Here is the official WearTesters performance review of the Under Armour ClutchFit Force soccer cleat. Be sure to watch the whole video and then feel free to comment and ask me questions.
Have you ever discovered a new musician, a new restaurant, business, or met a new person and felt very pleased to have stepped out on a limb in doing so? I think we all can say that has been the case on multiple occasions. The Under Armour ClutchFit Force is that new guy around the local park field…you know, the one that immediately steps in and adapts to your team’s style of play, who just seems to do everything well and has no crippling flaws in his game. The guy that you almost didn’t pick up, but you are glad you did once you played alongside him. That’s how I see these cleats.
Now, let’s break it down for clarity.
Comfort: Though I have yet to play in any of the new Flyknit based boots, I have rarely found an upper to be as comfortable as this ClutchFit material. Usually, leather takes a while to break in, has a nice stage of supreme comfort and fit, and then begins to degrade due to moisture, cracking, over stretching, and an eventually sloppier fit. If you take care of your leather these things generally won’t be much of a problem for a long time…but this ClutchFit material won’t have any of those problems.
They have great step in comfort and a consistent, 3 way stretch that maintains a natural correlation to the movements of your foot. Furthermore, as I touch on in the video, they offer a best in class insole among soccer cleats. The 4D-Foam with Micro G below it was a savior to my feet, especially when pickup games stretched to 5-6 hours. The relatively thin tongue lays flat and does not slide during play, but it is not awfully thick so it did not offer a lot of protection from cleats to the top of the foot. When all is said and done, what you need to know about these is that they are superbly comfortable.
Technology: There is the ClutchFit Upper, 4D-Foam with Micro G insole, great heel counter, very responsive “skeletal” shaped TPU shank system on the soleplate. Nothing over the top, but nothing seems to be missing.
I really love the biomechanically influenced TPU shank, as an Engineer, it is great to see designers emulating the human foot. In the human foot we have the gold standard for locomotive stress reduction and propulsion, why not take inspiration from it! Also, for me at least, I prefer to depend on the power from my own legs when it comes to kicking. I don’t get super excited over the technology some brands include to increase kicking power and range (check my half field shot in the video for evidence). I just don’t want my cleats to get in my way or make me uncomfortable.
Control/Heritage/Power/Speed Cleat?: Beyond cleat uppers not comprising of full grain, calf and kangaroo leather, it is very hard to think of another synthetic upper that gives you such a natural feel on the foot and the grippy quality of the rubber overlay across the entirety of the upper. The touch you get from ClutchFit seems above average. Yes, Under Armour has created their own silo category with the “Comfort” cleat denomination, but I would also say they can hold their own in the Control department. This is the type of fresh thinking and tech UA always seems to bring to the table for sportswear and shoes. The Highlight cleat? Speedform Apollo? Stepping out is nothing new from these guys.
Fit: They fit me true to size (11.5 for nearly all other shoes too) and in terms of width, wide footers should almost always opt for a leather upper cleat as it will stretch and form to them well over time. However, I think the ClutchFit definitely has some stretch to help accommodate different foot shapes. Also, the soleplate is of normal width, not extremely narrow like some speed silo boots. As I will touch on again later, these qualities make the Force very versatile from player to player.
Weight: Some have said these were a bit heavy, but they are not a burden to fast movements, they are not noticeably heavy after long hours of playing. Granted, they’re not a feather light speed cleat, they’re 7.9 ounces and that sounds/felt fine to me. The only place a I see a good place to cut down on weight would be thinning out the conical studs to allow, theoretically, for nimbler movement and lower weight.
Best For: Honestly, these have no position specific advertising and no special features that would narrow their consumer focus. They are comfortable, offer great touch, good durability, and have no glaring flaws. I can see wing defenders and midfielders that cover a lot of ground and need a comfortable cleat that will contain them at a constantly fast pace, really enjoying these. Furthermore, center midfielders that run a lot of mileage in games and in training that want a cleat with an all-around versatility should look no further.
Additional Comments: The problem for UA in the soccer department is they are still a long way from establishing themselves in the minds of soccer players in the U.S. and abroad. Their tech, design, and quality are on par with every major brand that moves cleats, but they don’t have customer trust and loyalty yet. I would encourage our readers not to sleep on the ClutchFit Force or the brand as a whole.
Further, I think it would be a great idea for Under Armour to launch a ‘team shoe’ initiative with these in particular since they are so well rounded. Many high schools throughout the country get team basketball shoes at a discount, for example. But, there usually isn’t that option for soccer teams. I can see Under Armour thriving in that niche and offering team discounts at the middle school, high school, travel, and club level for soccer teams. Imagine all of those young guys enjoying great seasons and performances in UA cleats they may not have bought without a team deal. An initiative of that nature could established thousands of dedicated UA cleat fans. Just an idea of mine, just wish more people could get to experience these on feet and in-game!
I hope you enjoyed the review, thank you for reading and let us know what you think in the comments!