Perhaps the most recognized speed boot name in the world, the latest Mercurial Vapor was released with the intention of taking the crown of best speed boot on the market, and here is how we think it has fared.
Design 4/5 (People will be drooling over your boots and begging to try them on, and a host of world class players will sport them)
The Mango colorway that we received from Nike is possibly the brightest boot ever to be released on the market. It is almost impossible not to spot, and you know they are bright when TV’s struggle to project that color. The new design is sleek, soft and just screams ‘SPEED!’ Although these boots are much plainer then some of the previous Vapor incarnations in design and aesthetics (especially the Superfly’s), they look more classy, and are extremely impressive when you have them in your hands. Overall, great looking boot and innovative design.
Comfort 3.5/5 (Not the most comfortable boot available, but definitely one of the best in the speed silo)
Perhaps the most comfortable Nike Mercurial Vapor to date, the VIII’s produce an incredible amount of comfort when compared to previous Superfly and Vapor models. They are not the slightest bit stiff when wearing them, and are probably softer than a lot of leather boots out there! These boots are really comfortable, mold to your feet really well and could be the most comfortable speed boots on the market, except for one thing. I got the dreaded blisters. Maybe it is just me, but whilst wearing the Vapors I got a lot of blisters, mainly on both of my big toes. Unfortunately, even after months of wearing them, I still got a blister in a game last Friday. That is what is preventing this boots from earning a 5 in this particular category. However, I’m extremely pleased at how Nike were able to fix their breaking in problems that the Superfly struggled with. In regards to fit, these more or less fit true to size, although run a little narrower and longer than the average boot, but not so much as to warrant ordering a size down.
Performance 3.5/5 (There are some performance enhancers that will help some part of your game)
Starting off, the most impressive aspect of the Vapor VIII’s performance is the traction. Hands down the best traction out there no matter what silo or boot it is, the Vapor really does offer unparalleled traction. I’m in love with the sole plate and want to replace it and put it on my adiZero’s and my PUMA’s! You feel a fantastic amount of grip and push when you sprint and you feel so much faster (even though you may not be faster, ah the beauty of the placebo effect!). As speed is one of the best aspects of my game, sprinting is a joy with these boots and it gives you so much more confidence. Nike have done an absolutely fantastic job with their sole plate, so hats off to them!
In terms of kicking and passing there is nothing special about these boots that stands out, however I am a big fan of the shape of the Vapors. The straighter shape when comparing it to the adiZero’s and V1.11 SL’s aid for much straighter long balls that are harder to replicate in its competitors. Even though the boots are straighter it does not compromise the amount of swerve you can produce. The nice clean surface makes for nice passing, and the upper is nice to strike with, and you feel no pain when drilling the ball.
Dribbling and first touch are great in these boots, as they have been with the previous models, but nothing stands out more than usual. Overall performance-wise these boots do a solid job, but besides the amazing sole plate, nothing else really stands out.
Value 3/5 (Quite a good value cleat where you get your money’s worth and it will last at least 6 months, plus a bag is thrown in)
As usual these boots come with a nice string bag, and are at a much more reasonable price then previous models at $219. However, I am quite worried about how durable these boots will be. The upper scratches like crazy, and I mean crazy. The amount of scratch marks I have on my boot are quite disappointing and take away from the nice design. The thin and super soft upper is what worries me, but so far besides the scratches the boots are holding up well, and should last you at least 6 months.
Total 14/20 (70%)
Nike have done a great job to resurrect the Mercurial Vapor line. At times prior to this boot’s launch, Ben and I had discussions saying that Nike were out of it, and would not be able to compete with adidas and possibly even PUMA bar the ever impressive and successful CTR360 range. However, we were proved wrong and the new Mercurial Vapor VIII has the right to be named one of the best speed boots on the market today. They are comfortable, perform well and have an excellent sole plate that aids for fantastic traction.
The big question is, have Nike done enough to dethrone the ‘King of Speed’. the adidas Adizero II Leather?
And my answer to that is….no.
Expect a full comparison review and video of the speed boots in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, what do you think of my take on the new Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII? Leave a comment below.