The Nike Mercurial Miracle is a boot that offers a very competitive alternative for those who decide not to invest big bucks in the Superfly II. Just like its predecessor the Talaria, the Miracle is third in the Mercurial range behind the Superfly II and Vapor VI. But if you think that Nike has skimmed this release and shipped it out as a cheap alternative you will be surprised to hear how well they actually do perform on the pitch. There are going to be a lot of people who snub these as a poor man’s boot, I probably would have myself before having the opportunity to test them. After several training sessions and 3 games, I can tell you that they do perform at the highest level. For testing, I wore a size 9US in the Dark Obsidian/White/Cool Mint color.
Breaking in the Miracle turned out to be a welcomed experience. Testing the Nike Superfly II turned out to be difficult as they were uncomfortable, so I was expecting a similar experience from these. But, from the first time of wearing, the Miracle feels comfortable and snug. They fit a little wider than the Superfly, and have much more give along the front of the foot. I tested a size 9 and in my opinion these fit true to size. If you normally wear a size 9 then a size 9 is going to suit. I did wear them in 2 training sessions before I put them on in a game, but in hindsight I could have worn these in a game right out of the box. I particularly like the fact that there is more padding around the ankle area. During testing, I didn’t encountered any blisters or uncomfortable areas.
Miracle versus Superfly
The Miracle is designed to look very similar to the Superfly II. In fact, when you place them side by side, it is difficult to tell them apart unless you hold them up close. The biggest difference is that the Miracle does not use Flywire technology and it doesn’t have the Carbon fiber composite soleplate, so they are lacking in the technology department. Weight wise, the Superfly II is lighter as it weighs a superlight 7.8oz compared to the Miracle at 8.6oz. This does not equate to a huge difference and still leaves the Miracle sitting in the speed category. In terms of looks, there is very little to tell these apart. Both have the same color pattern and the Nike Swoosh pattern is pretty identical.
Performance and Technology
Obviously, since these are the cheaper version of Superfly II, you are losing out on some of Nike’s technological advancements. But where they lack technology, the Miracle performs very well in performance. Nike use a lightweight Teijin synthetic leather that allows them to keep the weight down while also emphasizing the importance of control. The last (or soleplate) also mirrors the shape of the foot to give a great feel. Straight out of the box they are genuinely comfortable to wear. One of the main problems with the Superfly II is the fact that the technology hampers the performance. You need a few weeks of breaking in before they are ready to play in. But the opposite is true of the Miracle. And in my opinion, comfort and performance are far more important than technology!
Overall, the Miracle offers great value for money. I personally don’t like the color design of the range, but that is just a personal preference. The only negative I have is that they can feel pretty flimsy. The upper seems to lose it shape pretty quickly. I also noticed that they scuff pretty easily (taking a wet rag to this solves the problem, although you do have to scrub pretty hard.)
Compared to the Superfly II, the Miracle offers great value to those who can’t afford to fork out a large sum on new boots. One point to remember is that Nike are a huge company who realize that the average player is not going to fork out hundreds of dollars for one pair, so they place a huge emphasis in getting the $100 boot just right. If they didn’t, they would be losing out on massive amounts of potential profit. You do lose out on all the technological advances, but you gain in different areas like comfort and performance. After my experience with the Superfly II, I was pretty skeptical of how these would perform but I would recommend them after testing.
*Boots supplied for review by soccer.com