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Vapor VIII - three different uppers

With the launch of the Vapor VIII ACC, Nike have, once again, made remarkable changes to the boot, and the upper has actually been changed no less than three times during the four different colourways. We have had a thorough look at the three different uppers, as well as, other variations from the first to latest colourways of Nike's speed boot.

People often ask concerning the upper of the new Mercurial Vapor VIII boots from Nike. Therefore, we have asked our photographer to shoot some good close-up pictures of the boots, in order to provide a good overview of the differences among the three uppers.

Here you can really tell the difference among the three uppers, that will also provide a different experience in most cases. It is the first time we have seen a boot switch it's upper material as much as three time during its lifetime.

As the Vapor VIII was launched, it came in 2 different colourways Mango/Black and White/Blue. With these, Nike introduced their Teijin OLM12, which was a thinner microfibre upper, compared to the OLM15 – the upper we saw on the Superfly III and Vapor VII models.

The upper on these boots is one of the most supple that we have ever seen on a Vapor, and has, with a lot of people, been associated with the NikeSKIN, which was used for the Vapor I. On the Mango colourway the upper is slightly textured, and feels somewhat like suede. This suede-like feel was obtained by a special coating which could provide this exact feel as it was applied.

Hereafter, came the Clash and Seaweed/Volt colourways, where the upper had been changed for the first time on the Vapor VIII. The change led to some confusion, as Nike didn't really communicate clearly regarding the new upper material, which led people guessing that it might be Kanga-Lite, Teijin OLM12 with a different coating, or a completely new material.

The correct answer turned out to be a Teijin OLM12 upper with a new coating. The clash and the seaweed colourways were equipped with this new leather-like coating. The new coating was slightly thicker than the one on the Mango colourway, although there was only about a 0,1 mm difference. The leather-like coating provided a more leather-like experience, and it should also prolong the lifetime of the boot a little. On the other hand, some have also argued that the leather-like coating resulted in minor loss of ball feel.

With the latest colourway and the introduction of the ACC technology, it was time to change the upper on the Vapor once again. Nike kept the Teijin OLM12 microfibre upper, but the coating has been changed. It is somewhat similar to the first, suede-like coating, although the grains in the texture are larger.

At the same time the new colourway has been treated with the All Conditions Control technology, which provides the boot with the same friction between boot and ball in wet, as well as, dry weather conditions. This also results in a more sticky feel on the upper of the Vapor VIII Retro/Total Orange/Challenge Red, compared to the earlier colourways.

In other words, Nike have stayed with their Teijin OLM12 upper all the way, instead they have changed the coating of the upper and, as we can tell from our experiences with the boots, as well as, our close-up pictures, the coating differences provide very different characteristics to the upper.

The Vapor VIII has undergone more changes than the coating changes. When the mango colourway was first launched, some people, unfortunately, had issues with the forefoot of the boot breaking. The same thing happened for Nike's professional players, which resulted in Nike deciding to introduce a little plastic strip on the forefoot of the Vapor VIII – simply to extend durability and lifetime of the boot.

The professional fix seems to be working very well, and the same plastic strip has been used for all of the Vapor VIII ACC boots not, thus extending the lifetime of the boot – exactly as Nike did for the pro's boots with the previous colourways. We are glad that Nike have reacted to the issue and have found a good solution.

We are looking forward to a Vapor VIIII and what the upper is going to look like. Have we seen the last changes, or does Nike have even more exciting coating options in the pipeline? Stay tuned.

What do you think of the different upper? We would like to hear your opinion? Which upper is your favourite? Feel free to comment in the field just below.