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Nike Mercurial Vapor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Javier Portillo putting on the boot during a Hércules match in the 2010–11 season.
The Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly
The Mercurial Vapor is a football boot manufactured by Nike. The boot is known for being lightweight. Because of this, the boot is favoured by many players for whom speed is a very important part of their game, notably wingers or strikers. The boot is now in its seventh version the Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly 3, currently available in two colourways: Red Plum/Volt, and Blue/Platinum/Orange The boot is available in either Soft Ground (SG) or Firm Ground (FG)or Hard Ground(HG) versions. The SG version's sole plate is fitted with six NikeSnap removable studs, which can be purchased in different lengths, for the first and second models, and traditional screw-in aluminium studs for versions 3 to 6; the FG version has twelve moulded blades.




The origin of the Mercurial Vapors can be traced back to as early as 1998, when Ronaldo debuted the original Nike Air Mercurial boots. The boots were originally released in black, but a version in silver/blue/yellow was released for the 1998 World Cup and a blue/black version followed soon after. All boots were made in Soft Ground (SG) and Firm Ground (FG) varieties, with the SG version using removable studs. In 1999, the Mercurial 2 was released in two colourways: black/blue and black/red. These were identical in shape, size, and fit to the originals, but they had a different insole and a smaller swoosh on the side of the boot. The Mercurials were Nike's first boots to be made using synthetic materials, and also their first venture into the market of lightweight boots designed for speed.[citation needed]

[edit]Mercurial Vapor

The original Vapors were released in mid-2002, just before the World Cup of that year. The first glimpse anyone outside of Nike got of the boots was in the Nike cage advert (starring Eric Cantona,Thierry Henry, and Roberto Carlos), in which a close-up shot of the boots is taken near the end of the advert. The boot was first released in three colourways: cinder/white/maize; dark obsidian/white/university blue; and medium grey/chilli red. A chrome/lime variation (worn exclusively by Ronaldo in the Semi-Finals and Final) was released to the public in limited numbers (just 4,600) in the period after the tournament. Other colours included white/ice/black; chrome/black; black/chilli red; dark charcoal/surf blue/white; and shock orange/white. In addition to the NikeSkin Vapors, Nike released its first kangaroo leather version of the shoe in black/grey. The Vapors also continued with the R9 designation on boots that was featured originally in the previous Mercurial lines. Both chrome colourways featured the "R9" mark.
At the time of release, the Vapor was the lightest boot on the market with several key innovations. The upper was made of an extremely thin, lightweight synthetic known as Nike Skin. It was claimed to be thinner and stronger than any kangaroo leather. The Vapor also featured an external heel counter which was very uncommon at that time as well as a "glass" filled outsole called NikeFrame, inspired by track sprint spikes and designed to spring back into shape after push-off. According to the booklets inserted into the box with each pair, the shoe showed a 3% decrease in the time to cover a 20-metre sprint compared to other boots.

[edit]Mercurial Vapor II

The Mercurial Vapor II was released in January 2004 in two colourways: team red and photo blue. The photo blue boots were debuted by Ronaldo a month earlier, in Real Madrid's clash with FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou, whilst Thierry Henry debuted the red pair in Arsenal's 5 – 1 win over Internazionale in Milan, with Henry scoring two goals. The revised version of the boot differed from the original Vapors in three respects: first, the material from which the boot was constructed was made marginally thicker; second, a cushioned area around the ankle with a slightly larger heel tab was added midway through the MVII run (generally known as v2.1); and finally, the pattern down the sides of the boot was modified to make the indentations more pronounced, along with a thin coloured stripe to complement the colour of the boot. The boot still maintained the same upper material, sole plate, and external heel counter. The boot was also released in many other colourways, which included cinder/maize; mist blue/navy; gunmetal; burnt orange/black; navy/silver; gold/black; white/red; chrome/photo blue; chili red/silver; and the final colourway, aluminium/gold, was released as an homage to the colours of Real Madrid, which were to be worn by Ronaldo. Once again, Nike also released a kangaroo leather version, this time in a white/black colourway.


