Under Armour is redefining their speed silo with the release of the Spotlight. Spotlight is the next generation of the Speedform and the technological updates place this in line with other speed cleats on the market.
To create buzz around the new cleat, Under Armour sent ‘blacked-out’ prototypes to their elite players, like Memphis Depay, as well as select partners, including Soccer365. The all black look is just for the prototype with the worldwide launch of the first colorway scheduled for June 1.
After receiving our ‘blacked-out’ prototype last Friday, Friday the 13, the signs were good that these would be scary cleats and they live up to those initial concerns although admittedly after wearing them for only 1 game and 1 training session.
The most noticeable change from the Speedform is the lack of the contoured toes on the forefoot. This feature has been replaced with a cleaner but slightly textured surface. The surface provides good touch on the ball but a sleeker (maybe even) faster look to it.
But this is just one of the technological changes made to set this cleat apart.
Under Armour cleats are known for providing a great fit and comfort and the Spotlight is no different. The Spotlight has been updated with a one-piece anatomical inner lining that includes a seamless heel cup. The bright yellow interior helped make this point stand out and highlight how the foot will naturally fit in the shoe. The bottom of the liner also includes traction ‘stars’ to help lock down the foot in the cleat.
The final feature to keep the foot stable inside the cleat is a grip tape along the inside of the cuff.
The synthetic upper are lightweight with a secondary stretch construction to provide a close fit and good touch on the ball. The asymmetrical composite textile and molded support provide lateral stability.
An external heel counter is used on the Spotlight, unlike the Speedform, but the soleplate is the same for both cleats. The Chrome Pebax® plate gives keeps the holdover look of the articulated toes at the front of the plate on with the 7/4 stud configuration.
But how did the new Spotlight cleats perform on the field?
The Spotlight is comfortable the first time you pull it on and does a great job of locking the foot inside the cleat. The seamless anatomical heel cup sounds great but can’t definitely say that it provides enhanced fit. Regardless, the cleat is very comfortable.
Related Article: Under Armour Clutchfit Force 2.0 – Review
The traction and cutting ability was good and reliable in the sessions both on somewhat dry low-cut grass field. The Speedform soleplate performed well on most surfaces so believe this cleat will as well.
The best aspects of the upper is the reliable touch and ball control but just as important is the durable and protective quality provided. Under Armour has never tried to develop the ‘lightest’ cleat on the market which allows them to give a little more substance to the upper. This is evident before putting the cleats on and even more evident the first time another player steps on your foot during a game.
Under Armour continues to fine tune their cleat silos with the Spotlight taking the lead for their speed silo while the Under Armour Clutchfit Force is starting to fully focus as a control silo with the release of the 2.0 last year.
The Under Armour Spotlight (will be available) and other Under Armour Soccer Cleats are available at World Soccer Shop.