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Review: Umbro UX-1 Concept Football Boots

Football Boots

Review: Umbro UX-1 Concept Football Boots

After a quiet period, iconic football brand Umbro is back with a vengeance ahead of the start of the 2014/15 European season. Along with signing kit deals with the likes of Everton FC, Hull City and FC Nantes, the Greater Manchester firm has launched the innovative UX-1 Concept soccer boot.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot

Worn by England goalkeeper Joe Hart during the Three Lions 2014 World Cup run and by Andy Carroll (West Ham United) and Juan Vargas (Fiorentina) at the end of last season, the Umbro UX-1 brings Fourth of July fireworks to the summer boot season a distinctive look and new boot technology. It is now available at World Soccer Shop.

This is the World Exclusive Football Fashion review of the Umbro UX-1 courtesy of one of our staff members who has worn them extensively in competitive matches of the past few weeks.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot


Umbro didn’t release a great deal of material on the UX-1 at its launch apart from the following describing some of the boot’s technology. I’ll get into some further details later on in this piece based on my firsthand experience with the shoe.


We’ve got you covered. One-piece upper made from light, breathable material, tough enough for you to withstand tackles, soft enough to retain crucial feel for the ball. Seamless transition.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot


The perfect trap. Sleek webbing across the medial and lateral area to make sure all that work on your first touch pays off. Take control.


Strong at the back. A dual density cage and a soft protective spine cushions your heel and safeguards your Achilles. Genuine backbone.


The balance of power. A boot with an evolved A-Frame design offering stability and security so you can put in a shift every time. Match fit.


Get a grip. Ten forefoot studs spaced to reduce pressure and increase comfort. Four conical heel studs create superior traction, making it easier for you to change direction fast. Switch the play.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot


The look of the Umbro UX-1 is unlike anything else that I’ve seen in current soccer boots (and I do see many of them working at Football Fashion). Before PUMA came out with a similar colorway for the first model of the evoSPEED 1.3, the UX-1 brought exploded on the boot scene with a in stunning blackberry / safety yellow. In a rear value-add for football boots, Umbro even threw in an extra pair of laces in purple allowing wearers to tweak the look of the shoe at bit.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot

Colors aside, the Umbro UX-1 uses an upper made of a fabric called Armor-Tex which is reportedly 40% stronger than the Kevlar (a material used for bullet proof vests). Coupled with the boot’s touchstone webbing, a one piece soleplate / heel counter / A-Frame, the UX-1 looks other worldly. It’s one of those boots that friend and strangers alike were asking me about on and off the pitch. The best response to them is simply, “This is Umbro Football 2014!”


The Umbro UX-1 football boot fits true to size. This typical of Umbro boots since the Greater Manchester-based company has developed a long time specialization for the most important tools of The Beautiful Game.

Since the Umbro UX-1 is made of a high tech textile and not real or synthetic leather, there is little stretching to be had from this boot even after several wears. Therefore do not buy half a size down for a snug fit as many players do. Make sure you get your usual playing shoe size for an optimal fit.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot

It should be noted that the tongue of the UX-1 are designed to sit closely to the top of the foot for protection, I had to loosen up the first couple of rows of laces to slip them in. This is essential not only to get the front part of your foot into the boots but also to get the rear part of your foot down into it since the UX-1 sits very close to your heel and Achilles tendon.

Break-In and First Run Out

Simply put, breaking in these boots is minimal! I felt extremely comfortable upon slipping on the Umbro UX-1. Even though it uses what’s a brand new material for soccer boots, the UX-1 feels soft on the inside. The feeling is similar to the stellar sensation you feel when wearing the Special 4 and first generation Geometra. I suppose Umbro’s designers used their proven fit formula once again.

The soleplate of the UX-1 is also and proven product since it is the same as that of the Speciali 4. Arguably one of the best rides on the market, it provides excellent traction on natural and artificial surfaces. I’ve worn them on a good grass pitch, a worn grass field with dirt patches, and on artificial grass. I found the traction provided by the UX-1 to be world class in every case. I’ll also point out that never once have I turned my ankle on artificial grass in these boots.  I’ve seen many instances of players going down on such surfaces with other stud configurations.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot

Within half an hour of light running and practicing touches and shots with a rebounded in the Umbro UX-1 I felt that I was game ready with them.  There’s nothing about this boot that I had to spend a great deal of time getting used to. Along with the comfort, the ride is extremely comfortable while the touch is akin to most synthetic leather boots out today (more on this later). Upon hitting the pitch and rocking a lovely game in them, I proved myself right!


As I’ve mentioned the touch of the Umbro UX-1 is similar to that of today’s synthetic leather boots. This was the once aspect of the boot that I had to get used to. Since no two boots provide the exact same touch on the ball, I had to speed about fifteen minutes of my break-in period with the UX-1 getting the feel of the Armor-Tex / Touchstone upper. Not a long period of time at all in the world of boot testing!

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot

Once I got the feel of them, the Umbro UX-1 felt almost like a second skin on my foot. If I wear to rate the touch of the upper I would put it midway between synthetic leather (think the PUMA King or Umbro Speciali 4) and what I believe provides the best feel on the ball – K-Leather (think 2010’s Speciali Pro or pre-2013 Kings).

In terms of trapping and low passes, there is very little to figure out with the UX-1. The snug fit, Armor-Tex, ample padding on the inside of the foot in the A-Frame area,  and webbing combined very well with my footwork skills to control and pass balls even on grounds with bad bounces. On artificial grass, I felt like there was nothing I could do wrong in them.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot

As with any boot, passes through the air and crosses do need a little more practice. I actually figured out how to best use them in a pickup game at my local park. You’ll have both down in the UX-1 in no time if you’re proficient at them even in lesser boots.


The Umbro UX-1 is a football boot built for the grittier side of The Beautiful Game. Its Armor-Tex upper is the key to this.

The innovative material is as far away from the thin synthetics used for speed boots as you can get. It provides an upper that can protect the foot from the always unwelcome stud mashes on your fragile metatarsal bones. By the same token, your foot is well-shielded from damage when executing tackles yourself.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot

The UX-1’s metatarsal protection is augment by a tongue that features Poron XRD on its underside. This is the same protective high-tech material on the world’s most expensive shin guards from IXO.

The protective technology in the Umbro UX-1 does make it on the heavier side with a weight of 9.8 oz. As such, it may not be ideal for wingers or skills dependent attackers who crave sub-6 oz. cleats. However, if you are a goalkeeper, defender or defensive midfielder then this is a shoe for you!


Over then wears into my time with them and the Umbro UX-1 soccer boots look almost like the day I took them out of the box. This is yet another thing that I attribute to the boots’ Armor-Tex upper. The material creases very little. It also washes off very well.  For instance I got mud on them last time out. I went home and sprayed them off with the jet of a hose and let them dry. The next evening, they looked like they’d never seen mud before.

Umbro UX-1 Football, Soccer Boot

Final Thoughts

Now a key part of my match arsenal, the Umbro UX-1 ranks among the best boots on the market heading into the 2014/15 season.  Stunning looks aside, they are quite possibly the most protective around right now.  If you are the type of player whose game relies on heart, grit and defensive prowess then they are a pair of boot that you must check out!

Check out our Football Boots section for more on the latest soccer footwear.

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