by Ian Ennis – After testing out the Umbro UX-1 Concept, I was happy that the next cleat on the list to test was a more traditional cleat from Umbro, the Umbro Speciali 4 Pro HG. These are in the tradition of the high-quality kangaroo leather Umbro is known and the Speciali silo is loved around the world by top professional players.
The orange details on the double diamond logo and the laces make the loudest off-field statement but on-field the Kangaroo leather is the focus of all the attention. The forefoot is quilted to help improve the control and touch on the ball. The A-Frame, common on most Umbro cleats, is subtly worked into the instep (unlike some cleats that feature this with a unique color).
Memory foam insert on the tongue adds to the overall comfort and snug fit for the cleat. The cleats were a little on the bigger size but not so much to change your normal size. Unless you prefer your cleats on the tighter side this cleat could be worn a ½ size smaller and allowed to mold to your foot.
The outsole is made from a lightweight TPU with a combination of round studs on the forefoot and blade studs at the heel to provide great traction and turning ability in tight spaces. The cleats weight 9.2 oz.
The touch of the Speciali was interesting. I am a huge fan of having some sort of pattern or something on the instep to help with shot and curl. Some feel that these things are pointless and all you need is a pair of cleats with none of that fancy stuff to get the job done. The Specialis fit the latter perfectly. Their touch on the dribble and short pass, even from the first go, was excellent.
The cleats didn’t need to be broken in for very long. Once I got used to the feel of them, it was as if I had been wearing them for years. If you are used to a more classical boot, I am sure you would have absolutely no problem with any facet of the game. If I were to go for any “classical” cleat, these would probably be the ones. I haven’t found this level of touch and comfort in any other classic shoe.
Their durability was just like any normal cleat. Even after a couple of wears, they still looked nearly brand new. No part has begun to tear or rip and the top half is still firmly attached to the bottom half. I usually go through a pair of cleats every season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if these lasted longer than that. Just from playing in them a couple of times, I can tell they are sturdy cleats that won’t break easy.
These cleats were fun to work with. They are sturdy, comfortable, and have a good touch. I would recommend them to a player that needs his or her cleats to get the job done and never give out midway through a game. They are a classic set of cleats that older and younger players alike would enjoy.
Limited quantities of the Umbro Speciali 4 Pro HG (Black/Shocking) are available at WorldSoccerShop.com