When Nike decide it is time to release a new personalized boot for Cristiano Ronaldo, fans sit up and eagerly anticipate the new design. Sometimes the resulting boot is applauding but more often, it seems, there is a complete mixed bag of emotions that shoot out in both directions. This release, the Nike Vapor IX CR, is the latter and it is primary related to the extremely unusual colorway that Nike has gone with. I mean, it really doesn’t get much more entertaining than this. The performance of the boot is not under any scrutiny as players wearing any of Nike’s latest Vapor releases will tell you. In fact, there are many consistencies between these and the Vapor VIII. On a side note, I also came across a startling discovery while wearing these – full details below.
Anyone interested in picking up a pair can find the best listed price over at WeGotSoccer.
Obviously, it is the colorway that immediately grabs your attention and it is retro funky. Having them in hand, you notice there is a lot more detailing, including the dark strip with speckled silver highlighting, that is tough to see through online images. The upper material has a smooth feel that is not a suede like the Vapor VIII but more of a pliable faux leather.
There are no negatives to report about the Vapor in terms of getting them going. In typical Nike fashion, they are comfortable and extremely flexible throughout. Right out of the box, you will be able to take them into a game as long as you have the right fit. Not much else to add here!
The Design and Colorway – CR Inspired
Lets be honest – Cristiano Ronaldo can definitely be described as flamboyant and there is no doubting that this colorway matches his quirky style to a tee. We have already seen this with releases like the Safari Print, but what differentiates these is the fact that they have a splash of Safari Print thrown in with an overall rainbow-esque colorway.
The introduction of a primary White base is a bold move and one that can cause problems if you don’t clean your boots regularly. It tends to scuff really easily and that new boot look can quickly fade after a few wears as a result. Separating that area and the laces you have two opposite color stripes. First is the striking Volt Yellow and that leads into a Navy Blue. The interesting part about the Navy region is the fact that it features a speckled silver glitter through, creating a sort of shimmer effect as you look at them up close (or as shown below). And it is all finished up with the Crimson colorway that sits right around the ankle.
The one other unique aspect to this boot that really makes them stand out is the fact that Nike employ a Safari Print design through the fabled Swoosh. This is something we have been treated to in the past (is treat the right word?) and it seems like something that goes against the traditions of a Nike boot release….yet it really polishes off the overall effect that Nike is looking to achieve with these.
Compared to the Vapor IX
Obviously, the upper between the initial Nike Vapor IX release and these boots is very different. You get a smooth surface with these compared to the dimpled golf ball effect found on the likes of the Fireberry colorway. The touch on these feels a little more natural than the dimple version does, but that is not taking anything away from the slightly padded feel you get with the dimple effect. The fit and shape of both is extremely similar, so players looking to trade from one to another can rely on that consistency.
Nike has gone with a Teijin Microfiber for CR7, something that matches what he has been wearing in previous iterations. It seems to be a favorite of his! The smooth feel and thin nature provides a very natural feel on the ball and you definitely have the ability to feel everything (including studs!)
And I’m stealing the notes I wrote about the Vapor IX soleplate, as these are the very same!
Now, there is one area where I do have concern and is worth highlighting. When the Vapor VIII was released my big concern was with the actual blade design on the soleplate. They felt sharp and I had concerns over player safety. This time around, the blades don’t feel as sharp and it seems like Nike might have adjusted things ever so slightly. But as a result, I definitely noticed some drag along the surface as I looked to back pedal. When I reference “surface” here, I am talking about artificial pitches. There is no doubt that 50% of players wearing them will be playing on an AG surface, so it is worth noting. On natural grass, there was no similar issue and I wouldn’t raise any concern if you are lucky enough to play on real pitches.
How do they Fit?
“Hit the Vapor IX review | Copy | Paste” -> Absolutely true to size, with a little extra breathing room along the sides – something we haven’t seen with previous Nike releases. This is a boot that will suit a lot more players size requirements in my opinion. If sizing and width has proven the downfall in your relationship with Vapors, these might be worth considering.
Playing on Hot Turf
This is pretty much an updated section that applies to players looking to play on hot artificial turf surfaces. This week, I had a chance to wear these boots on what turned out to be a pretty hot surface. The game was at 1pm, so it was the hottest point of the day and my feet were absolutely scalded, to the point that I had to change out boots. I’ve played in hot conditions (80-90 degrees) but it was far hotter on this particular day. The soleplate is extremely thin, not as dense as others on the market and it has carbon fiber composite in it that produces the ideal scenario for your feet to feel the full temperature of the surface below. I changed boots and ended up wearing the Umbro Geometra Pro II, which was a complete relief and a total game changer.
Side note – this will apply for most boots that feature thin soleplates.
My only real concern with these lies with the amount of scuffing they pick up. They quickly turn from new and fashionable to scraped and a little ragged. bear that in mind if you are looking for a boot that offers long term durability or if you play on Artificial surfaces – where they tend to scuff really easy. The other note lies with the burning sensation when again playing in hot conditions and on Artificial surfaces. In other words, these are not an ideal option if you play on turf fields in hot areas of the country. Or else they are simply designed for play in winter rather than summer (joke!)
For those interested in a pair, head over and find them at WeGotSoccer.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: Another solid performing Vapor release with a tidy synthetic upper. In typical CR7 style, they feature an unusual design sure to make any player stand out while wearing them on the pitch.
Category: Designed for lightweight Speed.
Weight: At 6.6oz, they weigh in right around the same we have seen in several recent Vapor releases.
Would I Buy Them: I’m not a fan of the colorway and the fact that Nike increase the price simply because they are a Ronaldo boot really puts me off. For the actual boots performance, I would be willing to pay the regular Vapor IX price.
Player Position: It goes without saying that these are very much an attacking players boot. Everything about them suits the style of wingers, fast forwards and the aspiring Cristiano Ronaldo folk!