A long time front runner for Nike, the mercurial series has always had a reputation for having explosive speed and a barefoot feel. But for those who can’t splash the cash on the top of the line Vapor, the mid tier has proven itself as a solid option. The Mercurial Veloce, for the first time in mercurial history, is available in two uppers- the dimpled golf ball upper and the synthetic leather upper.
An important move for those who play on turf, Nike recently rolled out an Artificial Grass stud pattern for all of its silos and midtiers. Over the last few weeks, I have dedicated my training sessions on turf to putting the Golf Ball Upper Veloce through testing.
You can find this latest colorway available over at SoccerSavings.
Before these even arrived in the mail, I already knew that I would be getting the “Bright Yellow” colorway. But believe it or not, these boots are even brighter in person than on the computer screen. These boots give off the bright colorful summer vibe and you can be confident that you will be seen from every corner of the pitch wearing these. I have had past experience with last season’s Miracle III, and am looking forward to playing in them on the pitch.
Breaking in and Comfort
Similar to many other synthetics, they come stiff right out of the box and do require a break in period. After a few hours they will loosen up and I had no problems after that with stiffness. The soft synthetic conformed to my foot and there were no problems with comfort. The Vapor lacks the extra soft lining along the inside and that actually makes the Veloce slightly more comfortable than the Vapor. Size wise these run true to size but won’t give you any space by stretching. A real benefit I had with comfort came from the AG soleplate. Because the low profile hollow studs dispersed my weight instead of concentrating it, there were no pressure points on the bottom of the boots.
AG Soleplate and Traction
Simply put, the stud pattern works. Transitioning from my synthetic F50s into these has been perfect. Any joint soreness or the occasional lower back pain I had that comes from wearing firm ground studs on turf was gone. The studs don’t dig deep into the turf, but manage to keep you from slipping. In fact, I don’t recall losing my footing in these at all. If you are familiar with the firm ground stud pattern, you know that Nike emphasizes the push off and sharp turns. It’s a lot different on turf because the studs are spread out evenly so you don’t get the same feeling with the sharp cuts and turns.
However, the bladed firm ground studs are significantly longer and the simpler AG studs performed better overall. Every silo has a slightly different stud pattern but they are similar enough for me to say they likely perform the same.
The Veloce has that tight fit of a lightweight synthetic that is supposed to wrap around your foot to give you a barefoot feel. Even with the dimpling and extra lining, the ball is still naturally close to the foot. The golf ball upper gives a slightly tackier feeling and the ball slides a lot less on your foot compared to a smooth upper. It really helps control the ball at faster speeds and when shooting the ball, the dimples really give that extra control needed for bending the ball. Other than that the performance is quite predictable because it is similar to all other tight fitting synthetics. Passing with the instep of the foot feels different from leather because the synthetic angles inward along with the foot. Once you get used to the different feel it really doesn’t affect performance.
One of the differences between the Vapor and Veloce uppers was the ACC technology. But if you really think about it, turf drains easily so there there is a lot less standing water on the field, decreasing the need for ACC technology. These have held up very solidly over the time I tested them and don’t show any signs of hard wear. I would expect them to last a few seasons with mild use.
They weigh in at 8.6 ounces for a Size 9 (US mens). That is a few ounces away from the 6.6 ounces Vapor but you get a slightly more solid feel without sacrificing too much performance.
Mercurial Vapor IX: Nike has done a great job in making the Veloce a solid take down of the Vapor. Overall appearance wise, they are practically a mirror image of the Vapor. The performance differences are the glass fiber soleplate and Nike’s All Conditions Control. They are also a few ounces heavier and have a slightly thicker upper. In the end, the price point justifies any differences; $110 is a very reasonable price for a quality take down model.
Last Seasons Miracle III: Both models are quality releases but I would prefer the Veloce over the Miracle. The golf ball upper on the Veloce gives a slightly better grip on the ball because it prevents the ball from sliding over your foot. I also prefer the visual design over the Miracle but that is purely personal preference. However, other than the upper and the visual changes, Nike has basically left its takedown model unchanged.
An overall solid boot, it really is hard to find something to highlight here. One minor issue I had was that turf pellets would get lodged inside of the insole’s perforations. It doesn’t affect performance at all but one of my pet peeves is turf pellets in my boots.
Would I buy these?
I loved testing these boots and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy these or any other mid tier boot by Nike in an Ag stud pattern. If you are in the market for a solid AG boot without breaking the bank, you will get a quality pair from any of Nike’s take down models. Also if you occasionally play on turf, I highly recommend you get a pair of similar AG boots because they will help extend the life of your firm grounds.
Again, you can find this latest Mercurial Veloce releases at SoccerSavings.
Do you like the bright yellow colorway of the Mercurial Veloce? Let us know in the comments below!