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Nike Mercurial Superfly 9 Review

Ian Ebbs

Nike’s Superfly 9 presents another milestone for the Nike Mercurial line, finally incorporating the Zoom Airbag that positively impacted basketball and running shoes. But the new-gen Mercs are more than just the inclusion of the Swoosh brand’s patented technology. They have re-engineered the structure and material from top to bottom to give their own updated version of responsiveness, lockdown, and speed.

Elite Review Academy Review Superfly 9 vs 8 Your Questions Answered

Nike Superfly 9


Nike make their Superfly 9 in four different levels, Elite as worn by professionals, as well as Pro, Academy and Club tiers. Each boot comes with different sole options suited to different pitches. You can scroll down to learn more or read our full Nike Superfly review here.

Model Quality Pitches  
Mercurial Superfly Elite

Vaporposite+ upper with Flyknit DF
FG AG SG superfly>> Get Elite Mercurial Superfly 9 at Nike
Mercurial Superfly Pro

Minimalist mesh upper with circular knit collar
FG Turf superflypro>> Get Mercurial Superfly 9 Pro at Nike
Mercurial Superfly Academy

Nikeskin upper with neoprene collar
MG TF SG superflyacademy>> Get Mercurial Superfly 9 Academy at Nike
Mercurial Superfly Club

Textured Synthetic materials and textile collar
Mixed Grass Artificial superflyclub>> Get Mercurial Superfly 9 Club at Nike
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Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 FG

Elite – The top level Nike Superfly, as worn by the professional players like Mbappe, Ronaldo, Ada Hegerberg & Sam Kerr, these include the Air Zoom bag in the soleplate & the most premium materials for the upper

Academy – The top selling Superfly in football boot stores, the Academy lacks many of the technologies of the Elite versions but still has the same look as worn by players. It has a Nikeskin mesh upper that does a decent job in replicating the close-fitting profile of the Elite model, plus it still contains the Zoom Air technology, at least to the heel. