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Nike Mercurial Vapor 8 (VIII) Review

Nike Vapor 8 Review

What an incredible publicity winner the Nike Mercurial Vapor 8 has turned out to be. There is no doubt that Nike were expecting a mass of positive feedback from the release, but not to the levels that we have seen over the past 2 weeks!

Where the Vapor VII was seen as a boot that lacked a killer edge, the Vapor VIII is seen as a revival of previous Vapor releases, a sort of enigma of its former self. From the suede upper to new stud configuration, it is a boot built on innovative ideas. Nike sent over a pair on the day the boots were released – since then, they have been put through strenuous testing in order to see just what they have to offer. The key question surrounding them is how do they fit, and we have you covered on that! For testing, I wore a size 9US in the Bright Mango colorway.

Fans of the range can pick up a pair for $191.99. Read more about the boots below.

Breaking In
Nike had the Vapor 8 at my office right in time for the official release of the boots – that was exactly 2 weeks ago. Since that time, I have been able to wear these in 3 games, 4 training sessions and a 3 hour film session – all with absolutely no comfort problems! Right out of the box, these boots are ready for game time, something that has not always been the case with boots in the Vapor range. The key difference on these is how flexible and soft the Teijen Microfiber is, and how quickly it starts to mimic your foot shape. You can tell from simply holding them that they are designed for comfort. I was also impressed with the soleplate and how easily it broke-in. Nike use a Double-composite glass chassis that is surprising flexible. The one area of note is that the midfoot has been trimmed, so there is not as much support for players who need a lot of width. It didn’t prove to be problematic for me, but it is something that players will need to consider.

Vapor 8 Suede Upper

Vapor 8 Upper

How do they Fit?
My initial reaction when I got these was that they offered a fantastic fit right across the forefoot but with a slightly longer fit. I mentioned it several times and commented on the extra lenght you get from having an extremely thin upper. Compared to other boots like the Vapor VII, you get about an extra finger width of space. I have a medium/wide fit and having worn them several times, I can tell you that players with the same foot width should order true to size. Players with a narrow fit should order a half size down. Here is the thing, players with a wide fit will find the upper hugs your foot and you need that extra space up top to give you some breathing space. I’m sure your next question is “well won’t that make you feel clumsy?” and my answer is a simple no! Again, I have found that you need that extra space and it proves very useful as you twist and turn.
To summarize: Medium to Wide fitting players order true to size; Narrow fit consider ordering down a half size.

Suede Nike Vapor 8

Compared to the Vapor VII
There are several key differences that distinguish the new from the old, all of which are important to note! It starts with the upper, where Nike has transitioned from a Teijen Microfiber upper to a new and extremely thin Suede Teijen Microfiber. The difference here is very evident and it produces a much more comfortable boot. Next, the stud configuration where Nike include not only a two stud heel design on the Vapor 8, but also a set of sharper blades to increase traction. The shape of the soleplate is also very different, with the Vapor 8 being much thinner though the midfoot. Weight wise, they have been dropped from 8oz to an impressive 6.5oz, which is the lightest soccer release we have seen from Nike! For more on how they compare, see the Nike Vapor VII vs Vapor VIII post that went up last week.

All-new Stud Configuration
One look at the soleplate and it is pretty easy to spot just how Nike has dramatically changed things up. First thing is the 2 stud heel design, which absolutely blows our everyday expectations! Other than the tripod design on the Pele Trinity, there is no other boot on the market with such a unique feature. The concept behind it is that it penetrates and release from the surface with less friction, resulting in a quicker release and improved acceleration.

2 Stud Heel Design

Nike Vapor 8 Stud Config

In-Game Performance
You have to give it to Nike, they took feedback from fans about the Nike Vapor VII and used it to create a new boot that offers players a completely different level of performance. By different, I mean exciting! It all starts with that Suede Microfiber Upper, and to be quite honest the one word I would use to describe it is sensational! When they arrived, it was the first thing I noticed as it is super soft and extremely flexible. Through play, you get a fantastic natural feel and touch on the ball, ideal for players who like to dribble.  The Suede feels also has benefits as it has a slightly rough feel. This gives the boot a little extra grip on the ball, especially in wet conditions.

An area that has it positives and negatives is the soleplate and those blades. I can tell you that they offer solid traction right through wear and they do feel very springy off the surface. So, in theory they do exactly as Nike advertise! But, the blades are thin and as a result I found the edges to be slightly sharp. I haven’t read the rule book, but I would be interested in finding out if there is any rules that determine how wide a blade should be. I have no problems with the blades on my own boots, but as a winger I do not want to be on the end of a tackle from a player wearing them!

