Warrior Skreamer S-Lite Review
The Skreamer S-Lite is definitely one of the most unique soccer shoes that we’ve seen in a long time. The S-Lite is the synthetic upper variation of the top-end Skreamer model, with the other upper variation being kangaroo leather. The one-piece microfiber upper is very thin, being made up of what appears to be one single layer, with an equally thin liner on the inside of the boot. With little to no padding on the upper, the shoe has a very tight and somewhat rigid feel on foot, and is honestly not the most comfortable shoe that I have ever worn.
One of my personal favorite features of the Skreamer are the small cutouts on both the top of the tongue and the Achilles heel area of the boot. These cutouts are what Warrior calls “Murderholes”, and allow for a couple of different things, which include ventilation, adjustability and flexibility. I particularly liked the Murderholes on the Achilles area of the boot, simply because it allowed for some extra flexibility to the back of the boot. The Arrowbed insole is also another great feature on the boot, providing some awesome comfort. Most soccer shoes feature incredibly minimalistic insoles that offer next to nothing in the way of cushioning. The Arrowbed insole has some decent thickness to it, and offers immediate step-in comfort, almost like a running shoe. Another feature worth mentioning is the heel liner, which is made from a very soft, textured synthetic leather. There is a very light dimpling to it, almost like a basketball, that helps to hold your heel in place, preventing any kind of heel slippage.
The soleplate and heel counter also play a very large role on the overall comfort and feel of the boot. The one-piece heel counter and soleplate is made from Pebax. What is different about the Skreamer, is that the heel counter, called the HeelShield, only covers the back of your heel, to provide some extra protection, while the sides of your heels have no plastic at all, either internally or externally. This allows for some extra flexibility and an overall more comfortable fit in the heel area of the boot. Instead there is a piece of plastic that cups the bottom of your heel, and comes up the sides just enough to keep your heel locked in place. This makes for a solid fit in the heel, without any movement restrictions.
Probably the standout feature of the boot has to be the lacing system. The lacing system on the Skreamer is pushed slightly to the outside of the boot, and runs very deep, allowing you to fully adjust the fit of the shoe all the way through. The bottom of the lacing system starts in the forefoot of the shoe, pretty much right above your toes, and than goes up from there. This system works great on the K-Lite model due to the natural stretch of the leather, but feels off on the S-Lite model. The fit of the boot through the heel and mid-foot is fine, but when you get to the forefoot and toe box, that’s where I have some issues with the fit and overall comfort of the boot. The forefoot and toe box feels very cramped and just does not flow with the natural shape of your foot. The rigid synthetic does not stretch at all, and even after break-in, I felt like the front of my foot was being squeezed at all times. Keep in mind that I am one of those people that wear my boots pretty tight, but I just wasn’t a fan of the fit on the S-Lite. This is the main issue that I have with the overall fit and comfort of the boot.
Just to quickly touch on break-in time, I didn’t have any major issues. The synthetic upper softens up a little bit after the first couple hours of wear and I didn’t have any issues with blistering. Just keep in mind that the synthetic upper has very little stretch to it, if any at all, so the way that they fit from right out the box is the way that they’re going to fit after break-in.
As far as sizing is concerned, the Skreamer S-Lite fits true to size. I wore my usual size 9US for review, and the fit in the length was absolutely perfect. While they are a narrow through the forefoot, I would still recommend going for your regular size if you’re looking to order a pair.
The Skreamer S-Lite weighs in at 7.4oz, which lighter than you might expect it to be. If you were to guess the weight of the Skreamer based on its looks, you would never guess it to be that lightweight. Both in-hand on feet the Skreamer feels very light and will certainly not weigh you down.
Just like the rest of the shoe, the stud pattern is an all-new design, and unlike anything else that we have ever seen. The Skreamer features an all-bladed stud pattern, with the blades being called “ClawTec”, designed to provide optimal multidirectional grip. If you look at the studs themselves, you’ll notice that there is a straight edge on the inside, while the outside of each stud has a rounded edge. The reasoning behind this is to have as much grip as possible when pushing off from the straight edge, and to have a quick release from the ground with the rounded edge. Overall, the stud pattern performs really well, but doesn’t feel as aggressive as it looks. I never found myself slipping, whether I was playing on harder or slightly softer natural grass. The studs really do a good job of digging in when pushing off, and perform equally as good when making quick changes of direction.
