It is incredible to think we are headed into 20 years of innovation in the Mercurial series. Nike has laid down the gauntlet to all other speed boots by introducing the Mercurial Superfly 360, a shoe engineered for the fastest players in the game. Visually, this is a boot that offers up all the trademarks of a signature Mercurial release. They are streamlined, lightweight and feature all the signature Nike tags you’d expect. But they also come with a lot more tech specs than we have seen on any previous edition.
Given their popularity on the market and the fact the CR7 silo is built using the same framework, we took some additional time testing these to get a comprehensive take on what they have to offer. How does that all come together? Are these the best speed boot we have seen to date? Full details below!
Find all the latest Mercurial Superfly 360 releases at soccer.com.
This is one of the first Mercurial releases we have seen with a lot of PR talk focused around the perfect fit. It puts a lot of pressure on the signature speed boot silo. Meshing speed and comfort is not easy to do. There has also been an interesting change-up in the naming convention, with these series being labelled the Mercurial Superfly 360 thanks to a wraparound style Flyknit upper. It is almost like Nike is trying to freshen up the silo with new, dynamic style features. And finally, in hand the boot has an extremely elongated appearance, they look long and slender. That has a lot to do with the split soleplate design, where the material wraps under the midfoot in an usual fashion.
Breaking In and Comfort
Starting out, these are not going to be a boot that provides immediate comfort. The upper material is stiff and you have to contend with the undulated soleplate. If or when you receive your pair to wear, I’d stress the importance of getting them out of the box and on your feet to walk around in, allow them to loosen up slowly. This is not a boot you are going to want to break into a game on first wear. Time will be key to getting the most out of them long term. Allow for the materials to gently stretch over a few training sessions.
Out of the box, I was surprised with the over stiff feel of the boots and it took a little bit of work to get them on for the first time. Initially, I tried to take them right into a training session. But it wasn’t happening. So, I wore them around the house for a few days (on and off of course) and the material eventually started to release. You can try the hot water trick if you’d like to speed up the process, but I was able to take time before taking them out onto the pitch. When I did, they still felt tight and rigid, but after several games they felt a lot more natural. If you are wearing a pair for the first time and find them uncomfortable, bear with the process and they will eventually provide a more efficient fit.
360 Flyknit Upper
Just building off some of the comments above, I wanted to provide some additional detailing on the upper materials. One of the key features of this Superfly silo is the fact they are built using a full Flyknit upper. The material actually wraps under the boot and there is a single layer of stitching along the spine of the soleplate that holds them together. As a result, I was expecting to encounter a very pliable material. But that isn’t the case, with the Mercurial VI featuring a stiff upper out of the box. Rather than having a stretch feel like you’d expect a knit to have, it is a lot more like a synthetic that needs some wear to break in. The reasoning; they are designed to lock your foot in place and eliminate unwanted movement.
Rather than applying Nike All Conditions Control (ACC) as an outer layer, ACC is embedded into the Flyknit—eliminating additional skin, while remaining tough against the elements.
It took 2-3 wears before I started to feel natural in the boots, something that surprised me in a negative way. Maybe that has something to do with the fact I was testing the UA Magnetico at the same time (talk about a plush, supple upper!!!) but still I’d expect a more flexible feel from a boot that places an emphasis on Flyknit as its primary upper material.
Touch, Control and Shooting
One of the things Nike did with this release was infuse ACC into the Flyknit upper material, essentially eliminating a layer. That is in theory. But what it actually does is make the upper more rigid, meaning you are losing out on the natural level of touch on the ball. After a wear wears, the material does loosen so it becomes less of an issue.
The addition of micro-texturing across the Flyknit provides extra traction on the ball. You can see it clearly in the images above, and it really is as prominent as it looks. This helps increase control at top speed. The texturing is extremely defined, way more than you’d expect. They sit in a series of horizontal lines down toward the toes. Whether you are looking to add some additional swerve on a shot or a little extra power on goal bound strikes, it plays a positive role. The additional surface area allows you to really wrap your foot on the ball when you need to add a little spin. And for players in need of a power style boot, dare I say you get some additional ping of shots thanks to its placement through the strike zone.
