One of the key performance upgrades on the latest version of Nike Mercurial speed is a new upper called Vaporposite. You can find it on both the Superfly 8 Elite and the Vapor 14 Elite, but what exactly is it and how does it work?
Evolving from the 2019 Mercurial 360, Vaporposite combines a grippy grid mesh with a premium “Avail Q” lining for ball control at high speeds. It is the Avail Q that adds a tactile feel across the surface of the upper. Visually, it is the type of styling that gives Nike a lot to work with, and it is obviously a distinct play they have made with the new silo. We have already seen several colorways that highlight the creative ways Nike can work with them, and this Risk Red version is no different. Up close, you can see a semi-transparent design, with shades of yellow and blue hidden just underneath the surface. It gives them a very dynamic look!
So what can you expect performance wise? Across the history of the Mercurial Vapor series, we have seen a wide variety of upper materials and designs that have directly impacted the fit and feel of the boot on foot. This version is no different, with the Vapor 14 Elite offering a very distinct type of fit. First note, the material is on the rigid side, with Vaporposite having an almost plastic like feel. On foot, they play far more pliable than you would imagine, offering a natural touch on the ball. I think it has a lot to do with the structure, which looks like a criss-cross thread design, almost as if someone took a 3D pen to create some support to the upper.
In terms of fit, they are a Mercurial release, so you won’t be surprised to hear the design is narrow compared to other Nike boots on the market. But, I’d actually rate them as being more accommodating through the forefoot than previous Mercurial releases. It means that more players will be able to consider them as their next boot option!
This is the next boot that I’m working on testing, so a more comprehensive review will follow in the next week or two. For those that are interested in the Vapor 14 Elite, they retail for $249.99 at SOCCER.com.