When it comes to soccer cleats, Under Armour is reasonably new to the market compared to its competitors. Nevertheless, that did not stop the company from making a name for themselves in the industry. In fact, footwear is the company’s fastest-growing product line taking 31% of their sales as of 2012.
Brief history of Under Armour
In 1996, 23-year-old Kevin Plank started Under Armour Athletic Apparel. What is now a global brand for athletic apparel and footwear started in a humble basement in Georgetown, Washington DC. It began when Plank noticed that after playing soccer, his compression shorts were dryer than his cotton shirts. He then set out to design revolutionary microfiber T-shirts out of women’s undergarment fabrics. These moisture-wicking apparels keep players dry during games and workouts. His apparel quickly became famous as it was lightweight and comfortable to wear.
The following year, The North American sportswear and casual apparel supplier launched their performance-specific lines, namely the ColdGear, AllseasonGear, StreetGear, and TurfGear.
Fast forward to a decade after Under Armour was born, they launched their first soccer shoe line through the Click-Clack campaign.
By 2014, Under Armour has become the second-largest sportswear brand in the USA. Over the years, the company gained a considerable following in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Latin America through on-field partnerships with professional athletes and teams.
Today, Under Armour has expanded their business into making everyday T-shirts and jackets as well as cold-weather gears. They are always innovating to deliver high-quality, lightweight, and comfortable shirts, pants, and shoes.
Under Armour soccer cleat categories
Manufacturers designed their soccer cleats based on the types of fields the cleats will be used on. Below is a list of the different types of Under Armour soccer cleats based on ground types.
- Firm Ground (FG) soccer cleats - These shoes are made with specifically for firm, natural surfaces with short grass. They have non-removable conical or bladed studs. Some of the popular Under Armour soccer shoes for firm grounds are the Under Armour Spotlight 2.0 FG and Under Armour Clutchfit Force 3.0 FG.
- Soft Ground (SG) soccer cleats - These shoes are designed to provide adequate traction and acceleration on wet and muddy fields. They have six removable studs that are made of either plastic or metal and come in varying lengths. Players can adjust their studs depending on how soggy the ground is. The Under Armour Spotlight Hybrid SG is a good example of an SG shoe.
- Turf Field (TF) soccer shoes - These shoes offer sufficient comfort and traction on an otherwise unforgiving surface. Turf fields are made of water- or sand-based carpets laid on concrete grounds. Thus, TF soccer shoes should have durable rubber outsoles and cushioned midsoles. Under Armour has a list of high-quality TF soccer shoes including the Under Armour Force 3.0 TF and Under Armour Spotlight TF.
- Indoor (IN) soccer shoes - These shoes are built for flat and hard surfaces that use varnished wood and linoleum. The outsoles of IN shoes are flat with non-aggressive traction grooves. The Under Armour Spotlight Flash 2.0 IN is a good-quality IN soccer shoe from UA.
Under Armour soccer cleat technologies
The company focuses on creating innovations for its products. As such, here is a list of notable innovations found in some of the best Under Armour soccer shoes.
- ClutchFit - It is made up of two separate layers fused together to form a sheath that has individual hourglass-shaped cells. The ClutchFit is designed to provide a second-skin sensation when worn. It is primarily built to flex when stretched and flatten when force is applied. In a nutshell, it contracts and expands to follow the movement of your foot.
- Charged Cushioning - It is an extra layer on top of the shoe’s sole. This technology is designed to absorb energy when you step on the shoe, bend your knees, or change directions. The energy is converted to effective responsiveness.It is best for players who like to make quick changes of direction.
- 3D Printing - This is found in the midsole of some of the best Under Armour soccer shoes. The material is 3D printed using polymers and elastomers. The result of which is a soccer shoe that is durable, lightweight, and flexible.
- Speedform - It is a molded heel cup that took inspiration from a bra design. The purpose of the Speedform technology is to mold to the shape of the foot as close as possible. Thus, the shoe provides unmatched comfort and fit.
- Micro G - It is a 4D foam footbed that is 30% thinner than a standard cushioning system. This technology is also lighter, stronger, and bouncier than its counterpart. The result of which is that the player can change directions faster. The Under Armour ClutchFit Force FG is one of the UA shoes with the Micro G technology
- H2Oi Water Intelligence - This exclusive water-shedding K-leather upper technology keeps the shoe bone-dry to the touch. As a result, the shoe maintains its light weight and control on the ball. One of the best examples of UA soccer cleats with the H2Oi Water Intelligence technology is the Under Armour Hydrastrike Pro II.
