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Nike CTR360 Maestri III Review

Sonic Yellow Nike CTR360 Maestri III

If there is one thing Nike has done well in the past, it is produce a top range of Control boots. Coming off some successful releases, this latest CTR360 Maestri III, or the third installment in the silo, has a lot to live up to. One thing is clearly evident about this boot and that is the changing dynamics Nike has put them through. A newly redesigned pass and control zone has been added to a fresh stud configuration, while the Kanga-Lite upper has also seen some change – ACC added to increase its potential performance. There is a lot going on with these boots and I was glad to have some extra time with these to really nail down the good and the bad.

For testing, I wore a pair of size US in the Sonic Yellow/Black colorway, which has a current retail price of $199.99.

CTR360 Maestri III detailing (e)

Nike CTR360 Maestri III

Breaking In
Straight-up, this is the sort of boot you take out of the box for the first time and say “Wow”. My focus immediately centered on the unique double layer of stitching that runs across the forefoot and steadily shifted to the control zone. Everything about the boot oozes a certain confidence. Out of the box and on your feet, they have an immediate tight feel. I talk more about this in the “How do they Fit” section below, but the basics of what you need to know is this; they fit tighter than previous CTR360 releases and almost feel like the Tiempo IV mold starting out.. It takes a while to get things loosened up and feeling comfortable, definitely a few training sessions before you break them into game.

When it comes to the layer of stitching I mentioned earlier, it makes for an excellent addition and helps the upper really mold to your foot shape. When it comes to the soleplate, it offers plenty of flexibility and is comfortable through wear.

CTR360 Maestri III detailing (a)

Control Zone CTR360 III

In-Game Performance
There are a few areas that need to be tackled here, starting out with the Control Zone. To get further details on its role, there is a section dedicated to it below. On contact, you do get that added control element, with the region almost enveloping the ball.  Something that really impresses me is how Nike has attached it to the upper without creating a stiff feel. In fact, it actually produces a very natural feel. When it comes to playing passing, you get a little extra bounce or rebound off, which in theory can’t really harm things.

Next up is that fantastic stitching that crosses the forefoot of the upper. In my opinion, this is actually the highlight of the boot and I’m extremely glad Nike has added it. When I’m testing boots, I usually notice two crease lines across the forefoot that at times can be slightly uncomfortable when the boot scrunches. I’m sure there are a few of you out there that know exactly what I am talking about, and if you do you will be extremely pleased with this release. It is a simple addition that makes a big difference, with the upper flexing in a much more natural way. If there was something I’d like to see Nike continue with on this range, this would be top of the list!

CTR360 Maestri III Stud

Finally, the new stud configuration. On release, I was pleased to see Nike had taken a fresh approach with this release, and in-game it does have plenty of positives including a high level of quality traction. BUT, and there is an important but, Nike has failed to create a truly advanced configuration. In fact, they have placed a stud toward the front of the boot that cause some discomfort. It is the second stud front to back of the boot that sits on the instep. (as per the picture above). What is odd about this stud is that it sits higher than the front stud, and this causes pressure on firm surfaces. I actually don’t understand the logic behind its dimensions and feel it is an area that Nike are going to have to address. Having also encountered sharp studs on the Vapor VIII, I’m starting to wonder what is going on in the stud configuration designer department!

CTR360 Maestri III detailing

Pass Control Zone

Designed to be a Control Boot
One of the more obvious aspects of this boot visually is the 3D control pads that sit along the instep of the boot. They are there to maximize the area where the ball comes into contact with the boot and are designed to offer some additional aid when it comes to passing and receiving. It is a vastly different type of technology compared to previous CTR360 releases and actually plays a much less obtrusive role. Its positioning makes a lot of sense and does play a valuable role in what the boot has to offer.

All Conditions Control (ACC)
The concept behind this advanced addition is optimal control in dry and wet conditions. This is a bold statement from Nike as they continue to produce an even more advanced Kanga-Lite upper. To put it to the test, I did test these out with some extra water and they worked out pretty well. It is tough to say whether or not the control is the same in both weather conditions, but there is definitely a positive feel when the boots are wet.

