We all know, in the back of our minds, that slipping on a new pair of football boots isn’t going to transform you overnight.

If you currently play as well as Sylvester Stallone did in ‘Escape to Victory’ you won’t suddenly possess the skills of Pele, Maradona and Messi just by slipping on some new footwear.

escape to victory nike ctr360

Bobby Moore, Michael Caine and Stallone

However, as technology ever increases and manufacturers claims grow ever bolder, perhaps the advantages a newly developed pair of football boots can give you aren’t as far fetched as some of us may have believed a year or so ago.

Before we go any further lets be clear. If you change to Superfly’s, you won’t automatically cut a couple of seconds of your best time for 60 metres. If you can’t beat the keeper from 30 yards no matter how hard you try, it’s unlikely that by putting on the new Predator_X that you’ll immediately morph in to Steven Gerrard and if your touch is about as impressive as that of an elephant after a big night out and one too many vodka and Red Bull’s, it’s doubtful that by utilising the Tiempo III that you’ll take on the grace and balance of Darcy Bussell.

elephant nike ctr360

I really must work on my first touch!

However, football boot science is such that the constant flow of improvements must create certain advantages. These are possibly heightened at the elite level but may not be quite so obvious for amateurs.

By way of interest, let’s examine what has happened to players who have started wearing the Nike CTR360 Maestri.

First off, I think it’s fair to say that Nike couldn’t have made a better choice than Cesc Fabregas to be the football boot’s lead ambassador. The Spaniard is in the form of his life. He started off by debuting the boots against Blackburn Rovers, a game in which he set up four goals and scored another. A flash in the pan? No way. He’s exuded total control ever since, masterminding Arsenal win after Arsenal win. And he can’t stop scoring either as goals since that Blackburn game against AZ Alkmaar (twice), Spurs and Wolves have proved.

fabregas media nike ctr360

Elsewhere, what about the two strikes of Sergio Aguero against Chelsea? Both were simply stunning. A fantastic volley on the run and one of the truest free kicks you’ll ever see.

There are others. Celtic may not be firing on all cylinders at the moment but Scott McDonald is one of their most consistent performers, Jan Vennegor of Hesselink scored a vital goal for Hull City just the other day, there’s Mario Balotelli in Italy and even Wayne Routledge in the Championship for QPR. All seem to be enjoying a new lease of life since transferring to the CTR360.

nike ctr360 effect

Coincidence? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. Let us know what you think by commenting below and, if you’ve worn the CTR360 and noticed a marked improvement in your game, tell us about that too.

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  1. says: Splinter09

    It is like the CRT360 was made for Cesc Fabregas. The kid is playing world class football with his new boots. Now for some Madrid players like Gago and Van der Vaart the CRT360 is not doing much good.

  2. says: greg ballantine

    great work!
    i dont think boots realy give u an advantage but thats because i think if you think you can do something then you have a better chance of doing that something. football boots could give u that little bit of confidence to help do the special something.

  3. says: kuuku

    LOL, I commented on the post about the puma v 1.08 test about this very “coincidence”.

    I think it’s more about the lack of gimmicks in the boot and a wealth of sensible features. Memory foam on the boot for soft touch? A hard pad to give the ball extra zip? These seem like features someone should have thought of ages ago….they make a lot of sense. Not to mention the boot is rumored to be as comfortable as anything.

    A boot cannot really improve performance…..however a bad boot or an inconsistent boot can negatively impact performance. So therefore if a ball is uncomfortable or has some awkward surfaces then it could be the deciding factor. Football at the highest level is played in the margins, the slightest thing can make the telling difference. A player’s quality cannot be reduced or increased by the boots he wears…..however when he uses very good boots he can be more consistent with every input. It has a psychological and physical effect when you are wearing comfortable and light boots with a consistent surface and straightforward, useful features.

    All the players wearing the CTR 360 have basically eliminated boot related mess-ups. Notice van der vart’s strike against alcorcon and drenthe’s strike against ac milan. Similar strikes….both with the ctr. It is undeniable that the boot allows you to strike the ball exactly how you like it and it allows for sweet control as well (memory foam). Being comfortable is also a bonus because the player feels more relaxed. So it isn’t a coincidence that 90% of players who adopted the ctr are performing well. The boot allows them to reach full potential even though it doesn’t by itself improve performance. Makes sense to me.

  4. says: kuuku

    not to mention I’m yet to see a ctr 360 player injured (still early days yet)…..the boot is comfortable so no self-inflicted injuries and I believe the memory foam might take a bit of the heat out of a harsh challenge.

    I just remembered that they have a unique stud configuration as well, with a circle of studs underneath the forefoot. I thought it was useless when I first saw it but maybe it has some effect?

  5. says: Mati

    good article. people can make some funny/weird/dumb assumptions, but at the end of the day, i’ll play better bare foot lol. boots dont improve, but they can hinder imo

  6. says: Jay FC

    hmmm…. kuuku I think your post is a bit self-conflicting (for a lack of a better word). when you say that a boot doesn’t improve performance, you have to compare with alternatives, in which case if this boot makes players reach their potential better than other boots, then the boot does in fact improve performance compared to how well you would play in an alternative. With that said. I personally think it is more due to timing of the release. Obviously the boots have been done since season start, but they do not release them until now, so that players have knocked of the last off season rust, and as a result it looks like players are improving their game left and right due to boot switching, when in fact its just a natural evolvement. In conclusion i kinda agree with you kuuku.

