One of Nike’s recent advancements has been the release of the Mercurial Superfly range, a cleat designed using a unique technology called ‘Flywire’.
Right before their release in 2009, Nike pulled the Superfly V off the market as there were some concerns about durability. But, since their re-release the following June they have found extreme popularity, outselling its predecessor the Vapor IV. We took the time to do some research, and talk to some Nike rep’s about the latest design in an attempt to find out exactly what makes the addition of Flywire so special!
Where did Flywire come from?
Flywire is the brainchild of Jay Meschter, Director of Innovation at Nike. He began his quest in the early 2000’s, focusing on the key areas of the cleat, where support is needed most to support the foot. What he determined was that a lightweight cleat could be achieved by using long stitches across the forefront of the cleat, using of a compound called Vectran.
What is Vectran?
Vectran is a high performance multifilament yarn that is spun from liquid crystal polymer. Ok, all you really need to know is that Vectran fibers are thinner than human hair, it is light weight and flexible yet it is five times stronger than steel! Another major reason it is used is because it turns out to be relatively inexpensive. Another fun fact is that Vectran has previously been used by NASA and in bicycle tires, among other things.
Why is Flywire used?
The goal of Flywire is to minimize weight and maximize support and that is exactly what it does. Its high-strength threads work like cables on a suspension bridge with support engineered precisely where a foot needs it. One thing to note is that Flywire acts just like a tendon would on the front of your foot. The layer of material used to cover the cleat is only there to keep out dirt and rocks, it is the Flywire structure that protects the foot. Because of this, Nike have been able to create a cleat that weighs in at an incredibly light 6.8oz, the lightest on the market.
Is Flywire worth the money?
Flywire technology is used in the new range of Nike Mercurial Superfly soccer cleats. Nike has also started using it in newer ranges and it looks like they will continue to do so moving forward. The price of these boots runs from between $300 to $400. This is a lot compared to other cleats on the market (probably at least double the average price). So, is Flywire that much of an advancement that it is double the price? It is pretty impressive and took a considerable amount of time for some of the top researchers in the world to invent. The answer depends on what type of player you are and what you are looking for in a cleat. If you are a speedy player who is extremely serious about your game and wants a light cleat designed to give you the greatest advantage in a game situation then they probably are worth the money. But a lot of the price behind these cleats comes from the fact that Nike were the first to develop it, and a lot of other manufacturers on the market focus on other aspects of cleats other than the weight.
If you have any comments about your experiences with the Superfly range or Flywire technology leave us a message below!