The autumn chill has occurred and soccer in most Northerly climes in North America has moved indoors; to be completely honest I couldn’t be more thrilled about this. There are two reasons behind my happiness, the first is that I enjoy the freedom and quick thinking required in the small sided game as opposed to 11’s, and the second, well, I have a quite a few indoor boots to get play around with and offer opinions on this winter, so for me, indoor season couldn’t come soon enough this year. Kicking off my indoor review season are the Nike FC247 Elastico Pro II, which I picked up for an absolute bargoon (that’s a Canadian bargain). Retailing regularly at $84.99, I stumbled across my pair on a bi-weekly cross border gas run for $30!
The Pro series is the mid-tier release in the Elastico family, and drops in at a ridiculously light 7.6oz, which is easily the lightest indoor boot I’ve ever owned, they are however not the lightest in the family, that honour now goes to the top-tier Finale II which barely dents the scales at 6.8oz. This is a bit of a change from the original Elastico run, where the mid-tier Pro’s were the lightest of the silo. But weight aside how would the Pink Flash/Neon Lime (and even though Nike doesn’t say it there’s Black in there too) hold up on the court and other surfaces?
Find your pair of Elastico Pro II at Soccer.com.
If you’re looking to get noticed on the court the combination of bright pink, lime green, and black leopard print are a surefire way to do it! Despite featuring some colours some people might consider garish, it’s a good looking boot, it certainly caught my eye when I was in the Nike Factory Store in Niagara Falls, NY. The boots are a combination of synthetic leather in the forefoot and a light breathable mesh in the remainder of the boot which gives them a distinctive gloss and matte look to them depending on which part is exposed to the light. The forefoot also features a grippy substance cemented to the boot designed to aid the touch when dribbling. I was also interested to note how low they sat to the ground when compared to other indoor shoes I’ve worn, usually there’s visual foam separation between the sole and the upper, so I was interested to find out how they’d feel on harder surfaces, as I’m not known to have the lightest of steps.
Break In and Fit
I picked up a size 9 because it was the only size available for purchase, so I was dropping a half size with the Elastico’s. The fit was snug but certainly not too tight. The materials used are very malleable so they wrapped around my foot exceptionally well, it was pretty much like wearing slippers. As is my usual MO, I took them straight into a game to see how they’d be comfort wise. The two hours of play on turf left me in no discomfort, these definitely are an indoor boot you can take from the box to game, without any adverse issues. About the only thing fit wise I could gripe with is the tongue, it has a tendency to shift around during use, not to the level of causing discomfort but it certainly stoked the ire of my boots OCD.
With the Elastico Pro and Finale, Nike have stripped pretty much everything you don’t need from an indoor boot and left you with the bare essentials, it weighs in 2oz lighter than most other boots in the high end indoor boot range, and not having that extra weight when you’re trying to beat a marker over 2 or 3 yards makes a difference. The synthetic forefoot w/grip aid has a certain tackiness to it which the ball sticks to, in the confined spaces of the indoor court I can’t emphasize how important having the ball on your foot is, and you don’t have to worry about that in the slightest with the Elastico Pro II’s. It’s also good to note that the lightweight didn’t hinder the striking of the ball at all, and I have worn some superleggera boots where hitting the ball was like hitting a cinder block!
I used these boots on the major indoor surfaces (court, AG, AT, carpet) and grip wise was never left wanting. Nike have done a modified Herringbone design (the sole also features a midsection of the sole designed to air ball control) on the soles. For those curious Herringbone sole patterns are routinely featured on yachting shoes due to their exceptional grip under most adverse circumstances.
It should be noted that the Elastico Pro’s do everything you want an indoor boot to do, and they do it very well. However, I found two glaring issues during the testing phase. First up is the durability, now this seems to be a common issue with this tier of the silo. The grippy strip on the forefoot of the boots, they began to peel away from the upper after the first wear. While is hasn’t affected the touch on the ball because of the synthetic’s natural tackiness, this is still something which should not happen after one use when you’re charging your customers $85 for the privilege of wearing your indoor specific boot. It’s things like this which lead to hideous options like the IC versions of the F5, F10 and the Nike Libretto’s and Victory’s being so popular among indoor players, and that makes my heart bleed and blood boil. So message to Nike, up your game on the durability of your high level indoor boots! Unless of course you don’t want the masses to spend the money on them.
The second issue I had is a bit more of a personal issue, I’m not the lightest runner, so on the court there wasn’t enough padding in the midsole for me to avoid searing pain. On turf, AG and carpeted surfaces they were exceptional, but on the surface they were designed for I couldn’t wear them because of my running style and being honest I’m too old to be trying to play with that to wear these boots on the court. Once again this isn’t really something Nike can fix as it would change the whole profile of what they’re going for, it’s just something that didn’t work for me.
Conclusion and Would I Buy Them?
The Elastico is a bit of an enigma, it’s a top end performing boot, however, it’s durability is suspect, I suppose the easiest way to describe it is that it’s the Michael Owen of boots. So with that being said would I buy them? The answer is a provisional yes. The performance of the Elastico Pro II is well worth the $85 retail, however, given the durability issues, I wouldn’t recommend you pay that price, somewhere in the $45-$55 range would see them as a good buy, but even then I can see some recreational players unhappy at the durability of the boot at that price. If Nike could address the durability they’d be on to a winner here.
Find your pair of Elastico Pro II at Soccer.com.
Nike Elastico Pro II – The Summary
About: Indoor specific mid-tier Elastico series release
The Good: Does everything well! Grip on all surfaces is superb.
The Bad: Durability is an issue
Price: Original retail of $84.99
Would I Buy?: Yes but not at full retail
Rating out of 10: 7, should be higher, but I just can’t get away from durability issue.