A stealthy underrated boot from an underrated brand
Hummel has kept a fairly low profile in the boot industry over the past several years. From their high points with the Vault Series from 2004 to slowly leaving the industry altogether in the past few years, there have been a few highs and some lows. However, Hummel’s Japan operation (which is under the license of SSK Corp.) has continued to produce product year after year in the Japanese market. Although the series is a little long in the tooth, with the first model coming out in 2017, the Vorart series has continued to lead the line for the brand here.
The name comes from a combination of the words ‘Vortex’ and ‘Smart’. It isn’t the most technologically advanced boot, but it does have quite a few redeeming features, the first of which is the excellent kangaroo leather forefoot. The leather uses a material called “ZF Foam” to retain shape and structure to the leather and it has a coating on the front of the toebox to protect the leather and provide more durability.
The midfoot and the heel of the shoe uses a synthetic to provide more lockdown with TPU being used on the heel counter and the chevron logo in order to provide more stability. The internal heel counter is re-enforced in order prevent the heel from sliding around and the inside of the heel has a nice faux-suede liner to improve grip, which is always a welcome addition. There is also a small heel raise of about 5mm in order to help with shock absorption. Another nice touch is the ‘X’ shape on the soleplate which helps provide rigidity and some flexibility.
Something that is surprising to note is that the soleplate was originally made out of a nylon resin instead of a TPU which is normally used for most soleplates. When a new colourway was released in February of 2019, Hummel switched to a TPU resin. The durability of the soleplate is high, and Hummel Japan actually recommends these for FG, AG and HG pitches, even the almost sand like pitches that many Japanese schools use for their practice area.
The insole is premium considering the price of the boot as well. Similar to the inside of the heel, it uses and brushed material in order to provide extra grip. There is also extra PORON cushioning not only included on the heel of the insole but also on the part of the insole on which the ball of the foot rests. These small touches help improve the comfort of the boot. I had mentioned previously that the Vorart series only somewhat recently added KaRVO to the midsole and this was part of that “running change” that Hummel made as part of that February 2019 drop. This allowed the boot to become more responsive.
Hummel Japan focused on making a boot that is comfortable, stable, durable and has some responsiveness. The boot isn’t too heavy, coming in at 231 grams, but Hummel Japan has never been about making speed boots. Hummel may have dropped out of the football boot industry globally, but I am glad that their Japanese arm is still creating boots. It’s a brand that I have a lot of time for and I hope they continue making boots.
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