FOOTBALL BOOTS TEST: NIKE SUPERFLY II

Football Boots Test: Nike Superfly II

Superfly II Close Up

Superfly II Comfort/Fit

The Nike Mercurial range has often had its share of criticism for not being the most comfortable of football boots, and that’s not about to change!

The Superfly II has been stripped to the bare bones – like a Le Mans racer with all the seats taken out – the only piece of padding sits underneath the laces on the tongue. As such, the boots take a lot of wearing in, in comparison to many of it’s competitors.

Like any reasonable human being who’d just got a pair of new Superfly II’s, I did the exact opposite of everything that our Ultimate Guide to Breaking in New Boots suggests and immediately went out to play a match in them (I never said I was a role model!!).

Boy, did I pay the price! After 45 minutes of play, I’d blistered my heels and just underneath my ankles. I wasn’t alone in this – several others at the event complained of similar discomforts.

Most unusually, the tops of my toes also experienced some rubbing from where the stiff upper had creased and dug into the joints when I bent my toes.

The great news is that after further breaking-in, the Superfly II‘s started to come good. Very good. The upper became flexible, creasing with every toe movement, yet, around the ankle and heel it remained firm & supportive.

That said, I really don’t envy professionals who have to break in a new pair more than once! If you’re planning on getting a pair; resist the voice in your head that says you have to do a full 90 in them right away, give the boots the respect they deserve and break them in properly!

Superfly II

Superfly II Durability

One of the first things you’ll notice when lacing up a pair of Superfly II‘s for the first time is that the upper is much sterner and less flexible than the Superfly I, clearly a redevelopment by Nike to avoid the problems that plagued the original upon launch. This soon begins to work with your foot, but it’s nice to know that there’s always that firm layer of synthetic between an opponents studs and your feet.

The chassis of the football boot feels fantastic to play in. The Carbon Fiber soleplate feels solid underfoot, bending with the toes, but with little give going the other way, making this the most durable-feeling entry in the Mercurial range since the Vapor III.


Despite playing on Soft Ground and the occasional bit of light rain, I was impressed that the football boot didn’t let any water in through the new adaptable studs. Also, the boot has no ventilation anywhere on it – meaning that even in the wet your feet will stay dry.

As mentioned earlier, once your foot and boot get used to each other, the FlyWire keeps the football boot very close your foot; in particular the heel. Obviously designed to compensate for the lack of a heel counter, the fit certainly keeps your feet locked in place, but I would be concerned as to how much protection it would offer the heel and Achilles area in a tough tackle.

Superfly II Tricks

Superfly II Feel

The Superfly II is a football boot designed for speed and touch on the ball at high speeds, which is something that it does better than, not only it’s predecessor, but also better than many football boots with a strictly synthetic upper (I’m not talking synthetic leather, like the Mizuno Wave Ghost, for example). The upper isn’t completely frictionless like many other speed boots, and whilst it might not provide the grip of soft leather, the friction lets you feel exactly where on your feet the ball is.

It seems to achieve this as it’s coated in something that feels almost like a fabric (but much easier to clean than any fabric) that just gives you a nicer touch on the ball than a frictionless synthetic like you might find on it’s predecessors.

Running in the football boot is an absolute joy, as you may well expect. In the same way that the Total 90 Laser III suggests the best place on your foot to hit a ball, the Superfly II gives you impetus to constantly be on your toes and ready to sprint.

The big innovation on this boot is the adaptable stud system, where 2 of the studs on each boot react to the pressure pressed down on them by the player and the pressure pushed back up on them by the ground underneath.

As you can probably guess, being in the UK I’ve been testing the boots on reasonably soft ground (Not a complete mudbath, but soft enough that I would normally wear metal studs) the adaptable studs certainly coped well – coupled with the unusually large blades in the heel counter I never felt that I was losing traction on the ground.

Kicking in the Superfly II is perhaps the only unspectacular thing about this otherwise completely over the top football boot. That’s not to say it’s bad, mind you, in fact it’s very good! But the fact of the matter is that Nike aren’t trying to improve striking the ball, so if you like centered lacing, and an upper that hugs the top of the boot, you’re going to enjoy striking the ball in these.

