As the final installment in the boot story of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Nike Mercurial Superfly Chapter 7 holds huge significance in the boot world. Since 2015, we have been treated to specially designed releases that have pieced together the soccer history of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Each boot in the “CR7 Chapters”series has relayed an important piece of Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal and footballing story. This final iteration, Chapter 7, is the culmination of the storytelling and pays homage to the player’s number 7 in the forefoot graphic, and also nods to the memorable carbon fiber boots of the past. And some would say that this version has the added bonus of being the most visually prominent release in the entire collection. We will let you guys be the judge of that!
Here, we take a look at the boot up close and detail what players can expect performance wise should you be on the market for the final installment in the series.
You can find the entire CR7 Chapter 7 collection at soccer.com.
Chapter 7 Detailing
First thing to note is that the colorway is officially listed as a Flash Crimson/Black/Total Crimson. If you didn’t have the boots in hand, the inclusion of the color Crimson would give you an accurate assessment of the overall design, but it doesn’t provide a fully accurate assessment. You can clearly see that there is some strong silver chrome detailing incorporated across the boot, something that really defines the boot. Through the toe area, a gradient transition between Red and Chrome adds a more dynamic visual effect. This also transitions underfoot to the soleplate.
Added to this, key detailing areas also have the same silver chrome in play. The CR7 and Mercurial hits on the boot contrast thanks to the added metallic effect. One aspect that really sets these apart for me is the inclusion of Cristiano’s signature along the heel. It is a simple yet effective addition that produces an added bond between the owner of the boots and the Portuguese star, his seal of approval on the boots!
Something else pretty cool about these is how Nike has incorporated a carbon fiber effect on both the swoosh and the heel counter. You might recall the Mercurial Vapor SL released back in 2008, constructed entirely out of carbon fiber. With the upper crafted in Italy, the plate engineered in Germany, and the outsole built in South Korea, the Mercurial SL was a product of the global game. This small, subtle addition signifies the impact CR has had on the game through his career.
Breaking In and Comfort
Starting out, these are not going to be a boot that provides immediate comfort. The upper material is stiff and you have to contend with the undulated soleplate. If or when you receive your pair to wear, I’d stress the importance of getting them out of the box and on your feet to walk around in, allow them to loosen up slowly. This is not a boot you are going to want to break into a game on first wear. Time will be key to getting the most out of them long-term. Allow for the materials to gently stretch over a few training sessions.
Out of the box, I was surprised with the over stiff feel of the boots and it took a little bit of work to get them on for the first time. Initially, I tried to take them right into a training session. But it wasn’t happening. So, I wore them around the house for a few days (on and off of course) and the material eventually started to release. You can try the hot water trick if you’d like to speed up the process, but I was able to take time before taking them out onto the pitch. When I did, they still felt tight and rigid, but after several games they felt a lot more natural. If you are wearing a pair for the first time and find them uncomfortable, bear with the process and they will eventually provide a more efficient fit.
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360 Flyknit Upper
Just building off some of the comments above, I wanted to provide some additional detailing on the upper materials. One of the key features of this Superfly silo is the fact they are built using a full Flyknit upper. The material actually wraps under the boot and there is a single layer of stitching along the spine of the soleplate that holds them together. As a result, I was expecting to encounter a very pliable material. But that isn’t the case, with the Mercurial VI featuring a stiff upper out of the box. Rather than having a stretch feel like you’d expect a knit to have, it is a lot more like a synthetic that needs some wear to break in. The reasoning; they are designed to lock your foot in place and eliminate unwanted movement.
Rather than applying Nike All Conditions Control (ACC) as an outer layer, ACC is embedded into the Flyknit—eliminating additional skin, while remaining tough against the elements.
It took 2-3 wears before I started to feel natural in the boots, something that surprised me in a negative way. Maybe that has something to do with the fact I was testing the UA Magnetico at the same time (talk about a plush, supple upper!!!) but still I’d expect a more flexible feel from a boot that places an emphasis on Flyknit as its primary upper material.