Clint Dempsey wearing a pair of Nike Mercurial Vapors.
The MVIII is the third generation in the Mercurial Vapor family and was released in 2006. It is, arguably, the best soccer cleat ever produced, rivaled only by the Adidas Copa Mundial. It featured Teijin microfibres which easily conform to the foot and is very lightweight and durable. The boot itself weighed only 196 g (6.9 oz). It also has a carbon last to give support to the heel and more padding was added to the heel cup area. The original MVIIIs were released in a white/gold colourway, which was followed by sport red/white; silver/yellow; platinum/red; deep royal; dark charcoal/gold; ignite (a yellow/green combination); white/silver; and blue graphite/sonic yellow. A limited edition boot was released to commemorate Italy's fourth World Cup triumph in World Cup gold/Azzurri blue.
Towards the end of the 2006–07 season, further colourways were released, including obsidian/metallic platinum; metallic zinc/tart orange; cactus; silver/red; and argon blue.
On 13 September 2007, Nike released a limited edition tenth anniversary version of the Mercurial Vapor, featuring "all the modern technology from the current MVIII combined with the original Mercurial Upper design from 1998." These boots featured in an advert with the Brazilian star Ronaldo, where he reinacted many of his past goals, which he scored wearing the famous Mercurial Vapor boots.[1]


Robinho wearing a pair of Pine Green and White Vapor IVs.
In April 2007, some initial pictures of what were believed to be the new Mercurial Vapor boots were leaked onto the Internet. Not much could be ascertained from the pictures, but they did show that the MVIVs might have a cover over the laces in the same vein as the Adidas F50s. The Nike "swoosh" was also larger than on previous versions. Only two colourways were shown, those being orange peel/obsidian and anthracite/vivid blue.[2] Later in the year, a limited edition version of the Mercurial SL was put up for sale online. Only 2,000 pairs were made available, costing £250 (400/$600) each. This version of the boot is made almost entirely out of carbon fibre and weighs a mere 190 grams (6.7 oz). The shoe is made in one colour, black, with two pink "swooshes" on each boot.[citation needed]
In December 2007, a promotional video was released by Nike, featuring the former world record holder for the 100m sprint, Asafa Powell. In the video, Powell dons the Mercurial SL boots, and sprints the length of a football pitch in 9.94 seconds, before instructing the Nike representatives to, "Tell them they're fast." The Nike representatives are then seen taking the boots to a mansion in London, where Didier Drogba opens the door and is told "They're fast."[3]
In January 2008, football boot specialists Pro Direct Soccer released information about the Mercurial Vapor SL boots. The retail version will cost £189.99 and, at this stage, will only be released in an orange peel/dark obsidian colourway. The soleplate is made of carbon fibre, while the upper is made of NikeSkin, a form of Teijin, bringing the weight of the boots to approximately 210g. The Mercurial Vapor SLs were released on 20 February 2008.[4] At the same time, Pro Direct Soccer released information on the Mercurial Vapor IV boots. Aesthetically, they look the same as the Mercurial Vapor SLs, the only difference being that the soles are not made of carbon fibre but of a fibre composite, increasing the weight to about 230g. The Mercurial Vapor IVs were released on 1 February 2008, at a price of £119.99, and in two colourways: orange peel/dark obsidian and black/vivid blue.[5][6]
One of the most famous Nike Football advertisements shows Cristiano Ronaldo appearing to outrun a Bugatti Veyron, allegedly the fastest car in the world, while wearing the Orange Peel/Obsidian versions of the Mercurial Vapor IV boots. The final 'launch' advertisement for the boots show Aaron Lennon of Tottenham Hotspurand Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa go head-to-head on a 45 metre track where the speed was based on the fastest to the ball and the fastest with the ball.
A third colourway was revealed on the first weekend of March 2008. Cristiano Ronaldo wore them on 1 March 2008 in Manchester United's FA Cup exit againstPortsmouth. This new colourway features a sport red outsole with a gold "swoosh". This new colourway was released on 7 April 2008.[7]
The carbon fibre Mercurial SL boots were used in a professional match for the first time in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United andChelsea, when they were worn by Cristiano Ronaldo. Didier Drogba was also expected to wear them, but instead wore the black Mercurial Vapor IVs. On 7 June 2008, a limited edition brown leather version of the Mercurial Vapors was released to coincide with the start of UEFA Euro 2008. Each boot weighed approximately 275 g (9.7 oz).[8] A green and white colourway, as worn by Cristiano Ronaldo, was also unveiled on 7 June, and was released on for release on 24 July,[9] as is a white and blue version.[10]
The seventh colourway of the Mercurial Vapor IV was a marina/volt version, which was worn by Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović.
On 24 November 2008, Nike released an eighth, limited edition pink colourway called Nike Mercurial Vapor Berry. Initial pictures of a pink colourway called Nike Vapor Rosa were leaked onto the Internet.[citation needed] These were then backed up with a video from Nike, which stated "You better be quick," and featured players such as James MilnerTheo WalcottCarlos VelaMarlon Harewood, and Cesc FàbregasNicklas Bendtner debuted the boots when Arsenal faced Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium on 22 November 2008.
In early January 2009, Nike released the final two colourways for the Vapor IVs: citron/charcoal and charcoal/max orange.[11][12] The citron colourway has been especially popular with professional players, and was worn by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović.

