Nike has long catered to a variety of players; those of pace have the Mercurial, those of Power; the Laser and if you’re focusing on touch there’s the Tiempo.

With those bases covered many have questioned where the long-rumoured new Nike design would fit into Nike’s silo – and now it’s loose we know that the designers have crafted a boot for the centre of midfield. It’s a bold move as it’s a fairly niche market; so how well does it do that job? And will it cater for any other position?

ctr 360 football boots test fabregas

Comfort / Fit

I won’t be the only one who’s a touch wary of the fit of Nike boots; the last two incarnations of the Vapor line have been notoriously abrasive on the heels, and even my old faithful Tiempo Legends left me blistered after the first wear.

I’m thrilled to report that there’s not a hint of any of this transferring over to the Maestri, Nike have clearly taken on board the criticism levelled at them and made what is arguably their most comfortable boot yet.

ctr 360 football boots test

One feature worthy of note is the way the design of the Maestri copes with the addition of the ‘Pass Pad’ on the instep. When you slip on the boot for the first time you’ll feel it pressing onto the arch of your foot, but after literally seconds, the sensation of pressure disappears as the memory foam around the pad moulds to the arch – it’s impressive stuff that makes me wonder whether more boots will implement this technology.

Nike have also invested a decent amount of time and thought into the sole of the boot, with the liner feeling similar to the ArmourFoam found in Under Armour’s line – but with the addition of 2 gel-like zones under the heel and ball of the foot.


Nike have opted for something completely unique for upper of the CTR360; a new material dubbed ‘Kanga-Lite’.

ctr 360 football boost test kanga lite

As the name suggests, it’s a synth-kangaroo leather that aims to be lighter than the real deal, without compromising the qualities that make K-Leather so well suited for football boots.

The upper of the boot has sort of a ‘foamy’, distinctly artificial feel (anyone who’s ever held a pair of those abhorrent ‘Crocs’ sandals will know what I mean). Also, whilst retaining much less water than natural leather, it doesn’t have that grippy feel you get from a leather upper, especially in the wet.

That’s not to say it’s not without its benefits – first of all, it is lighter. In fact – it’s remarkably lighter than you’d expect a boot of this design and shape to be.

It also feels near indestructible – Nike have come up with a process that allows the boot to be entirely produced without stitching (except for two superficial seams above the toes, which I think are there to allow the upper to bend properly along the toes), which probably explains the ‘unnatural’ feel I was getting at before.

More importantly it means that even though there are several features on the boot – they are all integrated seamlessly into the upper.

ctr 360 maestri football boots test pods

Nike have also added ‘pods’ to of extra-concentrated memory foam to key areas of the upper to help in controlling passes; but with them concentrated above the outside of the boot and around the ankle I’d say these pods do just as much to add another layer of protection to the most commonly clattered areas of the foot.


There have been a couple of interesting design decisions that affect the overall feel of the boot.

The feel of the upper has a little bit of resistance when bending your toes but this is only a minor quibble.'  In fact, it’s nothing that a few wears won’t get you used to, and the aforementioned ‘foamy’ feel to the upper means it compresses nicely to any foot shape or size when running.

ctr 360 maestri football boots test

Moving on to the ‘Pass Pad’ on the instep of the boot – I’ve been notoriously dismissive of gimmicks like this on boots before, but on the Maestri I’ve got to say it works. The reason being its simple design doesn’t offer any lofty claims of more spin or power; it just offers a firm surface to hit passes off of. Like the vamps on a Predator or Wave Shinken, it again serves as a great reminder on where the best place is on the foot to slide through a short pass or quick one-two.

Another decision made to enhance passing is the lacing system. Whilst every boot and its cousin have offset laces that run down the outside of the foot, the Maestri’s leans in towards the inside of the foot. This provides support to the instep and keeps the boot snug to the arch and big toe.

Also on the upper are the aforementioned ‘pods’ of material around the laces and outstep, which are a nice addition that take the spin and pace off of awkward passes.


The CTR360 is a boot that has been engineered as opposed to made.

The ‘all in one’ upper will certainly not appeal to everyone. I don’t see the Kanga-Lite winning over many leather-lovers for the sake of a few grams and it’s low cut, modular appearance is almost futuristic, which will probably put off the ‘heritage’ crowd.

Which is a bit of shame, as I think the Maestri is great all around boot – despite being aimed at the midfield maestro there’s not a single position in the spine of the team that wouldn’t benefit from it.

nike ctr 360 maestri football boots test

For all its focus in finesse passing, the feel of the upper and pods around the laces make these awesome boots for leathering clearances and coupled with added protection, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few defenders donning these.

And is there any striker on any weekend league pitch that wouldn’t benefit from a boot that compliments their first touch, has stud configuration designed for quick turns and a pass pad that also doubles as a reminder you can side-foot it in from close range, as opposed to blazing it over with the laces?

