Surely it’s safe to say now that Zoom Air is a big hit for the Superfly and Vapor. But this is not the first time the vaunted technology appeared in the Mercurial, and so Nike drops a special release to pay tribute to one of its Alpha Project boots that originally utilised the said cushioning feature.
Dubbed as the ‘Retro,’ this Special Edition Nike boot dresses up the Vapor 15 with a look inspired by the 2001 Air Zoom Mercurial, the boot really maximised Zoom from heel to toe by sitting atop a full-length airbag. It’s a nice touch from the Swoosh brand as it reflects on its years of effort in making the Zoom Air successfully work not just in basketball courts but also on football pitches.
The Retro Vapor elevates the OG Air Zoom Mercurial colourway of Black/Pearl White/Metallic Copper by adding some iridescenct hues, making the predominantly black upper appear purplish or bluish depending on the angle of the lighting. Furthermore, the glossy tonal striping with feather-like appearance is taken into account, with the Retro even extending a few of those stripes to represent the seams of the source boot.
The copper-coloured toe band and heel panel add a nostalgic touch, as well as the application of white to the soleplate’s forefoot (the rear structure also has that change of hues like the upper). It also helps with the throwback theme that the Tristars and blades kind of resemble the triangular and bladed studs of the ’01 boot’s Variable Turf (VT) configuration, not to mention the centrality of the Zoom Air unit in all of these comparison.