Factors in choosing the best soccer cleats from Under Armour
Make sure that the soccer cleat suits your playing field.
Like any other brand, Under Armour categorize their soccer cleats based on the playing field, namely FG, SG, TF, and IN. Buying the right type of soccer shoe will significantly affect how you play your game. The stud patterns are specifically designed to provide optimum traction based on a particular playing surface.
Know your playing style.
Under Armour also creates soccer cleats based on playing style.
- Control Cleats - These soccer shoes are designed to provide stable control of the ball. A good example of this soccer cleat is the Under Armour Speed.
- Speed Cleats - These soccer cleats are lightweight with very few designs. The Under Armour Speedform is a good soccer shoe that is built for the player who needs speed.
- Power Cleats - These are soccer shoes that are incorporated with power elements in the synthetic upper’s strike zones. The ClutchFit Force is an amazing Under Armour soccer shoe that is built for power.
- Hybrid Cleats - These are the shoes that you cannot put a label on. They can provide speed, control, and power all in one shoe. The Under Armour Spotlight is one of the best hybrid soccer shoes from UA.
Choose the right upper for your foot width.
- Leather - If you have wide foot, a leather upper is a good choice because it stretches with continued use. The material molds to the shape of the foot and therefore provides just the right amount of comfort and fit for wide-footed players.
- Synthetic - Synthetic uppers have less room for stretch. Thus, they are best suited for players with normal to narrow feet. These materials are often waterproof and thinner than genuine leather.
Determine your budget.
As in most cases, budget has always been a determining factor in choosing a soccer cleat. Under Armour has a wide variety of soccer shoes in all price ranges. However, you have to remember that not because a shoe is expensive, it means that they are the best in the market. There are a lot of underrated soccer shoes out there. One classic example based on reviews is the Under Armour ClutchFit 3.0.
Under Armour vs Other brands
Everybody knows that Adidas, Puma, and Nike have been in the soccer cleat market far longer than Under Armour. But that does not discount the fact that Under Armour footbal cleats can go head-to-head against these shoe manufacturing giants.
Based on several reviews, the Under Armour Clutchfit Force 3.0 is probably one of the best soccer cleats of 2017. It features the Clutchfit technology on the upper. It is made up of an elastic microfiber material merges close to each other when you tighten the laces.
The fit and feel of the Under Armour Clutchfit Force 3.0 can be compared to the Adidas Nemeziz 17+. It stretches and shrinks depending on your preference. Thus, the Clutchfit technology gives this amazing soccer cleat a universal fit - one that can fit both narrow and wide feet.
The Under Armour Clutchfit Force 3.0 provides the same level of comfort as the Puma evoPOWER Vigor 1. It is comfortable and molds to the shape of the foot right out of the box.
When it comes to performance, the Under Armour Clutchfit 3.0 has a very grippy feel on the ball. It similar to that of the Nike Hypervenom III Trivela upper, which by the way is a lot pricier than the Under Armour Clutchfit 3.0.
The stud pattern of the Under Armour Clutchfit Force 3.0 is also somewhat similar to a Nike Tiempo layout. It works well on firm grounds providing just the right amount of traction whenever needed.
Frequently asked questions
Who are Under Armour’s official soccer cleat endorses?
Some of the best soccer players who endorse Under Armour soccer cleats are Jermaine Jones (USA), Cruz Azul (Mexico), Omiya Ardija (Japan), and Memphis Depay (Netherlands).
What are the most unique Under Armour soccer cleats in the market? Why?
Probably the most unique Under Armour soccer cleats in the market include the Under Armour Spotlight 2.0 and the Under Armour Clutchfit Force 3.0. The first Under Armour soccer cleat incorporates a high-quality zipper that covers the lacing system. The second Under Armour soccer cleat boasts of the Clutchfit technology which provides multi-directional stretch.
5 best Under Armour soccer cleats
- Under Armour ClutchFit Force 2.0 Firm Ground
- Under Armour Spotlight Firm Ground
- Under Armour Spotlight BL Firm Ground
- Under Armour Spotlight Indoor
- Under Armour Spotlight DL Firm Ground
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