As far as remakes go, adidas has been hitting it hard these past few years, with its most recent ones being the Zinedine Zidane’s gold Predator Absolute for the 2006 World Cup and the Precision Archive. Nike delivers now the perfect response by reproducing one of its popular boots from the past decade. It graced the feet of some of the exceptional midfielders at that time like Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets, and competed well against the likes of the adidas Predator. So once again, say hello to the 2012 CTR360 Maestri III, back at its full glory in 2023 wearing its launch colourway of Tour Yellow and Black with White.
Synonymous with the CTR Maestri is the Kanga-Lite that comprises the upper. It is meant to replicate the padded feel of K-leather with the durability and water-resistant properties of a synthetic material. It didn’t naturally equal animal hide in terms of dampness on the ball, nonetheless Kanga-Lite was still a success in giving that cushioned sensation which made it the perfect partner for the maestros in the middle third.
Heard about the ever-present yet still invisible ‘All Conditions Control’? Yes, this is the boot that started it. Aside from the prevention of water uptake, Nike aimed at maintaining the ball grip (and in, essence, ball control) of the boot even in wet conditions by giving the material itself some hydrophobic treatment. And speaking of ball control, 8 rubber fins across the medial side gives you the pass control every playmaker should have to successfully dictate the tempo of the game.
Remember that the Puma King now carries a synthetic upper as well called K-BETTER. And with Nike announcing its decision to move away from K-leather, this remake of the CTR360 III could be the Swoosh’s teaser for the upcoming Tiempo Legend X that will debut a new Nike-proprietary material, possibly also engineered to simulate the premium attributes of leather in football boots.
As you can see, this is already the third iteration of the Nike control boot that pushed through the brand’s Remake project. When and how did the silo started? Come and let’s take a brief walk down memory lane, shall we?
CTR360 Maestri I – 2009
Pardon the quality of the video, but it’s actually more than 10 years since Nike introduced the very-first CTR Maestri. With the Mercurial Superfly and Vapor usually linked among wingers, the T90 to powerful strikers and the Tiempo commonly catering defenders, Nike saw the opportunity to create a boot based on the perfect midfielder. Enter Cesc Fabregas and the CTR Maestri I in 2009, which gave us at the onset the innovative Kanga-Lite material.
It certainly looked a bit different in that there were two noticeable pads on the outstep, both targeting to take the sting out of passes and assisting your first touch. Instead of rubber fins you get a whole pass pad on the medial side. Everything about the Maestri 1 screamed touch-and-go, quick one-two passes.
CTR Maestri II – 2010
The CTR360 Maestri II represented some minor tweaks to develop the boot further. This Maestri kept the same soft pads on the outstep coupled with an off-centre lacing that gave them prominence. But it did modify the medial pass pad a bit, all in the name of better pass accuracy and control. The biggest change, however, was that suede heel liner that greatly improved the comfort of the CTR360.
Shocking as it may seem for Cesc Fabregas, the face of CTR360, to switch to Puma and launch the PowerCat, another great player was ready to take the mantle in the form of Andres Iniesta. Arguably one of the key barca players at the heart of the very successful Guardiola era, Iniesta was on-par, if not even better suited to lead the line for the Maestri.
Nike Elite Series
Just before the 2010 World Cup, Nike dropped the Elite Pack, which featured all of its silos with a carbon fibre soleplate. This included the Maestri, and the Elite series continued to also have an iteration for the later CTR360s. With the Elite modification, the Maestri became lighter and more responsive than the regular drops
CTR360 Maestri III – 2012
And there we have it, that’s how the CTR360 Maestri morphed into its third and final iteration! It is surely a blast to finally have it back after being discontinued in 2014 to give way to the equally innovative Magista Obra.