CTR360 Maestri III detailing (b)

Compared to the Maestri II
There are obviously plenty of differences between this release and the CTR360 Maestri III. In fact, the only real similarity lies in the two-tone design! The control zone is very different and the resultant dynamics produces a different type of performance. The upper has also been modified, with the addition of ACC adding as an improvement. While the stud configuration has also be redesigned and developed with a new approach. Ultimately, they are both solid boots with plenty to offer aspiring playmakers.

How do they Fit?
Out of the box, these boots fit tighter than previous CTR360’s. It is a slight difference that results in needing a few wears before loosening to the right size. Thankfully, you do get some stretch through the upper and as the stitching loosens, but as a true-to-size boot they fit very snug initially. In saying that, I recommend going for a true-to-size fit starting out, unless you have a wide fit or like a little extra space, in which case you should probably order up a half size.

Negatives
That one pesky stud that sits along the inner side of the boot is a problematic negative and although it won’t result in your performances taking a nose-dive overnight, it does cause some unnecessary discomfort through wear on firm surfaces. No other negatives to report, but one other thing to note is that the laces are very short on these boots, so you might need to fork out on a new yellow pair if you like to wrap them underneath your boot before tying!

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The Skinny Summary
Highlight: Designed to provide a new level of control for midfielders who want to get on the ball and control the game. Improved Kanga-Lite is effective in both wet and dry conditions, always a plus!
Category: A definite Control boot, with a hint of deft Touch added in.
Weight: 9.2oz, which is a vast improvement on the 10.8oz Maestri II.
Would I Buy Them: Listen they are a great boot and I thoroughly enjoyed testing them, but I’m going to be slightly controversial here and say I’d rather pick up a pair of CTR360 Maestri II on sale than buy the III at full price.
Player Position: They are advertised as being the ideal choice for center mids, but realistically they have a lot to offer players all over the field, from attacking style magicians to defensive minded hackers.

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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49 comments

  1. Another informative review from SC101. Personally I have enjoyed the new CTR's. I've found them comfortable on real grass, a bit less so on turf. Also noted a bit more zip on passes and shots made with inside of foot. Overall a solid and comfortable boot. I've been rotating the new CTR's with my Predator LZ's for the past couple of weeks. CTR's are more comfortable, but I do like the "sticky" feel of the Pred's when receiving and passing.

  2. do you think the sg pro soleplate would make a difference than this stud pattern

  3. Can you please review the new trequartista!

  4. i have the trequartistas and if i take out the insole i can see light through the front inside of them, is that on these?

  5. Good review and thanks for the feedback regarding the problematic stud. Unfortunately this is what happens when gimmicks are introduced in an attempt to differentiate the product and increase sales at the expense of functionality. The old fashioned Copa stud pattern is the best stud pattern you can get for firm ground; no need for blades or anything like that.

  6. Hey Bryan! I am requesting some advice for new boots. I am a regular of your site so therefore I am well informed of all the boots, but I am having difficulty choosing between the Clash Collection Vapor VIII and this Maestri III. In the past I have owned Diadoras, T90 Laser K, and the Tiempo Ronaldinho 10R. I have never had a lightweight, synthetic boot before so I thought that the Vapors would be perfect. However, I need pretty good arch support for my flat feet, and I have briefly worn the CTR360 Librettos (takedown version) before and they fit perfectly. So my dilemma is between 1)Vapor VIII, because it is lightweight, great synthetic, and I have never had the Vapor experience or 2) Maestri III, because they seem more supportive and protective, and because they seem to fit my feet pretty well. Please reply and thnx for reading all this.

    • Simple answer is to for these boots if you want the same feel as you got with the Librettos. Comfort rules my friend, and you get great performance from these boots also.

      Or, alternatively, look at the CTR360 Maestri II, which is slightly cheaper at the moment!!

