It has finally arrived! Today, Nike introduce their latest striker focused boot in the form of the the next generation Nike PhantomVNM. VNM = Venom. And they have gone all out on the first of 2019 release, placing a fierce red colorway on the upper of this goalscorers boot, released as the first piece of the upcoming “Game Over” Pack. It is also a case of in with the new, out with the old as this is the boot that replaces the Hypervenom series.
So, what exactly are we dealing with here? Well, Nike has taken feedback from some of the world’s best finishers – the likes of American Alex Morgan and Englishman Harry Kane – to produce a very attack focused boot. The PhantomVNM features a series of textured zones to facilitate a powerful strike, but with an understanding that all of the power in the world won’t score without the accuracy to keep the shot on goal.
This emphasis is most evident in the instep’s Precision PWR strike zone. Under inspection, you will find 13 blades on the instep’s precision PWR strike zone, set at specific angles and ascending heights to help keep the ball down if it is mishit and to provide bite on the ball. Remember that this is a boot that follows the DNA of the T90 Laser series, so the addition of a tiered strike element gives them real credibility.
Available now at soccer.com.
In terms of materials, Nike use a full Flyknit upper that is covered in a layer of Nike skin for enhanced touch and added durability. You also get a lacing system, some of which is hidden under the surface. This will allow players the opportunity to dictate their natural fit and security in the boot.
Underfoot, the soleplate takes inspiration from Nike Free, with a flexible feel through the forefoot as you push off the surface with torque for quick cuts and changes in direction. Nike use a mix of Chevron blades on a HyperReactive plate design, the same plate made famous on the Hypervenom 3. This iteration of the HyperReactive 2.0 plate is slightly modified, as it strays from tradition by exposing its faceted structure. This aesthetic also carries over to the premium faceted Swoosh.
The “official” release date of the PhantomVNM is actually set for January 19th, and will be available at soccer.com.
The world’s best finishers have something in common: Each knows that for every perfect, thrilling set ball goal, there are dozens of toe taps, heel flicks and hits off the outside of the foot. The value on the score sheet is the same, and the most proficient scorers come equipped with a nose for a goal and a litany of skills for converting their opportunities.
“My finishing is a balance between power and placement,” says USWNT star Alex Morgan. “It depends where I am in the box, but I’d say my focus is usually 60/40 accuracy versus power.”
“Having a clear mind is critical to being a potent finisher,” reminds Harry Kane. “You’ve got to remember that the next touch on the ball is always the most important. I have to be ready and I need my boots to be ready as well.”