Shoes

Nike mercurial vapor IV review

Posted on March 24, 2008. Filed under: Shoes | Tags: , , |

mv3 and mv4 comparison

So I’ve finally had a chance to thoroughly test out my new mercurial vapor IVs with a couple of matches so I thought I’d get round to writing this review. I’ve also taken pictures side by side with my old mercurial vapor IIIs (which are just over two years old now) so you can see the differences up close.

They are quite minor in fact, the obvious stuff includes the heel cup which isn’t as aggressive but still locks you foot in really well and more comfortably then before and I haven’t had any blisters yet either. The stud pattern is the same which is good as they work well and then there’s the lace cover that is supposed to allow a cleaner strike although I don’t think it makes any difference in that respect but it certainly keeps your laces clean!

mv3 and mv4 comparison 2

The lace cover is a bit annoying in that it’s a little harder to put the shoe on and I dread the thought of ever having to change laces as it looks pretty hard to thread the lower parts. The visible carbon fibre under the sole is gone but I think it’s actually still there in the shoe, just hidden. There’s some that runs up the heel and if you fork out for the SLs then you’ll get the whole bottom part in carbon fibre. Although I’m not sure what other benefits the SLs have and if they’re worth the extra premium.

mv3 and mv4 comparison forefoot

You notice immediately that the forefoot area is wider which is probably good for a lot of people that struggled to fit the mv 1,2 and 3s but for me it’s not so great as I have a skinny foot that suits the older narrow vapors. Still, tightening the laces a bit more resolves any of those issues. It does feel like the sizes are a little bigger though so be wary if you’re ordering online, I’ve always bought US 10.5 and had a snug fit from Nike but these are a tiny bit bigger. I could’ve gone with US 10 this time I think but it’s not a big difference. Just try out a pair first before putting down any cash.

mercurial vapor 3 and 4 comparison heel cup

During the match they were immediately comfortable and still have the great touch of the previous versions, the upper seems to be the same Tejin synthetic although perhaps a little stickier (but this may just be that they’re newer and my IIIs have worn off a fair amount already). Basically, if you liked the IIIs then you’re in for the same experience except the heel will be more comfortable, should be interesting to see what other colours are released around Euro 2008 time.

Other mercurial related posts…
Mercurial vapor 4s have arrived finally
Who is the fastest
Nike mercurial vapor IVs on the way
Ten years of mercurials
Nike mercurial SL (limited edition)
Nike mercurial vapors

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Mercurial vapor 4’s have arrived finally

Posted on March 12, 2008. Filed under: Shoes | Tags: , , , |

So I finally got my FG mercurial vapor IVs today after a mix up where I ended up with the wrong size and had to send those ones back!

I haven’t had a chance to test them out in a full game yet, I’ve just tried them on around the house. The first noticeable thing is that the forefoot is wider which many will be happy about, me not so much as my feet are fairly thin anyway so I’ve never had a prob with the vapors before. Underneath the studs are pretty much the same tried and tested formation nike’s been using for a while. It works well anyway and the only problem is sometimes if your body is quite low and the pitch is somewhat wet you can slip as the studs on the front are a bit shallow. If it’s a real problem then you’d probably get soft ground boots instead.

The heel cup has had a big change. It doesn’t fully cover the heel as it did in the IIIs but still has the most important locking points so it’ll probably be fine. I liked the heel cup introduction in the IIIs although it did take a little getting used to as it was quite stiff to begin with. I got the vivid blue/anthrite colour which is basically black until light hits them and then you get some bluish/green specs reflecting the light back. I prefer white shoes but couldn’t be bothered waiting till they (if they) release them. My IIIs have almost given up on me after 2 years of weekly service, so I needed news boots fairly quickly.

I’ll be putting some pics up later to compare them with the IIIs and I’ll write up how they go during the game on the weekend.

