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Dubbed as Nike’s fastest soccer cleats, the Mercurial collection is crafted with an array of explosive technologies fit for a modern-day soccer player. Elements of acceleration are thoroughly translated into innovations and has become the main focal point for manufacturing the cleats under this category.
It is a collection meant for speed in every angle of the cleat. The cleats are engineered with lightweight materials to maximize agility while traction patterns are purposefully arranged for velocity.
Common features in Nike Mercurial soccer cleats
Full Flyknit construction
The Nike research team delved on a mission for four long years that eventually conceived the ground-breaking fabric originally designed for running. In 2012, Flyknit was finally released. The technology sprung from the runners' desire for a sock-like shoe. With that in mind, a layer of breathability, support, and flexibility were engineered.
Flyknit is a micro-engineered fabric made of polyester yarn knitted to produce a seamless and form-fitting material. Its form is varied according to its purpose. For instance, it is more open and breathable as an upper material while it is more compressed and stable in areas that require support.
Two years after its advent, Flyknit has also become apparent in soccer cleats headlining Magista and Mercurial soccer cleats signature upper material. Its pliable and lightweight nature is especially beneficial for soccer dynamics.
From then on, Flyknit has been developed even further to accommodate the current demands of athletes including soccer players. The evolution of this breakthrough has been notably utilized in several other shoes such as in running and basketball.
Benefits of Nike Flyknit
- Flyknit is designed to reduce the overall cleat weight. Moving on the pitch with a light cleat is a headstart for speed. Flyknit, as a woven fabric material is naturally light and has been proven to be generally two ounces lighter than other cleats created with cut and sew method. This competitive cleat quality enhances player acceleration in the pitch.
- Due to the Flyknit’s woven characteristic, it provides a more breathable layer. The three-knit weave aids in enhancing ball touch as less material is used. It is intended to produce a barefoot sensation while sustaining durability.
- The technology is built with an inspiration of having a cleat that feels like second skin. Flyknit’s fabric sensation was constructed to offer a precise fit that hugs the foot snugly.
- Nike aims to decrease waste percentage significantly with the introduction of Flyknit in comparison to other footwears that were produced with a cut and sew method. It is is manufactured in an environment-friendly process, reducing the amount of material used for the upper. With this goal, they have started using recycled polyester to construct the yarn and ended up lessening their environmental waste by 60%.
The best partner for speed is great ball control. With this in mind, the Nike research team came up with a brilliant innovation that significantly elevated the standards for ball touch. The 3D-textured Speed Ribs are the raised surface of the upper material positioned in the parts of the cleat where the ball has usual contact. The friction produced between the ball and this embossed upper enhances the touch on the ball for better dribbling and shooting.
The idea came out from an in-depth analysis of how players control the ball. Their propensity to dribble, switch and shoot the ball were intricately studied to work on the best possible upper texture.
3D Speed Plate
The Nike Mercurial soccer cleats are customized with a plate meant to step the speed game up. The 3D Speed Plate is Nike’s soleplate technology engineered to naturally conform to shape of the foot. It is not the usual flat footbed as what its name suggests. It is contoured to follow the shape of the foot, including the arch, aiming for an exact one-to-one fit.
The whole concept of cradling the foot was the very core of this innovation. It is physiologically tested to reduce pressure points. Consequently, it allows the foot to fit naturally to amplify the return of energy.
The plate is 40% lighter than its previous carbon fiber version as the material used is reduced through a new vacuum process.
Braking is an essential component of speed according to the Nike research team. With this, they have reinvented a stud configuration for the Nike Mercurial soccer cleats intended for an optimized braking system. Among all other types of studs and stud combination, the Chevron studs were deemed to be the most effective in this aspect. The data was gathered after rigorous scientific testing known as FEA (Finite Element Analysis).
Other notable features in Nike Mercurial soccer cleats
Nike Grip System
Nike Grip is an internal cleat feature that serves as an anti-slip element. With this technology, Nike aims to produce great traction inside and outside of the sock to distinctly prevent unwanted slippages and to ultimately, improve player traction.
Created from ultrafine polyester fibers, the innovation takes on grip to a new and unique level by increasing the friction of the foot to the shoe with the presence of the nanofibers.
The Vapor XI FG is one of the Nike Mercurial soccer cleats with this feature.
