A fantastic example of a made in Italy boot.
One of the last things I would have expected this year is the launch of the new brand. This is because of circumstances around the world and because of the difficulty of entering the market in the best of times. So, it was a surprise to see Allure Calcio release their boots on the market and it was also interesting to see their boots be of the heritage, or classical, variety. This niche corner of the market has become increasingly competitive over the past few years with the launch of other brands as well as some of the traditional brands like Ryal and Pantofola becoming more focused. Given this competitiveness, a new brand would need to do something a bit extra to stand out. Allure Calcio has made some clever additions that sets it apart from other brands in the space and gives the Nero FG some advantages over its competition.
Fit and Feel
Pulling the boots out of the box for the first time, you are immediately hit with the wonderful smell of the kangaroo leather. The boots come with a lot of nice extras like a shoehorn, grip socks, shoe trees and leather food. The first time you put boots the on your feet you can immediately feel the suppleness of the leather and surprisingly a thinner than expected upper. It helps the boot feel a bit more modern than other classics without sacrificing the quality or feel of the leather.
Something else that was quite pleasant was the shoelaces. They are still thicker than some more “modern” boots. However, the quality is really nice and while the laces are a bit stiffer than others I use, however I really like them and they help give the boot a nice, firm feeling fit, and I never had to mess with my laces when wearing the boots. This is the opposite of other brands like Ryal or Pantofola which have overly stretchy laces than makes the fit sometimes suffer. The excellent laces work well in combination with the slightly cushioned tongue which means there is no lace bite. Just that solid and firm fit.
Another big advantage that the Allure has over its competitors are the insoles. This is a part of boots than even the biggest brands seem to ignore, and a lot of artisanal brands don’t even go farther than just using a basic, thin, insole. The Nero FG has an excellent insole that was specially developed in conjunction with an insole company based in Portugal. The insoles have decent support and are very comfortable, with extra cushioning on the forefoot and the heel area. This makes a huge difference when you wear classic boots and its immediately noticeable how much more cushioning the boot’s insoles offer over others.
It also only took a session for the boots to get super soft and soon I got that custom fit that you expect with a pair of Italian-made leather boots. I loved how supple and comfortable the upper became. I was a bit worried about over-stretching since it felt like the boots might become a bit too big, but I solved that by using the leather food that comes with the boots and no longer using the shoe trees. I will say that this is something I do with a lot of my leather boots as it is. The boots are fully shaped to my feet now and my worries about over-stretching have disappeared.
There is one negative I have had with the boots, and this is like other boots in this part of the market, is of course, the heel. The shape of the heel fits quite good but there is almost no cushioning to speak of, and given the cushioned insole and the soft upper, makes it stick out as an issue even more. I actually reached out to Allure about this issue and so far, I was the first one to have issues with the heel. I also asked Oli over at OCBootBlog about this issue and he also had no problems with the heel during his review of the Nero FG. Maybe it is just me, but I still wanted a more cushioned heel.
As far as sizing goes, I went down a half size from my normal size and though the boots were slightly snug to begin with, they soon stretched and fit my feet very well.
Touch and Dribbling
It is a classically-styled leather boot so you would think there are not too many surprises in store here but that previously-mentioned thinner kangaroo leather upper goes a long way towards making the boots feel more like a modern leather boot. In fact, given how little leather there is on the newest Adidas Copa Sense.1 and the strange feel of the Nike Tiempo Legend 8, the Nero FG’s leather is the best pick of the three and shows one of the ways a modern leather should be executed.
That thinner leather means you get a nice closer to the ball feel and the lack of gimmicks on the also means there are no distractions. No distractions makes me a very happy chappy, indeed. The overall stitch pattern gives a good, reliable feel and means that the touch is uniformly steady as well. On the whole, top marks here.
Passing and Shooting
Which means that there is also dependability when it comes to passing and shooting. It is nice once in a while to test a boot like this. The performance is so solid and dependable that you will not feel like you will be let down with a boot like this. Of course, that is down to what you are looking for, but given my biases, I am pleased with the execution here.
Shooting is solid and dependable in the Nero FG. This is not too surprising, but the thinner leather upper does mean you get a closer to the foot contact with the ball, which is always positive. At the same time, the leather is thick enough to the point that you do not feel the “sting” of the ball. It also means your feet aren’t destroyed when you get into a heavy tackle. But yeah, it is good.
We’ve seen this soleplate before. It’s on several classical boots and like I said in my Ryal Artisan review – that’s not a bad thing. It is a good soleplate. Not overly grippy but provides enough to satisfy most people.
Here is what I said in that Ryal Artisan Review about the soleplate:
“…it will not blow you away, but it works on various surfaces with ease and little fuss. As this blog has mentioned before, things can be just good. There is no need to constantly re-invent the wheel and since using a common soleplate allows these brands to do more with the uppers, I am all for it. It works and that’s all it needs to do.”
The toughest thing
I like the Allure Calcio Nero FG and it is a great option. The eagle-eyed among you will note that I didn’t mention one classical modern boot yet – the Mizuno Morelia II Japan. I am sure a lot of people are wondering about the comparison between the two boots. The Morelia has a more modern soleplate and has more performance characteristics. The Morelia also has a better overall fit, and the heel cup fits better and is more comfortable for me. The leather on the Allure Calcio Nero is really good but the leather on Mizuno’s made in Japan boots is still softer and has a higher quality. This is not to knock against the Allure boots – far from it – but it is difficult for any brand to reach the level Mizuno is at. They are the industry leader when it comes to leather boots. But the fact that Allure Calcio’s first ever model comes with a leather is so much better than the bigger brands and even some of the smaller, artisanal brands means that Allure is a building a platform for long term success.
Overall, I enjoyed my time in the Allure Calcio Nero FG. It is a boot I can recommend if you are looking for that classical feel with a timeless style. As many people know, I have a big soft spot for classic, Italian-made boots. I liked my time in the boots, and they are a good option with a solid performance. The thinner than expected leather, great laces and excellent insole sets it apart from other boots in the space and makes them a great choice in terms of boots with a leather upper.
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Boots Provided by Allure Calcio – Thank you!