So, mere moments after finishing testing of the Umbro UX-1 Concept boot, Umbro predicted the weather for the next several weeks and decided to send down an Umbro GeoFLARE with a soft-ground stud configuration. A silo that entered into the boot-o-sphere rather quietly, received a fairly major update rather quietly, and now exists with a color pattern that is anything BUT quiet, the GeoFLARE is an intriguing outing from Umbro that shows a brand still willing to take signifcant risks and create quality (new) boots.
The first thing you notice from the GeoFLARE (outside of the camo upper) is the one-piece construction and the ever so slight texturing of the upper. While Umbro have tended to shy away from the common practice of other brands by labeling a boot as a “speed” or “control” outing, the FLARE fits their philosophy by not adhering closely to any particular boot type.
The FLARE is light, but not exceedingly light. The boot does have some texturing on the upper, but it is minor and definitely does not lend itself to any type of “control” effort. Instead, the FLARE seems like a completely original boot that stands without the need of conventional boot labels. The next question became, can it be as impressive on the pitch as the boot was in your hands (and in my thoughts).
The fit on these boots was something that I was not expecting. Pictures and the chosen color combos by Umbro had me expecting a very plastic-y upper with an odd fit. Instead, the fit from placing the boot on my feet was extremely impressive and the upper conformed in very natural ways to the shape of my foot.
Despite only using the GeoFLARE for a few sessions, it has definitely presented itself as a boot that will please anyone who gives it a proper chance. Sadly, as Umbro’s voice is not as loud as the rest of the boot world, very few players seem willing to see whether Puma might have their next boot option. The six-stud pattern that adorns the bottom has ensured that, while everyone is slipping and sliding, I stay secure on my feet. It is definitely worth mentioning that most amateur leagues do not allow soft ground studs and that you should check with the field or league manager before investing in a pair with this stud pattern. We are hoping to get in a firm ground version of the FLARE before too long so that we can add in the traction aspect, but there are no major negatives to report (only positives).
We will be ready to show-off the GeoFLARE review in the next few weeks, but we wanted you to see how surprising it has been in the early stages of testing. I am anxious to see if people start taking the risk on the FLARE despite not knowing a lot about the boot. If players begin taking the risk, they will soon experience what I have been experiencing for the last few run-outs. Stay tuned for further information on the FLARE and continued Umbro coverage here on the Instep!