Superfly II Conclusion

The Superfly II is a more humble boot than you might expect. At it’s core it is a centre-laced, firm ground-bladed boot, with a synthetic upper and no lace cover. It’s these simple foundations that I think people forget about – the fans of the boot think that it will completely change their lives, and the haters seem to focus more on the outlandish paint-job than the specification.

Yet, it’s this simple formula that Nike tweaked and made better with the addition of genuinely functional technology like taking a road car and turning into a rally car (Yes, I do love my boot/car analogies!) the carbon fibre sole is fast becoming an industry standard as the material and manufacture come down in price, and the adaptable stud is an excellent practical piece of tech (if just a tiny bit gimmicky).

The one thing that the boot does do better than any other, is to put a massive smile on your face when you lace them up for the first time. Whilst I felt a little silly in the Puma v1.10 Yellow/Chili Red, the Superfly II felt completely unique, daring and a little outrageous, but never silly -'  because depending how you see it, this football boot is the pinnacle; it’s both the pinnacle of weight reduction and boot technology and it’s the pinnacle of what a football boot can cost. Is that worth £275 for some people? Absolutely.


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45 Comments

  • I gave up on the Mercurial series when I bought my pair of Mercurial 4’s. No matter what I did I couldn’t break into them and every time I played with them it was blisters and more blisters.

  • As ever a great review. The boot is clearly focussed on giving you the impetus of extra speed and agility (or at least the perception of) and nothing else. The wearing in factor makes you wonder how long the pros have to use them in training before playing in a match. Drogba certainly looks like he has been wearing the same pair of black Superfly’s all season!

    One thing you havent touched on is Nike claim the colourway allows team mates to find you easier when you are running because of the dark ultraviolet on the instep on one boot and the light ultraviolet of the other flicking in and out. Surely Nike must have done some research into this to make the claim. What are your thoughts Kyle?

  • i wouldnt buy those, they dont seem that good to me, cant beat a pair of trusty legends, or t90s, i think the vapours are becoming the worst boots in the nike range. They are all flash, little substance, and the latest one hasnt even got the flash done very well. ctr release was much better.

  • hmm… wonder how the new F50s stack up to these? Price wise its much cheaper or so I’ve heard…

    I’m sticking with my adipures from last year for now… not sure if I should wait or buy now!

  • I don’t like these boots at all, i didn’t like the vapor 5 either the only vapors that i do like are the vapor 4. does anyone know where to buy them in size 5 and a half. currently i wear ctrs and they are far better than these.

  • Marco, I have had terrible blisters from both Predators and Vapors. The Vapor III was the perfect boot in my opinion, no blisters and complete comfort and stability.

  • i love mercurials and was captivated when ronaldo wore the orange peel vapor iv ( I was new to boots =P ). but 2 seasons on and my patience is wearing thin, just like my ankles and feet. Even though they look the most bad ass on the pitch and I don’t wear pro level boots, the pain i get from wearing them is unbelievable. Today I had to stop playing in my mercurials after 5 mins into a kick about as the ligaments and tendons ( forgive me if my anatomy is wrong), my toes hurt and the synthetic material goes against my natural shooting position. I am going to go for the CTR 360 Maestri/ Libretto or the T90 shoot 3/Laser 3, comfort and accuracy. but mercurials are cool, but just aren’t for me

    another great review mate!

  • Great review!

    I love the way at the end you cut through all the bull**** spouted by fanboys and haters and got to the crux of the matter about the boot. Lovely review. More of the same please!

    One thing, how exactly do the adaptive studs work, do you know? Is there a spring or something? Can it break?

  • to be honest, nike are going to be shot in the foot when the adizeros come out properly because they are reportedly a lot cheaper, and a lot lighter.. will be interesting to see the sales figures of the superfly 2 compared to adizeros when they come out

  • so after all been said and done, the superfly are really a humble boot -almost didn’t realize it. the flashy colors and high profile marketing truly deceives me!
    great review 😉

    @shiv: T90 is great (i haven’t tried the 3rd though), but u have to break them in properly. i got horrible blisters everywhere the first time i wear them (out of the box). i just don’t want u to get the wrong first impression of this babies; it’s a great boot after u break them in.