Check out the CTR360 video here

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  1. says: channo

    i’m one of the “futuristic” guy but this shoes didn’t impress me that much.

    performance isn’t everything. some of us also wanted to come down to the pitch in style.

    however if nike come up with better color, i’ll definitely buy it.

  2. says: Scot

    I have been watching closely over the past few months as people have put this boot down and i honestly thought at one point it might be another flop like the ligera range but from the photos and this review the boot seems set to make its mark.
    Obviously it been sported by both Cesc and Scholsey will help it but i wonder how adidas will look at challenging this?
    I will definatley be looking to purchase these new boots!

    Great review Kyle.

  3. says: VL

    Just bought them and i have to say they are like nothing you have even seen or felt!
    absolutely amazing boots!
    If i could i would wear them all day long!

  4. says: kuuku

    This review confirms exactly what I suspected. This a solid, long-lasting, comfortable, protective, all round boot with a massive amount of non-gimmicky features. Cheaper than leather but with more feel than a synthetic. It’s perfect for people like me wavering between the t90 laser and the mercurial vapor. A utility player will love these boots. they are touch enough so that you can put your foot through clearances with no miscues or painful impact(as per the vapor). And lighter than the t90 so you don’t “feel” like the heavy boot is impacting your foot movement speed.

    Also good for the “weekend warrior” who wants a quality boot because it is substantially cheaper than the other elite level boots.

    All in all, a good addition to nike’s line…..the only problem is the colourway design, it has a two-tone 50-50 striped design that means even with awesome colours it still looks a bit weird unlike the tiempo and vapor which have more uniform colours. I don’t mind about that too much…after all, it doesn’t matter how the boot looks, it’s about what you do with the boot. With this memory foam technology I think a lot can be done with this boot. I would particularly recommend it for defenders…memory foam FTW!

    I’m most definitely buying these boots. They look to be worth the money. There are also cheaper versions: the trequartista and the librette which look to be solid options as well but don’t have kanga-lite…etc.

  5. says: rondal

    Nice review =D

    Hmm.. would be nice if there was one on the lower end ones like Trequartista and Libretto . (cause I normally got no $$ for 1st grade boots)

    Anyway how long do u expect this to last?

  6. says: MC

    Well, I think this review just made up my mind!

    Last season I wore Adidas Adipure and I loved the comfy, touchy style of it. This year, however, I was thinking of going back to the Predator, since I’m a right wingback and I need a little bit more power and safety. And by that I mean that while wearing the Adipure, a striker stomped my foot and I broke a finger! Don’t get me wrong, I did like the Adipure, especially the design, but as a defender I need some more.

    I believe the CTR 360 is just what I need really, since it’s a bit of a mix between that touch, light feeling of the Adipure and the power of a Predator or T90.

    I think I’m convinced!

  7. says: Kyle

    Cheers all!

    Tiki – they’re kind of wide, but the foam in the front sections of the boot pads it out a little!

    Scot – I’ll be interested to see how they sell; I think they suit many styles of play, but given how Nike are targeting a very specific position it could limit sales. Only time will tell!

    Rondal – They feel solid – the one-piece construction hints they’ve got a long life in them. And we’re aiming to get more of the lower end boots in for testing – watch this space!

    Jimmy J – Thanks again for the kind words! We have indeed got more planned! All being well footy-boots.com will be bringing you exlusive tests and insights with alarming frequency over the next few months!

    kuuku- I think I read your views in the main CTR360 article – you were bang on!

    Channo – personally I’m far keener on the Black/White/Del Sol that’re coming our really soon – keep your eyes peeled!

    Thanks again to everyone that’s commented!

    1. says: kuuku

      Excellent. I’m very interested in seeing the difference between the elite level version of these boots and the lower end versions such as the libretto and trequartista.

      As a football loving student, value for money is important. I’ve wrecked lots of adidas boots including the copa mundial and the F50s. I was thinking of getting predators/adipures or t90s but was loath to shell out the big bucks for another elite level boot I might wreck. I’m really looking for these CTR360 boots to be durable and long lasting so I can buy the elite level without qualms.

      I believe if nike advertise these boots as “comfortable, durable and multi-purpose without sacrificing speed, power or touch” or “the ultimate boot” they will have an unprecedented level of sales. There is a huge market for durable and comfortable, inexpensive yet fully featured boots. Everyone wanting a bang for their buck will go for these over the other types of boot.

