In American sports, the preconceived “big three” in sports equipment is a bit different to the soccer world. Under Armour, Nike, and adidas rule the roost, with Nike and adidas being an ever-present in the soccer world as well. However, building off of the success that Under Armour finds with every other pursuit, the American brand has truly started to impress and become a force in the world of soccer equipment.
Major moves, such as being the maker of Tottenham’s kits and signing high profile players to endorsement deals have allowed Under Armour to be in place to truly compete in the massive market that represent boots! So, when word and pictures started to circulate of a new Under Armour model (the ClutchFit), we got very excited. Now that we have put the boot through its paces, does it stack up against the competition? Or is Under Armour still lingering on the periphery of the boot world?
While we would love to have a “whiteout” model for our mantel, the Electric Blue and Yellow colorway that adorn our ClutchFit looks great. This color set-up walks the line with boot colorways where a boot can be bright and still look great. The blue (with two different shades making up most of the boot) is a great primary color and it allows the yellow to be a great accent as it really POPS when looking at the boot from far away or close-up.
The Under Armour insignia in the bright yellow proudly displays itself on the outside and instep of the boot with most of the yellow accenting popping up on the back half of the boot. Overall, it will scare away some that seem to only gravitate towards blackout boots, it will be safe enough to still please a large crowd, and bold enough to garner attention from fans of brighter boots.
While the boot seems to have most of the focus placed on the fit (hence, ClutchFIT), the touch on this boot is still impressive. As we mentioned in our “first impressions” of the boot, the upper has impressive stretch capabilities for a synthetic while still being thin enough to offer a great feel for the ball. An inner lining that feels very suede-like also provides a nice, slightly padded backing to the Trivela upper so that the upper can remain thin and still offer great on-the-ball qualities.
The texturing on the upper, while not advertised as a control element, does help add some grip to the ball. The hourglass cutouts across the entirety of the upper help give the boot its look, but also help provide that grip. If we had to compare it to something, it would probably be Nike’s new Magista Opus. Some have compared it to thicker rubber elements (like Warrior’s original Arrowhead Vamps on the original Skreamer), the upper has a defined texture but is far thinner than a boot that has an element that feels as if it sits on top of the upper.
Controlling passes and striking through a ball with the Force feels great. The fit (which we will discuss later) helps accompany the quality synthetic used by Under Armour to help each shot and pass feel truly enjoyable. Considering the weight of the boot is around 8 oz, it is light enough to not feel bulky and built solidly enough to help you really get behind the ball with some serious power.
Considering that fit is massively important with any boot release, it makes sense that Under Armour would focus on the “fit” with the ClutchFit. Very comfortable out of the box, the boot really starts to shine after a few wears and the stretching of the upper starts to really shape to your foot. The boot liner, the market’s best insole (the 4D foam could be used in mattresses), and the slight stretch of the synthetic blend together seamlessly to allow the ClutchFit Force to really fulfill the thoughts that the name seems to imply.
The soleplate for this release boasts conical studs with a look that feels very reminiscent of old T90 soleplates (especially with the graphic meant to mirror the bones of the foot). While the studs alone would have been enough, Under Armour added other various small grooves and bumps to help keep you on your feet and stable while using their newest boot. Keep in mind, however, that this is an FG boot and should only be used on Firm Ground surfaces.
The best part about this boot is the continuing improvement that Under Armour seem to showcase with each release. To already be flexing some serious muscle in terms of boot quality and performance while still seeming to have a massive ceiling is very exciting for anyone following the American brand. The ClutchFit Force only serves to solidify UA’s upward trend and is a great release into the market. The ClutchFit Force is an easy boot to recommend, a joy of a boot to use, and a boot that will allow you to be different to everyone stuck in their brand bias. To be honest, the only legitimate knock against this boot is, given Under Armour’s current upward trend with product improvement, that Under Armour will have something so much better than this available in 18 months or so!
Despite already being a definite competitor with other top-tier releases on the market, the price-tag that sits about $50 below other top-tier boots from other brands means that the smart decision to snag yourself a pair is also a smart decision for your wallet. If you are looking to try something new or just looking for a high-quality boot, the ClutchFit Force is a great boot for you to choose…so what are you waiting for?
SIZING: True to size
Although some Under Armour boots have been very tricky with sizing in the past, I actually was able to wear my normal size boots and felt that the fit of the ClutchFit was absolutely fine.