So, we’ve made it to the end of 2009; and what a year it’s been for boot lovers. Despite no major tournaments to act as the catalyst for the launch of new football boots the manufacturers have churned out new release after new release: – CTR360, v1.10, Mercurial Superfly, F50i, Zhero Gravity Tre – and even had whole new brands like Under Armour entering the fray.

nike total 90 laser iii preview

But just when it looked like the Predator_X would be the football boot at the top of everyone’s Christmas list Nike are just days away from launching the third incarnation of their Predator competitor – the Total 90 Laser III.

But all is not as it seems with the Laser brand – the Laser II was far from universally accepted.'  Many fans still attest that the Laser I is still the better football boot and even some top flight players like Manuel Almunia refuse to part with their older models. Further to that, the CTR360 has converted many professionals away from the Laser and Legend models to the newest in Nike’s stable.

fernando torres nike total 90 laser

A young looking Fernando Torres in the much loved Laser I

So here’s what I’d like to see from the T90 Laser III to win me back to the brand.

Take out the V-Twin Lacing System

To me, the V-twin system was one of those ‘great in theory, less so in practise’ ideas. The theory being, retaining the Offset lacing system that’s essential to the placing of the shot shield, but having an extra run of lacing at the top of the boot to help keep the'  shot-shield snug to the foot. However, the reality was that when the laces were tied, the knot hung over the shot shield! So, it’d be nice just to have a ‘standard’ offset lacing system, or for a real shock: No laces at all!

Strengthen the Sole of the Boot

With the Predator_X using a ‘Powerspine’ and the Puma v-Konstrukt implementing the similar ‘DuoFlex’ technology, it seems that all the other brands in the ‘Power’ boot market are seeing the benefit of reinforcing the sole of the football boot, so it would only make sense for Nike to do the same.

Extend the Shotshield further down the Forefoot

One of the things that the Laser II did well was to ’round out’ the boot to appeal to other positions -the key for this for me was partially extending the shotshield to the outside of the boot, and most importantly the inside of the toe. This area is key for hitting sharp crosses first time, and putting keeper-beating bend on free kicks, it’d be a shame to see Nike go back to having the shotshield just on the ‘laces’.

nike total 90 laser ii shotshield

Make the ‘Rings’ More Flexible

Whilst it certainly was a selling point that the Shotshield doubles as an extra layer of protection for your feet, I sometimes felt the rigidity of the rings of the shield were pulling the rest of the boot’s upper around with it, so when you bent your toes the boot ‘creased’ around the plastic rings, rather than bending with your toes. A material similar to the vamps in the Predator Powerswerve would be flexible enough to bend with the foot and also to still provide the raised area that defines the ShotShield.

Try something different to the Classic 6 Studs

On both incarnations of the Laser, the SG models haven’t really figured for me. I love the FG models unusually shaped blades and their placement – I think they distribute pressure really well and make it easy for sharp turns. So after all the thought and effort that goes into the design of the FG sole it would make a lot more sense to see a similarly revolutionary SG stud configuration on a football boot that’s being released in the dead of winter!

laser ii soft ground model

Nike Total 90 Laser II SG

Make them Neon Pink.

Think about it – on the pitch at the moment the Mercurial Range is Orion Blue, the CTR360 is bright Team Red and the Legends are Classic Black. Previous Laser models have been bright Yellow, so after the success of the Vapor Berry they should definitely be pink. I mean, what other colour are they going to launch in? Electric Green!!

So, what do you make of Kyle’s ideas and what are you expecting from the last big release of 2009? Let us know by leaving a comment blow.

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  1. says: Nathan

    I would to disagree on the last point. Making them Neon Pink will be a failure. the T90 line is not suited for fancy players who like to strut their skills. Does the Predator line ever have bright colours? No. Some boots are meant to be classic and not too flashy.

  2. says: preds7

    the only classy boot for nike is legends. laser II was yellow, orange… that’s not classic ;p also i think the ugly colour they are releasing is not even close to classy..

  3. says: greg

    i think Kyle’s wrong about the stud configuration.
    i play rugby with my Laser 1’s and the studs are brilliant on the muddy pitches. the studs are fantastic, so much better than moulded or blades.
    thats just my view.

  4. says: clemens

    in my opinion the laser II was together with the total 90 airzoom III the best shoes out of the totals 90 series. Both have a great powerfull design. And I disagree with them who find the laser I better it was the first boot with the new shootshield and named laser but the design is in comparison to the laser II kind of boring.

  5. says: Kyle

    Greg – I know the 6 stud is good, but I want to ask ‘could they be better’?

    I’m playing in 6 stud Puma King’s for SG at the moment and I love them, but for a hugely advanced boot like the Laser III it’d be interesting to see if Nike can really push the boat out on something revolutionary, rather than a stud config that’s been around for decades.

    Then again, I suppose what you’re getting at is ‘If it ain’t broke; don’t fix it!’ and I can respect that.

  6. says: keeps

    I disagree with the proposal of a diffrent SG soleplate. 6 stud has been successful forever. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Even preds have reverted back to 6 stud.

  7. says: MisterBroom12

    I just would like to know why Kyle is trying to throw everyone off by making these suggestions for changes. Almost all of us have seen the Laser III already and know that there isn’t going to be a shot shield or “rings”, the lacing system will be back to only on the outside, and the color will in fact be electric green like he made a half joke about. Great opinions on how they could have improved the II’s but not so much for making it seem like these could make it to the III’s.

  8. says: Connor Wallace

    The Laser III will be shotshield-less. Instead there is a rubberized mesh (much like a predator element) on the inside of the foot, and there will 4-5 little hard plastic plates (weve been calling them nubbies)that are supposed to add some power. The mesh comes down about as far as the shotshield on the laser II did. There’s a more traditional offset lacing and they’re sticking with the old stud patterns. The first colorways are Green/Black/Red in synthetic and White/Black/Gold in K-leather. In April theyll have Blue/Black/Yellow (think old school batman) in synthetic and Black/Silver/Red in K-leather. But the Purple Vapor VIs will be out by then so no one will notice.

  9. says: Trifl

    Well…Seeing as how there are already leaked pictures out there showing the Boot Kyle might be a little Disappointed at the Actual Colourways. The features shown look like they’ll be super innovative. I like the look of the boot, but the Colourways shown are not so Great.

  10. says: Brandon Polanco

    Connor is right, although i’m not sure I’d call it rubberized mesh. I’ve been seeing pictures of the boots for a while now, and they look poor aesthetically. I’m disappointed they took out the shotshield, but hopefully the new system they put in will work fine.

  11. says: greg

    Yes Kyle, that is exactly what i am saying. the six-stud has worked for the last few decades, so i don’t see a point in changing it.
    and making them into blades would certainly put me off the lasers, as boots with blades seem to cause me ankle problems.
    besides, how many different ways can you make metal studs??? metal blades, in my opinion are dangerous. I have heard complaints from other rugby players about the metal blades on adidas boots.
    so i hope they stick with the simple six-stud config.

  12. says: ricky7


  13. says: channo

    NEON PINK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    just push me off the cliff or shot my head with a shotgun…

    (even my girlfriend won’t wear “neon pink” boots…)

  14. says: brent

    for some reason kyles predictions were just too spot on. when he said electric grees i knew that he must have seen the boot before he wrote this. it was a good article until i figured out that he had already seen the boot.

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