All-New Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Boot - To Be Never Launched?
Update: Around one year after Nike revealed the boots, the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial have still not been released. In fact, they were intended to be launched in August 2020 for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed to 2021.
It is not sure if the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial boots will be launched anytime - they have some elements in common with the next-gen Nike Mercurial 2021 cleats.
Update: Thanks to @sneakeronsight, we get a first look at the sole plate and studs of the all-new Nike Air Zoom Mercurial 2020 football boots. Especially the cleats of the football boots look very interesting.
Update: We can exclusively leak the launch date of the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial football boots. The first-ever Nike soccer cleat with Flyprint tech will be launched in August 2020. The boot will be not available to buy everywhere, and very likely also limited to not "too many pairs" worldwide. They will retail at around 300 Euro.
February 2021: Nike Reveals 2020 Tokyo Olympics Line-Up Incl. Air Zoom Mercurial Boots
Updated with more pictures. Besides three national team kit sets (Nigeria, South Korea and USA), Nike also launched an all-new (concept) football boot at its Innovation event in New York City, the Air Zoom Mercurial.
Nike Air Zoom Mercurial
This picture shows the all-new Nike Air Zoom Mercurial soccer cleat.
Nike showed off two colorways of the new boots - one picture of a black one was shared, while the white colorway could be seen on the release pictures for the new national team kits.
The Nike Air Zoom boots have a full-length Zoom Air bad, designed to provide a "unique underfoot sensation" and better energy return. To achieve this, the internal boot chassis was transitioned to the plate, leaving only the sockliner between the foot and the Zoom Air bag for maximum effect.
“We started with a full length Zoom Air bag and visualized what it would look like if the Air bag kept growing up the sides and enveloped the boot,” says Jeongwoo Lee, Senior Design Director, Nike Football. “This led to the creation of an upper so translucent, varying the hues of the internal sockliner drastically impacts the external appearance of the boot.”
Nike's Air Zoom cleat is the first in football to feature a Flyprint upper. Flyprint is Nike's first 3D-printed textile upper and debuted on the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite Flyprint, worn by marathoner Eliud Kipchoge.
Nike Flyprint uppers are produced through solid deposit modeling (SDM), a process whereby a TPU filament is unwound from a coil, melted and laid down in layers. The Flyprint method allows designers to translate athlete data into new textile structures.
One benefit of 3D textiles over traditional 2D fabrics is the increased dynamism made possible by adding an interconnection beyond a warp and weft; an advantage of Flyprint textiles comes in the fused nature of the material. For example, whereas in a knit or woven textile there is frictional resistance between the interlaced (warp and weft) yarns, in a printed textile, due to its fused intersections, there is greater potential for precision-tuned containment. The Air Zoom Mercurial’s Flyprint upper is lighter and more breathable than Nike's previously employed textiles, while still coated with All Conditions Control (ACC) to battle the elements.
Nike’s computational design ensures the upper is reinforced in the right areas with a fine-tuned Flyprint pattern unique to football. In addition to that, the Air Zoom Mercurial features Flywire cables for additional structure and support.
The most impressive part of the Air Zoom Mercurial, however, remains the 4.5mm thick Air Zoom bag. Inspired by Nike's recent advances in running shoe tech, it aims to improve responsiveness more than offer extra cushion.
“In the past, there was a lot of focus on cushioning the heel, but Mercurial players don’t play on their heels.” notes Lee. “The players we designed for are taking off from their forefoot at full speed, repeatedly. That’s why we focused on providing a thin, full-length Zoom bag that can best be defined as snappy. You don’t squish into it so much as propel off of it.”
The Zoom Air bag is visible – and in one area, exposed and touchable – underfoot. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Zoom Air, “20 Zoom” appears on the heel counter. In addition to being one of Nike’s signature innovations, Air is also among the most sustainable. All Nike Air sole innovations since 2008 contain at least 50% recycled manufacturing waste. Flyprint is also a sustainable method of make and as a nod to this, the instep of the boot reads, “Structure printed as a single strand = Zero Waste.”
“The Air Zoom Mercurial is a glimpse into the future and where we could take things,” concludes Lee. “With innovations like Air and Flyprint at our disposal, as well as those things still under development, there’s no limit to what football boots can become.”
It's still a concept at this point, but we don't think that Nike hasn't planned a rollout for the new tech already. Since there's no word on release info yet, stay tuned for more as it becomes available to us.
What do you think about Nike's latest innovation in football boots? Comment below, and check out the Boot Calendar for all the latest leaks and release dates.