Umbro Japan always attempts to buck the trend versus the worldwide market for the Double Diamond and this continues with the newest release, the Umbro Accerator F-LASH. Interestingly, Umbro is not continuing to push the grip story that had with the previous Accerator model and are instead pushing comfort through what they call the 3C Fitting System: Comfortable vamp, Catch the heel, and Control Foam.
The first part of the 3C Fitting System focuses on the forefoot vamp. As is usual with the Accerator series, Umbro continues to use kangaroo leather for the forefoot. However, this time Umbro have changed the last so that the forefoot does not feel as cramped, and the toes can move more freely. Umbro says that this allows for more powerful strides to be take as the whole of the bones in the forefoot can make use of the fit. I think this means that Umbro has strived for making the boot not feel as tight as previous models, so it should be able to fit those wider feet better, though given the lacing set-up, I expect the boot to fit a majority of foot types comfortably.
Secondly, the Fitting System is focusing on the fit of the heel cup. The heel cup has been redesigned to suit the heels in a more three-dimensional shape. This is also a product of the new last that Umbro are using for this newest Accerator. It seems that a complaint with the previous model is that the heel had a tendency to feel flat against the back of the foot, though I personally had no issues. For what its worth, this is definitely an issue with other leather boots that seem to have a heel designed for the foot to get used to. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will have seen that I have had issues with the heels in several boots. A less harsh heel cup also means that the foot does not feel as constrained and allows it to move more naturally.
The last part of the system is an internal midsole that sits between the soleplate and the insole. This is called Control Foam as is designed to not only provide comfort but to also put the foot in a better posture for pushing off. This is similar to ASICS’ 5mm heel lift that they have in the Ultrezza series. Although, it seems that the Accerator will have more of a cushioned feel versus the ASICS model.
As with the previous Accerator, there is still the GAINA material, which helps dissipate heat from the feet which is helpful if you have ever played on a hot surface or during a humid day.
In the midfoot there is still a variation of the UGT (Umbro Grip Technology) microfiber which was used on the previous model. It worked well on the previous model (see my review), so it understandable that they would not get rid of this tech.
The UGT zone has been drastically redesigned to be a much more subtle area of the boot. It will be interesting to see how this redone grip area functions during play. There is also no mention of KaRVO, which seems to have been dropped to make the price lower, so the newer seems to be relying on the strength of the player’s foot more. Given that the newest boot is more about allowing the foot to move naturally, this makes sense.
Also absent is the previous insole that used tech from the BMZ insole company. The lack of this tech might also be another way Umbro has managed to make the newer Accerator almost 5000 yen cheaper than the previous model. While the outsole also carries over from the previous model.
Though the updates are more minor in nature, and there is less tech than the previous Accerator, the push for more natural movement as welcome. As is the cheaper price. It will be fascinating to see if Umbro’s sales increase as a result of this change. Certainly, it seems at the very least this model will be more comfortable.
What do you think of the new Umbro F-LASH? Make sure to share this with your friends and please follow me on Instagram and Facebook!
All Photos Credit: SoccerShopKamo