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Nike Elite Boots

Ian Ebbs

Elite boots are those that you worn by Nike professional players on pitches around the world. They differ from other models that you’ll find in store and online, we’ll explain the differences and how to spot them.


What Are Elite Boots?

They are Nike’s line of high-performance football boots designed for professional-level players. They feature advanced technologies and materials to provide superior performance, comfort, and durability.

Some of the key features include lightweight construction, adaptive fit technology and responsive cushioning. The boots also feature advanced traction systems designed to provide maximum grip on various playing surfaces.

Elite boots are often released in limited edition colorways and designs, making them popular among collectors and players. They tend to come in three pro grade soleplates for different types of pitches. The most popular is FG for firm ground and grass pitches, there is also anti-clog for muddy pitches and AG-Pro for artificial grounds.

Elite Mercurial Boots

The boot is known for its snug and narrow fit, coupled by a synthetic Vaporposite+ upper with central lacing for a responsive feel and secure lockdown. The Flyknit tongue and internal mesh provide the boot’s comfort aspect.

Superfly 9

Superfly Elite is one of the most popular boots of all time and is headlined by long-time poster boy CR7. Ronaldo is now joined by other stars like Kylian Mbappe and Jadon Sancho in wearing the Mercurial.

The unique aspect of these boots is the dynamic fit knitted sock like collar that enhances the sensation of foot-to-boot connection. Another feature that backs up its speed boot identity is the Zoom Air unit, the trademark cushioning technology of the Swoosh brand in its running shoes now applied in football boots. The traction is aggressive thanks to the Tri-Star studs.

Vapor 15

The low-cut version of the Mercurial is the Vapor, which is favoured by more professionals because of the maximum freedom around the ankle. Everything from the Vaporposite+ down to the Zoom Air outsole, including the fit and feel, is just the same as the Superfly.

Big name wearers are Bruno Fernandes and Erling Haaland, the boot is the professionals pair of choice, with the Vapor dominating boots worn listings for Europe’s major leagues, the World Cup and Champions League ever year.

Another reason why the Vapor is generally preferred is the price. By simply going to the low-cut Mercs, you can save around £20, which is quite an extra amount for just the single piece of collar that you get in the Superfly.

Elite Phantom GX DF

The GX comes with a Gripknit technology, which is the sticky knitted top layer on the upper that provides enhanced ball grip. It encourages the wearer to always demand for the ball and have the boot work its magic on the control. Ghost Lacing system tucks the laces in to ensure a clean striking surface all throughout the upper.

A distinct boot feel from that of the synthetic Mercurial and leathered Tiempo, the Phantom GX provides the wearer a premium experience from a knitted perspective. The natural softness of knit gives comfort and, combined with the usual wide Phantom last, an adaptive fit to wider foot types. Sock-like DF knit collar delivers a high-cut look.

Phantom GX Low Elite

The only difference between the low and the DF version is the absence of the sock-like collar. Choosing a pair is down to personal preference, just like the Superfly vs Vapor.

The Phantom GX has a above-average flexible outsole filled in with a variety of stud configuration. This includes conicals for rotational movement and the Mercurial’s Tristar for more bite on the ground.

Tiempo Legend Elite

For traditionalists who prefer leather boots and to those who like to have a more padded feel to the upper, as opposed to the thin and light Vaporposite+ and knitted uppers, the Tiempo has a premium K-leather upper that is supported structurally by a synthetic rear to the boot.

The padded feel of the K-leather is then further enhanced by the soft memory foam pods placed stragetically on areas that have the most contact with the ball. The combination of foam and leather targets the improvement of your first touch while also providing the cushion-like comfort.

Fit-wise, the Tiempo has more width but nonetheless provides a secure fit because of the central laces and the form-fitting attribute of natural leather. On top of the boot is a mesh tongue that has a decent amount of lateral stretch, perfect for properly moulding around the arch of your foot.

Nike boasts the current Tiempo model are the lightest Tiempo ever, with a reengineered Hyperstability soleplate carrying a significant role in making it lightweight.

Nike Elite Boot Reviews

The very best of Nike and Football Boots UK’s reviews of them are all in this section. Simply click on the boot to go to its dedicated boot review page.


FG: Firm Ground

The Mercurial offers the most aggressive traction with its Tristar stud configuration, while also providing a unique underfoot sensation because of the Zoom Air technology. A balance between traction and rotation is what the GX strives to do. On the other hand, the Tiempo leans more on easing the pivots and twists with a predominantly conical layout.

SG AC: Soft Ground Anti Clog

Anti-clog technology is now a staple of Nike soft ground outsoles, and is ever-present in SG boots regardless of silo. What’s good about Anti-clog soleplates now is that much of the FG characteristics are retained. The Mercurial still has the Zoom Air, Phantom has the same outsole profile and the Tiempo maintains the some of the chevrons and blades it has on the firm ground tooling. SG-AC Nike boots these days use non-removable aluminum studs in order to lessen weight brought about by screw inserts. Downside of course is that studs do worn out, which will lead you to replace the entire boot entirely.

AG-Pro: Artificial

Notice that the Nike AG boots carry out hallowed conicals. The purpose is twofold. One, the conicals would be best for AG since traction is just enough. Second, the hollowness helps could off the heat generated by the friction between the studs and the artificial pitches. 

Mercurial and Phantom come in artificial pitch ready version, with extra conical studs added to each of the boots to make them suitable for 3G/4G/5G Astro pitches.

Kids Elite Boots

Nike previously had kid-friendly Jr. sizes for their adult Elite boots, but currently the top-tier children’s boots are capped at the Pro takedown, one level below the Elite.


Ian Ebbs

Founder of back in 2010, Ian went on to create and host their YouTube channel which now has 1.5million subscribers and over 300 million views, he also hosts their podcast which you can find on Spotify. Taking his over fifteen year experience in the football industry, Ian wrote the book: How To Choose Your Boots (find it on Amazon) where he looks to help footballers of all levels find their perfect pair.