Saturday , May 27 2023

Up Close – Nike Zoom Mercurial XI FK FC

Nike Zoom Mercurial XI FK FC Up Close


These are definitely not your conventional soccer footwear, but the ’98 Ronaldo remake, Nike Zoom Mercurial XI FK FC, is one of Nike’s latest creations that is well worth showcasing. What an incredibly suave design, combining Nike’s top soccer performance with a quality off pitch lifestyle look. We are talking the explosive Mercurial Superfly mixed with the comfort of Zoom Air.

So, what exactly is on offer? Well, Nike has placed a textured Flyknit upper on top of a lightweight and responsive cushioning system, creating a clean look with effortless style. Flyknit provides an elastic, sock like fit and it is extremely breathable.  A mid-cut collar hugs your ankle and provides a snug and comfortable fit. An added element to the shoe that is very unique is a crafted leather heel counter. It primary purpose is to add support and comfort as you wear them on a daily basis. But it also adds a more sophisticated, crafted look.

Available from

Nike Zoom Mercurial XI FK Flyknit

Nike Zoom Mercurial XI FK Upper Design

The next important aspect lies underfoot; the Zoom Air sole. Nike Zoom Air debuted 20 years ago and continues to provide responsive low-profile cushioning that athletes can feel. Tightly stretched tensile fibers are knit inside a pressurized Nike Air unit, giving the Zoom Air cushioning its snappy responsiveness. Each time an athlete’s foot touches down, the fibers compress to cushion the impact before quickly springing back to their original state, generating an explosive, powerful response off the ground.

For these shoes, it is more about providing a dream cushioning to keep you feeling light on your feet through a day of wear!

Nike Zoom Mercurial XI FK Zoom Air Sole

Zoom Air Mercurial Traction

I figured here would be a good time to share some additional on-point commentary on the boots, so you know exactly what they have on offer. 

Comfort: These are a fantastic shoe to wear and definitely fit the mold of a perfected off-pitch shoe. The Flyknit upper has that elastic fit, so there is no pressure from the outer material as you wear them. In other words, you can have them on your feet for an extended period without feeling like you need to take them off. Always a positive!

Performance: It is not their main purpose, but I’ve no doubt that you could wear these to run in. The Zoom Air sole is designed for providing cushion and minimizing impact. But they don’t hold the correct shape and simple additions like the leather heal make it more of a lifestyle shoe.

Aesthetics: Personally, I’m just not a big fan of the design. I like the use of Flyknit through the upper and I can see how a mid cut collar adds value to a release like this. But the Red/Black colorway on knit just does have that “I need them” look. I’ve got to add here, on foot they are far easier to take images off as the material holds a more uniform structure. While wearing them, I’ve received a surprising number of positive comments, but overall I’m not won over. Now, if we were talking a Wolf Grey, or better yet a White/Blue colorway, the conversation here might be quite different!

Wearability: This goes along the lines of comfort, and they are miles ahead of the game here. You can easily go about a day with them on your feet with no concern for comfort. And when it comes to getting them on, it is super easy. The mid cut collar is simple to get your foot into without over stretching the material. With a soccer shoe, you might also have concern with overstretch through the forefoot, but I don’t see that being an issue here as they are intended for daily wear where you are not necessarily putting strain on the outer material.

For those that want to see more, you can find these currently at

Zoom Mercurial Leather Heel

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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