As an avid Twitterer or whatever you want to call it, I was like most everyone else and saw the official Umbro page tweet out that they had just launched a new Speciali that would bring back a classic. Even from the online photos I could tell this would be mixing Umbro’s latest tech, as well as giving the modern player the old school feel. When I received the box I actually was surprised at how awesome the special box was. The box came in a nice blue wrapping around the center which opens upwards and closes with two magnets. Inside was a boot bag, probably the nicest boot bag I own, and some special wrapping paper that one lucky family member will receive with a gift this Christmas. Then I got into the boot bag to find the shoes. The shoes felt a little stiff right out of the box, which is to be expected but the comfort was already there. It was plain to see that Umbro wanted to make sure I was looking as classy as possible both heading to the field, and of course, on it. Let’s see how it performed.
I love seeing when a classic boot is reborn and that is the case for the Speciali Eternal. The black upper with the Umbro double diamond in white replicate the design last seen on the original Speciali Eternal. The tongue comes back and has Umbro written in white and Speciali written in gold, and it looks as classy as ever. For anyone wanting to wear a classic looking boot with modern day technology, then do not look any further than the Speciali Eternal. When I wore these in testing I had a lot of my friends talk about how sharp these looked and I must say, I agree with them. Sometimes it is better to be simple in design to stand out on the field. The Speciali also comes in another beautiful white color way. No matter what colorway you go with, you can’t go wrong.
With a slogan like “Forever Leather”, I expected to receive a nice leather upper from the Eternal. After a bit of break in time, I found the upper softened up a lot and really felt great around my foot. I could not ever find an actual name for the leather except Umbro have dubbed it a “full grain leather”. The somewhat thick leather upper goes all the way around the boot and even is found on the tongue. I found that small extra bit of leather as an added bonus feature that increased in the comfort.
There is an A-frame overlay that helps the boot to be more durable and add more stability. The famous tongue is something I have mixed feelings about. I love the fact that it covers up the laces to add a larger striking area but at the same time I was not used to the tongue and at times found it irritating on the boot. After some getting used to the feel of it all, I found it was a nice touch.
Moving to the bottom of the boot, Umbro have updated the soleplate to give a more comfortable and ergonomic stud placement. Some flex grooves are placed where the toes start to give that extra bit of flexibility to ease the push off a player may have when starting a sprint or chasing after a long through ball. There is a small part of the boot in the middle of the soleplate called the Wishbone technology that helps support all areas of the foot. I am a fan of this soleplate from Umbro and it is one of, if not the most, comfortable I have ever worn.
Overall, I am really enjoying the Speciali Eternal in all aspects of performance. I love the feel of the ball when striking and passing, that is a nice padded sensation. Controlling the ball is a breeze in the Speciali with that nice leather upper. What a nice boot Umbro have released here. Whether you are a midfield maestro or a dominating defender, give the Speciali Eternal a chance, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
As you would expect with most leather boots on the market, the main two factors the brand thinks of are comfort and a soft touch. With the Speciali Eternal you get both and a high quality leather upper. The Wishbone technology keeps certain parts of the foot stiff while maintaining just enough flexibility to make clean sharp cuts. The circular studs allow for more easy movement from one direction to another, much like the Hypervenom soleplate. The slightly wider fitting shoe will give you just enough room to be comfortable while also being locked in enough to be able to play the game your way. Comfort is the name of the game with the Speciali and it is the most comfortable boot I have worn thus far in 2015.
Bang For Your Buck
The Speciali Eternal retails for around $140 and I think that is a refreshing thing to see with all of the high priced boots on the market today. For less than a Nike Tiempo Legend or adidas ACE leather, you can wear a durable and classy looking leather shoe for a fraction of the price. I think the price and the quality involved gives the Speciali another thumbs up from me.
Who’s Wearing It?
Umbro doesn’t have too many athletes wearing the double diamonds on the field today. Pepe of Real Madrid has been wearing the Speciali line from Umbro for some time and has been spotted recently in the Speciali during Real Madrid’s preseason match against Roma. Pepe has even posted about his excitement to wear the Speciali this season on Twitter. Although not many are wearing the boot today, legends such as Roberto Carlos and Alan Shearer have worn the Speciali Eternal before it’s grand resurrection.
As a player who does not wear too many leather boots, I found my time in the Speciali Eternal enjoyable and one that left me completely satisfied and comfortable on the pitch. The leather really molded to my foot and gave me a personalized fit. The leather is extremely soft after a little bit of break in time and gives you that premium leather touch that only a classic leather boot can give. If you’re a defender or a player that prefers a leather boot, then check out the Umbro Speciali Eternal, a classic boot reborn.
Sizing: Although I have heard to go half a size up, I found that it ran true to size.