With the biggest possible stage for any soccer company on the horizon in the form of the 2014 World Cup, it has been a fantastic few months of new products. With Nike showing off their advances in Flyknit, adidas probably moments away from showing their World Cup ideas, and other bands getting ready for their time in the limelight, we have been able to take a long look at what Under Armour will be putting on the pitch if they are lucky enough to enjoy Brazil: the ClutchFit Force.
After showing massive improvements with their Blur Carbon III (we have yet to test the IV (but we would love to), the ClutchFit has a lot to live up to for the ever-growing brand. Right out of the box, the boot is impressive. An area where Under Armour continue to improve is their construction of synthetics. An area where many brands can find themselves faltering and losing serious ground, UA have truly started releasing quality synthetics with every new release and the ClutchFit is no different.
A Trivela performance microfiber upper that has the type of stretch most synthetics lack, but is thin enough to have a great touch on the ball. As its name suggests, the ClutchFit is meant to have a superior fit that, when coupled with the quality materials on the upper and outsole of the boot, will allow for a great expereince with the footwear. While there is a rubberized texture on the upper that is meant to aid in control, it merely seems like more of a cosmetic pattern that, while it does not positively affect addressing the ball, is too thin to negatively affect play either. The heel counter also creates a locked-in feeling that few boots on the current market can truly boast.
One area where Under Armour has been successful since their entry into this market, because of their general experience in the footwear world, is their insoles. Rivaled only by Puma in their quality, the 4D foam used by UA ensures a comfy ride during use of the ClutchFit and has genuinely aided in the break-in period.
The soleplate reminds me of an old T90 set-up with the outline of the bones of your foot seeming to be the basis of the stud placement. A conical stud pattern that UA seem to have grown fond of as of late performs well during the first few tests, and it seems to have added a strong base to this quality release.
While testing has only just begun with the ClutchFit, there is no doubt that Under Armour have released another impressive boot. With their willingness to invest overseas, it seems to only be a matter of time before UA become one of the bigger players in the soccer market. Even though it is still early in our time with the the boot, we are definitely looking forward to the remainder of our time with the ClutchFit.