Under Armour are pushing all the right boundaries that the modern market necessitates. The SpeedForm leather is a great looking boot, but will it allow the American sportswear giant to continue making inroads into the world’s game? Let’s take a look...

What is the leather SpeedForm? Is it a speed boot?

The newest iteration from Under Armour is meant to have a fantastic one-to-one fit that provides a premium level of touch on the ball. A speed boot? That depends on your definition of what a speed boot is: something lightweight? The leather SpeedForm sits at 8 oz...so, not quite lightweight. Something that provides a thin upper with the feel on the ball being as unhindered as possible? That seems to be exactly what we find with the SpeedForm. With the rest of the world feeling as if they are retreading previous models and staying close to what has worked in the past, Under Armour is definitely taking chances and giving us some very original options.

Some description

Is there anything else about the look that matters beside it being a gorgeous boot?

Outside of the boot looking fantastic from any distance, the very first thing you notice is that there are indentations on the forefoot of the boot that seem to show where your toes will go once you slip on the boot. The Under Armour branding is a great contrast to the whiteout feel that this boot has going for it. Despite the “UA” logo sitting in four different spots and being fairly large over the instep, it never feels gaudy or imposing. Outside of a small on the outside of the boot labeled as “SPEEDFORM” (which you probably wouldn’t see unless you had the boot up close), there is very little for anyone to know what this creation actually is.

The SpeedForm, as we mentioned earlier, is actually a fair bit heavier than anyone would have expected this boot to end up being. At 8 oz, the majority of the current market actually is lighter than the SpeedForm, but it never ends up feeling like a heavy boot. Instead of trying to provide a boot that is based around being incredibly light, Under Armour seems to be looking for a boot that shines via its overall build.

Some description

Wait, so...is this thing leather? Or some leather looking synthetic?

The leather doesn’t have a very large grain to it, so you have to be holding the boot fairly close to recognize the material. After spending quite a bit of time in the boot and talking with people at Under Armour (and finally looking at the tag inside the boot), we can say that, yes, this boot is made of leather. The boot performas like leather from the very beginning, and after a few wears, we start seeing the creasing expected of a leather boot.

Do those toe grooves add anything to the comfort? Wait wait...there isn’t an insole?

Did we not mention that? Yeah, we were actually disappointed when we found out, as the Under Armour 4D insole is actually one of the best we have ever had the pleasure of using. Built into the build of the boot is a sock-liner that is seamlessly slipped into the boot. A nice bit of padding, and one of our favorite aspects is that, after a few wears, the imprint of our feet and toes can now be seen in the padding.  Don’t let the new liner scare you, as we have quite enjoyed it!

The boot is one of the tighter offerings on the market right now, and your first wear definitely confirms that. This is not a boot we would recommend wearing directly into a game, but a few staggered break-in sessions now has us enjoying a boot with a fantastic fit that seems to squeeze our foot all the way around the boot. We didn’t really see anything special in fit or feel from the toe grooves in the upper, and they have practically disappeared after testing. Outside of the tightness right out of the box, the leather SpeedForm has provided a very smooth ride.

Some description

Underneath the boot, we find a very unique set of bladed studs situated on a fairly thin soleplate. Despite being fairly thin, there is some definite stiffness that greets you upon first wear. The middle of the plate remains very stiff in order to remain responsive during use, but the forefoot does loosen up a bit after break-in. We didn’t experience any stud pressure during testing, and we think that the soleplate completes the SpeedForm by making the entirety of the boot feel different than anything we’ve really seen or experienced before.

It’s mostly leather?  Well...as long as it performs at a high level…

After we learned about the lack of 4D insole, the actual weight of the SpeedForm, and saw the toe grooves...we really weren’t expecting much. How much can a boot called “SpeedForm” that isn’t sub 7 ounces really offer anything? Seems like somebody at UA headquarters may have asked the same questions to the boot designers, which is why this boot is able to continuously win us over and prove us wrong.

The aspect of the speed boot that has us loving the ball when it is at our feet and loving how we can manipulate that ball is ever-present with the SpeedForm. The added weight simply gives us a boot that feels indestructible and not afraid of tackles or putting every ounce of power we have through a shot. All of the parts of the boot that aren’t lined by the built-in liner are covered in a very thin suede-like material that allows the feel of the ball to feel completely unhampered.

One of the biggest steps for the SpeedForm that separates it from a boot that attempts to give a great feel by stripping the boot back to the bare minimum is in passing and shooting with the Under Armour boot. The boot has the perfect thickness to really drive through a ball for a driven shot or a cross-field pass without having you worrying that your foot might be bruised the next day. The toe grooves definitely aren’t deep enough to have any change on how the ball responds to you, and there isn’t anything to get in the way of your technique. Mixed in with a stud pattern that is going to provide great traction on any and all FG surfaces, and you have a boot that can easily be one of the most dependable on the market.

Some description

As we talked about earlier, the SpeedForm actually feels like it might live through a nuclear explosion. We have been putting this boot through anything we can imagine to test our theory, but it still looks ready to live for many, many seasons to come. Most boots in today’s market can’t handle a stud even grazing the upper without leaving us crying on the pitch, but the SpeedForm is just as comfortable being a goal-poacher as it might be being used by a no-nonsense defender. One of the few negatives for the SpeedForm is that is does present a bit of a sizing conundrum. If you already order your boots incredibly tight at the toes, you’ll want to go a half size up (normally a 9.5? Go to a 10). If you already choose a size that gives you a little bit of freedom at the toes, you could be fine getting away with your normal size.

Is Under Armour still on the right track here?

The leather SpeedForm might end 2015 being the most underappreciated boot on the market. Under Armour can still take the model farther and make some improvements, but the leather version of this boot might not get the attention it deserves until the American brand is releasing the SpeedForm 2. With the main UA man in Memphis Depay wearing the synthetic version, we also might not see any on-field representation for the leather variation. Still, that shouldn’t keep you from giving this boot a definite chance.

If you are finally ready to give something new a try, or you really want to finally step away from the “big three,” then this is a great excuse. It is always great when a boot emerges from testing without anyone having any major negatives to talk about...or a boot that you are able to truly enjoy while testing. Under Armour have stumbled onto a winner, and it’s high time that you found your way into a SpeedForm.

Fancy a pair? Get hooked up here.