Blackout boots always seem to cause a stir through the football boot community whenever they are worn by a professional footballer, but it seems Neymar is now the go-to guy for Nike when it comes to testing out prototypes of new boots! Neymar wearing some mysterious blackout prototype boots last week had everyone asking the same question: what are they? We have taken a long, hard look at the photos (and deliberated for even longer) and we think we have come up with the answer.
So what do we think the boot is, well here is our judgement:
We have heard this one being thrown around. A lot. And we are going to rule this one out straight away. We did not think we would have to say this, but quite a few people believe it is the next T90. There are several reasons why we believe we can safely rule the T90 out, while Neymar’s boots are very low profile, it is nothing like the shape of a traditional T90 boot. Not only that, the stud configuration is definitely one that you are more likely to see on a Mercurial Vapor than you would a T90. Lastly, Neymar’s boots look rather light, a road that is not tread upon by the T90. The off center lacing is the only thing to suggest it could be a T90, but we think there is definitely a storng argument against it then for it.
The new Mercurial Vapor IX?
In short, no. Photos of the Nike Mercurial Vapor IX has been hanging around the net for quite some time now, and yes while it does feature the same dimpled synthetic upper as the mysterious Neymar blackout prototype, the Vapor IX will share the same stud configuration as the Vapor VIII. The Neymar prototype has a unique stud configuration different to anything that we have ever seen on a Nike boot. This is an option that has been thrown into the air by quite a few people, but we are going to be ruling this one out too.
The next Nike GS?
Hmmm, now we are getting into more interesting territory, but still going to give this one a very low chance. Nike are releasing a new GS around Christmas, but the design of the new GS is not that different to the design of the original GS released a few months ago. We have already seem Mario Gotze test out prototypes of the new boot and the boot we see Neymar wearing is definitely different to what the German midfielder was wearing. The soleplate is different, the upper is different, it has a different lacing system. We cannot see it happening.
The Nike Mercurial Vapor X?
Bingo, here we go. While it does seem very farfetched, hear us out here. You see, whenever Nike goes about designing a prototype of a Mercurial Vapor, they often keep something successful from the Vapor it is replacing to ensure that the boot is not 100% different. While the jump from the Superfly III to the Vapor VIII was pretty drastic, the Superfly III kept the Flywire and SenseStud of the Superfly II, the Vapor IX will keep the same stud configuration as the Vapor VIII. Here, we predict that Nike are going to keep the dimpled upper from the Vapor IX and throw it onto the Vapor X. This is one big similarity between Neymar’s prototypes and the soon to be released Vapor IX, and with Nike always trying to keep something from an old Vapor onto their new models, it does make sense.
But there is another way of looking at it, Nike will be releasing the Vapor IX in January next year, and considering Nike normally allows each Vapor 12-15 months in the spotlight until it gets pulled down, it means that we are anticipating the Vapor X to come out in the spring of 2014. And what major football event do we have in 2014? The World Cup of course. The companies know the World Cup is their best opportunity to cash in on football hype. The Vapor is the boot that will be seen on the feet of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar at the World Cup, the two darlings of the football world, so Nike will want to make sure the boot is perfect by the time the tournament starts. Developing a boot takes a long time, so with Nike starting to develop a boot now, it will be ready by the time the Vapor X is expected to be launched. Definitely the favourite.