  • I think this boot is too centred around speed. Someone at footyboots – I forgot who, even proved that boots don’t even increase speed that much.
    Anyway even if they did what I’m getting at is the fact (and I’ve commented on this before) is that there’s no point in having speed if you can’t finish or control the ball, and at the same time the skin on your feet is peeling away!
    Just like how there is no point being able to kick with deadly swerve (T90LIII) when you can’t put power behind the ball and can’t maintain close control.

    Nike are becoming too focused on individual areas! (Don’t get too excited adidas fans, Adidas does it a bit too.)
    Examples of good boots are the Predator X which offer Swerve but also close control, the Total 90 Laser II (which you can now get for $130) offers power, swerve and provides quite a good outstep pass and the f50i gives speed and a large kicking area. (and in Messi’s case, something to kiss!) Therefore I think that Nike (and Adidas to some degree) must concentrate on giving their boots multiple qualities.

  • @zc: i got a wide feet my friend >_< kinda hard for me to find myself a comfy pair of boots. but when i do find one, it’s gotta be really good -and laser II is definitely one of them 😉

    however, i don’t know if i should agree with the all-around boots idea…
    people nowadays like to be recognized, to be different. -and sport companies responds very well: they create specific boots for those different individuals.
    adidas’s past campaign describe it very well: “find your place in the team” -whether u’re a power, speed, or touch.

    of course, low profile players who are against this idea would just stick to their tiempo/adipure/speciali.

    so, i’m not against whoever said otherwise. but i kinda like how this all personalization idea is integrated by sport companies 🙂

  • interesting review but how do they compare to the the first superfly are there significant improvments (apart from the stud)?

  • @channo – I’m not saying that all boots should be even in all aspects, but I am saying that shouldn’t be good at just one thing
    -see boots like the upcoming ctr360 maestro elite (like the current ctr360 but with a carbon fibre sole plate) are good because whilst the focus is on the pass pads, it will have a carbon fibre soleplate to reduce weight and quite a nice instep.
    However I agree with channo’s point on personalisation, I think things like NikeID and MiAdidas are great!(Minus the extra cost!)

  • A question to anyone who owns superfly II’s.
    Looking at pictures on the net, the SFII appears somewhat wider especially near the toe and this may improve comfort.
    Is it actually wider and if it is do the boots feel more comfortable.

  • I am have a pair of these boots and my only complaint is the pattern on the instep. I have worn every pair of mercurials since 98 and i have only been disappointed with the vapor Vs ( i think) with the lace cover. i’ve only ever had blisters from wearing my boots in the summer months wear you’d pretty much get blisters if you played football in anything. i just hope that they bring out a blackout pair that are simple.

  • NIKE NEEDS TO BRING BACK THE VAPOR III! THEY WERE THE BEST BY FAR!

    Maybe 15th Anniversary??? Don’t change anything. Make them just like they were: perfect.

  • Anybody know if it’s possible 2 buy the origional superfly in blacked out version? Like the 1s players train in b4 the boot is released? I’d love a pair.

  • Sorry for the delay in response guys!

    Perry – I’m not entirely sold on the idea, it might make a difference for the pro’s under the floodlights but it’s a miracle that any pass finds your feet on some of the pitches we play on!

    Niall – Someone could correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the blacked out pairs are literally ‘coloured-in’ versions of the other ones, so your best bet would be to get the Black/Yellow Volt colours ones and draw over the Nike tick with a black Sharpie or something?

  • Cheers Kyle.
    I tried making them in NikeTown London but they wouldnt let me buy them and said they arent for sale that way!

    Going 2 go ahead and try the sharpie idea!

  • I wish the superflys would branch off from the vapors instead of shadowing them, The new vapor designs arn’t as good because the designs were made for superflys. Even though the superflys are amazing, nobodoy (besides professionals) wear them, and nobody wants to wear them with that price. If the superfly will continue to be ahead of vapors they might as well lower the price

  • Wow…theyre getting more and more expensive wtf.

