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Review: Umbro Stealth Soccer Boots

Football Boots

Review: Umbro Stealth Soccer Boots

Over the past few weeks we’ve been testing the magnificent Umbro Stealth soccer boot. Released in March 2010, the Stealth is Umbro’s latest premium grade soccer boots and is currently being worn by English Premier League stars Gael Clichy of Arsenal and Phil Jagielka of Everton.

Here are some of the Stealth’s key features:

  • The Stealth will deliver unique comfort through stable cushioning under the outsoles, supportive insole cushioning for efficient push-off and the innovation of a small tab in the tongue to allow the boot to fit flush on the foot
  • Speed is provided via the unique last which gives the boot a streamlined outline
  • Microfibre air pockets built into super-sensitive synthetic leather add flexibility and make the player feel lighter and faster on their feet
  • This feeling of lightness and agility is complemented by the lateral studs in the middle of the sole which act like running spikes to give quicker traction to sprint from standing or make quick propulsive turns
  • Highly protective, the boot offers support and strength through its carbon fibre shank and heel counter, giving the player the confidence to attack and defend with power and precision
  • A large surface area combined with asymmetrical lacing delivers a muscular strike zone for controlled power

Now here’s the Football Fashion review of the Umbro Stealth soccer boot from a former NCAA Division 1 player currently plying his trade in one of the our local leagues.

The Test
The Umbro Stealth boot that I received is a soft ground boot best suited to watered or wet fields. Since the fields that I have access to have been dry for some time, I had to wait a few weeks for some decent rainfall. However, the wait was well worth it as the Umbro Stealth did not disappoint! Now I look forward to more rain so that I can continue using these fantastic boots.

My test consisted of the following:

  • One break-in session in which I ran some dribbling, turning and shooting drills and practiced skills moves
  • Two pick-up games featuring several former NCAA Division 1 and 2 players
  • One Sunday league match.

I tested the pair of red and navy Umbro Stealth boots pictured above. As is evident in the pictures throughout this article, the Stealth is a fine-looking item. I thought that it maintains the classy, traditional British football look that Umbro is known for while introducing a modern twist with its colorway and high-tech looking heel counter and soleplate. The Teijin synthetic leather used for the Stealth introduces a unique modern metallic shine to the boot to complete its combination of traditional and contemporary soccer boot styles.

The Fit
I usually wear US size 10 shoes but got size 9.5 Umbro Stealth boots because of my preference for snug-fitting game footwear.

Trying on the Umbro Stealth was a case of “love at first fit.” The boot fit perfectly the first time I slipped it on. I found it to have the right balance between tightness and comfort. I also thought that its padding all around felt excellent yet its weight was incredibly light. Umbro’s specifications of the Stealth have it weighing only 9.8 oz. I would describe the feel of the Umbro Stealth on the foot to be like its appearance — classic yet modern.

Unlike many of the other soccer boots that Football Fashion has looked at lately, the Umbro Stealth requires very little break-in time. After a mere half an hour of jogging, passing, shooting and dribbling with them, I felt confident enough to use them in a game situation. The Stealth fits so well, that it feels like something you’ve worn for ages. Its padding its extremely easy to get used to for trapping, shooting and passing.

Touch can make a football boot great and with the Umbro Stealth, touch reigns supreme.  I attribute the Stealth’s excellent touch to its Teijin leather / padding combination. While many modern boots sacrifice padding for light weight, the Stealth finds a comfortable balance between the two. Even though the Stealth is relatively lightweight compared to other boots, it can still kill the momentum of an above ground fast-moving ball extremely well when trapping yet provide the accuracy needed for an intricate pass.

I suspect that the boots stability (provided by its heel counter and sole plate) may also factor into its excellent touch. At no time while using the Stealth did I ever feel like a needed to take an extra fraction of a second to get my balance for a pass, shot or trap. Experienced soccer players will know that extra time can make the difference between a good game and a bad game.

While I believe that the Umbro Stealth is a boot for players in any position on the soccer field, I’m surprised to not see more strikers using them. On the right feet, these boots can unleash some powerful, deadly shots on unsuspecting goalkeepers.

What struck me about shooting with Umbro Stealth was the ease with which I was able to get used to executing forefoot “power” shots with it. I attribute this to the boot’s padding and stability once again. Within taking a mere ten of these shots with the Stealth, I felt extremely comfortable doing so with them and was able to slam some lovely outward-curling shots into the net.

Because of the touch offered by the Umbro Stealth, it also worked excellently for low “power before placement” shots (essentially well-placed passes into the net). These are the types of shots Umbro athlete Darren Bent (England and Sunderland) has made a living with this season. If he switches from the Umbro Speciali to the Stealth, I think the effect could be devastating on English Premier League goalies facing him.

I’ve logged about six hours of practice and game time in the Umbro Stealth soccer boots thus far. From what I can tell, they have held up remarkably well. They show absolutely no signs of quality defects such as ripping or anomalous shape distortion. Thus, I believe that the Umbro Stealth to be quality product that will stand the test of time. As with most Umbro boots, it’s the type of soccer shoe built to last for years.

Here is a picture of the Umbro boots that I tested after the break-in session and one pick-up game. It should be noted that I did spray them off with a water hose before taking the picture because they were quite muddy.

The Umbro Stealth is probably the best soccer boot deal on the market. With a MSRP of $119.99 USD, it is an absolute steal! This is because the Stealth performs as well, if not better, than several $200 boots that I have recently worn. If you’re in the market for a new soccer shoe and are not sure what to get, you cannot go wrong with the Umbro Stealth at its current price.

Umbro doesn’t make many soccer boots. It is not the type of company to release more than two boots a year. However, when they do release a new premium soccer boot, you can rest assured that it is a great product. This is the case with the Umbro Stealth. After using it for the past few weeks, it has become my favorite game shoe. From its light weight to padding to stability, the Stealth is one of those rare boots that can serve a tough defender as well as it can a speedy frontman. I won’t be surprised to see many players wearing it at the FIFA World Cup this summer.

Special thanks to Pieter G. for making this review possible.

Check out more brand new soccer footwear in our Football Boots section.


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