It’s rare that a company like Warrior comes along and tries to shake things up with the ‘old boys’ of football brands. The adidas’ and Nikes of the world seem so immovable at times, it would be daunting for someone with no football experience to come along and try and oust them.
But oust they have. Warrior came out of nowhere with a record-breaking deal for the kit supplier deal with Liverpool, created a great-looking home kit and are now trying their hand at football boots – all within a year of walking in the door at Anfield.
It’s fair to say then, that Warrior have guts – but does the gutsy looking Warrior Skreamer S-Lite have what it takes to perform at the top level? We found out in our review.
Comfort / Fit – 2/5
In a revelation that absolutely everyone saw coming; the distinctive Arrowhead vamp on the forefoot of the Warrior Skreamer S-Lite is pretty tough out of the box. But surprisingly, it does begin to work well, very quickly.
After a couple of training sessions in the Skreamer, the Arrowhead material does begin to flex and form better than you’d ever expect it to, and the stud configuration disperses pressure evenly on all but the most thread-bare of artificial ground.
The fit is true-to-size and boasts an exceptionally deep lacing system that adjusts to accomodate most widths of feet, however, the heel counter does rub for a while after the rest of the boot has broken in.
But I have to dedicate at least on sentence the insole on the Warrior Skreamer, as it is absolutely remarkable. Like walking around with marshmallows taped to your feet, how Warrior developed an insole that is that cushioned and feels so light is' absolutely' beyond me.
Touch & Feel – 3/5
As with the comfort, this is very much down to the Arrowhead vamp that envelopes the forefoot. Warrior have cleverly wrapped the whole ' of that ‘first touch’ area of the boot in these tiny plastic panel, and the result is that you shouldn’t really miss the natural feel of leather.
However, whilst the area does flex and move exceptionally well for a synthetic covered in more synthetic, it doesn’t give that same buttery leather feel of something like the Tiempo Legend IV or the synthetic leather of the Predator LZ’s Hybridtouch – more on par with something like the synthetic F50 adiZero.
Looks – 4/5
Normally I’d give a boot that falls into the Love it/Hate it category the middle-of-the-road 3/5 – but it’s hard not to love all the little details that Warrior have worked into the Skreamer' S-Lite.
The sunny lead colourway has a lovely sense of ‘flow’ to the design, with all the key elements encapsulated in swooping lines that don’t seem too busy, despite their abundance. ' A watermark-style effect in the dark indigo across the boot reveals maori tatto-esque patterns and text that offer something really different to everything else on the market.
Maintenance – 2/5
Again, the Arrowhead vamp is a factor in this category and – once again, unsurprisingly – it does trap dirt and debris quite readily. But when it comes to keeping your Skreamer clean, that’s not the only problem.
The light Blue and Marigold coloured parts of the boot do seem to scuff fairly easily, and will lose their lustre after a few games. Additionally, the water-mark graphics are printed with some sort of laminate, that does start to peel off – particularly in high-wear areas like around the soleplate.
But aside from the aesthetic issues, it’s hard to be too hard on the Skreamer S-Lite as it has taken a few months of solid play-testing without complaint, and the aspects of the boot that keep it functional (lace eyelets, soleplate separation, heel counter attachment) etc. are' completely' intact.
Performance – 5/5
After a few training sessions, the Warrior Skreamer S-Lite quickly became one of my favourite boots to use. The whole boot is exceptionally light, and feels every bit as good on your foot as a speed boot, thanks to the lacing that adjusts for an snug fit.
Similar to the Mizuno Morelia Neo, the forefoot peaks into a narrow, bladed shape that provides peremptory contact on the ball no matter what the style of strike, cross or pass.
The Carbon Fibre in the sole is used in a thinner, more sparing manner than on boots like the Nike Superfly, never feeling like it’s too rigid to cope with the natural flex of the foot.
Value – 5/5
At 'Ĺ124.99, the Warrior Skreamer S-Lite is a full 'Ĺ25 under what we judge as the ‘average’ price – and normally we’d reserve the 5/5 score so a top-level boot that breaks the sub-'Ĺ100 barrier.
But in the Skreamer’s case, you’re getting a top-level boot, with carbon fibre, bags of neat features and a bang-on 200g weight point, and we think that’s great value for money.
Overall – 21 / 30
It’s fair to say, then, that this is an absolutely outstanding debut football boot from Warrior. The Skreamer' looks great, performs exceptionally and is a great value for money offering compared to some of the other cleats on the market.
Here’s hoping they can build on this in the future and iron out some of the kinks ahead of ‘phase two’ of the Warrior plan.