Nike Vapor 8 Heel Design

Design
Nike has decided to keep things pretty clean on this one, sticking with a single color one-piece upper. It is an absolutely welcome move in my opinion, and it really creates that original Vapor feel to the boot. After all the wild mixed color combo’s we have seen in the past, I think players are excited about this look. The one area where there is a splash of color is on the heel and unlike previous Nike releases, this is just for aesthetics rather than visual enhancement. The official colorways for the boots release are officially listed as a Bright Mango/Metallic Dark Grey/Challenge Red and Sail/Soar/Challenge Red.

Negatives
First up, scuffing on the upper. Microfiber uppers are usually pretty easy to clean, but because these boot has a suede feel they are a lot tougher to keep clean. I noticed through wear that they scuff pretty easily and it is easy to spot on the Mango color. Those looking to pick up the White will have more problems! Another area of concern is those sharp blades and I am actually surprised that they are legal in the game.

Buy Soccer Cleats

The Skinny Summary
Highlight: Nike’s new speed boot that features a new and ultra-thin Suede Microfiber Upper and a new stud configuration for solid traction when you need it most!
Category: Lightweight and build for speed/acceleration.
Weight: 6.5oz, which is the lightest soccer boot ever released by Nike.
Would I Buy Them: Absolutely would, they are a great boot. But, you do have to factor in the fact that the upper scuffs easily.
Player Position: Because of their lightweight nature and solid traction, they are an ideal choice for wingers and pacey forwards. I have seen center mids and even center backs wearing them this week!

Nike Vapor VIII

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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91 comments

  1. Might Get Them,, Or Wait For The LZs 😀

  2. Doesnt sound like Nike is making these in a TF or AG configuration, which is disappointing. Turf mercurials are very popular on the fields here in NYC. Maybe Nike is saving that suede microfiber for a new Bomba Finale? Any exciting new turf cleats on the horizon?

    • The Glides and Mercurial have a similar suede feel upper and they usually make a turf and ag configuration for them so keep you eye out for them.

      • According to my local soccer shop Nike wont be releasing 8's in turf or AG. Here's hoping they were wrong. On the mercurial 7's the glides had the top level upper (vs. the victory, which were stiffer), so hopefully we get some AG glides or Bomba Finales with that suede upper! IN BLACK.

  3. Any comments on stud pressure? Read some reviews of people who play-tested the vapor 8s and they commented that the stud pressure was a problem especially on astro turf (while i understand its not meant for astro turf, i believe a significant number of people will be playing it on Astro Turf)

    • i use them on AG almost every practice and most games, they work wonders! i was shocked to see how they handled with only eight studs.

  4. Great review, wish I could get these.

  5. Found a Typo>?

    "All-new Stud Configuration
    One look at the soleplate and it is pretty easy to spot just how Adidas has dramatically changed things up."

    I know Adidas has cool Adizero studs but i think Nike is meant to mentioned here?

  6. Hi Bryan,

    Thanks for the awesome review, but I have a quick question. I was surprised with the pop (power) you would get with shots from the 7, as compared to the Adidas F-50. Does the 8 have the same type of surprising pop that you wouldn’t expect from a speed boot?

  7. All-new Stud Configuration
    One look at the soleplate and it is pretty easy to spot just how Adidas has dramatically changed things up.

    Adidas – Nike

    really big typo here

  8. I think you mean how nike have changed things up in the stud configuration part not adidas…..

  9. Any review to compare Miracle III with Miracle 2?

  10. Look great although the whole sharp stud thing makes me worried if the opposition is wearing them. Great review though! Been waiting for this one.

  11. Which are better?

    Adizero Primes or Vapor 8?

    • Primes were overrated for what they offered compared to the regular Adizero, based on cost and technology. Lots of sales on Primes around the world's top soccer shops though. Vapor 8 is worth the slight cost difference compared to the old Primes. The current 3rd Gen adizero doesn't even have a Prime model….yet…. haha. Who knows?

      Personally…go for the Vapor 8.

    • Jacob Rodriguez

      The Primes are way better. They are lighter and have a great ball feel. The Vapors 8 are good but they are not as light. Personallly go with the primes

  12. Would these work well for a more attacking-type center mid?

  13. What's the best way to clean the new upper of the Vapor 8?

    • I haven't found a "best" way yet, unfortunately. The suede upper is quite unusual.

      • i use a mr clean magic eraser! i know it sounds weird but each eraser can be used again and again, but it does wonders! the only thing that will be left on the cleats is major scuffs, no dirt or discoloration. ive used that since march 29th when i got the vapors and have had the same result every time.

