With the Nike Fast Forward series we have seen the celebration of a football boot that has become an absolute favourite in the hearts of many. Ever since the very first Mercurial in 1998, it has seen an impressive development. We now put the latest Fast Forward head to head with its counterpart from 2010.
Back in 2010, when Cristiano Ronaldo, for the first time, was the front figure for the Mercurial collection at a World Cup, he was wearing a football boot that truly moved the boundaries. Something rather special about this football boot was, that it actually weighed no less than 46 grams more than its predecessor; and weighed in at 230 grams. With the Superfly II, Nike chose to increase the focus on stability and grip, which resulted in the weight gain.
They did so based on two key areas: an update of the Flywire technology and a new stud configuration called Nike Sense. Flywire is a technology that uses ultra strong threads, that serve as cables, something similar to those of a suspension bridge. Different from previous versions, they chose to add more threads, in order to create a snug fit around the foot, which resulted in a more dynamic fit when compared to previous generations.
The primary change was, although, the stud configuration, which Nike had developed in cooperation with a number of top players, based on their exact needs. The thought was to create a stud configuration that could provide the player with a better kick-off and acceleration. They did so with a set of studs that could move in and out in accordance with the surface and the pressure coming from the player. In addition, they also designed a couple of studs like an anchor, in order to provide better freedom of movement and a better ability to do quick direction changes.
Four years later, Nike have gone quite a bit further from this, although Innovative football boot; and the ninth generation of the Mercurial Vapor has become quite different, both in terms of shape and function.
In the Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, Flywire is no longer a part of the upper. Instead, Nike are now using a number of their latest technologies in order to create the dynamic fit, which was also the aim with the Flywire technology. The Vapor IX is made with the Teijin OLM 12 synthetic, which ensures a closer ball feel. Moreover, you will find the Nike Speed Control, which provide a better ball grip and the ACC technology that ensures a stable grip in wet weather conditions.
The stud configuration has also been altered quite a bit since the World Cup in South Africa and Nike have completely changed the configuration used in their Superfly II. Instead, Nike focus acceleration and explosive speed by just having two thin studs under the heel; just as the shape of the studs has become much more edgy and sharp, to get a better pitch grip.
Regarding the design, the FF '10M is very much similar to its counterpart from 2010. But the colour choice on the popular Superfly II Elite Series was no coincidence, and the idea actually came from Didier Drogba, as he had noticed that his team-mates found it easier to spot him in his Orange Vapors that he was wearing at the time. This resulted in Nike's research team taking a closer look at the case, where after they found out that the human eye reacts better to strong colours contrasts. There is actually a lot of thought behind the, at times, somewhat crazy colourways that we see Nike putting out.
The Nike Fast Forward series rounds off in 2010 with a celebration of the iconic Mercurial Vapor Superfly II. The four Fast Forward football boots have each gathered the best from the past and current. But which of the boots this World Cup series is your personal favourite? And what do you think awaits us from the Mercurial collection in the future?