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Nike Green Speed Boots

Ian Ebbs

Not one to shy away from innovation, Nike launched the Green Speed series to incorporate sustainability in providing the best football boots to the sport’s greatest players. Right at the heart of Spring 2022, we’ve seen Nike give us the Vapor Next Nature, which talked about high-performance through recycled materials. But it’s the Green Speed boots that solidified arguably the brand’s presence in environmentally friendly football boots.

2018 GS360 Boots

Four years before the Vapor Next Nature, Mbappe rocked a pair of the GS 360. Based on that year’s Mercurial, the Superfly 6, the GS 360 was knit-based and had Kylian Mbappe officially debut them on the pitch in November 2018. Not only was Mbappe playing with Neymar, the previous face of the Nike Green Speed, in that match, but the GS360 boots also had the same volt-and-black half-and-half colourway of the original 2012 GS boots. The connection did not stop there, as the 360 was a limited-edition launch like the first GS and circulated 2018 pairs only. The soft and thin knitted upper had a minimal Nikeskin overlay that mimicked the positioning of the coating on the 2012 GS.

It may not be recycled, but the circular knit used on the upper was zero-waste. The boot had less padding than usual to create a barefoot touch on the ball. Nike retained minor imperfections on the finished product, like exposed stitchings and unstreamlined physical designs, to further present the GS vibes. The underfoam of the sock liner was a recycled material rather than the usual on the Superfly 6. No anatomic fit on the base but did have the split-sole finish on the transparent soleplate with aggressive blades and three-sided studs. Completing the tech specs of the GS 360 was the ACC treatment on the upper for consistent control regardless of weather conditions.

GS II

Merely a few months after the release of the series, Nike immediately followed up the first GS in November 2012. The colourway stood out for its white forefoot and black midfoot with the prominent ‘ACC’ logo in full Safari print. The said technology marked the upgrade of the second generation from the first one, hence the emphasis of the reference on the lateral side. Nike tapped Theo Walcott, Eden Hazard, Raheem Sterling, Mario Goetze, Christian Eriksen and El Shaarawy, then Europe’s best young players, to be the headliners for the GS II. Apart from the difference in colourway and visual brandings, the GS II was essentially the same as the GS I.

2012 Green Speed: Nike GS

Finally, we now go to the boot that started it all-the Nike GS. Brazilian superstar Neymar rocked a pair of the launch GS boots in the 2012 Olympics in its iconic black and volt colourway. Optimised to reduce waste and weight, the GS was the lightest and greenest Nike boot, weighing 160 grams on a size 9 US. The original Nike Green Speed boots were a limited edition boot released in July 2012, producing only 2012 pairs worldwide. ‘Green Speed’ referred to the recycled materials used for the incredibly lightweight and fast pair of football boots.

2012 was a big year for Nike football boot fans who are also environmentalists. The GS featured recycled and renewable materials throughout its upper and base, whose bio-based traction plate and internal sock liner heavily factored in castor beans in their composition. A minimum of 70% recycled materials comprised the boot’s laces, lining and tongue, and at least 15% recycled materials consisted the toe board and collar. Specifically, the soleplate had 50% renewable Pebax® Renew (a plant-derived material made with 97% castor beans) and 50% TPU, also made from renewable materials. Nike’s Kangalite synthetic on the forefoot was left solvent-free, and the zonal reinforcement was such that the boot retained as much barefoot touch and control as possible. From the Kangalite vamp, the GS transitioned to a different synthetic composition for the tongue and quarter manufactured from 95% recycled plastic bottles.

The big drawback with the GS was that it was too stiff and uncomfortable, though arguably responsive. The GS 360 tried to address said issues, but in the end, the 2018 Green Speed boot might have significantly cut down on the green imprint of the series. Another note was that the softness of the GS 360 fell on the flimsy spectrum, further highlighting the stable and secure feeling of the first two GS boots.

Author

Ian Ebbs

Founder of FootballBoots.co.uk 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.