With its unmistakable heat map design and control-centric tech specs, the all new Nike Magista 2 has quickly become the hot boot to have on the market. With their introduction finally official (find them at soccer.com) we wanted to walk through their creation process, with the input of the boot’s lead designer.
The first piece of the puzzle was the creation sketches, where the Nike design team looked at how they could develop a boot evolved for modern players. Nike football designer Phil Woodman re-imagined the original Magista silhouette — a design that, with its mid-height collar and Nike Flyknit technology, changed the look of footwear and redefined feel and touch on the pitch — to further the boot’s tactility and tighten the gap between the brain and ball.
We were focused on sensory amplification through feel. By delivering a better feel for the ball, players are able to confidently create on the pitch without distraction.
Woodman worked with the Nike Sports Research Lab to define which parts of the foot are most sensitive to touch and mapped those against high-touch zones gleaned from slow-motion film study of ball control. The data collected in this research was visually applied to a foot model in the form of a heat map, revealing significant overlap in areas of high sensation, effectiveness and engagement.
Equipped with this information, Woodman began 3D printing test uppers featuring peaks and troughs of varying dimensions. This was a marked transition from the upper of the original Magista, which was uniform throughout.
We envisioned the upper of the Magista 2 performing as an organic extension of the foot. The texture is podular and cushioned, designed to communicate with a player’s sense of touch when the ball comes in contact with it.
The peaks and troughs on the upper utilize the same amount of materials as the original Magista through the use of negative space. The highest peaks (4.5mm) are in the premium touch areas, aligned with where the foot should come in contact with the ball.
This is the next step in the application of Nike Flyknit. The pixel precision of Flyknit makes it possible for us to create dimension without adding weight or overlays. We used to build texture atop the upper, now the upper itself is textured.
These developments are also seen in the more anatomically contoured Dynamic Fit Collar, designed to accommodate the shape of the ankle bone while leveraging a thicker knit structure for additional coverage. The revamped collar also dips lower on the tendon for comfort. The tongue-less solution now features light padding under the laces for coverage in this high contact area.
The fluid colors adorning the Magista 2 reflect not only the heat map that guided its design, but also the smoother transitions throughout the boot’s upper, especially from collar to foot.
All of the prototypes we made of Magista 2 had the heat map right on them for data purposes, but it creates an iconic aesthetic as well that’s unlike anything else on the pitch.
In terms of the series, the naming convention stays the same through all Magista releases. The Elite release is the Magista Obra II ($299.99), the top tier, regular cut boot is the Magista Opus ($229.99), the mid-tier Obra look-alike is the Magista Orden II ($179.99), while the Magista Onda will be the economical version. Finally, there is also a Magista X Proximo II available for $174.99.
You can find the entire line-up currently available at soccer.com.