  14. Hi Bryan, which soleplate do you prefer, the adizeros or Vapor 8?

  15. they are legal, i see players in my academy program wearing them

  16. hey bryan, great review!
    one thing of concern to me is the durability of the studs as it is thinner and sharper, i am worried that it might break off easily when i'm playing on slightly tougher grounds.
    what is your take on this?

    • I'm not concerned with them breaking – Nike has them secured in really well. Under the wrong circumstances they might break, but the same could be said for any blade on the market.

      • i would say walking on concrete would do the worst damage, as with any other cleat. but they wont snap or chip or crack. nothing among those lines

  17. What is your say on wide feet?

  18. Any comment on durability? Well considering how many cuff there are on the upper, do you think that this book will be anywhere close to the durability of the vapor 7s, or do you think it will be closer to the past adizero's.

    Also how do they perform on turf? Do you think that there will be any major problems when playing on turf?

  19. Nike, I am very annoyed that you would design a boot that has potentially dangerous sharp studs. I get studded very regularly by other players and the last thing I need is more pain and injury from it. This is a serious issue.

    • they are really not that bad, i have been cleated by another player on my team with these, and i was wearing the same ones, but it really doesnt hurt more than any other cleat. the player that cleated me was about 155 pounds. they are not as bad as you may think. it suprised me to!

  20. I got my Miracle III yesterday and thought they were great. The traction system is a huge improvement over the previous model (at least, testing them on artificial grass… hope to try them out on firm/hard ground grass later today). My question is, is the sizing comparable between the Miracle and Vapor models? I’m considering springing for the Vapor VIII but would like to make sure they’re the same fit before I commit to that purchase.

  21. is it safe to play with these in Artificial Grass???? looks a bit dangerous to me. please reply ASAP 😛

    • I've been trying out the Miracle III (same traction pattern) on artificial grass the last two days and I think they're fantastic. Our artificial grass is the kind with the green plastic grass blades and the little black rubber bits. Anything more turf-surface-y than that would make me concerned, but for that type of artificial grass they're great.

  22. if you were to compare the sizing to any of the past mercurial vapors which mercurial vapor would have the same fitting?

  23. Does anyone know what the heel is lined with? Is it some suede-like material or just plain synthetic like the previous Vapors?

    • it almost like a really smooth leather, when you brake them in, if u sweat in the boots they sometimes can squeak. but that is only temporary

  24. What’s the best way to clean the upper of the Vapor 8? (I use it while playing on Artificial Grass).

  25. very good…the best

  26. Would you recommend the hot water treatment for the Vapor 8 or are the very easy to break-in?

  27. Hi Bryan,

    What do you think it’s better for Speed between F50 AdiZero miCoach and Vapor 8 ?? Which soleplate do you prefer ??

    Vapor 8 are looking better for all (Confort, Touch, Shoot, Traction)…

  28. So how will these new Nike Vapor 8 do on turf? Is it safe?

  29. Will the studs survive on artificial grass? The type with little black rubber bits and green plastic grass?

  30. Are these suitable for wide feet?

  31. So is the Indoor Court model Mercurial Vapor III the same type of shoe as this. I am looking for an indoor shoe and dont know if I should go for the IIIs or if I should get some Lunar Gatos http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Me

  32. I love what you guys did with this review…the video is cool too http://bit.ly/HYBmWF

  33. how do you think the FG studs would fare on softer ground and, visa versa, what would the SG-Pro soleplate be like on a firmer field? I am worried that I might slip if I get the FG and it rains (as the studs look quite small) or I might injure myself playing with SG studs on harder fields…

  34. I have the Nike Mercurial Vapor VII in US 13 and they are slightly small. I also have the Nike Tiempo Legend IV in US 14 but they are too large and I actually don't like tiempos. Should I buy these vapors 8 in 13 or 14? (I think I have a narrow feet)

  35. Just wondering how the shooting power compares to the Adidas predators? The predator reviews talk about the 7% extra power when kicking and I'm a bit tentative to buy without more info

  36. Hey I wear CTR 360 2s in a size 10 but I double sock. I've never had vapors but really want a pair and am looking to NIKEiD a pair but really need to know if there is a difference in sizing between the CTRs and these.. Please respond!! Also I wear Nike Air Max in 9.5 if that makes a difference.