Touch, Control and Shooting
One of the things Nike did with this release was infuse ACC into the Flyknit upper material, essentially eliminating a layer. That is in theory. But what it actually does is make the upper more rigid, meaning you are losing out on the natural level of touch on the ball. After a wear wears, the material does loosen so it becomes less of an issue.
The addition of micro-texturing across the Flyknit provides extra traction on the ball. You can see it clearly in the images above, and it really is as prominent as it looks. This helps increase control at top speed. The texturing is extremely defined, way more than you’d expect. They sit in a series of horizontal lines down toward the toes. Whether you are looking to add some additional swerve on a shot or a little extra power on goal bound strikes, it plays a positive role. The additional surface area allows you to really wrap your foot on the ball when you need to add a little spin. And for players in need of a power style boot, dare I say you get some additional ping of shots thanks to its placement through the strike zone.
Dynamic Fit Collar
If you’ve been wanting the same style collar seen on previous Cristiano Ronaldo and Leroy Sane’s boots, then you are in luck. What was a customized feature for pro players alone has now reached our feet via this release. The focus here is to produce a different type of fit around the ankle, one that utilizes an as one fit between foot and ankle in a more reduced format. In other words, there is still a connection but the cut is low enough to still allow for natural ankle motion through high-speed movements. This is an area that has taken me away from the Superfly series in the past, but I’ve definitely appreciated and enjoyed the change-up on this version.
Traction and Soleplate
There is a lot of undulation featured on the insole of the Superfly VI, something we also saw on the Superfly V. This is part of the dynamic internal system used by Nike to create a “Racing-seat-like” fit. Coupled with a split soleplate chassis and Chevron studs, everything on these is built for explosive speed and sharp deceleration.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of how it feels underfoot. It is something a lot of players will need to adjust to through the first few wears. Over time, it does become a lot more natural, but you still notice a difference each time you switch from flat sneakers/shoe to the boots. I get the concept and how Nike are trying to provide players with an even more dynamic type of system underfoot, but it doesn’t work when it is not the soleplate you are using right throughout the day.
In terms of aesthetics, Nike has gone with a sort of copper chrome glow on the split soleplate. Wow, does it stand out from anything else on the market! Depending on the angle that you look at it, the color tends to change and shift. It is a great look that adds a fresh dimension the release.
How do they Fit?
Compared to previous Mercurial releases, this boot is a lot more accommodating and provides some additional width to suit a wider audience. In saying that, they are still a Mercurial geared toward speed, so the silhouette is intended to be sleek and aerodynamic. I have a medium/wide fit, and they felt just “OK.” Through the forefoot, I had the right amount of space for them not to impact performance, but I can’t say with confidence that the same would be true for a wide fitting player. If you have the chance to try them on, I’d definitely recommend doing so before buying.
In the months since testing the original pair, durability has been very much on point. These are as good as any other boot currently available when it comes to longevity, especially when compared to other boots in the same price range. I feel confident complimenting Nike on the design and how well they hold up over time. Even after wear across the past two months, they still look like they are in pretty new condition. What helps here is the 360 Flyknit Upper design, with less opportunity for the boot to rip around the upper to soleplate joining. The overall structure of the boot and the materials used are pieced together effectively.
As much as I harp on about negatives I’ve found with the Mercurial Superfly 360, the reality is I’m not a big Mercurial fan. My preference has also been on boots that provide some stretch through wear and offer a natural feel on the ball. The focus of the Mercurial series is square on being as streamlined as possible, a complicated tool that enables speed in play. I do like speed, but I’m all about it being more simplified. If you have enjoyed previous Mercurial models, it is very likely that you will enjoy these just as much!
Chapter 7 was actually officially released in late September, so they have been on the market for a few months now. As a result the original retail has dropped on the Superfly, down from $299.999 to a current price of $209.99. This makes them a much more affordable option and considering their significance, a pretty top option for players looking to be mercurial.
Find the CR7 Chaper 7 Superfly available at soccer.com.