Other mercurial related posts…
Who is the fastest
Nike mercurial vapor IVs on the way
Ten years of mercurials
Nike mercurial SL (limited edition)
Nike mercurial vapors

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Who is the fastest

Posted on February 11, 2008. Filed under: EPL, Players, Shoes, Video | Tags: , , , , |

Nike have officially launched their latest viral ad campaign at the site www.whoisthefastest.com (which redirects to a skysports page with a feel much like the usual nikefootball.com site). The ad puts Aaron Lennon and Gabriel Agbonglahor through their paces on a test circuit where they have to weave through slalom poles with and without the ball.

It seems like it will be a challenge to anyone who thinks they can beat the pair in another well planned campaign that is sure to attract a lot of attention. Check out the website for the videos although I found the raw footage more interesting to watch as it was less flashy. You can find that over at SoccerLens.

Lennon was fastest overall but Agbonglahor was faster in getting to the ball. I’ve embedded the same videos from SoccerLens for your viewing pleasure.

Aaron Lennon – raw footage from xenon on Vimeo

Gabby Agbonlahor – raw footage from xenon on Vimeo

Other mercurial related posts…
Nike mercurial vapor iv review
Mercurial vapor 4s have arrived finally
Nike mercurial vapor IVs on the way
Ten years of mercurials
Nike mercurial SL (limited edition)
Nike mercurial vapors

Independent thoughts

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Nike mercurial vapor IVs on the way.

Posted on February 11, 2008. Filed under: Shoes | Tags: , , , , |

So I finally put in an order for a pair of Nike Mercurial Vapor IVs today after spending some time trying to decide what boots to get next after my Nike Mercurial Vapor IIIs finally started to show signs of wear and probable failure some time not too far away. The IIIs have pretty much been the only boot I’ve used for the last two years (and I don’t have an off-season as I keep playing friendlies the year through). They’ve held up like no other boot I’ve had, usually I only get a year out of a boot and need to fix them up regularly with araldite (don’t laugh, it’s great stuff!). The IIIs required no maintenance and almost always cleaned up like new, although some challenges left marks that no amount of scrubbing could remove.

My only complaint is perhaps they were more durable than my feet! I’d end up with blisters on my toes, heels and balls of my feet if I didn’t use band-aids or strapping constantly. Perhaps I should follow in Christiano Ronaldo’s footsteps (sorry, bad pun) and wear some shoes that are two sizes smaller (I kid you not, read the article). Apparently your touch is a lot better which I guess makes sense but I’m not about to ruin my feet for a better feel of the ball. I have a friend that wears shoes a size smaller than usual although he tells me that the leather usually accommodates this after a short while and moulds much better to your feet. He’s a small, scrawny guy but has one of the most powerful kicks I’ve seen and can dip the ball like no one I know so I’m sure he knows what he’s on about.

Anyways I’ve got a pair of anthracite/vivid blue vapors (mostly black looking, the orange was a bit loud for me) probably a week away and can’t wait to try them out. I’ll be sure to report how I find them, just with I could’ve grabbed those Mercurial SLs but the price was a little insane. Hope I made the right choice as I haven’t actually tried a pair out and I was pretty pleased with the Adidas powerswerve’s I tried out recently but I’ve generally preferred Nikes so I’m not to worried.

Other mercurial related posts…
Nike mercurial vapor IV review
Mercurial vapor 4s have arrived finally
Who is the fastest
Ten years of mercurials
Nike mercurial SL (limited edition)
Nike mercurial vapors

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Adidas predator powerswerve

Posted on February 9, 2008. Filed under: Shoes, Technology, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I had the chance to try out a pair of the new Adidas predator powerswerve boots today. I haven’t used a pair since the predator pulse boots from a couple of years ago that I own but I was pleasantly surprised with the powerswerves. They’re part of the new Adidas range along with the adiPURE boots in use by Kaka’ and Gerard.