    But I have 2 questions.

    Are they as light as the first Superfly?

    Is the sizing the same as the first superfly?

  • Did anyone else notice that the picture that shows the Vapor VI’s has the Flywire Technology on the boot? It doesn’t show that on the pictures when you look on soccer.com

  • Superfly 1 was 6.8 ounces, $350

    Superfly 2 = 7.8 ounces, $400

    why would they charge 50 MORE dollars on the most expensive boot out there, just to make it heavier than the first version?

    Adizero here I come… 5.8oz $180

  • @Greg Elkins……… I totally agree with you, SF1 are lighter than SF2.. maybe it’s because the new studs??
    Any way I play with Vapor 5s, first model ( Orange / Silver ) And I LOVE them… but I need new boots, I was considering SF1… but Vapor 6’s look tempting also….
    Besides the weight, can anyone help me on deciding? any one out there played on both?
    BTW no way I’ll get the new F50’s way too flimsy for me…

  • I have th mercurial vapor superfly 2’s as well and they have been nothing but pain. What did you do to break them in properly? Can the author of this review please contact me or how do I contact you?

  • These boots are fantastic. I had the superfly 1s last season and about 5 games into this season until one of my tags snapped off in training. I can feel all the adidas fans grinning as they read this but I’m not finished 🙂 when my superflys fell apart I bought a pair of t90 laser IIIs, they are a great boot also but are nowhere near the standard of the superflys, in my opinion anyway. so I’ve been wearing my t90s till now, because my superfly IIs arrived yesterday. and the best part is I didn’t pay a cent for them because I sent my old superflys to Nike explaining the fault and they sent me the IIs 🙂 even I didn’t expect Nike to do this and I’m a big Nike fan, I can’t say Nike is the only company that does this because I have no idea but that is how a boot maker should respond to faults. as for the boots I tried them on yesterday and they feel even better than the original superflys. they fit like a glove and actually feel like I might escape a tackle without tag prints on my feet unlike the superfly 1s. the tags feel great and the upper feels a lot more grippy than the previous superflys. and not only that but the dark obsidian(I think that’s the spelling) colourway is beautiful. all round great boot and I think they are worth the money. I would recommend them if youre willing to pay the price. the only thing I can’t comment on is the blisters as I haven’t worn them enough to see. hopefully it isn’t a problem. great boot Nike, this is innovation.

    josh

  • Just got my SFII in WC colorway. fits similar to the MVII and MVIII. upper isn’t as soft as the MVII but is thinner. I got a tightly fitted size which felt very good, the extra padding on the tongue made a big difference.

    haven’t played in them yet, will do tmmw. I am guessing it will give me blisters, but not super bad bloody blisters like the MVIV gave me.

    Lighter doesn’t always make a shoe better. The SFII might be a OMFGOZ heavier, but the new studs config and extra padding should not be overlooked. 6.8 oz and 7.8 oz is nothing but number, most of us won’t feel the difference. For those of you that do feel the difference, it’s all in your brain.

    Coming from a neutral perspective (slightly Nike cuz I love Vapors), I love both Nike and Adidas.

  • ok i need help. I need help deciding whether to get the nike superfly in purple. also i found some superflys that were replicas but i dont know if there durable enough.
    the cleats are between the nike mercurial superflys or the adidas adizero?

  • I am a centre back and i don’t know what boots i should get. I currently have copa mundial’s and they are great but i want some more modern boots to pair with them for winter months. I am very suprised ‘football boot’ orientated websites don’t have articles about which boot is best for the different positions. So does anyone have any suggestions of which boots i should get ?
    thanks in advance.

    • it depends on whad your looking for in the boot….if you want speed…go for adizero’s and mercurials….you want touch go for adipures or tiempos….you want precise passing…go for the ctr360’s and if you want power go for the predators and t90’s

  • i would go for F50 adizero because they are way lighter and they are really cheap and whats the point in having heavy boots for more money?

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