Yes, the wait is nearly over and the start of the 2014 / 2015 football season is nearly upon us. Not only will we be heading to support our local teams and glued to screens, we will of course be out there playing, with pre-season already well underway!
Warrior may not be a name you are familiar with right now, but a growing brand and reputation over in the states, we are sure they are to start making waves in Europe this season. Warrior football boots already have Vincent Kompany as their main named athlete, and we put on the latest incarnation of the Gambler S-Lite to see what all the fuss is about.
Warrior Gambler II S-Lite FG Review Looks
The design and shape of the boot is not far off perfect. It has a low profile at the front of the boot which allows you to get under the ball easily and provides no issue when needing that delicate chip over the centre halfs. The laces being slightly offset help to compliment the narrow design.
The one problem I personally have on the looks is the colour. Whilst my personal preference on boots is black, in comparison to some of the other Warrior boots this bold red could be deemed as rather dull. So when pulling these out of a kit bag in the changing rooms they are a bit of a head turner (my flash winger team mates however tell me that they are ‘sick’ in a good way). This boot in all black for me would be ideal but the design is something that everyone can appreciate.
Warrior Gambler Moulds/Sole
Aesthetically the sole of the boot is not brilliant. I do like the use of the gambler symbol on the sole which gives the boot the identity but feel that potentially the moulds could have been designed to look a little more pleasant. However this is obviously something which is only seen when the boot isn’t actually being worn, or when you just tore past the last defender. And whilst in terms of looks they may not be anything special, the performance seems right on point. The 17 bladed stud configuration gives perfect traction for use on grass and also artificial 3G type surfaces. They provide plenty of grip when closing down a player or when turning sharply.
The first thing I noticed when putting on the boot was how incredibly light it was, I felt very light on my feet and played with a sharpness which allowed me to get onto the end of through balls and crosses with ease and nip in and intercept passes. They didn’t have a slow lethargic feel that some comfort boots usually posses.
Warrior Gambler II S-Lite FG Comfort and Feel
I had no problems getting the boots on and felt no need to wear these in the bath in preparation. It usually takes me a few days to break in new boots but within about 10 minutes of playing, the Gamblers felt comfortable, nearly to the point where they were already worn in for me!! The soft putty like tongue allows a very comfortable mould to the foot almost instantly, and provides some form of protection on the top of the foot for those naughty late tackles which usually go unnoticed. After playing 90 minutes in the boot (in the recent heat wave) I was impressed with the ventilation. One problem I usually encounter playing (on artificial turf especially) with new boots is when your feet burn up, but I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case and they helped us cover more ground, especially inside the last 20 minutes of the game.
One of my concerns about the boot is the wear on them. After wearing these in a pretty heated game there were a few small scuffs which I found after. The likelihood is that these will come out after a good scrub/buffing, but there is a potential question mark over the long-term durability of the appearance of the boot. Especially if you like your boots to be as new and mint for every game. The weatherproof aspect will be great for playing in those wet winter months and prevent your feet from getting damp and freezing.
Warrior Gambler II S-Lite FG Review Summary
This boot is a perfect choice for a midfielder or full back who prides themselves on retention of the ball, the Warrior Gambler is extremely lightweight but still possess the stability and quality features that are found in a heavier boot. They have the comfort and control that you would find wearing the CTR360 or predator LZ but are a lighter option and feel less lethargic.
Unlike most lightweight boots they can withstand a tackle and you don’t find yourself bruised from every tackle, stud or kick. The support at the heel is superb, especially for a midfielder who is one step ahead and finds himself getting those clips on the back of the heel, and this feature gives you that protection and confidence to get in those match winning positions.
What I like most about the Warrior Gambler though is the instep grip feature. On the instep there is a plate which provides grip and an enhanced cushioned zone which aids your first touch and gives you that extra split second on the ball, and allows you to instantly look for the switch or even that Hollywood ball in between the fullbacks.
Warrior have definitely done their research in making this pair and it shows. The boot looks great, it is extremely lightweight with a narrow fit, but still manages to not only compete, but excel in the market of being a comfort boot. If you are in the market for an all-round pair of boots then you should definitely take a gamble on these warriors. (Excuse the pun).