Although I wasn’t able to use them during a match as they belonged to the keeper on my team, I was able to get a bit of shooting practice in them. Until you put them on they’re quite flimsy and don’t feel like they’ll support the foot all that well but they are quite comfortable once laced up. They seem to have gotten the materials and design right on instep as the first thing you notice is a clean strike with good contact and excellent accuracy. The powerswerve does live up to it’s name as you can get some nice spin with them, it’s just a shame I couldn’t try them out with all the other important parts of the game. I still think I’m leaning towards the mercurial vapor 4s for my next boot but we’ll see, might try to borrow the powerserves for half a game. I’ve also heard that the new F50s are due out soon but they haven’t impressed me since switching to the tunit chassis. Nice concept but it doesn’t seem to work in my opinion.

The boots were created with help from Zidane after he finished uphis playing career at the 2006 world cup. That says a lot about the boot and that you should expect excellent control as he was one of the best trappers of the ball in the game. Apparently the powerswerve can impart 8% more swerve and 3% more power than the previous predator. It builds on the same golf and tennis technology utilised on the predator pulse by adding well-placed weight to the front of the boot for extra power.

Enjoy some Kaka’, Gerard and Messi silliness in the ad below.

Independent thoughts

The multitudes of affiliate program are introduced by the big entrepreneurs for the small businessmen to get profits on commission basis. The restoration of backup files is very significant for the computer clients with the application of different software. The cheap web hosting services are very feasible for the moderate kind of enterprisers who want to run their business within the range of affordability. The internet marketing service providers offer the full assistance and cooperation to run their online business of different companies. You should always choose unique domain names for your websites to enhance the popularity of your sites among the internet users. The advertising agencies are running their business so successfully by providing the full assistance to the customers for full coverage of their products via multi-media services.

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Ten years of mercurial vapors

Posted on January 20, 2008. Filed under: Players, Shoes, Technology, Video | Tags: , , , |

Continuing on with my posts of late (such as the Nike Mercurial SL Vapor IVs), I found an interesting video about the research that went into the nike mercurial vapor III. A bit late with the vapor IVs coming out very soon but I was good to watch and this is still my favourite boot (who knows until I try the IVs out). Basically them monitoring Henry as well as the Ronaldos performing various movements that occur in games.

I have another video I found which is just a Nike ad for their mercurials. It’s Ronaldo shooting hundreds of balls to show how many goals he’s scored since strapping on his first pair of mercurials in 1998. I still remember those shoes and have always lusted over them but never ended up getting a pair myself.

Other mercurial related posts…
Nike mercurial vapor IV review
Mercurial vapor 4s have arrived finally
Who is the fastest
Nike mercurial vapor IVs on the way
Nike mercurial SL (limited edition)
Nike mercurial vapors

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Kaka tricks footage and adiPURE

Posted on January 19, 2008. Filed under: Players, Shoes, Video | Tags: , |

Below is some footage of Kaka’ in the new adidas adiPURE boots talking about some tactics and also a spot of blindfolded juggling. Impressive stuff.

Since the video is him talking in Portuguese I’ll translate what he said. “The first thing you have to do is have good ball control, as when you can control it you have the chance to do anything you want. The second thing is to not play with your back to the defender, when you have your back to them you lose the feeling of where you are and where the goal is. When you turn to face you are localised and know where the goal is. Then you can take on the defender with a dribble, lose his marking and do the play you desire.”

Enjoy the footage and read more about the adiPURE at footy-boots.

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Nike Mercurial SL (Vapor IV)

Posted on January 16, 2008. Filed under: Players, Shoes, Technology, Video | Tags: , , , |

MercurialSLWell the Nike Mercurial Vapor IV’s are out soon and I came across this cool post on ballhype about a special variety of the new mercurials. I have the video at the end of the post if you want to see for yourself. Basically they get Asafa Powell, some terribly fast sprinter (so I’m told), to try out the new mercurial SLs. It looks all underground like a dodgy drug deal, huge black SUVs and all the timing equipment etc. ready to go. He sprints the length of a football pitch and advises the dudes around him that the boots are fast. Within seconds they’re packed away in a box with C. Ronaldo and Drogba’s names on it. Twelve ours later they arrive in London to deliver the boots to Drogba, “Asafa say’s they’re fast”.

