The Umbro St. George collection has been one of the most well received launches of the year. As we look forward to the 2012 European Championships, we caught up with Umbro's Simon Bowsher to take us through the specially designed boots that some of England's biggest names will be wearing this summer.
"For major projects and European Championships/World Cups, Umbro work on a time-line of around 18 months to 2 years ahead of the competition itself. The primary function of (the new design) is to maintain a graphic illustration on the heels of each of the boots. It's a very clean call-out of the lines that represent the St. George's cross." "On pitch visibility is essential for brands so they can have differentiation within the market, and also for players. So when we come in with a concept and something that is so strongly linked to the national identity, it's something that wraps up very closely to players irrespective of the style or boot preference."
Unveiled for the first time on St. George's Day, the new series is inspired by England’s patron saint and is Umbro's first major tournament collection. The red striped theme has been designed to unify each of the brands three silos – the Speciali III, Geometra Pro and the GT II Pro.
The red and white colour scheme of the St George's flag is the fundamental inspiration behind this patriotic collection, with the unified striping detail referencing the Umbro jacket worn by England manager Sir Alf Ramsey which is also featured on the current home kit. Varying in size and shape across each boot, the patterned design occupies the heel areas for a visually powerful look.
The unification of boot silos is something we've seen before at an international tournament - the Nike WC10 pack was a huge success. Umbro have taken a similar design route for the St. George boot collection, with a clear focus centred on England's international team.
The England team isn't shy of an Umbro face or two – they're one of the most represented brands in the entire squad. Kyle Walker, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Joe Hart, Andy Carroll and Darren Bent are all in line for first team action this summer, making the on-pitch potential of the new St. Georges boot collection an exciting prospect! Let us know what you think of Umbro's patriotic efforts! Are you excited to see Kyle Walker and co. lace up in English style this summer? Join the conversation and share your thoughts online, on Twitter and on Facebook.