Great soccer ads

Posted on April 30, 2008. Filed under: Video | Tags: , , , , , |

Decided to find a bunch of soccer ads as there are some pretty cool ones out there.

First up is a new Nike one posted by ric-s on ballhype. Not all that particularly entertaining, just thought I’d add it cause it’s new.

Next is a really creative Umbro one. I won’t give too much away but it’s fairly well done.

An oldie but a goodie. This is a Nike ad from probably ten years ago. Funny to see some old faces that either haven’t been seen for a while or are still around but when they were young.

Then there’s the old pepsi ad where the Sumo’s play the pepsi all-stars (R.Carlos, Beckham, Raul, Davids, Buffon, etc.) for an esky full of cold pepsi’s.

This one below has Fabregas suited up to juggle a ball that’s on fire, while being alight himself. I have to question the point of this one but it did look pretty cool when he volleyed it into the net, haha. Found this one over at the beautiful game.

There’s another really good one that won’t let me embed so you’ll need to check it out here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqm5zavFlM0 to see it. It’s the Brazilian Selecao warming up before a game. Quality juggling and this is the long version, about 2.5 minutes.

Finally, last but not least is another new Nike one and all I can say is it’s simply awesome. Posted by MVNsoccer on ballhype. Enjoy!

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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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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