Nike have an ongoing history of changing the game in the football boot world, especially over the last 15 years. Having been the first company to covet the speed market in 1998 with the Nike Air Mercurial, they have since been toiling away creating boots which are game changers. Today is no different with the unveiling of the new Nike Magista silo, to replace the well loved Nike CTR 360 series, and designed to be ‘The Ultimate Boot for Playmakers’.
We have already walked you through all of the geeky tech details that the Magista features in our Magista release post, so I wanted to look at this release from a bit of a different perspective. I want to answer the questions of, “What exactly makes the Magista ‘the playmakers’ boot?”
A result of four years of testing and looking like nothing which has ever seen the boot market before. The design of the Magista is the first thing which hits me when I look at the boot. Despite all the modern upgrades in modern football boots, and the incredible touch offered by K-Leather boots. Personally, I am never 100% comfortable on the ball with a pair of boots or shoes on because I know they’re there and I’m constantly taking that into account. This is what makes the design of the Magista so interesting, it’s not really designed to be a football boot per say. Nike’s VP of Sport Performance Footwear Phil McCartney explains;
With Magista, we’ve designed a shoe that feels like an extension of the player’s body. This isn’t a boot that just goes on your foot, it’s a boot that works with your foot, by eliminating distractions, players are free to unlock their potential and creativity.
The party piece of the design is the Dynamic Fit collar, the cut of which is designed to allow the foot, ankle, and lower leg to work in unison, and move naturally.
Since 2009 the Nike CTR360 series has been the gold standard of boots for playmakers, and I say this as a huge fan of the Adidas Predator LZ series. However, to truly be a control boot you want your foot to be as close to the ball as possible, and the CTR and Predator LZ series could never achieve that, as they had to build on top of the boot, which ultimately left the players foot further from the ball.
The Flyknit upper has allowed Nike to develop a 3D-knit for the upper which is textured to aid, dribbling, passing and striking the ball, all while keeping the boot as minimalist as possible, and therefore keeping the players foot as close to the ball as possible when dribbling, passing and striking shots. The idea that technology has been developed which allows the player the benefits of the control pods of the CTR series but also that doesn’t add an element between the player and the ball is terribly exciting and something I can’t wait to see in action!
Playmaking is an entirely different animal to any other role on a football pitch. You need to be able to move in any direction in a given split second. To accommodate the playmaker Nike has FINALLY brought back conical studs. Teaming the conical studs with a brand new soleplate constructed of Pebax and nylon.
The Pebax is designed to allow the player freedom of movement in the soleplate when striking the ball and when running. Nike are also saying it will eliminate ‘mechanical flex’, or in layman’s terms prevent the boot from always flexing in the same spot. This idea of building a soleplate which allows the foot to move naturally is a massive win, as there’s nothing worse than trying to make a move only to have your boot fight you as it isn’t prepared to bend the way you want to go!
Nike have also done away with the insole board in the Magista, which is designed again to bring the player closer to the ground, improving their centre of gravity, while also aiding in traction.
The three developments outlined are why I think that the Magista truly are ‘the playmakers’ boot, as they’ve been designed loaded with technology, but also can claim to be a minimalist boot allowing as close a touch as possible between the players foot and the ball. There has truly been nothing like it before!
But there’s another quick thing I’d like to float about what truly makes these the playermakers boots. Four years of R&D and testing with the world’s pre-eminent playmaker Andres Iniesta has led to their release, and your not going to find the best playmaker in the world giving up his current boots for something which doesn’t vastly improve his game. So, I give you the Nike Magista, the playmakers boot, and a boot I can’t wait to get my hands on!
We still have some time left before the Magista is ready to order, but stay tuned to soccer.com for upcoming availability and pricing.