Superfly season has officially begun, and Nike has dropped the brand’s fastest boot ever just over 100 days out from the World Cup kicking off in Russia.
Forged from a legacy of some of world football’s best athletes, the Mercurial Superfly 360 is 20 years of innovation, with the original Mercurial having launched as a signature boot for the great Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima leading up to the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France (a retro of the famous R9 dropped back in December). Since then, it’s been synonymous with the fastest athletes on the planet. In 2018, a new cast of stars is set to reach the highest levels of performance ever seen in a Swoosh-branded boot yet – Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Alexis Sanchez, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sam Kerr – the list goes on.
Dropping in a collection featuring the Mercurial Superfly 360 and Mercurial Vapor 360 (the latter being the lower cut little brother), Nike’s latest offerings feature freshly-updated Flyknit material, All Conditions Control (ACC) technology and a Dynamic Fit Collar. Tech-wise, the boots’ 360 degree Flyknit construction and Flyknit collar wraps around the foot for an adaptive fit, with the addition of ribbed Flyknit on the upper providing a precision touch at high speed. The idea around the 360 degree construction is that the boot hugs the foot, and this is centred on the concept that if the foot moves just 1mm when inside the boot, speed will be compromised. The Superfly 360 ensures the foot is locked in and as close to the soleplate as possible, effectively working as an extension of the foot.
“This new innovation hugs the foot and eliminates the gaps between the foot and the soleplate. In fact, it eliminates the soleplate altogether,” explains Max Blau, VP of Nike Football Footwear at the collection’s London launch. Underneath, the revolutionary forefoot plate – claw-like in design and fittingly inspired by the Cheetah paw – brings the traction game up to scratch, all in a shimmering but functional style. “This boot is less like a hoof, more like a claw,” explained Blau. “The feedback we get from players is that there is a sensation that the boot just disappears in the way it syncs with the foot.”
Fit-wise, Nike has gone above and beyond to create a platform that caters for every foot size, something never seen before across any brand’s football range. “With previous Mercurials, we based everything on a size 9. But with Mercurial 360, we can deliver properly proportioned fit at every size,” explains Jeongwoo Lee, Nike Football Senior Design Director. “Each size has a unique chassis designed to align with the expected bone structure.” Handy for those plus-sized feet that have forever struggled to find the right fit in a faster, minimalist-style boot.
It all comes together to create revolutionary change for footballers everywhere. The kicker is that while this tech is brand new, Nike is promising that 360 construction will soon appear in Nike footwear across other sports, so expect a big 2018 for the Swoosh.
The Mercurial Superfly 360 will retail for AUD $340 while the Mercurial Vapor 360 will retail for AUD $290. The collection is available from Nike.com and select retailers now.
Bonus points: another colourway is set to drop early next week. The Mercurial Superfly 360 “Black/Total Orange” releases Monday, February 26. Stay tuned for further details.