Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Review

MERCURIAL VAPOR IX – REVIEW

One of the ‘big deals’ in the world of football boots, there’s very few who don’t sit up and take notice when a new Mercurial hits the shelves.

And the Nike Mercurial Vapor IX has more piled on it’s shoulders than usual; after the vast improvement that was the Vapor VIII, how will Nike build on that success?

We took a pair of the Neptune Blue / Tide Pool / Volt to the pitch, to find out.

Comfort & Fit – 4/5

Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Review - Comfort & Fit

One of the areas Nike did improve when building the Vapor IX is in the break-in. After the Vapor VIII set a new standard for out-of-the-box speed boot comfort, Nike have been careful to preserve this despite a change in upper material.

The internal lining of the heel and quarter are all but frictionless – which might not be for everyone, but it certainly results in a flawless break in.

Even the re-enforced internal structure adds to the comfort factor, pulling the upper close  to allow it to shape to the form of the foot.

Feel & Touch – 3/5

Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Review - Touch & Feel

Despite the addition of the Speed Control Texture, I can’t help but feel that the Mercurial Vapor IX‘s upper is a step down from the suede version on the early Vapor VIII’s.

However, given that version’s propensity to scuffing and durability issues, it’s not hard to see why Nike needed to opt for something more durable on the Vapor IX.

Throw in the All Conditions Control coating for wet-weather play, and Nike just about restore parity in this department.

Looks – 3/5

Another divisive boot from the swoosh, the Vapor’s predilection for bright colours and bold design already gives it that ‘love it or hate it’ quality.

Throw in the huge branding on the heel and you’ve got a boot that has a serious flash-factor. When you take a pair in hand, though, it’s hard not to enjoy the unique look afforded to it by the dimpled upper.

Durability – 4/5

Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Review - Durability

Whilst our Vapor VIII’s are still going strong (aside from an unholy amount of scuffage), there were plenty of reports surrounding the last Vapor’s durability.

Here on the IX, it looks like Nike have aimed to address all of them with the new design; the upper is far easier to clean, and the contact point between sole and upper at the toe has been reenforced in the name of longevity.

Even the FG studs have also been rounded off at the corners, to stop them catching on very firm or artificial turf as easily. If it weren’t for the white soleplate and laces, we might have been tempted to up the score a little!

Performance – 4/5

Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Review - Performance

It’s hard not to feel a jolt of confidence when you lace a pair of Vapor IX’s up for a game – the thin upper and flush fit make contact on the ball enjoyable across the foot, with laces-first strikes particularly satisfying.

Nike’s decision to opt for a dual-density soleplate has also paid off, with the front of the boot responsive and supportive with every movement of the toes.

Despite sticking with the two-stud heel that worries many, the traction afforded by the FG plate is as good as you’d expect from a Vapor.

Value – 2/5

Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Review - Value

Setting it’s stall out at £160 or £170 for the SG-Pro version, Nike are pricing themselves above what I think is the market average of £150.

And whilst the Mercurial Vapor IX is a great boot – and if you love speed boots, a spectacular boot – there’s not a lot of value-add (like adidas’ miCoach or the old NikeFootball+ codes) besides a neat draw-string bag.

Overall – 21/30

Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Review - Overall

Not the revolution that the Vapor VIII brought to the table, Nike have instead refined that formula on the ninth edition of their now-flagship boots.

Creating a more responsive, comfortable and – most importantly – durable cleat based on the blueprint laid out by the Vapor VIII is just about worth the Vapor IX‘s price of admission if you’re a Mercurial die-hard, but we’re hoping Nike pull out something truly mind-blowing for the inevitable Vapor X.

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  • Anders

    You never mentioned the touch at all, or the fit of the boot (wide/narrow)

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • Lozboi2

    where are you buying this boot at £160 or £170! at sports direct its £120

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • Emperius

    There is NEVER mention of low or high arch support, I always have to be inserting them myself.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • KyleFB

    That’s interesting you should mention, Emperius – I’m fortunate enough to not have any arch issues, so it’s not a massive factor for me – I always mention when a boot has a flatter or wider than average fit, like the Mizuno Wave Ignitus or T90 III, or when it’s particularly tight or padded in that area like on the Original CTR or Predator LZ. What sort of thing would you look for when buying boots with good arch support, let me know and I’ll keep an eye our for it next time. Would a summary at the end of each review help? With things like fit, upper material, number of studs, etc?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • KyleFB

    It’s the RRP set by Nike, which means we can compare it to the RRP’s set by other companies. If we took on the task of comparing where you could find it cheapest, and then comparing it to similar boots and where you could find those cheapest, we’d never get anything done! It also gives us a more valid platform to see how the brands themselves see they’re pricing a boot and what they offer for that cost.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • KyleFB

    You’re right Anders, I did turn it into a bit of a face off with the Vapor VIII in those departments. Fit: True to size, slightly wide in the toes and snug in the midfoot. Touch: Good for a synthetic, it creases and breaks in nicely and doesn’t feel too ‘smooth’ in the wet.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 3 votes)
  • Emperius

    Hi, thanks for the review but yes, arch support is dearly important for many players here, fortunate of those that don’t need them. Yea I would find very useful if such mention and detailed pic with ‘shadow curve’ so to speak to describe how much and how deep the arch support is present, since there is no measurement I can think of. I use Superfeet and they have been a LIFE saver. Other features such as you mentioned would be amazing to include also, thanks for the review and hopefully Nike revives from it’s deep extravagant color craze since the MVIV’s.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • KyleFB

    That’s great, thanks for the feedback. I’ll see if I can get my hands on a pair of Superfeet and try the boots in and out of them so I get a feel for the benefits. I’ll be sure to include a new section in each review with an image of the instep on the inside of the boot and include details on the arches, width, heel support and weight – anything else you’d like me to include, just drop another comment or shoot us a tweet! Thanks again!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • nico

    never thought of arch support. just makes the boot feel weird for me if there was one. i already play in them without the included sockliner(for an even closer feel).

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • nico

    just extrapolating. is it more flexible(the upper) than the suede textured vapor 8? i have the vapor 8…but see no point getting the 9. the jump is not that big in my opinion.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • BOB

    wait i have a question when i put on the size 10 it had a gap between my toe and the front of the boot so it was kinda big yet extremely tight which i dont understand my feet are narrow… secondly the 9.5 is TOO tight idk what to do with that issue? what do you guys think?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  • vivaronaldo

    Use the 9.5 and try to wide them out a bit. I had the exact same problem ;)

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)

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