Since the release of the Hypervenom and my testing of the Phatal AG my eye has been set on the Phelon Turf. The Phelon Turf is the lightest Turf boot to grace the market to date, sitting well below the usual 10 oz mark at a very respectable 8 oz. What also intrigues me about the boot is the amount of texture in the upper. Going into testing I was quite tentative having had a very poor experience with the Nike Victory, however in the end I was quite surprised at how well the Phelon perform.
I got the Phelon in the High Vis colorway in a size 10 us. I put them through at least 10 very enjoyable games and am very surprised with how much I looked forward to putting them on each game, I’ll find it hard to keep objective in this review but I’ll do my best. Nike Employ a very soft (when broken in) synthetic that sports a honey comb/ waffle like pattern that they have dubbed trophy synthetic. The outsole is also designed to work with the natural motion of the foot and has a very decent amount of padding. What is even more impressive is they manage to keep the weight so low.
Check out the current line-up of Nike Phelon TF available at soccer.com.
I opted for the High vis colorway and I am quite impressed with the visuals. They remind me highly of the Andonized Purple adiZero, which I quite liked and I find them to be equally appealing. But man this boot is very slick and compared to every other turf boot it just seems oh so very light which is something I’m unused to having with turfs. They have no bulky feeling to them which is synonymous with turf boots. Sadly right out of the box, while still being impressed with the upper I had concerns with how it would break in. I loved the waffle texture of the upper as well as the tactile sensation that it has, I haven’t run into a synthetic that even gets close to resembling the Trophy synthetic they use. One worry I had was if the synthetic would fold in poorly during break in and pinch or give me blisters like I had with the Victory.
I was clueless as to what size to get as Nike boots fit very unusually now a days as they run rather small. Having my toes cramped in a size 9 of the Phatal I decided to trust in the shoefitr app on soccer.com and went with the suggested size 10, a half size up from what I usually wear. They fit perfectly at that size so I would suggest going a half size up. Width wise they fit medium, those with wider forefeet beware as they are a little snug in that region.
Break in and Comfort
I was very nervous about the break in time with these boots after having tested and reviewed the victory, its Vapor counter part. The upper does seem like it would pinch in at the foot when it folds but this was far from what happened. The upper broke in almost right away, I did have blistering problems at the heel of my left foot but I’m very certain that it was from a double sock issue where the inside sock slid down my foot rather than an actual issue with the boot. The upper starts out rigid but softens up very quickly and becomes very pleasant to wear, molding with the foot naturally. The outsole seems like it comes pre-broken in but turf boots never really have break in time for the outsole.
Comfort is no issue with the boot. The upper isn’t too thin or too thick, there is no real stitching on the inside to rub against, and there is a decent amount of shock absorption. I did however switch out the insole for my shock doctor insoles because the ones that come with the Phelon are a bit too thin for my taste. Only complaint is that it is a tiny bit snugger in the forefoot than I would like but it wasn’t an issue, they fit very well overall.
Performance and Durability
The Nike Phelon is a low tier boot, behind the Phatal which is behind the Phantom. Low-tiers are never exciting, and rarely eyebrow raising in any way shape or form. The Phelon breaks this trend. It had the touch, the control, overall feel worthy of a mid-tier boot, and in some cases it even was on par with a few top tiers I’ve worn. The moldable (after break in) and well textured upper makes receiving, striking, passing and dribbling the ball very enjoyable. Taking the ball out of the air is a great testament to this as the ball behaves the way I want it to with my first touch. When it comes to striking, it just grips the ball and sends it soaring, and soaring quite accurately I might add (but it won’t put the ball in the back of the net for you). I would say striking is slightly comparable to that of the Hypervenom Phantom judging from Bryans review. Ball feel is the only thing that isn’t stellar, it isn’t quite natural but it is sufficient and isn’t completely lacking like we find with lower tiers. The upper also gets much better with wear, it might start out a bit stiff each game but it gets softer as you play in them. Traction on turf is very good and not once did I slip. I also found that my strides felt more natural and organic which was pretty sweet, they remind me a bit of a minimalist running shoe in this aspect.
Low-tiers don’t usually come with concerns about durability, they are usually made with cheap and durable materials and are held together by every means imaginable. Also coupled with the fact that they are inexpensive means that one won’t worry about running them into the ground. With the Phelon the upper is stitched to the out sole so I’m not worried about it separating at the outsole and everything else seems to be holding up at this point. However the upper of the Phelon is pretty soft, I feel like it could potentially separate at the areas where it creases. I’ll be keeping a close eye on it and add updates to durability as I will continue using them as my primary turf boots even over the Bomba Finale II mostly due to the fact that they are less expensive but perform very well.
How it Compares
Unlike a lot of low tier models the Phelon has a feel of quality to it. I actually found that it out performed not just the Nike Phatal which sits at the mid tier slot of the Hypervenom silo but for the value I would pick it over the Bomba finale and in some cases the Finale !!. They might not have the shooting technology of the Bomba’s but taking shots in the seems to be more accurate as the texture really grips the ball appropriately. Ball feel isn’t quite as good as either but the touch of the upper makes up for it.
Other than the ball feel being slightly off, the upper being stiff on at the start of each game, the insoles being a bit too thin and the feeling that they could “potentially” separate where the upper creases I have no real areas to complain about. Like I said I was surprised at every point during testing, I didn’t find many qualities about them that I would knock.
I’ve been looking for an ideal turf boot for a long while now and the Phelon turf is very close to meeting my criteria. While the Bomba Finale II may be Nike’s Top tier Turf specific boot I find it almost equal in terms of performance with the Phelon! It says a lot about a boot when the silo is made for firm ground and the low tier turf adaption can almost measure up to a top tier that is specifically made for turf. If you are considering picking up a turf boot and want something competitive, affordable that can perform at a high level this would be a great option. The fact that it is the lightest turf boot at 8 oz is just icing on the cake. Negatives can be found in them however (though I haven’t really run into anything glaring) but I won’t even get close to calling them a poor mans boot because of where it sits in the market. Bottom line is, I’m snapping up a second and potentially a third pair once more colorways come out.
Check out the current line-up of Nike Phelon TF available at soccer.com.
Technology Efficiency: 79%
Total Score: 80%