What Are Nike Mercurials And Why Are They So Popular?

September 9, 2020

Since their first release in 1998, the Nike Mercurial series of football boot has become one of the most popular in the world. Much of this success is related to the association the Mercurial brand has with hundreds of famous attacking players. Nike Mercurial boots have been worn by some of the biggest names in the history of the game, from retired legends like Ronaldo (R9), the player the boot was initially designed in tribute to, to currently active players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

As alluded to, Nike Mercurial football boots have been around for a couple of decades. As an umbrella series, there are many different types of Mercurials, all tied together by their intention to cater to a specific attribute: speed. They are designed to maximize running speed and have become associated with quick, agile wide-players and attackers. Speed isn’t the only thing they offer though. One of Nike’s other primary objectives with this boot seems to be to provide a ‘barefoot feel’, helping its wearer’s touch and ensuring maximum comfort. 

What is the Most Popular Type of Nike Mercurial?

There are many types of Mercurials, with the most recently released Superfly and Vapor lines being the most popular at the moment. At the time of writing, the Mercurial Vapor 13 and Mercurial Superfly 7 ranges are the flagship boots of the Mercurial brand. These boots, along with earlier models, like the Victory and Veloce, are tied together by the principles of the Mercurial umbrella but they all have unique qualities that set them apart. 

What is the Difference Between the Nike Mercurial Superfly 7 and the Nike Mercurial Vapour 13?

The primary difference between these two boots is the ‘Dynamic Fit Collar’. Essentially, the Vapor’s collar is cut below the ankle, while the Superfly has an above-ankle collar, made from a thin lightweight material. The thinking behind the collar is that it promotes a more seamless transition from leg to boot, creating more of a barefoot feel. This collar will cost you around £10 extra which is pretty negligible, given the overall cost of each boot. The choice between these boots is very simple. If you like the dynamic fit collar, go with the Superfly. If you prefer the more traditional below-ankle boot, the Vapor would be the boot to choose. 

Both boots aim for a lightweight feel and fit snugly around the foot. The soleplate is a reduced size, in order to decrease the distance between the pitch and a player’s foot. All in all, both offer the famous Mercurial aesthetic and are designed to be lightweight and tightly fitting, prioritizing speed above all else.

Cheaper Alternatives to the Nike Mercurial Superfly and the Nike Mercurial Vapor Boots

The Nike Mercurial Veloce, an older model of boot, offers a cheaper alternative to the Mercurial Superfly. Like the Superfly, this boot has a collar (albeit a lower quality one) so it would be ideal for someone seeking a similar feel. It is made from lightweight materials but, as you would expect from an older, less expensive boot, the quality does suffer a bit, when compared to the Superfly 7 and Vapor 13. The Volace features horizontal ridges, for strong control of the ball and is far stiffer than the newer models, potentially another positive depending on personal preference. Unlike the woven uppers of the Superfly and Vapor, the finish on the Volace is far more rigid and synthetic, while still aiming for that same tightly fitting Mercurial feel.

If you’d rather a traditional low collar and don’t want to shell out for the newest Mercurial Vapor, you could consider the Victory series. Like the Volace’s, the Victory’s are a cheaper and older model that offer similar benefits. These feature similar characteristics too, from the ridges and synthetic feeling outer, to the tightness and lightweight materials used. 

You should look further into the Mercurial series if your game revolves around speed and if you want to feel a more direct connection with the ground and the ball. Many people are also drawn in by the aesthetics and the boot’s association with the most exciting attacking players in the world.

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