Along with the tagline “Deceptive by Nature“, Nike introduced the second generation of the Hypervenom. This latest version features a much more specific purpose, with a plethora of dynamic pieces to improve performance for attack minded players.
Switching from an old to new silo can be tough for players, but with such radical modifications, this one might prove an even more intricate challenge. The concept of the original Hypervenom to the Hypervenom II hasn’t changed, as they are again geared toward explosive attacking players who want an extra level of agility in their game. Neymar, Wayne Rooney, Robert Lewandowski, Harry Kane, Edinson Cavani – this is just a small example of the type of player that will take them to pitch next season.
We’ve been lucky enough to have a pair in testing for the past few weeks. There are certain aspects of the boots that players will have different opinions on. In fact, there are certain areas from our experience that you might find slightly controversial – but that is part of our review! Find out full details on what they have on offer below.
Find the current available Hypervenom line-up at soccer.com.
We’d been expecting the Hypervenom to be released for a while, but the inclusion of a mid-cut collar was something that only popped up close to the actual release. Overall, the boots are very different to the original – there is pretty much nothing that connects both other than the name and primary focus. In essence, it is like testing a completely new silo.
Slipping the Boots On
With that mid-cut collar in play, one of the initial questions is “how easy are they to slip on?” Like all other Nike mid-cut collar boots (Superfly and Magista Obra) it is simply a case of slipping your foot in and using the outer material to pull the but off. Taking them off requires a little extra work, but there is nothing complicated about the process.
Because these have a more spacious fit, something we cover in more detail below, they are actually the easiest of the mid-cut collars to slip on and off.
Breaking In and Comfort
As you’d expect, Nike has gone to great lengths in ensuring the boots offer adequate comfort and feel right out of the box. From the decently flexible soleplate to a very comforting padded insole, you can take them out of the box and bash them right into some game action. In saying that, I don’t recommend taking them into game action without first offering yourself the opportunity to see how the mid-cut collar feels. This goes for those of you that have worn a mid-cut collared boot in the past. There is a difference with these as Nike offer a slightly different approach on the heel. The actual collar is also looser from first wear, so taking them out for one or two practice sessions before games is my recommendation. Comfort will not necessarily be an issue, instead it is a case of ensuring the boot suits your style and understanding what exactly you are getting. From my experience, these boots will not suit everyone – as I’ll detail a little more below.
How do they Fit?
Here is an important section to tackle early on in the review. Normally, we would leave this for a little later but there are important notes here that could immediately factor into your decision with the Hypervenom II. Basically, this is a wide fitting boot, with plenty of space offered through the entire foot. Through the forefoot, you get ample breathing space to allow your foot to move, and the mid-cut collar also has a wider cut to accommodate players that need a little extra wiggle room. It is not the type of boot that will immediately suffice the widest fitting players, but it is the most suitable option in the entire Nike collection right now. And when it comes to those of you that have a narrow or even medium foot shape, it is wise to stay clear of this particular range!
Upper Design and Flywire
Nike Flywire was then added through the upper in an effort to secure the foot down against the soleplate. The concept is simple; provide a locked down feel while ensuring your foot moves symbiotically with the boot. It’s positioning is pretty standard, running from soleplate up around the lacing system ensuring the boot tightens up around your foot as you tie the laces. The only one exception sits on the inner portion of the boot, just above the last lace. Nike place a shorter zig-zag implantation to reduce the amount of Flywire used through the strikezone.
The Flywire is integrated into an ultra responsive loft mesh of varying density levels, a departure from the uniformly dimpled upper of the original Hypervenom. The new mesh design offers a spring like effect that provides a dampened feel while controlling the ball and some extra cushion as you strike the ball to reduce full impact. Right across the forefoot, there is also unique fold lines implemented across the forefoot for enhanced touch.
The real nice thing about this design is that there is plenty of material to ensure a comfortable and confident touch and strike on the ball. These are a great boot for placing shots with, looking to curl from outside the box toward one of the posts.
Mid Cut Collar – My Experience
First off here, we all have different experiences with new technology included in boots. Nike has decided to provide a sense of enhanced fit and support around the ankle line of the Hypervenom II with the inclusion of a mid-cut collar. This is my experience, it is negative and as a result very much worth documenting to ensure players know what they could experience.
On this boot, Nike has transitioned to an off center heel cut on the mid-cut collar as opposed to the straight line cut of the Superfly and Obra. The purpose of this asymmetric cut was to free any tension on the Achilles tendon. Unfortunately in my case, I found the uniform compression around the heel resulted in too more pressure on my heel and as I played, produced a tired feeling in the area. Every time I’ve worn them, my Achilles seems to tire, something I’ve never experienced with other boots. To test my theory on the mid-cut collar being the problem, I actually took out an old school pair of CTR360 Maestri III and I didn’t experience the same issues. I also haven’t experienced the same feel with any other Nike mid-cut collar release. It could be that there is an element of the cut that simply doesn’t adjust to the specific shape of my heel, but I’m offering it as a warning for other players that might be considering a pair. Personally, I’m more of Phinish type of guy.
If you have worn the Hypervenom II, let me know in the comments what your experience has been like – whether that is positive or negative!
Soleplate and Traction
Everything about these boots is geared toward attack natured players, those that like to make quick turns and use reactionary movement as part of their game. As a result, the soleplate of Hypervenom II is comprised of a softer compound than the original for added comfort. The split-toe design and agility traction pattern unleash a quick response for sudden changes of direction. Each of the conical studs (6 toward the front and 4 on the heel) feature a low profile and are pretty narrow in nature. Thus, they are perfect with quick entry and release from the surface players look to push away.
There has been a very mixed reaction to the release colorway, with some fans loving it and others bashing what Nike has created. The upper features a Wolf Grey underlay design, with that unique Total Orange added for a high profile contrast. Hypervenom players are notorious for the agility to execute directional moves in tight spaces, zigging when others zag. That zig-zag capability meets literal interpretation on the functional sidewalls of the boot. A stunning wrap-around graphic adorns the plate and and up along the sidewalls of the boot.Personally, I like the look and I’m pretty confident a majority of players feel the same way.
First thing, they are not designed for players with a more narrow foot – please keep this in mind. The second thing is the experience I had with the mid-cut collar along my Achilles. Having tested these, they will have to go into the collection station, not to be worn by myself again due to the performance characteristic. I’ll be sticking with the normal ankle cut Phinish as my version of choice in this range.
If you are looking for a pair of Hypervenom II, find the current line-up at soccer.com.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: The concept of the boot is simple; they are geared toward explosive attacking players who want an extra level of agility in their game.
Would I Buy Them: Because of my experience with the mid cut collar, that would be a definite no (especially for the price. Instead, I’d personally stick with the Phinish.
Player Position: Considering the list of players signed up to wear them, these are a definite option for attack minded players who want something dynamic and creative.