[edit]Mercurial Vapor V & Mercurial Vapor Superfly

Cristiano Ronaldo wearing the black/volt Vapor Superfly
The Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly & Vapor V were the fifth incarnation of the Nike Mercurial line and the first of the Superfly line. The Mercurial Vapor Superfly marked the first time a boot was made using Nike Flywire technology,[13] while the Vapor V followed the use of a lace cover like its immediate predecessor. The boot was launched by Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford in Manchester on 26 February 2009. It was debuted during the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League knockout stagea match between Manchester United and Internazionale by Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović.[14] The following weekend, players across the world also debuted the boots (notably RobinhoTheo WalcottAlexandre Pato and Dani Alves).
A customised Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly boot.
Both the Superfly and Vapor came in the original max orange/abyss/metallic platinum colourway as well as six others: black/voltage yellow/max orange; orion blue/metallic silver; platinum/max orange; vibrant yellow/black/midwest gold orange; white/pink flash/black/metallic silver; and abyss/white/max orange, which was not released in Superfly version.

[edit]Women's Mercurial Vapor

A women's version was released in April 2009, and is available in one colourway: white/metallic silver/max orange.[15]

[edit]Mercurial Vapor VI and Mercurial Vapor Superfly II

The second release of the Superfly series was released on 24 February 2010 at a Nike Football event at the Battersea Power Station in London. Once again, Cristiano Ronaldo launched the boot first appearing in a violet poppy/obsidian/orange colourway.[16] Cristiano Ronaldo, however, did not debut the Superfly II. Fulham winger Clint Dempsey debuted the boots on 18 March 2010 against Juventus in the UEFA Europa League at Craven Cottage.[17] The second colourway is dark osbidian/white/cool mint. Both the Superfly II and the Vapor VI were made available for pre-order on 22 March, and were released on 1 April 2010.[18] The Superfly II costs approximately $400 and the Vapor VI about $240.
The third colorway of the Mercurial Vapor VI and Mercurial Vapor Superfly II is cactus/white/anthracite. This colorway was released on 1 August 2010.[19]
The fourth colourway of the Mercurial Vapor VI came in Voltage Cherry/Obsidian/Silver. This colourway was released on October 1, 2010.[20]
The fifth colorway of the Mercurial Vapor VI came in black/gray/orange. This colourway was released on January 1, 2011.[21] The Superfly II weighs about 210 grams (as stated on the Nike website), while the Vapor VI weighs about 8oz (226 grams).

[edit]Mercurial Superfly II Elite Series

Mercurial Superfly II Elite Series are all coated with microfiber, making it one of the lightest sort of football boots around the world, with the Adizero F50 (5.8 oz) and Puma's V1.10 SL (5.3 oz). It is silver and orange colourway customized edition to commemorate the 2010 World Cup.

