As UA’s newest version of a kangaroo leather shoe, the Under Armour Hydrastrike Pro is a very good shoe at an even better price. The Hydrastrike’s upper is mainly two materials that divide the shoe in two. The front half, that runs from the front third of the outside of the foot, wrapping around the front and ending at the heel, is made of a very nice kangaroo leather. The leather is fairly soft out of the box, but does get softer the more that you wear them.
There is something special about the leather, as it doesn’t seem to absorb and hold as much water as other kangaroo leather boots normally would. I’m not sure how UA has done this, but in the end it can only be a good thing. The back half of the boot is made of a perforated synthetic material, that is fairly thin and truly does allow the shoe to breathe a little bit on a hot day. This half and half system really is a home run in terms of creating a shoe that fits really well because you get the best of both worlds. The front of the shoe is a soft leather that will stretch and mold to your foot and the mid foot area is a synthetic, that will not stretch, giving the shoe a better long term fit.
The fit of the shoe in the width is fairly wide, like most shoes are, and it will fit almost any foot type. This shoe also comes with UA’s 4D foam insole that is a little thicker and much more cushioned than your average soccer shoe insole and it does make for a very comfortable, cushioned feel to the boot. If that’s not really your thing, they are removable and can be easily swapped out for a different set. The lacing system is right in the middle of the boot and is pretty shallow, but it does a fine job of securing your foot in place once you pull the laces tight. Overall, this shoe fits as good as any other top brand boots and is one of the most comfortable boots that you can get. I wore my regular size 9US for this review and I would recommend going with your normal size for this boot.
This shoe weighs in at 9.6oz, which is pretty good considering the category that it falls under. For a kangaroo leather boot, this would be on par as far as weight goes, with the adipures and the Legends. When you hold the boot in your hand, it feels very balanced. What I mean is that the weight feels evenly dispersed on the boot, where no part of the boot feels heavier then another. This boot weighs, in my opinion, exactly what it should weigh.
Visually the stud pattern on this shoe is somewhat similar to the Legend’s stud pattern from Nike, but is a little different. You get the conical studs at the front of the boot and the bladed heel studs at the back. This is always a good combination in terms of traction and agility, but there are some minor tweaks that I would have made to this Under Armour stud pattern. I found the conical studs to be ever so slightly longer than normal on a conical stud pattern and would have liked them to be slightly shorter. I would say that they are around the same length as the adizero studs, which clearly is popular amongst all soccer shoes, so it may have been just me being picky. Overall, the traction that this boot provides is great, and it provides just the right amount of stability to make those tight and quick changes of direction.
I really do feel like UA built this shoe around touch. Usually when a shoe is split into two different materials, a leather to a synthetic, you always get that feeling like the touch is never consistent, like the leather adizeros. What UA have done is used the kangaroo leather at the front of the boot, but they also covered the entire instep of the boot as well. This makes for the touch of a boot that is all kangaroo leather without the worries of stretching. The leather is definitely not as soft as some kangaroo leather boots, but it is still very good quality and I feel that it suites the boot quite nicely. The leather that they used I would say is about a medium thickness as far as kangaroo leather goes, and the feel on the ball is definitely very cushioned.
This is another bare bones boot that really offers no gimmicks as far as shooting goes. Under Armour used a fairly thin tongue so when you do strike the ball with the laces of the boot you will feel a little bit more of the ball, which is a good thing. Other than that, striking feels like it would in any other quality leather boot.
This is another area where UA have gotten it right as far as making a long lasting boot. Because the leather is not overly soft, it will not over stretch or separate around the toe area. I also noticed that they placed two rivets at the toe of the boot to really ensure that the upper stays attached to the sole plate. The synthetic parts of the boot ensure that the boot will not over stretch in the mid foot, making a boot that will fit tightly for longer. This is for sure a boot that I can recommend for at least an entire season and is perhaps one of the most durable kangaroo leather boots available.
Kangaroo leather tends to be a more cushioned material, thus providing a little more protection than the standard synthetic boot will should you get stepped on. The boot also has a very hard internal heel cup that will certainly reduce the damage from a kick to the heel. The one thing to note is that they did make the tongue a little thinner, so the top of the foot will not be as padded as the rest of your foot.
I was excited when I first saw this boot and I am happy to say that I am just as impressed after wearing them as I was when I first saw them. The combination of leather and synthetic is executed perfectly, making for a boot that truly makes for the best of both worlds. This boot is very innovative in its simplicity of design, and it shows in how the boot performs. Under Armour have truly produced perhaps their first top quality boot that is good enough to battle with the big boys in Nike and Adidas. Not to mention the extraordinary price tag of $129.99, this is a boot that you can’t go wrong with.
|Comfort/Fit||9 out of 10|
|Weight||7 out of 10|
|Traction||7 out of 10|
|Touch||9 out of 10|
|Shooting||7 out of 10|
|Protection||8 out of 10|
|Durability||9 out of 10|
|FINAL SCORE||56 out of 70 or 80%|