It is a boot you probably haven’t heard a whole lot about, but they certainly hold a very unique style and flavor that immediately captures your attention. They are the Under Armour Magnetico Pro SL and they come with a few unusual twists. For example, they don’t really fit the SL (super lightweight) mould like you might expect, dropping in around the 8oz mark. It is without a doubt one of the heaviest SL releases we have seen.
The upper is very fun, with a 1.1mm Wallaroo material that offers the fit and feel of a leather with the engineering, durability & stability of a synthetic. Layered on top is a 3D texturing for enhanced ball control. Obviously, there is a lot going on with these that needs to be unpacked in a full review, something we will get to at a future time.
But it is another key features of the release that I wanted to focus on on here; the soleplate. Under Armour describe it as:
A new speed stud configuration that features acceleration studs in the forefoot for an explosive first step & deceleration studs in the heel to help slow you down.
First off, this is one of the primary areas that increases the overall weight of the boot. Flip them over and you will immediately notice that the blades are thicker than a standard blade, with the overall style of the sole being more full bodied. Overall, a very unusual style soleplate to put on a speed boot.
But even wilder than that is the actual blade placement across the plate. It is an absolute talking point and one that will raise eyebrows when seen for the first time. Anyone caught off guard with how UA reference a “stud on the heel” in the quote above? In case you missed it, take another look at the soleplate images above – the blade is literally living on the edge of the heel, acting like a brake on a pair of roller skates. It is something I have never seen before and seems like it should be something on an American football cleat rather than one worn playing soccer.
Performance wise, it is pretty wild. You definitely notice it underfoot as you play, and it might actually have a valuable role to play for players that need support under their heel. I was actually expecting it to be a lot worse in play. Was it odd and somewhat distracting? Yes. But I have to admit that there were times when I appreciated more support under my heel, with the blades holding my foot in a much more balanced position. It never seemed to drag on the surface, and I’ve no idea how it would help a soccer player with deceleration (have you ever used your heel to slow you down in a game?!?) so I don’t see it being a detrimental addition.
Instead, I’m more focused on trying to pinpoint the type of player that would need something like this, someone with a heel injury maybe, or someone returning from an Achilles tear. There is definitely more research to do in that area.
If you are interested in a pair and want to try them for yourself, you can find them exclusively at UA.com with a $200 retail price.