Under Armour 10K Force Pro II Review
The 10K Force Pro II follows the same trend as other synthetic releases from UA, offering a very futuristic look and introducing some new, very interesting technologies. This is a very comfortable boot from UA, easily one of the most comfortable thin synthetics that I have ever worn. The upper is made from a premium microfiber synthetic, which is surprisingly soft and flexible from right out of the box. There isn’t much of a break-in with these at all, and in terms of step-in comfort, the 10K is well above average. Part of what makes the shoe so comfortable is the 4D Foam insole, which is a little thicker than your average soccer shoe insole, but it offers an incredibly cushioned yet responsive feel. I would compare the amount of cushioning to a running shoe rather than soccer shoe, which is something that you can only get from an Under Armour boot.
As far as fit is concerned, the 10K is not without its flaws, but as a whole I love the concept. For me, the highlight feature of the 10K has to be the Compfit system. Making up the opening of the shoe, the Compfit system is made of a stretchy material that wraps the ankle, allowing for a very secure and supportive fit when you pull the laces tight. The top lace holes are positioned right on the Copfit section of the boot, so when you pull the laces tight, the sides of the shoe stretch to tightly hug your ankle, locking your heel in the shoe. This system works incredibly well and is also very comfortable.
As a whole the shoe definitely fits on the wider side through the mid-foot and forefoot. Thin synthetics are always tough when it comes to fit, simply because they have to have a really tight fit while still being comfortable. I don’t think that UA have got that perfect shape quite right yet, but the 10K is very close. There’s just a little more wiggle room than I personally would have liked, but if you do have a wider foot, than the 10K should fit you comfortably.
Sizing is a little tricky with the 10K, as they seem to run about a quarter of a size small. I wore a 9.5US for review, which is half a size larger than I would normally wear, and the fit was just a touch long. You could go for your normal size, but the fit will be very tight in the length. If you are looking to order a pair for yourself, I would recommend going half a size up for the most comfortable fit.
The 10K Force Pro II weighs in at 7.7oz, which is very light for a shoe this comfortable. Both in hand and on feet, the 10K feels very lightweight, which is always a great feature to have with any soccer shoe. If lightweight shoes are your thing, than the 10K will definitely offer the lightweight feel that you’re looking for.
The soleplate and stud pattern combo on the 10K is fantastic. The newly designed CoreSpeed soleplate, features a wishbone shaped stiffener running through the mid-foot, while the forefoot features a thinned out flex groove to allow for maximum flexibility in the forefoot. The stud pattern is fairly unique, not so much in its layout, but more so because of the actual shape of the studs. The forefoot of the shoe features only three studs on the inside, and four studs on the outside, along with the standard two bladed support studs running through the center of the forefoot. The studs themselves remind me very much of the teeth, all positioned on a slant, allowing for better ground penetration when pushing off. If you take a look at the pictures above, you should get a better idea of what I am talking about. Under the heel you will find a pretty standard four bladed studs, with two studs on each side. So how does it perform? I have to say that I was really impressed by this particular stud pattern. The unique shape and the slightly angled nature of the studs allowed for the best possible ground penetration when pushing off, which in turn leads to very good amounts of traction. The feel is more or less a combination of bladed and conical studs, but what I really like is that with all of the grip that these shoes provide, you never feel like your foot is locked into the ground, allowing for plenty of freedom to twist and turn. I would categorize this particular stud pattern as above average, and it will certainly perform up to the standard that you’re looking for.
The main issue that I have with the 10K has to be the upper. As stated earlier, it is made from a premium microfiber synthetic, designed to offer a close to the foot feel. The upper itself is very soft to the touch and seems to move well with the foot, but the ball feel is just not that great. I think the main reason for the lack of feel has to be the liner on the inside of the boot. The liner is made from what feels like a sock, which makes for a comfortable fit, but I found that it hindered the ball feel. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the 10K has a bad touch on the ball, I just feel like you can’t feel as much of the ball as you should be able too.
The main touch element on the 10K is the MatchControl system, making up the grid pattern on the instep of the boot. It is said to be there to enhance feel when dribbling, passing and striking the ball, but I found it to offer very little in terms of changing the feel on the ball. It adds a small amount of texture to the upper, but nothing more than that. The touch on the ball is nothing special, but is by no means bad.
Striking the ball in the 10K feels great. The upper has some decent impact protection, and because the laces are slightly off-centered, the strike zone of the boot is very clean. The amount of lockdown provided by the Compfit system allows the boot to feel very secure upon impact and also gives that little bit of extra support to the ankle. The CoreSpeed soleplate also does a good job of providing plenty of rigidity through the mid-foot, which is great for striking the ball.
The 10K Force Pro II is not going to provide much in the way of protection. The synthetic upper is on the thinner, but will still provide some protection for your foot should you get stepped on. There is also an internal heel counter, but it isn’t all that large and is made of a pretty thin plastic. If you’re buying into the idea of wearing a lightweight soccer shoe, than you should know what you’re getting into as far as protection is concerned.
For a lightweight soccer shoe, the 10K feels really solid. Everything feels well built and all the materials used feel very high quality. UA is company known for making quality products, and even if they don’t have much of a track record when it comes to soccer shoes, you can still expect a quality product. Keep in mind that the 10K Force Pro II is designed for use on firm, natural grass playing surfaces. Using any firm ground soccer shoe on artificial grass/turf will have a major impact on the durability of the boot.
The 10K Force Pro II is an interesting concept, and while there are some stand out features, the shoe is not without its problems. The Compfit system, CoreSpeed soleplate and 4D foam insole are fantastic, showing how far UA has come and how they are successfully introducing some innovative technologies that actually work. The downfall of the 10K, for me, is the upper. We’re seeing constant improvement with each new release from UA, and it is only a matter of time before they produce something that grabs the attention of the entire soccer world.
Comfort/Fit 8 out of 10
Weight 8 out of 10
Traction 9 out of 10
Touch 6 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%