Nike have just released an exclusive Elite Series soccer boot for this summers World Cup in South Africa. One of the main strategies behind the new releases is to have all Nike endorsed players wearing the same footwear at the World Cup, and from first look there is no doubting that you will be able to pick them out by their footwear! Nike’s big 4 (the CTR360, Tiempo III, Superfly II and T90 Laser III) have all had an extreme style makeover that includes a touch up of paint and a tummy tuck (ie reduced weight!)
In terms of color, this range comes in an incredibly noticeable Metallic Mach Purple and Total Orange. Nike came up with the new color and design through extensive testing and player feedback. The idea of the new color is to take visual technology to the next level, allowing you to notice a player by the color of his boots. This is an area of the market that has never really been exploited (or if it has, no one really knew they were touching on new technology until Nike claimed it for themselves!) and makes complete sense from a marketing perspective. Ultimately, I am not sure if it is really going to work if a defender and a forward are wearing the same Elite series boot, but either way the concept is intriguing.
Another area that Nike have really focused on is weight. Reducing weight means a player is expending less energy on the field. Although a few ounces is not going to make any significant difference, it is an area that can give a player a positive mental advantage. The super-strong, lightweight carbon fiber plates used in this current line result in:
- the Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II being 5% lighter
- the CTR360 Maestri being 19% lighter
- the Total90 Laser III and Tiempo Legend III are 16% lighter.
Their is also an upgrade to the Tiempo Legend III, which has been changed from a K-Leather to a Kanga-light synthetic leather. Kanga-light doesn’t soak water in, so Nike are placing an emphasis on giving players a light weight boot in wet conditions.
I think the following quote from Nike sums up the range:
“An average person’s vision is 99% peripheral. Under 1% is considered foveal, or focused vision. To spark increased focus of peripheral vision Nike designers analyzed the color spectrum to identify two, high-contrast colors, so that when a player is running with these boots the colors trigger a stimulus to rapidly tune peripheral vision. Mach Purple and Total Orange provided the perfect blend to create this effect and performance advantage. ”
Personally, I am excited to see how the color performs and if, in-fact, the color is that much more noticeable for your teammates. Feedback I got after testing the Nike Vapor VI in Purple was very positive with the majority of players agreeing that they noticed the boots a lot more easily on the field. It might be a case of putting the boots up against each other to see if one is more noticeable than the other! Watch this space.