  7. Besides price, do you reccomend these over the maestri 2?

  8. How do you think these match up with the predator lz’s? I’m debating between the two. Also, I’m a winger, like you 😀

  9. What size? Mr. Bryan, you have left out the size.

    Ex…. For testing, I wore a pair of size US in the Sonic Yellow/Black colorway, which has a current retail price of $199.99.

  10. Can you please do a review and the third boots in the ranges like absolados and librettos.

  11. I recommend these shoes to no one. i play collegiate soccer and they have fallen apart within the first 5 days of preseason. they are NOT durable.

  12. Do you recommend going up half a size since they are a bit narrower and have a snug fit or will they stretch enough to not warrant going up half a size?

  13. Hey Bryan, I found that the yellow part of these cleats scuff quite easily while playing on turf. Any suggestions on how to get rid of those scuffs and get the cleats to look spanking new again?

  14. hey Bryan,
    Ive had these cleats for 3 weeks and they're ripping on the instep right in between the the forefoot stitching, and beginning to separate all along the toe box, do you have these issues or is it just me? thanks

  15. Hi there, any chance of a review of the Trequartista III? You have it listed as the "Best Value" boot but I don't see a review of it anywhere. Thanks!

  16. Hi Bryan, just an extra question about the fit of these since I've had bad experiences in size with online ordering.

    I currently wear a 9 1/2 in the AdiPure IVs (it loosened to fit me significantly because of the leather), but I have worn a size 10 in other boots.
    I am considering ordering these but should I get a 9 1/2 or 10?

    Thanks!

  17. do these cleats fit wide feet?

  18. Great review Bryan. However I was wondering with this new stud configuration would you say it's more of a hybrid between bladed or conical? How do you think this new stud configuration and shape fair on turf?

  19. Hi Bryan,

    Thank you for the review! I bought a new pair of CTR III. My left shoe fits well, but my right 4th and pinky toe feel cramped or curled in the right shoe even though I still have some space in the front. I have been wearing them for two days. Is it normal due to break-in? Is my right shoe defective? Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you

    • The fit across the forefoot might just not suit what you need. There is limited stretch in the upper, so I doubt it will improve too much over time. It is possible that you need a boot with a wider forefoot.

  20. Is review teach me a lot about the great boot and it make me a bigger fan of ctr than what I was before

  21. hello i have the nike maestri III and the sole plate around the toe box of the shoe is starting to separate severely. Do you think Nike would replace my boots as it started happening during the middle of the season?
    kr nathan

  22. Hey Brian,

    I have a question.
    I wear a size EUR 44.5 in the Maestri 2, which size should i get for the Maestri 3?

  23. I love ctr performance but I find they lift at the toe after a month this is a real problem

  24. Bryan talking about that stud that causes some discomfort and pressure, do u think one can file it down to make it same height as other studs?is it really that problematic in your opinion?midfielders, especially wingers need comfort so that is only issue keeping me from pulling the trigger on a pair of these. pls convince me either way. thx

    • I wouldn't file it down, as I'm not sure what is underneath or what impact it would have. Realistically, a lot of players love these boots and hat they offer performance wise, so I'm sure you'd be very happy with a pair.

  25. Hey! i have wide fit and i wear 9.5 vapors. should i order 9.5 ctrs or 10?? thanks

  26. Great review! This is my third pair from Nike, and I have yet to be disappointed with the functionality of their boots. I have to say that I'm not feeling the discomfort from the "pesky" stud but maybe that's due to the turf we play on.

    Cheers!

  27. Bryan, hopefully commenting on this old thread will still get to you.

    i love the Nike CTR360 Maestri III. i went through maybe five pair (and have one in the garage i got off ebay). my question is, what boot would you say fits the closest to this one?

    i purchased a pair of Magistas hoping the changes wouldn't be too drastic but it turns out they changed the last and the toebox is just enough tighter that it pinched my foot right where the base of my pinky toe joins the foot. i didn't wear them long enough to see if it'd wear in, as i had to decide to return, or not, before they were too worn.

    should i go with Magistas and let them break in or is there something that's closer to the last of the Maestri III?

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