Umbro Tocco IV: An Adventurous Take on Leather

What Umbro says about the Tocco IV: A modern, leather boot 

Boot style: Leather

Weight: 207g (7.3oz) for a size UK 8.5

Inspired by the Umbro Tocco 1

Umbro has been one of the longest-standing names in football, and for good reason.

In its 100th year of operation, they’ve been the boots for almost every young football player, but have they adapted their designs to a more modern game? That’s the big question for their newest boot, the Umbro Tocco IV. Stylised as the Tocco “IV”, the boot is built for a smooth touch, long life, and optimal comfort. “Tocco’, which is Italian for “touch”, is really embodied in the soft leather used in the upper.

With three previous generations all providing radically different designs, the Tocco IV plays it safe by what appears to be returning to the silhouette of the Tocco 1, with some modifications. Umbro have kept a variation of the sockliner, as well as the burrito tongue and the same soleplate, as well as a focus on quality, long-lasting leather.

In hand, the Tocco IV feels like it has a solid build quality, though I wondered if it would really WOW me, considering they’ve kept it safe for their past few leather boot releases.

Tough as a Tank

Combining all the new features of the Tocco IV “tocco-ther” (terrible pun, I know), one of the main unique selling points is the boot’s build quality, and expected longevity. It uses a new type of leather called Pittards Armor-Tan®, claiming to be more durable and abrasion resistant than the previous generation.

A quick search about Pittards Armor-Tan®, we learn that it’s made from calf leather where this tech “encases the leather fibres in microscopic ceramic plates in order to improve abrasion resistance and long term durability.” It also incorporates their “WR100X water and perspiration resistant process that protects the leather, keeping it supple and comfortable over time.”

Even with this tougher leather, the material is still soft to the touch and doesn’t affect touch or comfort in any negative way, so I can only take Umbro’s word that these boots will last.

In addition, the mid and rear sections of the boot are lined with ripstop material for reduced weight, breathability, and durability. The ripstop is mostly prominent on the lateral side of the boot, with multiple panels surrounding the double diamond Umbro logo, and a single panel on the medial side. There are also thin ripstop panels on the upper heel of the boot, but they’re more for cosmetic purposes, looking like the vents of a sports car.

Unique Upgrades to an Understated Boot

The Tocco IV blends traditional leather with subtle upgrades in the structure of the boot. What I would consider an upgrade is the medial side of the boot, now returning to a burrito-instep, similar to the Tocco 1 Pro. With the leather wrapping the instep, it provides a closer fit to the shoe on the inside-half of the shoe, and offers a vacuum-like fit in the forefoot while still having the tongue part of the shoe open for adjustability.

The sock liner inside the boot is soft and rises along the profile of the boot for complete coverage, but the liner at the heel is lacking lockdown due to lack of depth in the heel cup. A pair of grip socks is definitely needed with these, even with the sturdy midfoot lockdown coming from the burrito tongue. 

A Game Changer? Not Quite Yet

£185 for what it is, I will respectfully say that there are better options out there. For slightly more money, you can get the superior Nike Tiempo Legend 10 or the adidas Copa Pure 2. Both provide a better fit and other advancements that the Tocco doesn’t have. For example, Umbro again has played it too safe and used the same soleplate since the first Tocco, which has gotten feedback from several reviews that the studs are too short for FG use. 

I have flat, wide feet, and always a UK 8, but I got an 8.5 this time and found that it fit well, without fear of the leather getting too loose because of the stitching. The boots fit well width-wise, though they are a bit long, regardless of the extra half-size up, and the leather softened quickly to my foot.

As a defender, I appreciate the pillowy padding of the leather upper for a supple touch and added protection from getting stuck into challenges. Receiving and launching passes were an absolute joy with these, and even though they are a leather boot, the Tocco IV experience reminded me of the Nike CTR II. I felt particularly good when playing long balls and shielding the ball, as the leather felt great pinging a long pass, and the short studs helped me keep ball control while shielding. 

However, I struggled to get sufficient traction with the lack of length and aggression in the stud pattern. Jockeying and turns were fairly smooth due to the simple and short studs, but because of them, I also felt a lack of acceleration and sprinting. In addition to the latter, the lockdown in the boots was poor to be honest, due to a shallow heel cup and insufficient padding at the rear, and so I couldn’t trust myself making aggressive movements. 

Umbro Tocco IV: Traditional leather feel, with some bells & whistles

The Tocco IV definitely has some attractive elements to it: Technical additions like the ripstop mesh that improve an existing solid leather boot, but it’s not enough to move the needle of interest. 

It’s a step in the right direction, but in a world where knit and carbon fibre reign supreme, there just isn’t enough in the Tocco IV to make me consider it a contender with the other flagship leather boots from other big brands.

I’ll keep the Toccos in my rotation, but only use them on hard/AG surfaces, on hot days, and in games where I’d want a more comfortable playing experience rather than focusing on performance.

Other recommendations

If you enjoy all-round leather boots like the Umbro Tocco IV, you might also like the Mizuno Morelia Neo IV Beta Japan, the Adidas Copa Pure 2, and ASICS X-Fly Pro 2.

Umbro Tocco IV: An Adventurous Take on Leather
Who is this for?
The Umbro Tocco IV is for players who want a simple, lightweight leather boot.
Upper padding (1 for thin, 10 for thick)
Width (1 for slim, 10 for wide)
Value for Money (1 for less value, 10 for great value)
Stud Traction (1 for slippery, 10 for grippy)
Lockdown (1 for loose, 10 for secure)
Sole Rigidity (1 for natural, 10 for responsive)
Reader Rating0 Votes
The Good
Burrito instep provides snug fit
Improved, modern look
Soft leather upper wrapping foot
Solid build quality
The Bad
Poor-fitting heel
Expensive for what it is
Stud pattern lacks bite
out of 10
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