Cristiano Ronaldo, Robinho and Pato, what do these World class players have in common? The Nike Mercurial Vapor V, that’s what! Over the past few seasons, Ronaldo has become the poster boy for Nike, with dazzling performances that saw him win the 2008 World Player of the year award. Each release in the Vapor range, over the past 2 years, has involved Ronaldo, and the Vapor V is no different. With that being said, these cleats obviously hold something special, and I was very excited to get my hands on a pair to review. I received a pair of the latest color released, in a Black/Voltage Yellow color size 9US. The Black/Voltage Yellow color was debuted by Ronaldo at his unveiling after signing for Spanish Giants Real Madrid!
After several weeks of wearing the Vapor V in practice sessions and also 2 games, my Vapor V’s have been well broken in! I got reports from friends, who also wear the Vapor V, that they encountered some blisters after wearing the cleats in a game on day 1. With this in mind, I chose to wear the Vapor V’s for jogging in the first few sessions, to give them an opportunity to mold to my foot. Thankfully, the first few sessions were comfortable, and I didn’t encounter any blisters or other discomforts. I think one of the benefits to these cleats is how they fit my foot specifically.
Fit and Weight
I have a medium to wide foot, and the Nike Vapor V is a comfy fit. In fact, these cleats fit very similarly to the Adidas adiPURE range. I wore a size 9US and they work out to be a perfect length. If you normally wear a size 9US, order a size 9US. They fit really well. Once you tighten the laces, they really fit snugly right around your foot and have that ‘I want to mold to you feet’ type feel!
The Vapor V weighs in at a super light 8.4oz, which is pretty similar to the Puma V1.10 (8.2oz). Nike use Teijin Microfiber on the upper of the cleat, a synthetic material that is light weight and easily conforms to the shape of your foot. In my opinion, it is hard to notice the weight difference in cleats, and it has not been proven to supply a huge increase in performance, but mentally it helps knowing you have a lighter cleat on your foot.
Covered Lacing System
This is something that I particularly like for two reasons. Appearance wise, I think the cleat is more attractive with the laces hidden. The second thing is that it offers a larger strike zone, without placing a bulky cover over the laces. Nike uses a light compound that is extremely thin! So many companies have worked to create or improve this feature, I feel like Nike has nailed it on the Vapor V. The one thing I didn’t like about the cover is that it makes it difficult to replace laces (see negatives below).
The big advancement in this range: Flywire! We took time recently to summarize exactly what Flywire is. If you look at the inside of each cleat, you can see the outline of the wires. In case you are not familiar with what is for, Flywire is designed to minimize weight and maximize support. Its high-strength threads work like cables on a suspension bridge with support engineered precisely where your foot needs it.
Another advancement to this cleat is an additional blade that Nike have added at the front of the cleat. This additional cleat is designed to increase acceleration on the initial push. I have to say that this is something that is noticeable and a welcome addition to any cleat. I noticed it when taking off, your foot seems to gain addition grip on the surface, making it easier to push off.
A few negatives about these boots. First off, Nike figure out your shoe laces! Maybe these are designed to just be tied and tucked under the lace cover, but I want long laces to run around my cleats! This is just my own pet peeve I guess, and not something that affects performance in any way. One question I have about these cleats is what are you supposed to doe if the lace tears? It seems like change laces would be pretty impossible if you needed to.
Priced at $220, the Nike Vapor V is one of the more expensive cleats on the market. To be honest, I haven’t been a fan and have kind of avoided the cleat in the past year. But after testing, I have to say I now understand what all the hype is about and why so many people are crazy to get their hands on them (although I still don’t understand what he craze over the Nike Vapor Berry was all about!!) I like the overall design of the Black/Voltage Yellow color, and found the cleat to be comfortable in-game. In terms of positions, I can definitely see fast/tricky players benefiting most from what they have to offer – and that seems to be who Nike is aiming this release towards.
(boots supplied for review by soccer.com)