ACC (All Conditions Control) Technology is the treatment done with the upper material of Nike shoes including the Nike Mercurial soccer cleats. The purpose of this innovation is to protect the cleat in all weather conditions, whether it’s wet or dry. It maintains the surface friction and consequently, enhances ball touch regardless of the weather.
Some of the Nike Mercurial soccer cleats featuring this technology are Superfly V FG and Vapor XI FG.
Some Nike Mercurial soccer cleats feature the Micro-textured synthetic as the upper material. It is a lightweight microfiber material that anatomically conforms to the shape of the foot.
The Nike Mercurial soccer cleats that belong to the Veloce and Victory collection have micro-textured synthetic as the upper material.
Nike Skin Technology
The technology is a layer of hybrid mesh and polyurethane film. The combination of the flexible mesh and supportive PU material creates a protective yet barefoot sensation when touching the ball. The upper innovation is designed to work well with ACC technology.
The MercurialX Finale is one of the few Nike Mercurial soccer cleats embedded with this material.
Soccer cleats in the Nike Mercurial collection
To date, there are more than 100 models of the Nike Mercurial soccer cleats that come in various categories such as surface type and colorways, but the main classification for the cleats are the Mercurial collections. The table below shows the six Nike Mercurial soccer cleat collections, the common features within each collection and cleat examples:
- Nike Mercurial Veloce
- Common Features: Micro-textured Synthetic, Speed Ribs
- Sample Cleats: Nike Mercurial Veloce III Dynamic Fit Firm Ground, Nike Mercurial Veloce III Dynamic Fit Artificial Grass
- Nike Mercurial Victory
- Common Features: Micro-textured Synthetic, Dynamic Fit Collar
- Sample Cleat: Nike Mercurial Victory VI Dynamic Fit Firm Ground
- Nike Mercurial Vapor
- Common Features: Premium Leather, Nike Grip System, Speed Ribs, ACC Technology, 3D Spped Plate
- Sample Cleat: Nike Mercurial Vapor XI Firm Ground
- Nike Mercurial Superfly
- Common Features: Full Flyknit Construction, Nike Grip System, ACC Technology, 3D Speed Plate
- Sample Cleats: Nike Mercurial Superfly V Firm Ground, Nike Mercurial Superfly V Dynamic Fit SG-PRO Soft Ground
- Nike MercurialX Victory
- Common Features: Dynamic Fit Collar, Embossed Ridges, Non-marking outsole
- Sample Cleat: Nike MercurialX Victory VI Turf
- Nike MercurialX Finale
- Nike MercurialX Proximo
Player-Inspired Nike Mercurial soccer cleats
Inspired by the prolific successes of the two soccer prodigies, Neymar Jr and Cristiano Ronaldo, some of the Mercurial cleats designs and official colors are crafted as an honor to their soccer achievements. The Nike Mercurial soccer cleats are crafted with player-inspired design elements that are symbolic to their personal and professional lives. The table below shows the list of the notable player-inspired cleat designs under the Mercurial line:
Neymar Jr Mercurial cleats
- Nike Mercurial NJR Puro Fenomeno
- These soccer cleats are designed in Blue, Silver and Volt color combination likened to the first Nike Mercurial soccer Cleat but is fashioned in a differently striking way.
- Micro-textured Synthetic
- Nike Mercurial Neymar Written in the Stars
- The cleat design elements are reminiscent of Neymar’s personal and career life.
- Designed with the Brazil Flag and the constellations symbolic of his six favorite goals.
- Nike Mercurial NJR Play Fire
- The cleat is fashioned with a unique color scheme which includes University Red, Black and Bright Crimson.
- The bold colors represent Neymar’s fiery passion for the sport.
Cristiano Ronaldo Mercurial cleats
- Nike Mercurial CR7 Cut To Brilliance
- Fractal Diamond Design Pattern
- Nike Mercurial Play Ice
- The main colors of the cleat are:Obsidian,White-Gamma,Blue Glacier and Blue-Gamma.
- The calm hues express Ronaldo’s accuracy and calmness in playing. It is derived from the expression “Ice in your veins” which means the ability to remain calm and controlled in a situation.
- Nike Mercurial CR7 Melhor
- Pure platinum upper and platinum finish
- 3D-textured Swoosh
- The cleats signify Ronaldo’s unbeatable successes in his professional life. “Melhor” means “best” in his native Portuguese language.
