Earlier today, Nike introduced us to a completely new style of boot, the PhantomVSM. Of all recent Nike releases, this is without a doubt the most complex to date, with plenty of pieces to breakdown in order to truly understand.
First off, lets run through some of the general details we know about these boots:
- They are set to replace the Magista silo.
- Their key feature is how they fit.
- Although they look laceless, they do have a lacing system.
- The intro colorway is the pictured blackout version.
- Who are they designed for? “When we think of the phantoms we are designing for, we envision a battler who has mastered the art of navigating tight spaces while possessing the vision for attack lanes others may not see.”
- Overall, they are very complex!!!!
Nike went into creating the PhantomVSN with a completely new strategy. Instead of building from the outside-in, they built from the inside-out. In other words, foot shape and feel through a 90 minute game got serious consideration. Lets breakdown the design piece by piece.
Find the current Nike Phantom Vision line-up available at soccer.com.
Internal Quadfit Mesh
Nike started out with what is essentially a bootie that conforms to fit most any foot. This proprietary new construction will debut in soccer with the PhantomVSN and soon be adopted in other Nike footwear. Quadfit is designed to contain the foot without constricting it, while also retaining its shape over time without overstretch. While not visible from the outside, the impact is immediate on the inside. And that leads us to one of the boldest statements we have ever seen from Nike, with Phil Woodman stating that:
“Players have long been accustomed to the rigors of breaking in their boots, but the PhantomVSN is match-ready right out of the box.”
If true, that is a game changer and something that could make a wide variety of players very happy.
Now for some heavy tech talk……Quadfit performs well because it doesn’t have the stretch bias typically seen in woven materials. The four axes of fibers conform to the player’s foot and provide support in all directions. It works because of the unique fiber orientation as well as the separation between fibers; the gaps distribute the load of the foot and mitigate friction. The result is an incredible fit across a very broad spectrum of unique foot structures.
Although it technically is a Dynamic Fit collar, you won’t hear it referred to as such. On all other Nike releases, it is a key feature of the boot but here it is actually part of the Quadfit system. Its purpose is pretty much on par, creating an as one fit between foot and boot, but its feel is very different. I’d compare it more as being as sock than a collar, with the same type of stretch characteristics.
Although they might look laceless, there is a lacing system hidden underneath the tongue cover. It is called the Ghost Lace system, and a lot of research has gone into its implementation. To improve upon traditional lacing, the Ghost Lace touch points were minimized and a one-pull construction implemented for equal tension all the way down the foot. The laces can then be discretely tucked away to provide an even striking surface.
The first thing I’ve noticed about it is that its slightly challenging to actually get your fingers under the collar to lace up. Plus, you can;t get to the deeper laces if/when you want to switch them out. Minor issues, but worth noting!
There is a lot of texture and definition right through the upper of the PhantomVSM, all intended to enhance feel on the ball. Through the instep, in what is a triangle-shaped area, you will find a dominant raised pattern. Nike Sport Research Lab testing confirms the lower on the triangle one collects the ball, the higher the degree of control for initiating an attack. Both the small-sided and FG versions of PhantomVSN are designed to perform in the elements with ACC (All Conditions Control) coating weather-proofing the product.
Flip them over and the storyline continues, with Nike implementing an entirely new FEA-informed traction pattern to accommodate quick multi-directional cuts. The studs are housed on a lightweight, responsive plate with enhanced zonal support for the foot.
We were given pre-release access to this blackout pair of PhantomVSM, and they will be the first ones available via soccer.com tomorrow. “Raised on Concrete” (Grey & Red) drops on July 30th, while “Young Blood” (Purple) drops on August 6th.
Stay tuned for more details – including an unboxing – over the next 24hrs. If you have any specific questions about them, hit up the comments below and we will try get them answered.