Seeing as Soccer Reviews has already reviewed the Nike Total 90 Laser IV football boots in-depth, we used the pair Nike sent to us to do further testing as well as giving us the opportunity to try something new; a video review. See the video below as well as our text review, and please let us know what you think of both. Do you prefer to have a video accompanying a text review, or does text suffice? We’d appreciate any feedback. Thanks to Tim Yu and Yewande Ogunkoya for supplying the boots, this review wouldn’t be possible without them. Credit to Madeline Kim for the photography.
By: Michael Doswell and Ben Perkins
Love them or hate them, the new Nike T90 Laser IV boots have been raising eyebrows around the globe since their release earlier this month. Now that the proverbial dust has settled, it’s time to look beyond the hype and see how they favour in the face of Soccer Reviews exhaustive testing. Do they hit the mark, or miss the target? Let’s find out.
Let me get this out the way first. I didn’t really like the release colourway of T90’s at first, however, since playing in them, I have really grown to like the boots and the color scheme. With that said, I think they would look fantastic blacked out so I might do something to make that dream a reality… Looking beyond the superficial, I think the design of this boot is actually quite beautiful. I love the more streamlined profile and the detailing, such as the angled stitching. I also think that when compared with the instep ‘pods’ of the Laser III, the technology included is done so in a much more complimentary way. Overall though I get the sense that with this boot more than any other each component has been designed to fully optimise the end result, which cannot be said for some of the other premium boots currently available.
Despite not being marketed as specifically a comfort boot I think the T90’s set a new standard in this department. The synthetic leather, despite being light, is soft and yielding straight out of the box and the leaner profile ensures your foot feels secure and supported. After a short period of mild discomfort during breaking in the TPU plate becomes comfortable and flexible, aided by the slight change in stud positioning, which enables greater ease of foot flexion.
The dimpled EVA sock-liner provides added cushioning, as well as arch support and extra padding around the ankle/achilles area ensured I felt no rubbing or discomfort in this region, at any time during testing. The control and striking areas, despite the extra technology moulds around the foot without issue and as time has progressed I believe the T90’s have only become more comfortable and pleasurable to wear. Finally, far be it for me to wax lyrical, I must again enthuse over the quality of the Laser’s tongue design. It envelops the top of the foot beautifully and it has yet to require any adjustment during games and training.
After testing in a majority of playing conditions I am more than satisfied with the performance of the T90’s. The studs grip all the required surfaces well, including firm pitches, slick surfaces and 3G turf. I am still sceptical with regards to the effectiveness of the ridged soleplate, but have yet to slip during dynamic movement. Despite being soft, the synthetic leather is surprisingly lightweight, so this aids in speed, responsiveness during sprinting as well as ease of movement. Due to the supreme comfort of this boot, short passing and control were natural and assured. The T90’s allow for a beautifully soft touch when controlling longer passes and side footing the ball around is accurate and assured. When running with a ball, the boots themselves felt responsive to the surface. However I did have a minor issue with small, intricate manipulation of the ball. I think the extra comfort afforded by this boot does impact the receptiveness when performing quick ball movements or tricks along the ground. I also think this is further hindered by having the abrasive swerve fins so far towards the toe. As I am more of a touch player this is a price I am willing to pay, but if you class yourself more in the Messi or Ronaldo mould then you need to think carefully about this area before investing.
When incorporating more power into striking the flight of the ball generally stays true and straight. As stated in my first impressions, when wrapping your foot around the ball with power it does tend to draw from one side to the other slightly more than with a standard boot, due more to the off centre lacing than anything else. However I got used to this very quickly and after minor adjustment (Starting curled shots/passes out a bit wider) had no further issue.
I was initially very impressed when testing shooting and power striking with the T90 Lasers and over time my opinion has yet to change. I would say any specific power gains are probably marginal, however striking the ball forcefully is both satisfying and accurate. The swerve fins, as well as the off centre lacing do allow for noticeable curl and bend, although I was most impressed with the amount of dip and sideways movement I could get when striking through the back of the ball. When I really powered through the strike, keeping the trajectory flat the ball naturally dipped and moved en route to the target. Most impressive of all though is that for me at least the T90’s allowed me to be in control of how I wanted the ball to travel. Be it hard and straight or curling and dipping, the boots gave me that option and allowed me to execute the strike effectively and decisively.
Although you can already pick these boots up for cheaper, the RRP of the T90 Lasers is £140. For that you get the boots and a lightweight bag. In my opinion no boot should cost more than £100 and the majority of the major manufacturers are pushing the consumer beyond what is fair, especially considering the financial climate. However if you have the money and are weighing up the options, you would be hard pushed to find a better boot. I believe the technology included will positively impact your performance and if power and striking is what your games all about, you should definitely consider the T90 Laser IVs. One thing I will be keeping my eyes on is the durability of the boots as there has been some slight separation between the upper and the soleplate which consequently allows turf to get in there, and while that doesn’t inhibit your performance, it is a hassle nonetheless. I will keep you updated on any potential durability issues I face while continuing to wear the Nike Total 90 Laser IV.
TOTAL: 16.5/20 83%
1. Comfort: Bar the Umbro Speciali Statement, these boots are the most comfortable pieces of hardware I have ever worn, and that is saying something. I was skeptical at first when I heard that the upper was synthetic, but that doesn’t affect anything at all as the boot truly molds to your feet.
2. Performance: Not many boots do what they promise, but the Nike Total 90 Laser IVs are one of the few that actually do. One would be hard pressed to find a pair of boots that feel better to strike the ball in than the Total 90s as it truly is a joy to kick a football in them.
3. Design: Previous incarnations of Nike’s power boot were bulky things, particularly the third edition, but this time around, the Nike design team has really cut off ‘excess baggage’ and made the boots look sleek, something that works very well with the overall design and structure of the boot.
1. Durability: The only potential negative is one regarding durability, and so far, other than the slight separation between the upper and soleplate, the boots have held up well. Stay tuned to Soccer Reviews as we’ll post about how the Nike Total 90 Laser IVs are holding up in a month’s time. Also, something worth noting, these boots will not stay as pristine and clean as at the time of their purchase. The white colorway begs for scuffs and marks, but that’s not too big of an issue for me, and this can be easily remedied by purchasing one of the darker colorways that have been released since the initial boot launch.
With this one release, Nike have reinvigorated their fabled T90 line and actually their whole football sector as they’ve taken some of the pressure off the Nike CTR360 Maestri football boots. I have tested quite a few boots to say the least, and the boot that now occupies the top spot is the Nike Total 90 Laser IV, no mean feat at all. The boot is an overall class act, with unparallelled comfort, uncompromising performance levels, and a sleek new design. As demonstrated by the substantial number of professionals that opt to wear these boots and the variety of positions in which they ply their trade, these can be worn by any sort of player, and I can guarantee if you do end up buying these boots, you will not be disappointed. Fantastic work from Nike!