Nike’s Phantom GX is the latest on the Phantom line, evolving its GT 2 predecessor to nudge the silo further towards control. Read how this affects the performance of Phantom players and find out if the GX is right for you.
What You’ll Find On This Page:
- Phantom GX Models
- Phantom GX Questions Answered
- Elite Phantom GX Review
- History of the Nike Phantom
- Phantom Questions Answered
- Elite Phantom GT 2 Review
The Phantom GX succeeds the Phantom GT which rolled the VNM and the VSN into one. As such, the GX does have genealogical connection to Nike’s iconic power and control silos like the T90, Hypervenom, CTR Maestri, and the Magista Obra. The result is a boot that carries decades worth of Nike football boot evolution.
Phantom GX Models
One of the best knitted football boot today; available in DF (Dynamic Fit) collared and low-cut models; costs less when you get the takedowns (Pro, Academy, Club) but with adjustments down in quality as you reduce the price.
The Elite Phantom GX is a boot that has Nike’s remarkable Gripknit, a knitted material that forms the upper and also is the main source of its grip and ball touch. This low version is without a sock collar, the GX has the top laces exposed, with the lower ones covered by the Gripknit layer.
The DF which means Dynamic Fit has that name due to the sock like collar on the boots, the GX DF also have a Ghost Lacing cover, that hides all the laces from view.
Budget GX execution that also has DF and low versions; also replicates the Ghost lacing for the former. Unlike the Mercurial and Tiempo Academy boots, which to a certain extent are able to preview what to expect from their Elite counterparts, the GX at this price range does not have a hint of the Gripknit technology. It relies instead on the natural texturing of its mesh upper, way off of the sticky enhanced grip found on the flagship GX.
Phantom GX Questions Answered:
Who uses the Nike Phantom?
Phil Foden and Mason Mount are some of the players who use the Phantom GX. They actually debuted the boots during the 2022 World Cup Quarterfinals.
What are Nike Phantoms designed for?
The Nike Phantom GX football boots are designed for the technical players and playmakers, mostly worn by midfielders as they are the ones who initiate and dictate the passage of play. But as you can see above, even those up front are into the Phantom GXs, especially those who create and provide goal scoring opportunities in advanced roles.
Which is better Mercurial or Phantom?
Both are actually great football boots (not playing it safe here!). One becomes better depending on one’s preferences and sizing. That’s why Football Boots UK provides this kind of reviews, for you to know more about the boots (in this case the Phantom GX) and, more importantly, to understand oneself better regarding likes and dislikes about football boots.
Elite Phantom GX Review
Five Things You’ll Want to Know:
- Available in DF and low-cut collar
- DF collar includes ghost lacing cover
- New Gripknit external layer for the grip/control element
- Snappy outsole w/ a versatile stud configuration
Our Phantom GX Expert Review
Nike Phantom GX
The Nike Phantom GX are made for you to stick out on pitch with Gripknit technology to give you precise ball control, they are grippy on the ball but not too sticky.
Product SKU: DC9968
Product Brand: Nike
- Out-of-the-box comfort is top-notch; little to no break-in time
- Stands distinct from the synthetic Mercurial and leathered Tiempo
- Gripknit does have some sense of ball grip
- Runs a quarter size long
- Ghost lacing cover might present difficulty regarding adjusting the laces
With its Gripknit technology, the Phantom GX might have given the final piece needed to make the silo perceptively on-par with its Nike peers. Moreover, it may have also made the Phantom line competitive as far as ‘control boots’ are concerned.
Boot Rankings, Best For…
According to pro player/boot reviewer Noah Cavanaugh:
- Unbelievable; beyond gorgeous
- Soleplate is very snappy
- Megasoft straight out of the box
- Gripknit feels waxy; has the same on-touch sensation as the texturing on the Ultra Venom
- Shape is similar to the Phantom GT
- Quarter thumb extra length kind of a bummer
- Width not an issue (foot width: medium wide); no pressure points and stretches nicely to Noah’s foot width
- Lovely touch on the ball-nice, thin, feels GT and Ultra Venomesque
- Awesome fitting boots; looks like a hit for Nike
- Swoosh within the Swoosh outline a cool detail
- Heel liner is as good, if not better than that of the GT
History of the Nike Phantom
The Nike Phantom has gone a long way since its inception in 2013. Take a look at the silo’s development over the years and how arrived to this point with the Phantom GX.
