Ever wondered what makes a Nike football boot get an Elite or Academy label? Here we are going to briefly distinguish these different labels of a Nike football boot silo and its impact on what to expect from those versions. The Elite is the top of the line in a Nike silo while the Pro, Academy, and Club are the takedown versions (highest to lowest) in football boot industry terms. As you go to the takedown models, some if not all the features in the Elite are either re-configured or totally removed. This reduces the price each to time you go further down the tiers.
Many Nike boots use Flyknit fabric for the upper construction, this can also be found on many PRO models, but is absent in the academy and club that use cheaper upper materials. In the Mercurial lines, the Elite boots use one piece of 360 degree flyknit, whilst the Pro Vapor & Superfly still have Flyknit, but it doesn't wrap the boot in the same way, on the Academy and Club the flyknit is replaced completely by synthetic leather.
Nikeskin a thin Nike synthetic layer (a polyurethan film) is also used on many Elite and Pro boots, but is not on the cheaper models, where you'll find a more basic trophy synthetic.
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Why Are Nike Boots at different price points?
Technology used on boots varies, with the Phantom VSN Elite II for instance having a Flyknit, Ghost Lacing system that covers the boots laces, and the internal protection and fit provided by a Quadfit bootie. The Pro and Academy also have the Ghost Lacing, but use different materials for the cover and boots upper. By the time you reach the club boot, the laces are exposed instead of covered.
Elite boots have the lightest and most technology filled soleplates, with aspects removed or the quality reduced as you move through the options, Academy soleplates often only come in MG mixed soles, with FG (firm ground) & AG artificial plates coming in Elite, with SG soft ground in only some tiers, Anti Clog tech only comes available in limited models too.
There are many differences in through the varitey of takedowns, which are reflected in the the pricing of the Elite, Pro, Academy and Club being similar to these price points at full retail: £220, £130, £80, and £45.
Nike football boots have become a popular choice amongst professionals and amateur players alike, if you like the look of Nike boots, then we can help you find a pair that will fit and perform to your expectations. There are different styles for speed, skill and comfort, and varying options for different price points with different materials and technology, hence the new Elite, Pro, Academy and Club naming convention as well as DF for used to indicate Dynamic Fit collars.
What Football Boots Do Nike Make?
Nike's current football boots lineup is as varied as its number of star players. Currently, the brand silos are the Mercurials (Superfly 7 and Vapor 13), Phantoms GT and Tiempo Legend 8.
The Mercurial is one of the most iconic football boots of all time and is known for being a speed boot. It was the Brazilian striker Ronaldo that made the Mercurial popular, and now another Ronaldo has taken the Mercurial mantle to carry it into new heights. The present Mercurials, the low-cut Vapor 13 and collared Superfly 7, are worn by a great number of stars which includes Neymar and Mbappe who have signature versions produced for them.
Leather boots remain relevant in modern football and Nike has a heritage boot that continuous the traditional leather in the form of the Tiempo Legend 8. The silo embodies the innovative adaption of leather in today's football boots by leveraging some of Nike's revolutionary technologies in the industry. Players wearing the Tiempo include Van Dijk, Ramos, and Pique who are arguably the best defenders in the world.
Nike's Jr. Boots For Kids
Nike football boots for Kids come in all of the brand's current lineup: Mercurial Vapor 13 and Superfly 7, Phantom GT, and Tiempo Legend 8. To cater to the level of physical demand in kids football, the features available in each silo have been made tailor-fit; Elite models are available only in the Mercurials and Phantoms, with Academy being the highest model already for the Tiempo Legend 8. Regarding the soleplates, the Mercurial are available in FG whereas the Phantom and Tiempo Legend 8 are multi grounded. Despite this, the stud configurations of the boots are patterned to their mother boots, so the sole looks and performs in a similar way.
Tech-wise, the children's boots use many of the similar features of the adult boot; the Flyknit in the Mercurials and the Phantoms has been made Kid-friendly while the silos' distinct features like the Mercurials' Aerotrak spine and the Phantom's NikeSkin coating have been retained. The Tiempo Legend 8 has been scaled down though and uses instead a calf leather for its 3D printed upper, rather than the k-leather on the Elite Tiempo, this gives a more durable leather upper which should be sufficient for kids football.
A history of Old Nike Boots
Besides the current lineup, Nike's dominance on the football pitch had been carried out by some of the most recognized boots in the history of football.
The Phantoms VNM and VSN2 were Nike's power and control boots respectively. It was no surprise that strikers like Lewandowski and Kane were proud wearers of the Phantom VNM while midfielders De Bruyne and Havertz were picked to play with the Vision. These two boots have since been superceeded by the Phantom GT a boot designed to work for Venom and Vison wearers together.
No one can forget the Hypervenom which introduced a soft and supple, mesh-based Nikeskin upper that was never before seen at that time. It had Neymar for it's launch and was immediately worn by other stars like Ibrahimovich and Rooney. Despite some early reservations with the replacement of the beloved T90 series, players became receptive to the Hypervenom eventually because of its revolutionary technology.
Nike's patented Flyknit technology was engineered for football for the first time with the release of the Magista, the Magista's Flyknit upper enabled the boots to have a more direct feel for the ball and none other than the technically savvy Iniesta had become the face of the silo. But perhaps the most spectacular highlight in Magista's lifetime would be Mario Gotze scoring the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup Final wearing them.
Total 90 was another Nike silo that was beloved by players, it was specifically known for its striking elements and arguably the spiritual predecessor of the Phantom VNM. Spanning a decade from 2000 up to 2011, the T90 had been part of some of football's greatest moments-Rooney's bicycle against Man City, Roberto Carlos' free-kick against China, and Torres' record-breaking goal against Tottenham for the most goals in a debut season from a foreign player in the Premier League. The T90 also had iconic ads, capped by the 'Take it to the Next Level' 2008 commercial featuring a first-person view of a player's progression from grassroots football to international level, showing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldhino, and even legendary manager Arsene Wenger along the way.
Tracing the family tree of Nike's control boots would lead you to one of its roots in the form of the CTR360, constantly being debuted by Cesc Fabregas, it complemented Nike's other silos at that time like the Total90 and Vapor; lines that were designed for strikers, by being created for playmakers. Specifically for the CTR360, Nike developed a new synthetic leather at that time called KANGALITE that was water-resistant and had better ball feel and touch.
If the Phantom VNM has the T90 and the Phantom VSN2 has the Magista and CTR360, the Tiempo Legend has its start with the likes of the Air Legend. The 2006 boot was made famous by Andrea Pirlo and was also worn by Fabregas and Tevez. It had Nike's Zoom Air technology which is a cushioning system designed for speed and agility.
The well known Swoosh logo and the trademark 'Just do it' arrived later in the story of Nike, they began life as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, not becoming Nike Inc until 1978, the company made their first soccer shoe in 1971, since many classics have been created including the Tiempo and Mercurial lines, worn by some of the greatest players to play the game, are you next?