[edit]Mercurial Vapor VII and Mercurial Vapor Superfly III

Nike unveiled the third incarnation of the Superfly series - the Mercurial Vapor Superfly III - and the Mercurial Vapor VII on 16 March 2011.[22] Both boots received two initial launch colourways - Plum Red/White/Volt and Marine Blue/Platinum/Orange.
This update of Nike's lightweight football boots transpired to be largely cosmetic; rather than any new innovations being added to the Mercurial Vapor and Superfly (as the Nike SENSE adaptive traction system was with the Superfly II), the sole, studs, last and weight all remained the same on both football boots.
The only change came in the form of a new graphical design on the upper, which was deigned to make the boots even more visible on the pitch.
Whilst many players were seen training and playing in the new Mercurial Vapor boots in the preceding weeks,[23] the Mercurial Vapor Superfly III is set to receive it's official on-pitch debut on 19 March 2011, when Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil will play in the Madrid derby.
Both of these football boots are set to receive retail releases on 1 April 2011, with the Mercurial Vapor VII[24] receiving a notably reduced price point of £149.99, whilst the Mercurial Vapor Superfly III retained it's £274.99 price tag.

[edit]Similar versions

A pair of Nike Mercurial Talarias.
The Nike Mercurial Vapor can be available in other versions, for different types of turf.
Original names (Mercurial Vapor – Mercurial Vapor V)New names (Mercurial Vapor VI –)
Mercurial TalariaMercurial Miracle
Mercurial Veloci*Mercurial Victory**
Mercurial Steam*Mercurial Glide**
*-Mercurial Veloci and Mercurial Steam can be both available as Turf trainers.
**-Mercurial Glide is available on turf only while Mercurial Victory are available in Indoor Shoe and Turf Shoe. [25]

[edit]Players Endorsements


  1. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor 10th Anniversary Ltd Etd FG Black/White Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  2. ^ Vapor IV's yess [sic] believe it Vapor 4's *beware*
  3. ^ Asafa PowellDidier Drogba. (December 2007). Mercurial SL: Superlight, Superstrong, Supersonic. Nike, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  4. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor SL FG Orange Peel Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  5. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Soft Ground Orange Peel Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  6. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Soft Ground Black Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  7. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor SL FG Sport Red/Gold Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
  8. ^ "Nike Vapor IV Leather Euro Championship Edition". Pro Direct Soccer. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
  9. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Pine Green". Pro Direct Soccer. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
  10. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV White/Blue Spark". Pro Direct Soccer. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  11. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Citron". SoccerBible.com. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  12. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Charcoal". SoccerBible.com. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  13. ^ "What is Nike Flywire Technology?". Soccer Cleats 101. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
  14. ^ "The Debut of the Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly!". Soccer Cleats 101. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  15. ^ "Nike Mercurial Women's Vapor V". Nike. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
  16. ^ "Nike Release the Vapor VI and Superfly II (Images)". Soccer Cleats 101. Retrieved 2010-03-22.
  17. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly II Debut". Soccer Bible. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
  18. ^ "Mercurial Vapor Second Colourway". Soccer Bible. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
  19. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor Third Colorway". Soccer.com. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  20. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor Voltage Cherry/Obsidian/Silver". ACA Sports Limited. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  21. ^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor fifth Colorway". Soccer.com. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  22. ^ "Superfly III". Footy-Boots.com. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  23. ^ "Drogba Breaks In Custom Superfly III". Footy-Boots.com. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  24. ^ "Mercurial Vapor VII". Footy-Boots.com. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  25. ^ "Nike Mercurial Miracle/Glide/Victor". Eurosport. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
Players such as Didier Drogba, Clint Dempsey, Robinho, Craig Bellamy, Alexandre Pato, Eduardo, Mesut Ozil, Juan Mata, , Theo Walcott, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Gabriel Agbonlahor, and Andrei Arshavin wear the Vapor Superfly. Former players include Thierry Henry, Ronaldo, Nani, and Dani Alves

[edit]External links

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