One of the major contributing factors as to why the studs perform so well is the flexibility of the soleplate. Featuring Warrior’s carbon fiber X-Box Shank, the soleplate is incredibly flexible, allowing the shoe to move with your feet. Unlike other carbon fiber soleplates on the market, the X-Bow Shank combines both carbon fiber and Pebax, making for a very flexible feel, rather than feeling stiff, like most carbon fiber soleplates. It is also worth noting that the soleplate actually has a little bit of a curve to it in the forefoot, rather than being completely flat. The extra flexibility in the soleplate allows for as many studs as possible to be under your feet, no matter what direction that you twist or turn. I’m generally not a big fan of bladed stud patterns, but this is one that I really do like.
The touch on the Skreamer S-Lite is definitely unique. The forefoot and instep of the S-lite features direct injected rubber fins, acting as a striking/control element on the boot. These arrowhead shaped fins a very well segmented, and do not take away from any of the natural flexibility of the upper. All of the “arrowheads” are exactly the same height, just barely raising off of the upper. In terms of actually modifying the touch on the ball, it adds a little bit of grip. Having extra grip on the ball is something that can either be good or bad, depending on your own personal preferences, but the S-Lite seems to offer that middle ground in my opinion. While there definitely is added grip on the ball, it isn’t too sticky, allowing you to feel comfortable with your touches on the ball after 20 minutes or so of getting used to the feel. The rubber fins, in combination with the thin synthetic upper makes for a solid touch on the ball, which is great if your looking for that barefoot feel with just that little bit of extra bulk from the fins.
If I had to compare it to another shoe on the market in terms of feel, it would have to be the Predator LZ. With that being said, I don’t think that the S-lite feels like the LZ, it just shares similar characteristics, not taken to the same extreme as the LZ. Being someone that isn’t a huge fan of large rubber elements on the upper of a soccer shoe, I didn’t mind the touch of the Skreamer S-Lite simply because the element flows so well with the upper. Its not the best synthetic upper that I’ve ever used by a long shot, but I like the idea of the heavily segmented rubber fins.
Striking the ball in the Skreamer S-Lite feels great. The rigid synthetic upper makes for a very solid impact when striking the ball. This responsive feel is something that anybody who likes that “close to the foot” feel will love. The rubber fins also add a little bit of extra grip when striking the ball, which is always a plus. It isn’t going to make you curl the ball “better”, but it does allow you to more easily generate spin, which can be said for most rubber striking elements. It is also worth noting the carbon fiber soleplate provides some good rigidity to the boot when striking the ball. The slightly higher cut in the ankle also provides some extra support. You’ll get a very solid striking experience from the Skreamer S-Lite, especially if you’re into rubber striking elements.
As stated earlier, the synthetic upper has absolutely zero padding, providing very little impact protection should you get stepped on. This is nothing out of the ordinary for a thin synthetic soccer shoe, but just realize the Skreamer S-lite is not as protective as it looks. There is a little bit of added protection from the rubber fins running along the top of the toe box, but not much. The HeelShield will do its part in providing protection from the back, should you take a kick to the back of the heel, but for the most part you’re left pretty exposed. If you’re looking for that thin synthetic feel, than don’t expect much in the way of protection.
The Skreamer S-Lite feels really well built. The rigid synthetic upper feels incredibly tough and the direct-injected rubber fins only add to the solid construction. If you’re at all familiar with Warrior’s products in other sports, than you know that they make some really good stuff, and the Skreamer S-Lite is no different. I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to get a couple of seasons out of the S-Lite. Also keep in mind that the firm ground version of the Skreamer S-Lite, or any firm ground shoe for that matter, is designed for use on natural grass playing surfaces. Using any firm ground soccer shoe on artificial playing surfaces will have a major impact on the durability of the boot.
I love the design of the Skreamer from Warrior. Its something that never been done before, but that’s not to say that the S-Lite is not without its problems. I love the unique rubber element on the upper, the cushioning of the Arrowbed insole and the deep lacing system. For me, the synthetic upper, while it isn’t bad, just isn’t up to par with other high-end synthetics currently available and the shape of the boot just isn’t right. The K-Lite model of the Skreamer really shows the strength of the overall design, where as the synthetic model, to me at least, just doesn’t offer as good of an experience. If you’re looking to try something new and exciting, then the S-Lite is a decent option, but there are better options available in the same price range.
|Comfort/Fit||6 out of 10|
|Weight||8 out of 10|
|Traction||9 out of 10|
|Touch||8 out of 10|
|Shooting||8 out of 10|
|Protection||7 out of 10|
|Durability||8 out of 10|
|FINAL SCORE||54 out of 70 or 77%|