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During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the majority of the world’s best soccer players ran around in Nike’s new Elite Series Soccer Boots. The Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II, CTR360 Maestri, T90 Laser III and the Tiempo Legend III have all been revamped and updated with Nike’s latest performance innovations.
“At Nike, we have a relentless focus on product innovation to give athletes a real competitive edge and deliver the best products in the world,” Nike design director for football footwear Andrew Caine stated on Nike’s media website.
Each boot model has been refitted with a super lightweight carbon fiber plate on the outsole, which decreased the boot's total weight. The SuperFly II dropped down 5 percent while the CTR360 cut the most fat, losing 19 percent of its original weight. Both the Tiempo and T90 cut 16 percent off as well.
Having a lightweight boot decreases the amount of weight and energy it takes to run at top speeds, thus, over time, giving players a little more gas in their tanks to perform at elite levels.
The design and color scheme of the boots were also created with purpose. Nike experts discovered that during a soccer match, the average player’s vision is 99 percent peripheral and less than one percent foveal (focused vision). To help improve the focus for finding teammates on the pitch, designers combined two high-contrast colors for each boot design to trigger a stimulus and catch peripheral vision when a player runs across the path of vision.
The Metallic Mach Purple and Total Orange color scheme creates a flicker effect while running, helping to enhance visibility and letting teammates spot one another on the pitch, which allows for precise passing in crowded situations.
Although each New Nike Elite Series has these similarities, unique aspects separate each boot, catering to an athlete’s specific style of play.
The Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II is lightweight, accurate on the strike, durable and allows for precision cutting, perfect for any player who is looking to have it all. Are they worth shelling out over $300 on boots? Just ask Cristiano Ronaldo, Róbson de Souza (Robinho), Clint Dempsey and a host of other players who laced them up this summer.
If you prefer to be the maestro of the pitch and dictate the game with precision passing like Landon Donovan, Cesc Fabregas and James Milner, the CTR360 Maestri is the right choice. The inner side of the boot has been tweaked to maximize the ability to trap the ball. The TPU pass pad and memory foam inserted in the instep of the boot helps distribute the ball accurately to teammates.
For the player with the mindset of “if it’s not broke, then don’t fix it,” the Tiempo Legend III offers all the same comforts it’s given for the past 25 years. It has a strong, durable design with 12 studs placed in a configuration that allows for maximum grip and feel. Just ask Carlos Tevez, Ji-Sung Park and Gerard Pique, who never seem to slip or fall no matter how bad the conditions are.
The T90 Laser III is the deadliest boot from the Nike Elite Series, designed specifically for strikers looking to score at will. The side-lace configuration allows for a total striking surface for complete control. The raised Nike TPU fins on the medial side of the boot help to increase friction on the ball during contact, allowing more swerve and curve with each strike. Top strikers Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres are known to score from anywhere on the pitch with these boots on.
For additional information on the Elite Series Boots, head to nike.com.