The third generation of Tech Craft has arrived, with Nike choosing a cleaner Achromatic style for this one. Achromatic, which means “without color”, produces what is basically a Black/White design. This is about as pure and clean as you will find on any Nike boot, especially when you factor in how they are actually constructed.
We snagged a pair of Mercurial Superfly from the line-up for feature, just to see how they look in person. Well, the first thing to note is that the white is actually labelled as “light bone”. It has a mixed cream/grey appearance, so it is not exactly like a pure white. It provides a slightly different look on foot than you’d expect, but overall you still get a contrasting visual effect.
Find a limited number of pairs available from soccer.com.
The application of a leather across the upper is intended to deliver a more responsive touch on the ball. You still get an under layer of material that provides strength through the region. But how do you add a leather to knit materials, keeping it together as one? Well, great care was taken by Nike to ensure the softness of the leather was not compromised as it was fused onto the upper. The footwear team leveraged a balance of oils to offset the steam and prevent the leather from stiffening. Nike All Conditions Control was also integrated into the process to provide enhanced ball control in both dry and wet conditions.
In terms of the Superfly IV and performance, they are built specifically for speed. With a dynamic mid-cut collar that locks down the player in sprint mode, a micro-textured Nike Flyknit upper that provides a barefoot-like feel, and a highly responsive carbon-fiber plate designed to further provide explosive speed in all directions.
When it comes to Flyknit, one of the most common questions we get asked is if that ankle lining will stretch to a loose fit? The answer from my experience is no. Flyknit is a strong material and the it is woven in such a way that it springs back very effectively. Through testing, it provided the same snug and secure fit around the ankle as it had on first wear. In terms of striking the ball, I love the feel you get from the leather and knit combo. The overlay on the forefoot provides the ideal surface for striking shots while soaking in the impact of tough shots.
Given that the sole features a bladed configuration, these are going to offer differing types of explosive speed on different surfaces. Ideally, they are the perfect option for FG surfaces, where I found them to be particularly effective with a little mud on the pitch. The blades provide a firm footing without grasping hold of mud like other conical studded boots do. On artificial surfaces, they should work pretty well but I would only consider them where the turf material is of a newer breed and offers a more realistic, natural feel.
With the announcement of Superfly V and it’s impending arrival, this will provide players with one of the last opportunities to pick up a pair from the current series. Tech Craft has also proven to be a popular option, so it is likely that we will see these sell out in a sort time. Retail wise, they come in at $299 and included in the box you get a standard style Nike boot bag in black.
If you are looking for a pair, find them at soccer.com.
This One Comes With A Disclaimer
Unfortunately, this pair came with a slight defect, the first one we have encountered on any Nike boot. It seems that when the leather was placed across the upper of the boot, a crease was created in the base material. As a result, there is a hot “line” inside the boot that is not comfortable. It has the potential to cause blisters by rubbing along the little toe area. You can feel it inside the boot if you run your fingers along it and can be seen as you make a slight bend in the boot – per below.
We reached out to several retailers and Nike directly, to which they all replied that this hadn’t been reported before. To that end, we are reporting this as a warning and waiting to see if anyone else encounters similar issues!