No offence but Drogba’s anything but a fast player, amazingly gifted but not in the speed department. Christiano on the other hand is another kettle of fish but I guess if you looks at it another way, if anyone needs a speed increase, it’s Drogba.

The boots look awesome and I’m totally blown away by them. Full carbon-fibre construction weighing in at 190grams using the latest F1 technology. I think these boots would be so tough they’d never wear out! My MVIIIs are lasting for ages as it is but I can only see the glue being a weak point on these, if any. I like how they’ve done away with the lace cover on these as I don’t much care for it on the normal IVs. Only thing is that at 190grams, they weigh about the same as the normal MVIIIs. Light but not much lighter than the last pair (which were 196grams).

If you’re after a pair, you better sit down before you check the price. I saw them for 250 british pounds at prodirectsoccer but I think it’s a fair price as they are a limited run of 450 pairs to celebrate 10 years of mercurials, the shoe first designed for Ronaldo in 1998 (the original Ronaldo, Christiano was probably still playing marbles at that stage). A lot will end up as collector’s items but personally, I’d love play in them week in and week out. You’ll also have to wait till May the 19th, just in time for Euro 2008.

Check out the other video after the Asafa Powell clip of C. Ronaldo taking on a Bugatti Veyron, I kid you not. It’s not as silly as it first seems because even though the Veyron only has 1000 horsepower (basically two v8s stuck together with four turbochargers bolted on), they race him a short distance (in the wet) and then have to beat him back in reverse. Basically a test of acceleration, stopping and turning. If you want a good review of the mercurial IV’s, head over to footy-boots as always.

Other mercurial related posts…
Nike mercurial vapor IV review
Mercurial vapor 4s have arrived finally
Who is the fastest
Nike mercurial vapor IVs on the way
Ten years of mercurials
Nike mercurial vapors

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Adidas Predator Pulse

Posted on December 12, 2007. Filed under: Shoes, Technology | Tags: , , , , |

Adidas Predator PulseTo go with the release of the new Predators, the Adidas Predator Swerve as discussed on footy boots and to follow up my post about the Nike Mercurial Vapors, I thought I’d post about a pair of Predators that I’ve owned (well, in fact still use on occasion), the Predator Pulse.

These were released in 2004 about the time of the Euro cup (although so were the F50s, I had the white ones for a brief period, don’t mention wet pitches with those shoes!). I grabbed a pair of blue ones in mid-2005, the ones that Kaka’ was using for a while on the national team (I think these were the Pulse 2 as they received a minor update). I fell in love with the look and colour.

They are quite a different boot to the light, synthetic nikes that I also own. Not that they’re heavy but you can feel that they are a more robust, powerful, striking boot. The pulse built on top of a pedigree of an aggressive boot that has left it’s mark on the modern game. The predator has always been about ball-control. Being able to strike, spin and trap the ball effortlessly.

With these boots Adidas introduced the “PowerPulse” technology. They carefully and precisely distributed weight towards the forefoot of the boot to create a high amount of power as the player strikes the ball. The technology was heavily based around the same developments in the golf and tennis industry. The simple formula of mass (the boot) times speed (your kick) is what generates power.

The extra weight is noticeable but not to the point where it adversely affects other areas. Ball control is great but you can still run at someone at pace (not quite like the vapors though). Shooting with these boots is where it’s at. I’ve hit a few from distance that have turned out to be amazing shots. In the newer predators they’ve move the weight to the insole which allows you to customise the boot for speed or power. A nice touch even though the difference will never be huge.

