The Under Armour ‘State Pack’ football cleats are back again for the UA All-American Game and they are better than ever. By creating special versions of the Highlight MCs for each of the 10 most represented states at the AAG, players can match their pride and style to their elite game. Don’t see your state? There’s a special USA version too. Let’s break down all of the designs.
It’s time to turn your country pride up to 11. From a Bald Eagle to Mount Rushmore to Lady Liberty herself, this cleat has so much patriotism on it that it’ll cause bystanders to spontaneously break into choruses of “America the Beautiful.”
The Lone Star State is home to many of the nation’s top 5-star recruits so their special cleat better bring it. By including everything from cacti to tacos, oil to cowboys, these really show why nobody messes with Texas.
For football players with Georgia on their mind, these fresh cleats fit the bill. State staples like music and burgers are highlighted and iconic locales like Augusta help ensure that your style stays just peachy.
Alabama and football go hand in hand. So it’s fitting that their colorway focuses on everything that makes the state stand out. Popular nicknames like the Heart of Dixie and mottos like ‘Alabama the Beautiful’ are a major key to this cleat.
Of course, the futuristic Terrapins logo plays a big part of this cleat, but the Maryland love doesn’t stop there. A historical figure (Edgar Allan Poe), a popular cuisine (crab), and a famous nickname (Old Line State) all help bring to light what makes this state truly special.
A state so rich in history deserves a cleat rich with style. The Keystone State cleat pays homage to its legendary native son Ben Franklin as well as its status as the birthplace of the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address.
From the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field to the historical Union Stockyard to the awe-inspiring Sears Tower, famous landmarks litter the design of these Illinois cleats. Players hungry for touchdowns will love the Chicago-style hot dog and deep-dish pizza patterns as well.
At the heart of it all, though, we get to Ohio. With both the Rock and Roll and Pro Football Halls of Fame featured on these cleats, it’s easy to see why the state is the center of the universe for so many top-flight football stars.
In addition to the cleats, we have special gloves for each state as well. Make sure to complete your look!
Which state will you rock? Let us know in the comments.
The Under Armour All-America Game features over 90 of the nation’s top recruits. One name to watch? Michigan commit Kwity Paye.
What do Julio Jones, Jameis Winston, and A.J. Green have in common? Well, besides being some of football’s biggest stars, they also all played in the Under Armour All-America Game. The yearly showcase is broadcast live on ESPN and features over 90 of the country’s top high school seniors.
When you watch the game, held this year on January 1 at 1 p.m. ET in Orlando, you are seeing the future of football. Now in its tenth year, the event has already featured 120+ NFL draft picks (30+ first rounders) and multiple Pro Bowlers. This year’s roster is the most stacked one yet and one of the names to watch is definitely Bishop Hendricken High School star Kwity Paye.
A world-class running back AND defensive end, Paye is the first Rhode Island player to ever attend the Under Armour All-America Game. He was recently named Gatorade Rhode Island Player of the Year and has committed to the University of Michigan where he will play along the defensive line. We had the chance to chat with Kwity about his bright future, big goals, and incredible journey.
Eastbay: Congratulations on being invited to the Under Armour All-America Game! That’s quite an honor. How excited are you to play in the game?
Kwity: It’s a great opportunity for me and Rhode Island. I’m the first person from this state to be invited, so I’m excited to go there and show the rest of the country what this state is all about. People overlook Rhode Island when it comes to football so hopefully I can go out there and show everyone how we do football.
Eastbay: The game will be on ESPN. What skills do you want to showcase to everyone watching?
Kwity: I’ll be playing d-end at Michigan, so I definitely want to make some plays. Hopefully I can grab a couple of sacks.
Eastbay: Let’s talk a little about Michigan for a second… The recruiting process can be so crazy and for top prospects like you, you heard from tons of different schools… What made Michigan the right fit?
Kwity: Over time, I started to notice that some recruiters were pushing me to commit. Michigan was very laid back. They said, ‘It’s your choice, your life, you can do what you want.’ They didn’t push me and that was a huge factor. They let me take it easy during the whole process and have fun with it.
Eastbay: Playing for Coach Harbaugh has to be fun too…
Kwity: Oh yeah, he’s a great coach. When he was on the 49ers, he brought them to a championship. And now, at Michigan, he’s helping that program rise. They were already really good and now they’re becoming great. So I have a lot of trust in him.
Eastbay: When it came to making your decision, whose advice did you really listen to?
Kwity: I would say my mom. She’s been there throughout my career and kind of let me decide what I wanted to do. She said, ‘This is your life. Really think and pray on it.’
Eastbay: During your time at Hendricken, you were a star running back and defensive end. What position did you like playing more?
Kwity: I started as an offensive player, but I’ve kind of fallen in love with the defensive side of the ball. My defensive coordinator helped form me into the defensive lineman I am right now. He spent a lot of time working with me and teaching me all of the new schemes.
Eastbay: What challenges did you have when you switched over to defense?
Kwity: Once my main position switched to defense, I had to focus more on reading tackles, pulls, and things like that. I had to watch a lot of film, pay attention, and work extra hard in practice every day.
Eastbay: OK, a young football player comes up to you and wants to be where you are now—a big-time recruit about to play for a major college program and with a really bright future. What advice do you give him?
Kwity: I would say, ‘Don’t choose your position right away.’ I thought I was going to be a running back, but sophomore year they moved me to LB. Then eventually I moved to d-line. I was kind of bummed out about it at first. But I learned that wherever your coach moves you, you should take pride in that and put 100% into it. That might be the one place where your team needs you.
With summer here, and the fall season fast approaching, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to scour the market for the best cleats available for the 2014 season. Taking all positions into account, this roundup includes five cleats we consider to be the absolute top of the class for the upcoming season.
Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite
Built for speed and weighing in at just 9.8 ounces, the Nike Vapor Carbon Elite is perfect for players who need to fly to the ball. Defensive backs, wide receivers, and running backs will benefit from Dynamic Flywire technology. It flexes with your foot to provide lockdown support that doesn’t restrict your movements, allowing you to cut on a dime and accelerate explosively. The Carbon V-plate flexes with your foot’s natural range of motion to enhance propulsion, while “shovel” cleats eliminate micro-slippage that costs you valuable seconds.
Want to take it up a notch? Newly released is the Nike Vapor Ultimate. An amped up version of the Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite, this cleat utilizes Flyknit construction, Nike’s most advanced upper technology, to create something that’s more than just a cleat, it’s an extension of your foot.
Nike CJ Elite 2 TD
Designed for the game’s most dynamic receiver, the CJ Elite 2 TD is an excellent all-around cleat for any position. The mid-cut offers ankle support, while a wide adjustable strap, reinforced with Dynamic Flywire technology provides lockdown support that reacts and adjusts to your movements, giving you more explosion in and out of cuts. The composite TPU mesh in the upper protects the feet from collisions, while still providing the ventilation and breathability needed to keep you comfortable. Rounding it all off, Nike’s implemented a cleat plate that’s been designed to maximize multi-directional propulsion.
adidas adiZero 5-Star 3.0
Weighing in at just 6.7 ounces, the adiZero currently owns the title of lightest football cleat on the market, and make no mistake about it; speed is in its very DNA. Built with a SprintSkin upper that features Shockweb technology for lightweight durability and support, and finished off with a SprintFrame outsole to maximize acceleration and multi-directional traction, every single element of the adiZero 5-Star 3.0 has been scrutinized to reduce as much weight as possible while still maintaining the support and comfort that every-down players require. If you’re a player that’s looking to do whatever it takes to be as fast as possible, this is the cleat for you.
Under Armour Spine Brawler
In a lineman’s world, consistent performance is the name of the game. It’s a thankless job that requires grueling, physical effort down after down. Under Armour built the Spine Brawler specifically with those warriors of the trenches in mind. ClutchFit technology combines with a Power Clamp to keep your feet locked in and secure while you’re straining against the 300lb monsters opposite of you. A Spine plate outsole completes the package, removing unnecessary weight to keep you nimble and agile, while retaining the stiffness needed to support massive applications of force.
Under Armour Highlight MC
Light is the name of the game in football today, but more often than not, players who choose ultra-light low-top cleats still end up taping their ankles for added support. Under Armour created the Highlight MC and killed two birds with one stone. Last year’s model was outfitted with UA’s CompFit technology. This year’s update scraps that in favor of UA’s new ClutchFit technology. ClutchFit is a unique lightweight material, constructed in such a way that it flexes with your every movement, but responds to pressure and stiffens up when you need additional support. The lightweight nature of ClutchFit material allowed UA to build a super high cleat with extraordinary support, without sacrificing the all-important lightweight factor.
Innovation is the key to becoming better in everything that we do. When it comes to sports equipment, there are very few innovations that really change the direction of the culture, and oftentimes the technology is years in the making. Under Armour has a new (to the public) creation that might be the next innovation that changes the way you work out and participate in sports. The technology in the new line of Under Armour ArmourBite mouthpieces and mouthguards has been in the works for about 15 years. However, if you think about it, it’s something that humans have been unknowingly been researching for many more years.
Dating back to early Viking warriors that used to bite on leather when they set out for battle, we’ve had a vague idea that there were benefits to clamping down in an effort to get more out of our own capabilities. There were other signs throughout history as well. We’ve seen it depicted in movie scenes where someone, such as a wounded soldier or a woman giving birth, is seemingly able to will themselves past their own limits by clenching their jaw and biting down on a towel as they persevere on. Thankfully, after years of less-appealing substitutes, Under Armour has been working on the keys to creating performance mouthwear.
For the last 15 years, scientists have researched the technology behind the Under Armour ArmourBite line. It seems that all those years of research have paid off. Under Armour’s Performance Mouthwear has been shown to increase strength by an average of 17 percent with the ArmourBite Mouthpiece (for non contact sports such as baseball, cycling, and tennis) and 12 percent with the Armourbite Mouthguard (for contact sports such as football, hockey, and martial arts). For athletes like football players, who spend as much time in the weight room as they do on the field, switching up to the ArmourBite Mouthpiece while lifting should help them add some more plates to that bar.
A handful of professional athletes have already been using Bite Tech mouthwear, (the company behind the ArmourBite technology); Derek Jeter, Larry Fitzgerald, Georges St-Pierre, Lindsey Vonn and Adrian Peterson are just the beginning of an impressive list. In fact, over a dozen professional athletes have taken the phrase “put your money where your mouth is” literally and invested in Bite Tech, the company that has partnered with Under Armour to create ArmourBite. For athletes that aren’t used to wearing mouthguards, such as golfers, the ArmourBite Mouthpiece is almost unnoticeable when speaking. In fact, a number of professional golfers, including Hunter Mahan and Bruce Fleisher, already wear the Mouthpiece, but you wouldn’t even notice it.
About a year and a half ago, Under Armour made these available through dentists around the country, but at a price of over $300, which is a little steep for most of us amateur athletes, despite the performance gains, reduced stress and increased endurance it offers. Now bringing it to the public for the first time, however, Eastbay makes it available for just $59.99.
Just like Under Armour has shown their ability to lead the way in developing performance compression apparel, ArmourBite is poised to help them take their place at the forefront of performance mouthwear.