Hummel have entered the leather speed race with these new Rapid X Pro K football boots, an evolution of the Rapid X, Hummels' first venture into the speed market. They've tried synthetic now they're trying leather, take a look and let us know what you think...
Hummel have their roots firmly in heritage footwear, but we now applaud them for looking at how football is evolving and taking the bold step to engineer modern speed boots. The Rapid X is their first venture, and after receiving a fairly luke-warm reception (although they did appear at Euro 2012 worn by Dennis Rommedahl), Hummel are now introducing a K leather version which combines what they know best – quality leather uppers.
Accepting there will be the staunch Vapor and F50 fans who might instantly take a disliking to this boot, we're going to give the Hummel Rapid X Pro K football boots their time in the sun, and see what merits and performance benefits they offer.
Undoubtedly Hummel are entering the most competitive market in the boots industry, and putting themselves up against some real established heavy-weights like the Mercurial and F50 series. Not forgetting also that Puma and Umbro have been developing their own speed boots, so the question is what is Hummel's USP, their unique selling point?
Hummel have played to their strengths for the Rapid X Pro K football boots, and crafted a quality leather upper. Following a growing trend that seems to have been started by the leather adizero, but more recently taken on by the King Finale SL and Morelia Neo, Hummel are using a soft natural upper. The kangaroo leather offers the most supreme natural feel, due to the materials' dense fibers, and is benefited with a print application for additional friction in key areas.
The lacing-system is just off-centre and similar to that of the adizero, and is complimented by a flat tongue for a flush fit to the foot. Unique to the Rapid X Pro K soccer cleats is the 'Cage Construction', which forms at the external heel counter then continues through the Hummel chevrons to the lacing system, forming a supportive fit to wrap around the foot.
For comfort and fit the Hummel Rapid X Pro K has a removable insole, with grooves under the forefoot for flex and a padded insert under the heel for shock absorption. The inner lining of the Rapid X Pro is suede-like, and complimented by a rubberised 'Friction Lock' which has been applied to help lock the foot in.
The sole-plate, riveted and glued to the upper, is formed from a Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) material. The bladed studs are configured and shaped to compliment the players movement and ground penetration, with an angular shape unlike anything currently on the market.
The new Black/Poppy Hummel Rapid X Pro K football boots are available to pre-order now, and are expected to retail at around £120 GBP / $190 USD / €145 EURO. Which is under-cutting the likes of the adizero, King SL and Morelia Neo in the leather speed department.
We always feel a new speed launch is best announced with a dramatic eye-catching colourway, but Hummel have taken a different more classical approach, perhaps in keeping with the iconic Chevrons. We're keen to see the response these boots receive, there's no doubting the craftsmanship and engineering that has gone into the Rapid X Pro K, but the speed market can be quite a tough one to crack.
Let us know what you think of the new Hummel Rapid X Pro K football boots. Share your thoughts on the latest addition to the speed market online, on Twitter and on Facebook.