Hypervenom Phantom I (2013)
Successfully replacing the iconic T90 was a tall order, but Nike did just that with the Hypervenom Phantom in 2013. It introduced a ‘new breed of attack’ by moving on from the tanky build of the former in favour of a soft and honeycombed Nikeskin mesh upper and a lightweight feel. The nimble and deft Neymar headlined the boot, and effectively epitomised what the boot stood for-skills and agility are as important as strength and power.
Hypervenom Phantom II (2015)
Not many will fondly remember the Hypervenom Phantom II. It was thought of as a massive disappointment-comfort suffered a lot because of the stiffer upper and too much lockdown from the reinforcing Flywire cables. Pros were so unhappy that Nike moved back to the Nikeskin upper material in 2016, starting with the Hypervenom Phantom II in the Spark Brilliance pack. The DF-collared and low-cut offerings in the Phantom line first appeared in the Hypervenom II, with Nike calling the uncollared variant the Hypervenom Phinish.
Hypervenom Phantom III (2017)
Flyknit featured fully for the first time in the silo’s history with the 2017 Hypervenom Phantom III. This was also where Nike decided to simply name the collared model DF and the low-cut as simply Hypervenom Phantom. The standout feature was the texturing on the upper that hardened upon impact, adding power without necessarily stiffening the upper. Hypervenom Phantom III was an acceptable change, though it did not reach the height of the OG release.
Phantom VSN (2018)
Replacing the Magista (which in turn succeeded the CTR Maestri), the Phantom VSN introduced the concept of control to the Phantom line in 2018. It later coexisted with the Phantom VNM at some point, kind of presenting themselves as control-power twin of the silo. The boot had Flyknit covering the internal Quadfit case (its primary source of lockdown), a ghost lacing cover to clean up the striking surface and a Hyperscreen coating on the upper to carry out minitexturing essential for ball touch. The changes in the VSN II released in 2020 were minimal, such as the external heel clip, lower collar and revised Hyperscreen divisions, and not enough to change the essence of the boot. Under the Future DNA pack, the VSN effectively brought back the black and citrus launch colourway of the Hypervenom Phantom.
Phantom VNM (2019)
With the VNM in 2019, the Phantom carried on with its power roots despite the existence of the VSN at that time. The Flyknit boot was instantly recognisable with its ridged Precision PWR Zone on the instep, clearly invoking the spirit of the T90 series. Speaking of which, the VNM suited up with the classic black and white look of the T90 II in the Future DNA pack. Assisting the lockdown of the boot were the integrated Flywire cables. Both the VNM and the VSN gave way to the Phantom GT in 2020.
Phantom GT (2020)
Phantom GX’s immediate predecessor started during the COVID year and was known for the ‘Generative Texture‘ on its Flyknit upper that aided ball grip and control. The open-arched Hyperquick tooling was targeted on stability when moving and landing side-to-side. The only difference between the GT 1 and the GT 2 a year later was the change of the Generative Texture from a micro-pill shape with varying intensities and concentrations to a generic, all-over chevron one.
The Phantom GT was the direct replacement of the VNM and the VSN, the previous phantom lines that ran simultaneously. The silo was relatively the youngest at that time, but it didn’t lack in boot history considering its genealogical connections to Nike’s iconic power and control silos like the T90, Hypervenom, CTR Maestri and Magista Obra. It was a boot that carried decades worth of Nike football boot evolution.
Phantom GT 2 Models
Still an excellent knitted football boot despite not reaching the Hypervenom Phantom 1-level of wow factor. Cheaper prices at takedown levels, with the Pro closest to the Elite experience and the Academy and Club significantly far off…
The Elite Phantom GT had Nike’s remarkable Flyknit material for its upper, and also boasted pill-like ‘Generative Texture’ grip elements. Its following from the pros comprised of players from all positions-attack, midfield, defence.
They came in both DF and Low versions, the difference was just the dynamic fit (DF) sock collar as seen on the Superfly, whilst these Lows were without. The rest of the boot remained the same and the choice was yours if you wanted the collar or not.
The Pro version of the Phantom GT had a more pliable Flyknit and slightly less prominent Generative Texture. For a silo that did not prioritise responsiveness, the softer Pro somehow further illustrated this point. Still a nice purchase for a football boot factoring in the benefits of knit for half the price of the high-end level.
FlyEase was Nike’s boot with a fold-down heel and a velcro wrap-around strap that made it easy to put on with just one hand. This was great for kids or those who struggle with laces especially for athletes with accessibility needs.
