There’s no question that Nike has been absolutely killing it when it comes to football boots recently. Regardless of your preference in boots, Nike has something that can fit any style. If you’re looking for a speed boot, you have two main options from the world’s largest football brand. You can either go for the Phantom GT II or the Mercurial Vapor 14. Both boots are great in their own respect, but they have a few distinct features that separate them from each other. So in this article, we’ll be comparing the Nike Phantom GT II vs the Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 to help you decide which is the best for you.
We’ll go over the design, fit, stud pattern, durability, and more for each of these football boots. If you’re looking to check out additional boots from the Nike line-up, check out our article on the Best Nike Soccer Cleats of 2022. If you’re interested in ordering a pair of these football boots, find the best deal online at World Soccer Shop.
The Phantom GT2 is relatively new to Nike’s modern boot line-up. It follows the original Phantom GT with a fresh update to the design. The upper has a raised patterning to help create optimal spin and control the flight of the ball.
The lacing system on the Phantom GT2 is off-center which provides a larger strike zone for passing and shooting. Similar to the Vapor 14s, the Phantoms have Nike’s Flyknit material surrounding your foot to provide a minimal feel. Grippy texture across the top of the upper also helps with precision and ball control.
The Mercurials helped create the modern class of cleats known as ‘speed boots’. The Vapors earn that name because they are ridiculously quick. At just 6.5 ounces, the Mercurial Vapors are some of the lightest boots on the market. The Nike Aerotrak sole plate helps with speed by providing a springy feeling that encourages forward momentum.
The Mercurial Vapor 14s continue with the similar Flyknit upper that have featured on recent Mercurial models. This soft textile material makes the boots feel almost like a sock on your feet. It also helps provide a close barefoot sensation on the ball. Whether you’re a speedy winger, or just looking for the latest and greatest tech, the Vapor 14s are a great option.
Fit and Feel
The Phantom GT II features Nike’s classic Flyknit upper. This upper stretches to the shape of your feet and provides a snug fit. The Phantom is also the only boot in Nike’s lineup with an off center lacing system. This design is intended to give you a more clean striking area. I’ve found that the Phantom GT II also runs slightly small, so you may want to try ordering a half-size up if you order a pair.
The Mercurial Vapor 14 should look and feel familiar if you’ve worn any of the previous mercurial models. The stripped down Flyknit upper is the most minimalist design that Nike has ever done. On feet, the Mercurial and the Phantom feel fairly similar. However, I would say that the Mercurial offers slightly more room in the toe-box. In comparison, the Phantom offers more room through the mid-foot.
The Phantom GT II utilizes a split stud pattern configuration on the outsole of the boot. There are isolated sections of studs on the heel and forefoot that are connected by a thin strip of plastic. This design helps reduce the total weight of the sole plate, making the boots lighter and faster on feet.
The sole plate on the Mercurial Vapor 14 differs slightly from that on on the Phantom. The most noticeable difference being that the Mercurial has a symmetrical sole plate, while the Phantom is off center. Nike calls this the Aerotrak plate. The chevron studs are also some of the most aggressive that Nike have ever produced.
When it comes to playability the Phantom GT II offers a unique experience compared to any other football boot. The upper has a raised texture that covers the entire boot. This texture provides additional grip when dribbling, shooting, and passing the ball. As you would expect, the Phantom GT II also feels quick and responsive on feet.
The Vapor 14 provides the exact playability you would expect from any other Mercurial model. Similar to the Phantom GT II, the Vapor 14 is extremely light on feet. The Aerotrak plate in the sole give the Vapor 14 an edge when it comes to accelerating and changing direction. The Flyknit material is also very comfortable on the Vapor 14, due to the stretchy material.
Both the Phantom GT II and Mercurial Vapor 14 have top notch build quality. However, both of these boots are very minimalist. Although this makes the boots a lot lighter, is also means that they may not last as long as other bulkier boots. That being said, you will still be able to get at least a season or two out of these boots.
Value for Money
If you’re interested in picking up either the Mercurial Vapor 14 or the Phantom GT II, each boot retails for $250. Although this is a steep price for a pair of football boots, you get what you pay for when it comes to build quality and materials. Luckily, these boots often go on sale if you’re looking for a discount. Additionally, you can opt for a cheaper take down model if you’re shopping on a budget.
When looking at both the Phantom GT II and the Mercurial Vapor 14, there is no wrong choice. If you want a boot that can give you more grip on the ball, the Phantom GT II is a great choice. If you want something more explosive and lightweight, the Vapor 14 may be for you. I recommend trying on both boots to see what feels the best on your feet. At the end of the day, what you find most comfortable is what will allow you to play your best.
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