Since their initial introduction in September, the Mercurial Flyknit Ultra has become somewhat of a celebrity for true boot enthusiasts. Adding an increased level of comfort, via the introduction of Flyknit, to a speed focused silo has made it an intriguing option. It is the type of boot you just have to get your hands on to understand, but sadly each of the 4 editions released to date have been a limited edition. As a result, they’ve all sold out in just minutes.
When the Fire and Ice pack was recently revealed, I took the opportunity to snag a pair in the Ice Blue colorway to see just what all the hype is about. At this point the only real source for picking up a pair is via eBay, so I thought it would be worth pointing out a few key characteristics in case you have been tempted to try find your own pair!
No. 1 – The Soleplate Really Is Glorious.
In PR images, the soleplate is one of the focal point of the boot. Built using a very simplistic black upper colorway, the additional detail color on the soleplate because a prominent feature of the boot. In person, the iridescent effect looks every bit as good as you’d expect. Depending on the angle you look at it, a multitude of different colors shine through. Note that the chrome finish will flake off over time.
No. 2 – They Have A Vacuum Like Seal.
Even though they are styled more like a Vapor than a Superfly, the cut is definitely still very snug around the ankle. This is thanks to the use of Flyknit, lowcut right along the low ankle line ensuring your foot is locked in place. As you slip your foot in, the structure of the material closes in around your personal shape and almost creates a vacuum like seal. Playing in hot conditions that is not likely to be a good thing from a personal convenience standpoint. But it is the type of boot your could leave the laced untied in and they would still feel as one with your foot.
No. 3 – Most Accommodating Vapor Fit To Date.
The Vapor series has a reputation as being one of the more narrow fitting boots on the market. Nike use the same footbed mold to make the Flyknit Ultra, but there is a lot more stretch through the upper. Thus, they provide a much more natural fit for players that need something that is more on the medium/wide spectrum. Length wise, they are true to size compared to other Mercurial boots. Note that they are slightly tough to squeeze into the first time you wear them!
No 4. The Upper Has A Lot Of Definition.
Before they arrived in, the one thing I didn’t realise about the Flyknit Ultra was how much definition they have trough the upper. In images, you can see how there are vertical lines running across the upper, from the heel through toes. This is in-fact a series of raised panels that sit on top of the boot, providing additional grip on the ball. Each piece also seems to add to the durability of the boot, acting as an additional layer of protection in all conditions of play. As you run your fingers along the upper, it is actually incredible course. A very unusual addition, but one that provides additional durability and extra grip on the ball.
No. 5 – Player Reaction Gets A Two Thumbs Up.
There is something to be said about keeping things simple with a blackout style boot. Players tend to take you more seriously when you show up in something they can’t quite distinguish. When you take that element and add in a highlight soleplate, it just goes to another level. While wearing them, I had a wave of players coming up to find out exactly what they are and where they could get a pair! Always a good sign!
No. 6 – How Do They Actually Perform?
Openly, I’m not a huge fan of boots with mid-cut collars as they never feel in sync with my movements in game. The higher cut just doesn’t provide the natural feel I expect. So, having a speed boot with Flyknit collar that is cut at the ankle (without having to do a DIY job) offers huge appeal to me. Having worn them, I’m heavily impressed with what is on offer. The soleplate felt slightly stiff the first time I wore them, but the upper was a dream. Having a soft material like Flyknit run through the upper of a boot allows for a very natural and comfortable fit. The material tends to hug your feet in the right way while stretching without overstretch, if that makes sense. They hug your feet without adding any unnecessary pressure, as compared to a synthetic that might press up against a toe and cause a blister. Once truly broken in, these are definitely a boot you will enjoy wearing over and over!
No. 7 – A Decent Option For The Price
In reality, it is tough to define how much a boot is actually worth. But given the substantial increases we have seen price wise in recent times, the $250 these were labelled with doesn’t seem overly extreme. They are presented in a sharp black box with light graphics, and come with a boot bag. The sheer uniqueness of the design, with Flyknit and an incredible standout soleplate, make it a top option to consider for players that want to experience the next wave of tech innovation. I pair $250 to get my hands on a pair, and I haven’t been disappointed by what thye have on offer.
No. 8 – Made In Montebeluna Factory, Italy
These actually double up as a celebratory release for the work done in Nike’s Montebeluna factory in Italy, as well as actually being created there. But unlike other more traditional releases, you couldn’t tell these were created in such a significant arena. When we think of Italian made, we think of buttery soft leathers from specialized brands such as Diadora, Lotto and Pantofola d’Oro. But what is different here is the fct the upper is not a tradition K-leather, crafted with a focus on hesitate style design and performance. The Flyyknit Ultra is all about capturing the imagination with modern day innovation. So, be warned; this is not your tradition Italian made boot.
No. 9 – Limited Edition Release
Numbers haven’t been officially released, but there were 2,500 pairs of the limited-edition Nike Mercurial Ultra Flyknit Vapor released in triple-black, and 1,500 pairs available in the black/metallic gold colorway. This black/gamma blue edition is likely to be in the same bracket as the triple-black, meaning there are only around 2,500 released worldwide.
No. 10 – Where to Find A Pair
This is the tough part. Released at $250, which is discussed above, you are likely to pay $300 or more to get your hands on one of the four intro colorways. That isn’t too bad compared to some other over priced we have seen introduced. But it is still a commitment. The only place to go right now to find a pair is eBay.com.