One of the most commonly worn soccer cleats by professional players right now is the Nike Vapor VII. Nike has continually delivered high performing boots and matched their follow-up releases with updates to suit evolving player styles. This latest release seems to go against the trend and it seems like Nike have found what they deem to be a pretty solid package.
Of course, this has caused debate among fans who wanted a revamp of the Vapor range, nonetheless I was happy to get a pair into testing to see just how they performed this time around – the results were very favorable. For this review I wore a size 9US in the original release Red Plum/Windchill/Volt colorway.
Find the latest Mercurial Vapor boots available at soccer.com.
Vapor VI vs Vapor VII
There are basically only two noticeable changes between the releases. First, Nike has removed the lace cover, something that has been applauded by many fans. On the Vapor VI, the lace cover made it extremely difficult to tighten the laces or change them out when the time came. The second difference lies in the visual design. This time, Nike use a streamlined pattern along the heel region. It seems to catch the eye a lot easier. The one other change that you won’t notice unless you have worn the VI before the VII is Nike has lowered the angle of the toe to create a better fit.
The one major positive about these boots is that they break in extremely easily. In fact, I was able to get some sprints and sharp turns in while wearing them for the first time! I love the feel of the well padded upper, which is extremely spongy just inside the ankle area, creating a comfortable fit. I got them into a game on the second time of wearing and they worked out really well. The soleplate also offers a flexible feel, so you can be confident in the fact that they will start moving in tandem with you feet pretty quickly. This means no cramping and a more form fitting boot. When I tested the Vapor VI, I had a very different experience while breaking them in, so it seems like Nike have made some alterations to the soleplate.
You can’t question Nike’s desire to produce boots that are visually effective on the field. The addition of a new Volt pattern around the heel and into the instep region is quite striking. You can see the lightning effect that it creates and I have had several players state that the design is extremely easy to spot in game, particularly under night lights. I’m not a fan of the primary Plum colorway, but I have heard that Nike strategically used the color as it blends most effectively with the volt yellow. Alternatively, there is also a Photo Blue/Pure Platinum/Total Orange colorway that has slightly more appeal.
A Teijen Microfiber upper matched with a Tepex glass composite chassis allows for a lightweight boot that comes in at 8oz. I like the fact Nike has stuck with a well built upper that offers some protection instead of focusing on lowering the overall weight of the boot. Compared to the Vapor VI, you are getting the same boot with the same materials. It is simply in visual design where these differ from the Vapor VI. I personally feel like the pattern on this release improves the boot, but it doesn’t increase the actual technology.
How they Fit
I found that the Vapor VII offers a very suitable option for wide fitting players. Many players suffer problems around the mid area of the soleplate, but Nike offer a nice wide fit to accommodate most players. Ordering true to size is the way to go, with a 9US suiting my fit perfectly. They also fit in a very similar fashion to other Vapor releases.
It is tough to find any negatives about these boots, they offer an all around competitive mix. Performance wise, they work fantastically well and I can see just why Nike has decided to stick with a pretty identical boot to the Vapor VI. Why fix it if it isn’t broken? The one thing I am not a fan of though is the colorway, but I guess that is just an acquired taste!
Nike continue their tradition of releasing top rated boots with the Vapor VII. On release, many fans criticized the fact Nike had created little to no updates, but to be honest, this is a very tidy little release. The minor updates that Nike has made have only created a more defined cleat that competes at the top of the market. The one exciting thing about the Vapor VII is that it suits all players on the field, something that can’t be said about the majority of lightweight releases on the market. Nike use a very well constructed upper that offers protection, while also giving you a lightweight feel. If you can get past the colorway (or are a fan of the Red Plum) then you have to seriously consider these boots!
(*boots supplied for review by soccer.com)