    • There are multiple differences in how they fit/shape across the foot. But you will be fine ordering the same size in both ranges, just expect a slightly longer fit in the Vapor (as in the fit section above, it is needed)

  37. My last mercurials were a size 12 does that mean I should order a size 11.5 in these?

  38. Hey I wear size 8.5 vapor vii, I have about a 1-1.5 cm gap at the end, and they are not tight width wise. Should I order half a size down in the Vapor viii?

  39. Hi, I am a winger looking to try the vapor 8's. I had a pair of vapor 5 but they gave me too many blisters because of my wide foot. Would anyone still recommend the new vapors for a wide foot or are the adizeros better? Thanks

  40. Hi Bryan,
    This is and awesome review, but one question i have is, are the cleats durable/durable feeling? Would they most likely start to rip from wet weather or tackles?

  41. Hey Bryan, I need your help with sizing. I wear a US 8 in the adizero; however, I don’t know how I should go about sizing in the Superfly III or Superfly II. In truth, I feel like all the Nike releases seem to fit differently.

    My adizeros are extremely tight fitting but that is simply how I enjoy my boots to feel. Should I also get a US 8 in the Superfly/ Vapor range or consider a half size up?

    Thank you.

  42. awesome cleats cristiano ronaldo im like you

  43. Hey Bryan, I'm playing right wing for my high school team but i also play any where from right back to forward occasionally. I'm thinking about getting these, the lethal zones or the adipure sl. which would you recommend for someone who runs, dribbles and crosses a lot?

    • Exclusively playing as a right winger, these would be a solid option. If you are more up and down, the Predator LZ might be a better option as it covers a broader range of criteria! Plus, they offer some added protection for tackles.

  44. What a great cleat, I just loved wearing these.

  45. Is the upper on these thinner than that of the synthetic adizero micoach, because I’ve had some problems with being tackled or stepped on with those and I’m Hopi these will be a little better.

  46. Hi bryan,
    Great review but i have a quick question..im deciding to buy a new pair of cleats and im not sure which to choose. Either the VIII, t90 iv in k leather or the superfly 3's. Im a striker mostly rely on spped and shot please help

    -gabe

  47. What do you mean by value? And are the total 90 bulky and heavy? And also the ctr 360 are a very popular boot worn by many of my teamates are those decent for striker?

  48. Hey I play soccer very competitively, maybe 65% of the time on good turf and 35% on wet grass and I was wondering whether I should buy the sg or fg version? I've seen people wear the sg version on turf and the fg version on wet grass and if someone has worn both maybe they could say which they prefer.

    • Wearing SG on turf surfaces is a definite no – there is a huge increase in the opportunity for injury. If you need to decide between both, go for the FG. But my recommendation would be to get a separate pair for each surface.

  49. Hi Bryan,

    I play soccer and im stuck between buying these or Adizeros. I have a straight, narrow foot and perviously i bought Adizeros except they gave me blisters because the shape looked more curved, i haven’t have a pair of Mercurials yet… It would help to know which cleats would fit me better.

  50. Hi Bryan,

    i play soccer and im about to buy new cleats before the new season so im stuck between these and f50 adizeros. in case it helps, my foot shape is straight and narrow. ive had a pair of adizeros but they gave me blisters because the shape of the cleat looked very curved, but thats my guess. ive never had a pair of mercurials.. so i was just thinking between these and f50s.

    thanks

  51. Hi, can anyone tell me how these compare size wise to the vapor vii? I wear a US 9.5 for vapor vii's and I was wondering what size i should order for these. Thank you!

  52. The best site for review, and you were definitely right about the studs. Look at what happened to Rooney yesterday. He’s got a deep cut!( an unintentional step from rodallega who’s using these boots). But from my point of view, mercurial vapor viii is just a great boot. I love them <3

  53. Which do you like better for high scoring forward? Currently I wear ctr 2 because I played center mid last year but now I moved to forward and my ctr have began to rip so I need to buy new cleats. I am a high scoring forward , I have the most goals on my team, so I was wondering what you input on which cleats I should wear.

  54. hey, bryan, this is really late but, i was wishing you could still help me with this. i got a pair of vapor sevens in a size 11UK and they were pretty roomy at the toes, so should i get the vapor 8's a size down? and are the seaweed ones still being shipped? cuz the retailers have run out here

  55. I've had these boots for about 2 months and I've noticed that the upper is detaching from the sole plate on the inside where the foot twists a lot. As of now there is a seem that is about an inch long and growing. Has anyone else experineced this? Any advice on how to best reattach the upper. I'm thinking something similar to super glue. These boots are great but the durability is a concern now for me.

  56. hey bryan
    whats the durability like on these?

  57. Adizero is better

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