Umbro GT 2 Pro Review
Umbro have done a fantastic job in creating the GT 2 Pro a lightweight synthetic soccer shoe that fits and feels great. This is a first GT from Umbro that took on somewhat of a Nike influence, and I am happy to say that it was well executed. The upper is the same teijin synthetic as the Mercurial line, but with an added soft liner that only adds to the overall comfort of the shoe. The fit is also very reminiscent of the Mercurial series, fitting very close to the foot, with a low toe box. From right out of the box, you will immediately notice how stiff that these shoes feel, just the like the Vapors would. That is not to say that they feel bad, but you will automatically know that these shoes will require some break-in time. It took me between 3 to 4 hours of light use until I started to feel really comfortable, again just like the Vapors, and the shoes went from feeling very stiff and too tight, to a more snug fit that was comfortably tight, if you know what I mean. Needless to say, this is a quality synthetic upper, that once broken-in, will provide a fantastic fit and will plenty comfortable for extended periods of wear.
The overall fit of the shoe is not very wide at all, with the widest point being in the mid foot and a toe box and forefoot area that is very snug. If you’re looking for that ultra-tight fitting shoe and you do not have overly wide feet, the GT Pro 2 is going to offer what you are looking for. One change from the Mercurial line, or any type of speed boot for that matter, is the offset lacing. The laces are pushed to the outside of the shoe, offering a very clean surface over the entire instep, which is something that many will like and it allows for a very tight wrap to your foot. The heel is lined in a nicely padded synthetic leather, and will provide much more padding than what you will find in almost any lightweight soccer shoe, which is great. Another unique feature of the GT Pro 2 is the cut of the heel area. The shoe is much higher cut than any “speed boot” that I have ever worn, so there is a little more support than you would get from other lightweight soccer shoes. As far as sizing goes, I wore my usual size 9US for review and they fit great. You realistically could go up half a size for a slightly roomier fit, but a shoe like this needs to fit tight in order to feel good, so I would recommend ordering your normal size. If you’re looking for a very tight fitting synthetic soccer shoe, the GT Pro 2 will deliver.
This shoe weighs in at 8.8oz, which is a little on the higher end as far as speed boots go, but to be completely honest, the difference in weight is next to nothing. What the GT Pro 2 lacks in weight, it makes up for in support and its solid feel. Unlike a lot of lightweight soccer shoes, the GT Pro 2 does not feel fragile or flimsy in your hands, and on your feet, they offer plenty of stiffness and rigidity, which is something that I really like. Like I always say, there are a lot of things that are more important than weight on a soccer shoe, and to be completely honest, 0.5oz is not something that you are going to notice on your feet.
Like I said earlier, the GT Pro 2 has some Nike influences, and the stud pattern is definitely one of them. The all bladed stud pattern of the GT is the exact same as the stud pattern used on the Nike’s Laser series. Not only does this mean that you are going to get solid traction, but you are also going to get somewhat of a unique feel, especially for a lightweight soccer shoe. The stud pattern is made up of all bladed studs, positioned to offer tons of grip when pushing off, as well as plenty of stability when planting your foot for a shot. It is a stud pattern that comes across as somewhat out of place given the upper, but when you actually wear them together, it feels great. This is a stud pattern that is going to offer plenty of traction on natural grass or turf. It gives the shoe that solid feel, which makes the GT very unique.
As I have said before, Nike are the leaders in synthetic uppers, and the use of a Teijin microfiber on the Umbro GT Pro 2 was a great decision. For those of you that have worn a Vapor, the GT Pro 2 feels almost identical. The upper fits very close to the foot so you get that second skin feel when touching the ball. When a shoe is this good, touching the ball feels very true, meaning that the way your foot touches the ball is always going to be the same no matter what part of the foot it comes in contact with. If you are looking for a thin synthetic that isn’t too thin, but fits fantastic, the Umbro GT Pro 2 is exactly what you are looking for.
Shooting with these shoes is also unique, for a couple of reasons, the first being the offset lacing. With the laces pushed to the outside, the instep, or the “strike zone” is clear of any kind of laces, making for a very clean striking surface. It also feels as if there is just a little bit of extra padding right on top the foot, making for a very nice feel when striking the ball, similar to the Puma v1.11 SL. I also really liked having a stud pattern that is more geared towards stability, allowing for just a little extra grip when planting your foot to strike the ball, which is great. The last thing is the higher cut at the ankle. Since your heel sits a little deeper into the shoe than your average lightweight soccer shoe, there is a very solid feeling when striking the ball. Overall, these shoes are not going to disappoint when it comes to shooting, and they even surpass the quality of many lightweight soccer shoes in this particular category.
As you would come to expect from pretty much any thin synthetic soccer shoe, the amount of protection that they provide is minimal. Simply put, if you stepped on, you’re going to feel it. If you are looking for a lightweight soccer shoe, never expect protection, because it isn’t something that you are going to get.
The build quality of the GT Pro 2, as I have stated already several times is solid. The shoe feels durable in your hands. One very good way to tell how durable a shoe is going to be is by how long it takes to break-in. Since the shoe is very stiff from brand new, that is a very good indication that the materials used are built to last. If you are looking for a shoe that you can depend on to last for at the very least one season, the Umbro GT Pro 2 can definitely provide that for you.
What I expected was a Umbro version of the Nike Mercurial Vapor, and that is exactly what the GT Pro 2 is, but with a twist. It offers a quality upper with a fantastic fit, a solid feel and a unique combination of stud pattern and upper material. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the Vapor, that is every bit as good, or were even taking a look at something like an Adidas adipower SL, the Umbro GT Pro 2 is going to be a very solid option at a very reasonable price.
|9 out of 10
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|59 out of 70 or 84%