What could Nike do to improve their already highly regarded Elastico indoor focused Elastico series? 2014 saw a genuine milestone in football boot design as Nike revealed its most advanced boot to date in the Mercurial Superfly. But while 11-a-side on grass dominates at pro level, players around the world are playing small-sided games on different surfaces – concrete, wooden courts, artificial surfaces. To cater for these players, Nike introduces the Holiday 2014 Elastico Superfly – a shoe that brings all the innovation and technological benefits of the Mercurial Superfly to the court, turf or street.
“This past summer everyone was focused on the 11-a-side game. But, players want innovation for every kind of football they play,” said Denis Dekovic Design Director, Nike Football. “We took the design insights developed with Cristiano Ronaldo for the Mercurial Superfly and brought them into the small-sided game with the Elastico Superfly.”
Dekovic worked with Nike’s Product Manager for Small-Sided Football Marian Dougherty, who played for the Portland Thorns in the US professional league and for the US Women’s National Team, to take the performance benefits of the cleated Mercurial Superfly and add important details for the small-sided player.
“The upper is almost identical to the Mercurial Superfly, but with some key details that small-sided players have highlighted and that we see from playing as well as watching the game,” said Dougherty, Nike Product Manager.
The Elastico Superfly is distinctly low profile, placing the foot much closer to the ground than previous small-sided footwear. This helps improve traction and speed and allows players to better manipulate the ball. The unrivaled traction also benefits from a new rubber compound that’s produced specially for the outsole.
The low-profile, flexible outsole allows for improved grip for multi-directional quickness. Two updated traction patterns are offered; the Elastico Superfly IC features an outsole specifically designed for harder surfaces including concrete, and The Elastico Superfly TF built for turf and artificial grass surfaces.
“We worked to add flexibility and to decrease the distance between the foot and ground,” added Dekovic. “This helps the player get closer to the sensation of playing barefoot and enhances underfoot ball control.”
The shoe also features an extra layer of NIKESKIN in areas where small-sided footballers experience additional abrasion on their footwear for increased durability, while the micro-textured Nike Flyknit upper allows for a barefoot like touch ad enhanced ball feel and control.
“The small-sided game is incredible to design for,” added Dougherty. “It’s beautiful in that the style of play is more free with a focus on individual skill and being an artist with the ball. It’s less about a coach or rules and is so much more accessible to any player, anywhere.”