  7. says: Jay FC

    on the other hand I think the wrong boots can vastly hurt your game. Like golfsets boots should be categorised, depending on skill level it takes to play in them. I coach a local U13 and a U14 team, and obviously they all wanna be Ronaldo, so half the players have gone out and bought the kid size mercurial steams plastic boots, and as soon as the grass is a bit wet, none of them can make a first touch worth a damn to save their life, and it drives me crazy that their game is suffering because these boots are pushed upon them. Or maybe I got it all wrong 🙂

  8. says: urip

    I believe that every boot have characteristic thus if one fits you then your play gets better. Football boots are complete shoes: use them for running, kicking, jumping, turning, etc. They need to serve those purposes.

  9. says: channo

    the rubber predator element on powerswerve gave me a really nice visual reference where i should be striking the ball to put a massive bend on it,

    the three section of the shotshield on T90 laser II teaches me further about accuracy, control, and swerve,

    the sleek design and striking colors of F50s and vapors inspired me to learn more about stepovers and many fake moves (the ball stand still, but our flashy colored feet trick the opponent to move to the wrong direction),

    so… do shoes improve our games? a big big YES from me =)

    moreover, i’m starting to seriously consider buying this shoes. maybe then i’ll think: “since i have the shoes specifically designed for control & passing, why not work with my instep passes as well?”

  10. says: kuuku

    @ Rob Dezendorf

    How did your CTR 360s break? IF they break easily then I am worried because i want to buy a pair. Do they break easily?

  11. says: Connor Wallace

    Boots are tools, they can further accentuate the skills a player has but they cant make a player any better. A quality player in $40 boots will still out class Bert from sunday league in superflys or your 17-year-old cousin in lotto zheros. Theyre like guitars in that some certainly are better than others but certain styles are for certain people and if youre good, it doesnt matter what you play.

  12. says: channo

    @Connor Wallace: no means to start a debate here mate, just a humble opinion =) but if u’re talking about guitars, maybe u should take a closer look on your guitarist friends.

    most (if not all) of my highly skilled guitarist friends are “know what they’re playing with”. they know every itsy bitsy detail of their guitars. they’ll know the difference between the 1996-made gibson and the 1997 one (i won’t know, i just made up those years =P)
    sure they still rocks playing with some lousy-half-broken-guitars, but they fully realized that its sucks big time -they just happened know how to deal with it.

    i’ll say football boots are no different. kaka, ronaldinho, ronaldo, are maybe the best dribblers out there. make them wear army boots and they’ll still dribble as good as that. but do they wear army boots to the pitch? no… they wear these high-end football cleats that’re all over this website. why? cuz these boots are better and they know it. (it’s not always about the sponsorship)

    good guitarists knows good guitars. good footballers knows good shoes. -and that’s why they wear em’

    have to admit… adidas, nike, umbro, puma, and others have done research to make football shoes better and better as time goes on.
    are wearing Predator X make us shoot as powerful as gerrard? no…
    but are they better than original first predator back in 1994? yes… -and that’s why we wear em’

    peace on earth =)

  13. says: Ray

    I don’t think a boot will improve your game but it can hurt it if it’s going to bring down your confidence level. I think the CTR is comfortable for these players and it allows them to concentrate on the game instead of worrying about their boot selection.

    I personally wear Vapor’s and have been for a few years. I’ve gone through Legend’s, R10’s and even Laser’s. I don’t buy boots because they look good or because a particular player has them. I keep going back to the Vapor’s because i like the thin material, it gives me better touch on the ball. I pick a boot based on the features or how they feel on my foot because when it’s all said and done it’s all about how confident you feel with what’s on your feet.

    A perfect example of this philosophy is Yossi Benayoun. The last few games he switched to the older Vapor’s.

  14. says: OFCsoccer

    i absolutely love my CTR’s, i had been using the puma v1.06’s but they just cant compare to these! my touch and passes have really improved, and they are much lighter than one might imagine.

  15. says: shiv

    As everyone read that article and watched the games in which Fabregas ripped open Blackburn Rovers, I think its a mental thing. Fabregas is naturally one of the finest players in the world. yet he wore those boots, people noticed and associated his fine performances with his boot selection: CTR360. the boot’s basic concepts work effectively. i think its a great boot, but I would like to know whether the boot will be released in an Maestri AG edition for astro players, not in the libretto and trequelistra(pardon spelling if wrong) editions.

  16. says: yoho

    I love these boots, i bought a pair yesterday. My feet are usually really awkward and i have to try on 20 pairs of boots but these i went in and five minutes later i had bought them. They are also fantastic for striking a ball in for me because i find that nike boots are very flat and square and it is hard to get your foot under the ball but these were simple to strike with right from the start.

  17. says: Dale

    does it make much difference if the st uds on them are sg or fg because im gettin them and im from ireland and it rains alot so do i need sg

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