Dynamic Fit Collar
If you’ve been wanting the same style collar seen on previous Cristiano Ronaldo and Leroy Sane’s boots, then you are in luck. What was a customized feature for pro players alone has now reached our feet via this release. The focus here is to produce a different type of fit around the ankle, one that utilizes an as one fit between foot and ankle in a more reduced format. In other words, there is still a connection but the cut is low enough to still allow for natural ankle motion through high speed movements. This is an area that has taken me away from the Superfly series in the past, but I’ve definitely appreciated and enjoyed the change-up on this version.
Traction and Soleplate
There is a lot of undulation featured on the insole of the Superfly VI, something we also saw on the Superfly V. This is part of the dynamic internal system used by Nike to create a “Racing-seat-like” fit. Coupled with a split soleplate chassis and Chevron studs, everything on these is built for explosive speed and sharp deceleration.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of how it feels underfoot. It is something a lot of players will need to adjust to through the first few wears. Over time, it does become a lot more natural, but you still notice a difference each time you switch from flat sneakers/shoe to the boots. I get the concept and how Nike are trying to provide players with an even more dynamic type of system underfoot, but it doesn’t work when it is not the soleplate you are using right throughout the day.
In terms of aesthetics, Nike has gone with a sort of copper chrome glow on the split soleplate. Wow, does it stand out from anything else on the market! Depending on the angle that you look at it, the color tends to change and shift. It is a great look that adds a fresh dimension the release.
How do they Fit?
Compared to previous Mercurial releases, this boot is a lot more accommodating and provides some additional width to suit a wider audience. In saying that, they are still a Mercurial geared toward speed, so the silhouette is intended to be sleek and aerodynamic. I have a medium/wide fit, and they felt just “OK.” Through the forefoot, I had the right amount of space for them not to impact performance, but I can’t say with confidence that the same would be true for a wide fitting player. If you have the chance to try them on, I’d definitely recommend doing so before buying.
Mercurial Meets Fashion
In the past few days, we have been introduced to the details of 2 major Mercurial collaborations. Both Kim Jones and Virgil Abloh (OFF-WHITE) are creating very unique, special edition boots that take the Mercurial into the world of fashion. Both designs feature the original Total Orange upper colorway, with individual pieces added to tell a unique story from each designer.
Normally, I don’t talk a lot about durability of boots as it depends on how much players use them. On this occasion, I feel confident complimenting Nike on the design and how well they hold up over time. I’ve worn my pair extensively over the past few weeks and they still look in pretty new condition. The overall structure of the boot and the materials used are pieced together excellently.
As much as I harp on about negatives I’ve found with the Mercurial Superfly 360, the reality is I’m not a big Mercurial fan. My preference has also been on boots that provide some stretch through wear and offer a natural feel on the ball. The focus of the Mercurial series is square on being as streamlined as possible, a complicated tool that enables speed in play. I do like speed, but I’m all about it being more simplified.
If you have enjoyed previous Mercurial models, it is very likely that you will enjoy these just as much!
As of posting, there is only this colorway available with a retail of $274.99. That is on par with previous Nike models, meaning you need to pay up if you want to wear a pair right now. If you are a CR7 fan, the current Chapter 6 version is also an option, retailing at a slightly higher $299.99.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: The 6th generation Superfly release features the first full 360 Flyknit upper, designed to provide an as one, speed fit internally.
Category: Absolute Speed.
Would I Buy Them: If you lined up all of Nike’s current releases, this wouldn’t be the first pair I’d pick. I am a fan of speed boots, and will be some players ideal boots, but they didn’t mesh with my overall expectations.
Player Position: Definitely a more attack focused boot, ideal for players that like to move quickly with the ball and explode in space.