Is Nike's All-New Air Zoom Mercurial a Copy of the Adidas 99g Boots From 2016?

Monday, 17 February 2020
Nike has recently revealed a very interesting looking "concept football boot", the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial. Now some people connect the brand-new Nike boots with an old revolutionary Adidas soccer shoe, the ultra-lightweight Adidas 99g cleats. Let us find out if Nike's boot is indeed a copy.

All-New Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Boot Revealed - Full-Length Zoom Air + First-Ever Flyprint Upper in Football

Nike Air Zoom Mercurial

This image shows the new Nike Air Zoom Mercurial boot.

The upper of the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial is the first-ever in football made with Flyprint. Flyprint is Nike’s first 3D-printed textile upper in performance footwear.

According to Nike's press release, Flyprint has various performance benefits compared to other methods like Flyknit. In example, Flyprint is much lighter and allows for "for precision-tuned containment". Both are elements of the Adidas 99g football boot, which also has those remarkable, extremely thin "circles".

"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. It advances Nike’s efforts in digitally enabled textile development and adds to a legacy of proprietary modification (or hacking) of machines — a heritage that includes Nike Hyperfuse, Flywire and Flyknit — to achieve previously unimaginable performance solutions.

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."

The Adidas 99g boot's upper is made from polyester mesh upper comes in a nearly translucent white. The 99g boot also has some plastic stripes that are made for a similar effect as Flywire.

The sole plate of the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial 2020 soccer cleats is totally different to Adidas' 99g cleat. The Nike Air Zoom Mercurial is built around a full-length articulated Zoom Air bag that provides a unique underfoot sensation and enhanced energy return. The internal boot chassis was transitioned to the plate, leaving only the sockliner between the foot and the Zoom Air bag for maximum effect.

Nike, for themselves, say that "the 4.5mm Zoom Air bag remains the boot’s focal point, albeit with a purpose vastly different from experiments of old."

The Nike Air Zoom Mercurial football boots will be available to buy from August 2020 in limited numbers.

Copy or just coincidence? Share your thoughts on the new Nike Air Zoom Mercurial and the Adidas 99gram boots below.
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