Nike Air Zoom Mercurial – Review
Nike is back with a new release of the Mercurial Vapor and Superfly. This new boot has made some legitimate improvements over its predecessors. It may be the biggest step forward the Mercurial line has made in years. Almost every part of the boot has been changed, from the upper, to the sole plate. In this review, we’ll take you through all of the features of the new Nike Air Zoom Mercurial.
It’s difficult to improve on the Mercurial Vapor 14, as it’s one of the best modern speed boots around. It’s no surprise that it’s also one of the most popular boots among amateurs and professionals alike. So what prompted Nike to drop a new model? The answer to that lies in the introduction of Nike’s Air Zoom technology. We’ll be covering that technology and more in this review.
If you’re looking to order a pair of the Nike Air Zoom Mercurials, check out World Soccer Shop using the link below. If you’re curious about other boots from Nike, check out our article reviewing the Best Nike Soccer Cleats of 2022.
Air Zoom Technology
Nike has been utilizing their Air Zoom technology in their running shoes for years now. The first shoe with an Air Zoom sole was shipped 20 years ago, and it changed the running game. These new Nike shoes were so efficient that they measurably improved performance in athletes. So what is so special about Air Zoom?
Inside the pressurized Nike Air unit are tightly stretched fibers. Every time these fibers are compressed while running, they snap back instantaneously. This added spring helps make every step more explosive. This may not seem like a huge benefit, but even the smallest margins can be crucial in competitions.
Nike Have specially designed the Air Zoom unit to fit the Mercurial. This Air Zoom tech sits within the sole plate and helps give you additional spring with every step. It’s definitely a step in the right direction for the Mercurial line, as it brings the latest technology into the model.
The Air Zoom Mercurial now has Nike’s new Vaporposite upper. This is a slight change from the Flyknit material that was on on the Vapor 14. This Vaporposite material consists of a grippy mesh that wraps around your foot in a grid pattern.
The material is tactile and feels solid on feet. Despite the durable texture, the upper still feels soft on feet. This upper also provides slightly more grip on the ball compared to the previous Vapor 14s, giving you more control for dribbling, passing, and shooting.
The inside of the Air Zoom features Nike’s speed cage interior. This speed cage is made of thin and light materials that help secure your feet to the outsole. The minimal interior of the boot also allows for slightly more space compared to previous Mercurials. This contributes to the overall comfort of the Air Zoom.
Nike has put a lot of emphasis on adjusting the fit of the Air Zoom Mercurial. The Mercurial represents the most narrow line of boots in Nike’s catalogue. This narrow design can often come at the expense of comfort. To improve the fit of this new model, Nike have redesigned the shape of the boot.
The Air Zoom Mercurial now has more width in the toe-box. This design more naturally follows the shape of your foot. The end result is a boot where you’re less likely to have your toes crunched together. Despite the wider toe-box, the Air Zoom still manages to provide great lockdown through the mid-foot and the heel. This is definitely a football boot that will work for most foot types.
Lighter Than Ever
Mercurials are some of the lightest boots you can get on the market. The Vapor 14 weighs in at just 200 grams, making it very light weight to begin with. The Air Zoom Mercurial cuts this down to 187 grams, making it almost half an ounce lighter. This may seem like a small decrease in weight, but it can make a noticeable difference when the boots are on feet.
Upgraded Stud Pattern
Nike has developed a new stud pattern for the Air Zoom Mercurial. This new design is a departure from the conventional chevron pattern that was used on the Mercurial Vapor 14. In place of the Chevron studs, Nike is using tri-star studs that have three sides. The idea behind these studs is that they provide more multidirectional traction while playing.
The Vapor 14s have some of the most aggressive studs on the market. Although the new design of the Air Zoom soleplate is innovative, it doesn’t deliver quite the same forward traction that the previous model had. That being said, the soleplate on the Air Zoom will still give you more than enough traction on the field.
Similar to other Mercurials, the Air Zoom is an absolute joy to play in. The boots are lightweight, aggressive, and have a very natural touch on the ball. The grippy upper on the Air Zoom provides ample traction while dribbling. This makes it easy to control the ball in tight spaces on the field.
The light weight Air Zoom also give you a near barefoot sensation while running. Nike’s synthetic upper also doesn’t absorb water, which means the Air Zoom will feel light even on rainy days. The soleplate is as aggressive as you would expect from any mercurial. This helps you dig in to the ground and change directions with speed and confidence.
It’s important to remember that the Air Zoom is also a fully synthetic boot. This means that it will not break-in the same way that leather football boots break-in. It’s important to make sure that you like the feel of the boots when you first try them on.
If you’re thinking about ordering a pair of Nike Air Zoom Mercurials, there are a few important considerations to have before you make your decision. For example, if you already have a pair of the Mercurial Vapor 14s, it may not be worth the money to upgrade. Additionally, the Air Zoom Mercurials have a slightly roomier fit than their predecessors. So if you have narrow feet or just prefer a tighter fit, the Vapor 14 may still be your best option.
With all that being said, the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial is an extremely impressive boot. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any player looking to upgrade to a new speed boot.
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