by Stephen Garner

Global football brand Umbro is turning back time and re-launching a collection of iconic footwear from the ‘90s.

The Archive Research Project collection (ARP) features iconic football training styles from the Umbro archives including the Neptune, the Run M, and the Exert Max, which all reference contemporary sneaker trends. Each style has a subtle design refresh to bring the collection up-to-date. With its spring/summer 2019 Archive Research Project, Umbro not only underlines its place as one of the original British sportswear brands, but also forwards its conversation with trend-led and heritage-informed sneakers.

Featuring a jagged and chunky phylon sole unit, the Run M sneaker has evolved into a style to be reckoned with. The design is a literal interpretation of the original Runner M, first introduced in 1997, and was designed specifically for footballers to wear while training. The updated style features trend-inspired colorways, including a tonal tan and clean all-white, and two classic colorways of sporty Ibiza blue and blazing yellow. All colorways include a performance mesh upper, oversized outsole and repeat branding across the sneaker. The Run M also features bold paneling details that wrap and support the midfoot and forefoot, creating an on-trend silhouette.


Umbro’s Neptune stays closest to its original silhouette, featuring a nostalgic speed lacing system and mesh panels. Available in colorways inspired by the original style, the sneakers combine vermillion, blazing yellow, Ibiza blue and nimbus cloud. A heavy logo presence includes an oversized black Umbro double diamond on the white outsole, brand logo across the side of the upper and an embroidered white logo on the tongue. Combining the aesthetic of the original sneaker with modern technology, Neptune is updated with a thicker injected phylon sole unit, creating a striking style.

With its high-fashion looks the Exert Max sneaker will appeal to a fashion-forward audience. Featuring a chunky, aggressively textured white sole with a soft contrasting upper, the distinctive outsole draws inspiration from an archive style originally developed as a training shoe for aerobic exercise. Constructed using a breathable performance mesh upper featuring a combination of zigzag leather and suede panels, the Exert Max delivers a convincing combination of style and comfort. The Exert Max is available in white, grey, fair aqua, or black colorways with matching monochromatic laces.

In the U.S., Umbro’s Neptune and Run M styles will launch at select Urban Outfitters and on, and on March 19. All styles will retail for $100 each.