Nike Mercurial soccer cleats in history
- 1998 - The very first Nike Mercurial soccer cleat was launched in 1998. Inspired by Ronaldo’s mastery in the pitch, Nike crafted a cleat that suited his striker skills. The silo was engineered with an inspiration for speed, a signature skill in Ronaldo’s playing style. The cleat was made of KNG-100 synthetic upper, a much lighter and thinner material than leather. It was debuted in striking blue and yellow colors to highlight Ronaldo’s feet.
- 2000 - The Nike Mercurial soccer cleat successor was released in 2000. Known for its lightweight quality, the Nike Match Mercurial weighs 230 grams. It was launched together with other cleats in the Alpha Project.
- 2002 - Two years after, the pursuit of speed in the Nike Mercurial soccer cleats was put to a whole different level with the release of the very first Mercurial Vapor. With this cleat, comfort was the new core element to match with acceleration.
- 2003 – A women’s version of the Nike Mercurial soccer cleat was released headlined by Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain
- 2004 - The second version of Mercurial Vapor was released in 2004. Updates to the cleat include a larger heel tab to serve as a cushion for the ankles.
- 2006 to 2008 - Different versions of the Mercurial Vapor cleat were released including its third and fourth versions. Teijin microfiber was introduced as the new upper material and was later redesigned to cover the laces for wider strike zones.
- 2009 - Nike Flywire debuted with the release of better-than-ever Mercurial cleat known as Mercurial Vapor Superfly. Succeeding versions of the cleat continued until the present. The introduction of Flyknit and Dynamic Fit collar became two of the highlights for the cleat’s evolution.
Why are the Nike Mercurial soccer cleats worth investing in?
The Nike Mercurial soccer cleat collection is one of the long-standing line-ups in Nike history. The significant improvements in the collections’ evolution are a proof of the cleats’ superior yet dynamic quality. It evidently shows how much Nike is ready to invest when it comes to the success of their cleats, even if it would take years of study to come up with an breakthrough technology.
The transition from a KNG-100 synthetic upper to a full Flyknit construction is symbolic of the cleat’s never-ending goal for speed. These materials are engineered to be the lightest and most comfortable for the foot. If you are player who put more focus on acceleration on the pitch, then this is one cleat worth investing in.
If a cleat can help save the environment, then is certainly worth investing in. Nike’s Flyknit composition is built to lessen environmental waste due to the reduction of materials in its manufacturing process.
Boots from popular Nike collections are known for their hefty price tag, and the Nike Mercurial soccer cleats are no exception. However, the pricing range is not limited to the high-end Mercurial shoes. There are cleats within the collection that are affordable. For the Mercurial Firm Ground, Indoor and Turf cleats, the lowest-priced cleats are at $85-$95.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between the Nike Hypervenom and Nike Mercurial cleats?
The Nike Mercurial Soccer cleats are engineered for speed while the Hypervenom cleats are created with a vision for traction and power in the pitch.
The table below shows the differences between the two cleat collections according to features.
It is only applicable to most but not all of the cleats within the collection.
- Nike Mercurial Soccer Cleats
- Upper – Flyknit, Speed Ribs
- Soleplate – 3D Speed Plate with full Chevron studs
- Other feature – Nike Grip System
- Nike Hypervenom Soccer Cleats
- Upper – NikeSkin, Textures Strike Zones
- Soleplate – Hyperreactive Plate – Chevron and Hexagonal stud combination
- Other feature – Flywire Cables
Is the Nike Mercurial soccer cleats the best choice for me?
Mercurial cleats are ultimately designed for speed-oriented players. Its lightweight characteristic brought dominantly by its Flyknit upper is meant to build more player confidence while sprinting and controlling the ball. If you are the type of player who wants to go for a head start in shooting the ball by outrunning the defenders, then this cleat built for acceleration will work best for you.
Which cleat is lighter, the Nike Mercurial Soccer cleat or Nike Hypervenom Soccer cleat?
In general, the Mercurial cleats are much lighter than the Hypervenom cleats. The Nike Mercurial soccer cleats weigh approximately 6.09 ounces while the Hypervenom cleats are at 7.02 ounces. However, based on players feedback, the weight difference is not as noticeable when playing.
6 best Nike Mercurial soccer cleats
- Nike Mercurial Superfly 7
- Nike Mercurial Superfly VI Elite Firm Ground
- Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite Firm Ground
- Nike Mercurial Superfly VI Academy Multi-ground
- Nike MercurialX Victory VI Turf
- Nike Mercurial Vapor 360 Elite AG-PRO
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