Following the arguable football boot of the year in 2010, Nike were always going to have to come up with something special for the CTR360‘s successor, and ended up with the aptly named CTR360 Maestri II along with its elite version. We were lucky enough to be sent a pair of the Elites (thanks to Tim Yu), and now have our full review for you.
Design (4/5, People will be drooling over your boots and begging to try them on and a host of world class players sport them)-
While the original CTR360 was the boot that first made a ton of professionals switch over to the CTR range, the new model has and continues to keep all of those players plus some with the range. Just look at who wears the boots and you will be amazed. In fact, you could create one of the strongest lineups in football strictly with CTR360 II wearers. Cesc Fabregas, Rafael Van der Vaart, Jack Wilshere, Stuart Holden, Andres Iniesta, and Adel Taraabt are just a few of the names that come to mind.
Going onto the actual design and look of the boot, Nike somehow improved the look of the CTR360 II from the original boot, something I had thought was impossible. Specifically with the Elite version, the boot looks very sleek and modern, and quite a bit more ‘streamlined’ than the regular CTR360 II. I also feel that the colorway I reviewed, the original launch colorway (Red/Black/White) is the best of the lot. The way Nike use all three colors together is very effective and make up for an extremely good looking football boot. The red is bright enough to add some color to the boot, while at the same time isn’t over the top and ‘obnoxious’ to onlookers at a match. Simply put, one of the best looking football boots I have ever seen.
Comfort (4/5, Great out of the box comfort, you can wear them straight into a match and be happy with the comfort)-
I had known from previous experience that the CTR range is one of the most comfortable on the market. While the Kanga-Lite material used in the upper may not actually be kangaroo leather, it may very well be in the fact that it truly matches the comfort qualities offered by K-Leather boots. However, that was just my diagnosis after reviewing the original CTR360. After testing the Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly II which obviously has the same carbon fiber sole as the Elite boots, and struggling with its stiffness, I came into testing expecting the same result, and am pleased to say it broke in pretty well and quickly after one training session, despite slight rubbing on the heel. While it was stiff for the first couple of laps during warm-ups, after around 30 minutes, the boot began to mold to my foot and all previous comfort problems had been completely eliminated.
Fast forward a month and you will find a boot that truly has become your own. When I put the boots on now, it takes no effort as the boots have completely redefined what it means to mold to your foot. In terms of sizing, I tested out my regular US size 11, and while the boots are a little roomy at the toes (something I actually prefer), I wouldn’t want any other size as they more or less run true to size.
Performance (3.5/5, There are some performance enhancers that will help some part of your game, You become a noticeably better player due to the performance enhancement offered by the product)-
While not changing too much from the original CTR in terms of performance, Nike did add a few tweaks which undoubtedly make the boot better. The Control Pods have decreased in quantity and size, but rest assured controlling a ball is still made easy by the CTR360 Maestri II Elite. In fact, I believe it helps your control even more than the previous model because it isn’t nearly as thick or as ‘spongy’ in the upper; characteristics which can throw you off trapping a ball. While I’m not saying you will be able to compete with Ronaldinho in terms of touch whilst wearing these boots, you definitely do get an advantage over your opponents, as shown by the number of professionals opting to wear the boots.
Another one of Nike’s performance features on the boots is the Receive Pad on the instep. They replaced the original CTR’s Pass Pad with a different pad featuring swerve fins similar to the Nike Total 90 Laser III‘s. While it isn’t a revolutionary change, it does add to the overall performance of the boot as it is yet another medium for control. Without going too much into detail, the protection offered by the Maestri’s is top quality as well, and in my opinion, second only to the Concaves. Staying on that subject, the boots have one of the nicest strike feelings I’ve experienced when kicking with a pair of football boots. There is just the right amount of padding to create a great strike feel. The weight of the boots is also under 9 ounces, meaning you have one of the lighter boots on the market despite the CTR not even being a speed boot!
Value (3/5, Quite a good value cleat where you get your money’s worth and it will last at least 8 months, plus a bag is thrown in)-
You may be thinking how can a boot with a $300 USD price tag be good value, but I can assure you it certainly is. As shown in my ravings above (well deserved though), the boots are one of my favorite boots ever. They suit any position and any condition. The infamous durability problems that came with the original CTR have been quashed as the boots show hardly any sign of wear despite my wearing them nearly every day for a month and a half. While it obviously hasn’t been 8 months, I see no evidence or reason why the CTR360 Maestri II Elites won’t be able to last that long or even longer. Nike also throw in a shoe bag to go along with the boots, and while disappointingly it’s not the same string bag as last year’s model, it is still a nice bag with ventilation holes meaning your boots won’t stink up too bag.
In summary, the Nike CTT360 Maestri II Elite football boots are my favorite of all time. They truly are the complete package, as they can and do appeal to all type of players and positions with their high performance and design levels. This along with my statement that they are the best of all time, is supported by the number and caliber of top professionals sporting the boots. The only reason they have a lower review score than the original CTR360 Maestri is that the price tag for the original boot is much much lower than the Elite version of the second model. With that said, price aside, there is no doubt that the Nike CTR360 Maestri II Elite is my favorite football boot of all time!