While Nike has developed it’s synthetic to near perfection, Adidas has focused on it’s amazing K-leather. Based on Kangaroo leather (as a side note: I read that Kangaroo leather products were banned for a time in the US, odd because they are actually a pest, no matter how cute they are), the end product is softer that traditional cow leather but still quite durable. Because it is leather, there is a wearing in period but it’s rarely more than a couple of weeks and once worn in they are very comfortable. The boots also used “power” and “swerve” elements which are just the different polymer materials on the instep/top of the boot to help grip the ball and deliver either more power or spin respectively. Interestingly the new boot is called just that, PowerSwerve…

I’ll have to try the new Predators out sometime soon and post a review but I’ll probably look further into the history of the predators later.

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Nike Mercurial Vapors

Posted on October 28, 2007. Filed under: Shoes, Technology | Tags: , , , , , |

Nike Mercurial Vapor III Following on from a couple of posts I made about the technology involved in soccer (first with soccer balls then monitoring/statistical equipment), I thought I’d look into the latest innovations in soccer boots/cleats. What better shoe to start with then the Nike Mercurial Vapors. Not that I’m a Nike man or anything but I’ve got the first version of this boot (released in 2002 just before the world cup) and the third version also. I feel that Nike has found the best synthetic material to date for the upper in the third edition of these boots.

They were quite revolutionary when they first came out as being the lightest boots ever made. They weighed in at a paltry 196 grams per boot. This weight has pretty much remained the same throughout the newer versions. Because of the low weight, they were ideal for fast players such as wingers and strikers but weren’t so suited to defensive work because the synthetic was so thin you feel everything, including each hard tackle!

However, because the synthetic was so thin, the touch, feel and control was almost like you weren’t wearing boots at all. It speaks a lot about the material in the upper and that the perfect balance was found in a material that’s elastic, comfortable, water-repellent and extremely hard-wearing. In fact the material in the III’s have lasted almost two years without sign of failing (which is impressive considering how often I play and the workout I tend to put my shoes through). Although I didn’t wear my original vapors as often, I still have them and only the glue on the underside is starting to give, not the synthetic upper. That’s 5 years I’ve had those shoes!!!

The original vapors were very narrow. This wasn’t a problem for me with my clown type feet but many with broader feet would struggle. I also found them very awkward to cross with at first but got used to them soon enough. The biggest problem with the originals was the heel. Right at the top of the heel, Nike may as well have used a cheese grater because the blisters you’d end up with were horrific! I needed to use band-aid’s and strapping tape religiously around the heel to play without getting injured just from running. Apart from that they were fine.

The vapor IIs I can’t say a lot about because I didn’t own a pair of these. They seemed close enough to the originals with many other colour choices and it seems they fixed up the heel problems quick smart! Apparently the synthetic was also thicker in the IIs to make them a more general boot that didn’t hurt so much to get stepped on!

As I said before, with the IIIs, they perfected the synthetic upper to create something similar to leather but thinner and bringing all the benefits of a synthetic microfibre. Apart from that, the boot was broader to accommodate larger feet and actually had the core built around carbon-fibre and glass-reinforced nylon (the carbon-fibre you can see on lifting up the sole and around the heel on the bottom, very cool). Also they did a lot of work on the heel counter to lock the foot and boot together and stabilise the ankle. This worked quite well but depending on your foot, did take time to get used to and in my case seemed to fatigue a few muscles I didn’t even know about. It only took a little while to get used to and was probably more a result of my dodgy ankles that have been rolled one time too many! It also protects the heel area very well (and the tender Achilles tendon) because it’s is very solid and hard.

Apparently the MV IVs are on the way soon. There were some leaked pics going around but I rarely trust them and they didn’t look that great either. Oh well, time will tell, hope they are another step up like the IIIs were.

Check out the other research Teijin and Nike teamed up to produce. Interesting stuff for those skeptical about benefits of the dri-fit, etc. type materials (myself included at one stage).

Other mercurial related posts…
Nike mercurial vapor IV review
Mercurial vapor 4s have arrived finally
Who is the fastest
Nike mercurial vapor IVs on the way
Ten years of mercurials
Nike mercurial SL (limited edition)

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