The Academy used a cheap and thicker synthetic upper with dimples that mimick the Generative Texture. Being an Academy Nike boot,the default soleplate was officially labeled as multiground, providing value for money in terms of being playable in both firm and synthetic grass.
The Club Phantom GT may be best for non-competitive and casual football play as it was all about meeting the just the bare minimum of what a football boot needed to be-a studded footwear. This was reflected in the cheap and bulky build as well as the almost non-existence of key Phantom GT techs.
Kids Phantom GT
The Phantom GT in Kids’s Jr. sizes usually involved just the Academy Phantoms, with the Club released for limited colour options. The good thing was they were also multi-grounded and helped you save money regarding playing on both firm and artificial grounds with the same pair.
Phantom GT Questions Answered:
When did the Nike Phantom GT release?
The Nike Phantom GT got released in August 2020, replacing the Phantom VNM and the Phantom VSN 2. The second generation launch happened in July of the following year.
What does GT stand for in Nike Phantom?
It stands for ‘Generative Texture,’ the upper’s micro texturing technology that aims to enhance ball grip.
Is Phantom GT for wide feet?
Elite Phantom GT 2 Review
Five Things You’ll Want to Know:
- Updated and streamlined Generative Texture relative to the first Phantom GT; additional embossed strip design
- A quarter size long in length; might need to adjust accordingly when picking up a size
- New webbing graphic
- Still available in DF and low versions
- The same Flyknit-based upper, wide last, open-arch Hyperquick soleplate, and off-centred lacing system
Our Phantom GT Expert Review
- For those who’ve been missing the original Hypervenom Phantom 1; these are arguably the best non-mercurial Nike boot since 2013. They feel like a knitted OG Hypervenom with its thin and soft Flyknit upper providing a comfortable barefoot sensation.
- Has a distinct identity relative to the synthetic Mercurial and leather Tiempo
- Updated graphics provide unlimited possibilities in producing memorable colourways
- A cosmetic generational update at best; no need to upgrade if you still have the GT 1, or best to get a discounted pair of the first Phantom GT whenever possible
- Responsiveness not on par w/ the Nike Mercurial
- Bested by the adidas Predator in terms of ball grip despite the focus on ‘Generative Texture’
The Phantom GT, with its knit-based upper, wide fit, and functional flexible outsole, stands its ground well vis-a-vis other Nike silo. There’s a good reason why it commands a significant following among professionals.
Boot Rankings, Best For…
- Exact same GT 1 boot
- Generation update very Un-Nikely given the change is very minimal
- Streamlined Generative Texture contradicts marketing for the intricacy of the tech in GT1; feels more ‘Generic’ than ‘Generative’; gives a point at least for continuing the texture through the Swoosh
- Graphic feels cheap
- Structured heel tab another minor update
- Fit and feel is the same as the first gen; true-to-size for most people
- Some who experienced heel chaffing might experience the same issue
- Unless previous GT1 is completely worn out or prefer to always wear the latest model, upgrading to GT2 is a ‘No’; even suggested getting older colourways for the GT1 that are now discounted
- A lazy upgrade but not to the extent of other brand’s previous generational update like the adidas Predator 18 to Predator 19; hopes Nike does not continue the trend
Boot Wizard talking points:
- Change in Generative Texture makes the GT2 feel similar to the VSN1; texture now feels more like a rough-matte like the older Phantom than the tacky sensation from the GT1; personally prefers the GT1 in this regard
- Slightly stiffer out-of-the-box from the GT1
- Change in GT slightly frustrating given the marketing behind the technology in GT1
- Has a slightly thicker liner
- While not noticeable on feet, minor changes brought weight gains for the GT2
- True-to-size if width fits well; go down half-a-size for narrower feet
- Still a good football boot, but changes does not warrant an generational update to the name
Phantom GT 2 vs Phantom GT 1
As emphasised earlier, not much difference is there between the GT 1 and the GT 2. Besides the generic chevron Generative Texture and the rough tactile upper sensation, the GT 2 is the same as the GT 1. The second generation is not different structure-wise, meaning it has the same Flyknit-based upper, wide-last, slight excess length, and open-arched Hyperquick soleplate. The off-centred lacing is still present, but at the very least, the GT 2 has a new webbing graphic that allows for more colour combinations through its block design.
Since not much has changed between the two, it’s at least worth seeing some of the colourway releases of the GT 1 if only to determine if you have the first or the second generation when you buy a pair of the Phantom GT.
Phantom GT 1 (2020)
Phantom GT 2 (2021)