
Player Position: This is very much an open boot, but I feel that defenders and players through the middle of the pitch will enjoy what they have to offer most.
When I read that this boot might suit wide footed players, I became exceptionally excited. It looks like a really good shoe at an ideal price point for me. However, people use the term "wide" very differently. For instance, I've heard people mention that the CTR360 line fits wider feet, but this is only true if your feet are just a little bit wide. I was wondering if you could give us a sense of your natural shoe width. That way someone like me who is 2E would know whether this might be an option.
Shyam, I totally agree with you. Try the asics ds light wide fit.
They're made for people with wide feet. They cost $130 at soccer.com
Thanks Michael. I've been considering the Asics DS Light, but I know a a friend who has worn them who said they weren't the most durable (then again, I'm not convinced they keep their boots in the best condition). Still they're currently the front runner for me, pretty much by default (even considering my raised heel concerns).
Really, I'd just like to have more options. I know there is also NikeID, but from what I heard, the soleplate on the wide fit shoes is still D width (though I don't know for sure if this is true).
My current solution is a pair of Tiempo Legends that are a half size too big, which is far from ideal.
The Nike Laser is also another option, preferably the Kanga Lite one because it will stretch a little more as well.
Interesting. Are you sure the Laser is an option for someone at 2E and not just someone who has more of a medium to wide fit (like a wider D foot or an E)? I'm not questioning your credibility, but I am a little surprise because I had a pair of Shoot III in the past and found they only worked because I went up half a size. Then again, the Shoot doesn't have Kanga Lite, so I may find the lasers better. It may also be that I like to wear my soccer shoes especially snug in terms of length (my soccer shoes would ideally be 1.5 sizes below my running shoes).
Sorry, I live in a fairly small college town and I don't really have many opportunities to try shoes on. There is a speciality soccer store in my town, but they tend not to always carry shoes at the higher price points (last time I went in, the only top end shoes they had were the Adizero and the Tiempo, the former of which was an awful fit). If the Laser (or the Hydrastrike for that matter) could work for me, I could order it online, but I'd rather know that it has the chance of working before I spend that kind of money. Granted, I can probably get a return if they don't fit, but if it's a width issue, it's not like I can really exchange it for a size up. Even then, I'm still out a $20 restocking fee.
So basically I just want to make sure that when we say "wide" we're in agreement on what a wide foot is. I'm just skeptical because of how many people told me the CTR360 line was a wide fit, and I found the Trequarista to be exceptionally uncomfortable. Also to be clear, I mean no offense to either Nike or CTR360 fans, I think it's a great boot and am disappointed that it's fit doesn't work for me, I'm really just hoping that there might be a few other options out there besides the Asics DS Light, and this review made me wonder if the Hydrastrike was one of them.
Nike and Adidas are tight fitting, narrow shoes across the board. You need to try a different brand. For example, I have Tiempo in 9.5US and they are narrower than my lotto leggendas which are a 9US. Just order some online from pro direct and if they don't fit right just send them back. Its not like the postage is hundreds of dollars…
The laser 3 could fit a really wide foot. I remember trying them on and they felt like boats compared to my laser 2s.
Hey Shyam, I’ve been in your exact position in the past. I’ve done the research and tried on every cleat I could find looking for a wide fit. I can tell you for sure that the Nike wide fit is only more spacious in the upper, it says that on their website but you have to look for it. Nike shoes fit my foot better than any other brand but I have to size up even then. An 8 to 8.5ee would be my ideal fit but I wear a 9 in ctr360. I chose the ctr because it doesn’t stretch so my pinky toe won’t curl over the soleplate. I had diadora maracana before that and the leather stretched, my foot went over the soleplate and it hurt. So I would say its critical that if your feet are really wide to get a cleat with a wide soleplate. The asics ds wide definitely does have a wider soleplate because I compared images of the regular vs the wide version. Also I read somewhere that it does NOT have the stupid heel lift like their other shoes so thats a big plus for me too. I wish I bought that shoe instead but I was in a rush and got the ctr. Also the laser 3 is kinda wide, but the laser 4 uses the same shape as the ctr360 except that the arch is flatter on the laser making it fit a bit wider. But its also expensive. In summary, dont try to fit wide ee feet into small shoes, it will either hurt or you’ll feel clumsy. Get the asics ds wide. That’s what im getting next.
Also: soccerpro.com is using a brilliant new service that shows you the soleplate and fit on most shoes online. They use lasers to scan the inside of shoes so you can compare it to a shoe you own and you can choose sizes. This way you get proof and you only have to order once. I checked out new releases and the puma evospeed looks like the widest regular cleat out there but its certainly not ee size.
Hi, i had a same problem with you, my feet are 3E wide, and tends difficult to find a pair which has fine fit with it.
After wandering around some brands, i think UA Hydrastrike I has a pretty deal for a wide feet player, my size are 285 ( 28.5 centimetres) i use this size which has a consistent marking for size, and within this i found Hydrastrike I, do had a wide fit!
But make sure you order it half size bigger, because despite it has a wide fit, i think the constructional fit are made to be "compressed" by the feet, and despite it's being half size bigger, they don't have a slightly loose room, just like Nike or adidas fitting!
Btw, there's of course some cleats which has wide preffered feet, and try looking for japanese brand, they had a special fit for a boot silo!
Example : Mizuno Supersonic Wave has Slim Fit, Normal Fit, Wide Fit and Super Wide Fit!
As someone who owns a pair of UA Dominate, I thought I'd chime in about my experience with the H2Oi treatment in the long run – after a little less than a year of use, with about dozen or so short-sided games and training sessions in wet and muddy condition, the H2Oi is still holding up. The water doesn't "bead and roll off" the surface as noticably as it did out of the box, but it will still keep the surface dry.
I'd never looked at under armor cleats before but these look like an amazing deal for the money, and would probably be great for a wingback such as myself.
I am not a huge supporter of Under Armor cleats. That being said these cleats look great. They look like they would have great touch on the ball. There is only one problem I noticed with these cleats. They literally ripped during testing when Bryan was taking shots on goal. I am sorry but that is ridiculous. If that were to happen during a game that would be awful. I have seen cleats rip over the course of a few months during actual game play where other players step or slide against cleats but never during a slight warm up. I wonder why no one else has not brought this up?
"After a little investigation, it turns out that this was a known issue for UA were sending the boots – this was a sample pair delivered and intended for testing before the colorway was released."
I'll give UA the benefit of the doubt, and this was indeed an isolated issue with Bryan's sample pair.
The boots look spectacular. My only issue is i dont want to order the wrong size. I have a pair of Nike boots that are size 11.5. What size should i look to order?
same size as most nikes so 11.5 they run pretty true to size
As someone with a very wide right foot (left foot is medium-wide), I can attest that the Hydrastrike Pro 2 is suitable for wide footed players. They require a couple hours of breaking in, but they do fit nicely afterwards. From my experience, these also fit true to size. One of the most comfortable soccunder armour hydrastrike 2 reviewer boots I have ever worn. The 4D Foam insole is fantastic. Like walking on a tempurpedic insole.
I currently own a pair of UA Hydrastrike Pro II (white/black/red) and I'm having a difficult time finding a pair of cleats to match the light weight, flexibility, comfort, and malleability of this boot. I've never had a problem with them tearing or not holding true to the water resistance. I've tried on both Nike and Adidas, and I'm still trying to find a pair of cleats that are as light, malleable, and durable. I was hoping for some input or suggestions for other cleats that could work just as well, otherwise I might just buy another pair of Hydrastrikes.