BERNAT LÓPEZ / ©XTREM FOOTBALL
There is no question about the success that Nike has established during many years of constant innovation in football fashion. Nowadays, the sports giant holds a crazy 24.75% of the global athletic footwear market, and ranks as the 16th most valuable brand worldwide according to Forbes. Nike’s next move to keep leading the world has a name: Mercurial 360.
While many times the next installment of an established boot line will look very similar to its predecessor, such is not the case for the Mercurial Superfly 360 and Vapor 360. Featuring no sole plate, the boot is entirely constructed around the latest in the Nike Flyknit Technology.
Both boots wrap the entire foot in Nike Flyknit. As a result, this new innovation hugs the foot and eliminates the gaps between the foot and the soleplate. Without a soleplate, the sockliner interlocks with a new internal chassis that is tuned for maximum responsiveness.
Moreover, traction is provided by precisely placed studs in the forefoot and heel. Nike drew inspiration from agile cheetahs and focused on traction at speed, leading to the minimalist approach he affectionately refers to as the cheetah paw.
In terms of design, the Mercurial adopts a clean aesthetic with a small forefoot Swoosh and a bold “M” on the heel. Mercurial players tend to be very fast, so that “M” is the last thing defenders will see when a Mercurial player blows by them. Both the Superfly and Vapor versions of Mercurial 360 feature a soft, one-piece internal lining, part of the effort to reduce the number of boot components.
But who’s gonna wear during the current season this couple of wonderful creations? Easy mate: lots of top players. Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar will be the leaders of Mercurial’s 360 crew, and they will be followed by other big names like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexis Sanchez, Eden Hazard, Philippe Coutinho, Marco Asensio, Kylian Mbappe and Marcus Rashford. It’s showtime.