  8. says: rbarsenal

    Just wondering,

    Most boots with blades don’t have enough give for me when I’m making turns in the midfield, which has caused me knee injuries in the past. Therefore, I normally can only buy conical stud boots. This brings me to my question:

    “As the stud pattern on the ctr360 Maestri is designed to allow quick turns (even though it has blades), does this increase the ‘give’? I’m not so much talking about grass, but artificial turf can really screw up my knees”


  9. says: Scot

    Hi again! Prior to my comment yesterday I headed out and came across the boots and purchased them for just under £100, £95.99 to be exact which was better then any online price I found.
    I have to add to the position of players who will be using these. I play as a wide midfielder and normaly get vapours and prior to that predators when I was younger and under contract but these boots from the minute I put them on felt perfect.
    The lacing helps the boot grip your foot great and I would say better then that of the adidas predator.
    The selling point for me was how light this boot is, I tried the f50 on a minute earlier and this boot feels a good load lighter.
    One again thanks for the review and I hope this persuades a few more of you to buy them.

  10. says: Dan

    A great review Kyle. At first I was doubting wether the CTR really needed to exist but now once i know what they are for I won’t mind trying them.

  11. says: fizz

    kicksprint45= you can personalize these, including different outsole options, and if u want wide fit or not, on nikeid.com but its a tad more expensive, and i don’t know if they ship to the UK.

    kuuku= the Trequartista IS full-grain leather, as well as the Libretto.

  12. says: Matt

    since these are synthetic but are supposed to mimic k-leather properties is it necessary to order a half size down for stretching or order your normal size? Also great review!

  13. says: bryan

    I used to wear Vapors forever but because of this review I have decided to try this boot. I have always been a creative midfielder and consider this the boot for me. I was also wondering what is the sizing for this boot? 1/2 size up or down or keep regular size.

  14. says: DaveyThunder

    Thanks for this great review, and to all that answered additional questions. This article has definetly peaked my interest in these cleats, and very well could have convinced me. Think I might do the NikeiD but I’m not sure of the price of them as is store bought. Anybody know the store price of these in the US?

  15. says: Tom

    I am a tiempo wearer and have has the most recent tiempo for a while no.. I needed a change, I recieved a pair of CTR white/black/gold shoes (i play 5 a side) and i was very impressed with the boots, they feel the same as the tiempo and they keep all the same good ponts, but still manage to make it a whole differet style of boot. Well done nike!

  16. says: Jase

    I play center midfield, and i am thinking about either these CTR360 or the new predator X. I dunno whether all the Technology in the new preds are all that, and from the review both pairs of boots seem to be highly rated. Could anybody help me on this?

  17. says: mmbbbwww

    Jase im struggling with the same situation.
    The predator X look like they fit the foot very well and the powerspine looks like a non gimmicy addition. On the other hand the CTR360 has gotten great reviews and look like an all around great boot.

    IF anyone can help me make the decision it would be greatly appreciated.

  18. says: jaja

    fantastic boots…bean playing football for 22 years now and thies are definetly the best shoe i’v ever wourn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. says: adam

    im possibly going to buy these but i need to know how they are when it comes to shooting. anyone? and also ive heard rumors about a laces holder or something ripping quickly so just wondering about that. great review.

  20. says: Mitch

    I’m wondering about two things…first about the rumor the guy above me was talking about. Ive also heard that the lace holder rips quickly also and Ive read many other reviews noting the same thing. Also I have a wide foot…so are these boots good for that or do they run narrow?

  21. says: Busby

    These shoes are awesome, definately the best i’ve owned. The colorways are not to my taste but I bought the red/black anyway and i love them. I probably won’t buy another boot until these are totally destroyed and by the way they are built that could be quite a while. If there is a playmaking element to your game (second striker, playmaking winger, central mid or sweeper/ball playing defender), these shoes could not be more awesome.

  22. says: NIK

    great review and im interested in purchasing a pair. although im a striker i feel these boots will do me good! but im having trouble finding the difference between Trequartista and maestri. will someone please enlighten me!! thanks

    1. says: Laura

      librettos are the cheapest and recommended for beginers, trequartisas are a step above the librettos and a little more expensive and then the maestris and a step above again and for more advanced(professionals) and the most expensive.
      i hope this helped 🙂

  23. says: Dno2dno

    I bought a pair of Trequartisas a few days ago. I wore nike 90 total for 5 years and wanted a similar boot. The new total 90 werent the same so i went with Trequartisas. They are the middle priced of the three versions. They are well priced, comfy and offer great prtection for midfielders who are forever in tackles. The first half of the moulds have a double coating for durability and the sole is more robust- that is the difference beteen them and the Librettos. The Treq look and feel great. HOWEVER, the last hole for the lace-up is not re-inforced with a double stich and on my first match the lace tore through the leather on one boot and was about to on the other. There was no o ring or double stiching. I brought them back. bad design falt. The more expensive pair i think is better if you dont mind paying ÂŁ109

    1. says: Soccergoalie

      I play goalie very competitively and these shoes are by far the best Nike shoes for a goalkeeper. They are light and easy to break in. The sole is flexible allowing for quick movement and the control pads help with trapping and striking the ball. I have the librettos and trequartistas and don’t notice a big difference between the models but the trequartistas are slightly better. I completely recommend the ctr360 boot. Hope this helped

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