A Problem with Nike Football Boots

Problem Nike Football Boots

The Nike football boots you see on the shelf in your local sports shop may not be the same as the ones the pro’s use. So when your favourite ‘star athlete’ is seen plugging a boot, which isn’t the same as the one you buy, should you be concerned? We put Luca on the case…..

Nike Football offers four distinct silos to the world of football: The Legend, MercurialHypervenom and Magista.

Nike metal flash pack football boots

Since entering the football market in 1971, Nike Football have always made sure their players have what they need to perform on the biggest stages. However, sometimes what Nike offers their professional players is not the same as what is sold to the public.

First Nike football boots
1971 “The Nike” football boot

Whether the introduction of a FlyKnit material, or the new Dynamic fit collar has revolutionised football boots forever or not, it is certainly one that is causing pro players to make drastic changes.

Nike has done very well by offering low and mid cut versions of their FlyKnit / Collar models, giving everyone an option. The issue that remains though, is that if you do not like one, you do not get the other… it’s both or none. The response many professionals have is through a pair of scissors, cutting the collar off the mid-cut boots and getting a low-cut flyknit shoe with of course the inclusion of brio cables!

Players like Isco, Kovacic, and Vidal have all done this. Even their Mercurial man himself, Ronaldo, doesn’t wear the full length dynamic fit collar but a half-length version of the collar.


Nike-Mercurial-Superfly

If something works, don’t change it. Many of Nike’s veterans opt out of the basic stud patterns offered nowadays and ask simply for the pattern they like on the shoe Nike makes. Many players such as Iniesta, Turan, Neymar, Pirlo, Totti, Hazard and Rooney all have or had custom soleplates. This usually isn’t even noticeable and Nike isn’t worried because the public still sees their pros wearing their cleats.

Nike Hypervenom Phantom - Atomic Orange / Hyper Crimson
First Generation Hypervenom Phantom

In 2015 Nike introduced the next-generation Hypervenom Phantom. A lot of hype was behind this boot and it fell very short. Praised by many, the first generation was truly revolutionary, but the new update sure has the pros unhappy. Players like Thiago, Isco, Adriano, Kovacic, Rooney, Julian Weigl, Mandzukic, and Aubameyang have all either switched out of the Hypervenom completely, gone for the Phinish or have modified their cleat.

I won’t even touch the Neymar situation as that itself is a whole story, but even he and other key hypervenom players no longer even wear the Hypervenom II but camouflaged versions of it.

 

Nike is still a giant among the Soccer world, that is without a doubt. However the Swoosh is having numerous issues with their professionally issued cleats, should they be more cautious in the future? Can they lose contracts due to this? Will this affect their worldwide sales? All are big questions and no one really knows the answer, guess we’ll just have to continue keeping an eye on their ‘star athletes’ to find out.


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6 Comments

  • The phenomenon of “camouflaging” isn’t a new or exclusive Nike practice.
    Messi wears a highly modified version of his signature boot. RVP, Schwiensteiger, Walcott, etc etc have non-retail version of Adidas boots.
    Look up “paint jobs” and “pro stock” in a tennis equipment forum, and you’ll see that the vast majority of pros use highly customized racquets, usually based on the frames they used as a junior.
    I personally use the Phinish and have been satisfied, though they are quite different from the 1st generation (more a power boot like old t90/laser).
    The touch on the 1st generation was great, but the durability was poor and the ride was too mushy. 2nd gen much better lockdown and much better durability.

    • i agree adidas has their share of issues. I would argue they have less however compared to nike.
      I have absolutely nothing against the new phinish i actually prefer the second generation venom’s for the same reasons as you.

    • i agree adidas has their share of issues. I would argue they have less however compared to nike.

      I have absolutely nothing against the new phinish i actually prefer the second generation venom’s for the same reasons as you.

  • Equipment worn by their professionals and their retail products are two completely different animals, and I don’t think the former will have much effect on the bottom line.
    Plenty of Adidas athletes have histories with completely bespoke footwear (Messi, RVP, Xavi, Walcott, etc).

    New technologies/designs (i.e. gimmicks) is the name of the game for the shoe brands. Some will stick, others won’t. Adidas (and Puma soon too) have jumped on the high collar train. With all the AG pitches where I play, some of my teammates rather like collared boots b/c it helps prevent the rubber crumb from getting inside their boots.

    • I agree.
      Adidas has had their share but only recently are having more issues. Nike has had more since they released the high collar earlier and changing the hypervenom just added on.

    • I agree.

      Adidas has had their share but only recently are having more issues. Nike has had more since they released the high collar earlier and changing the hypervenom just added on.

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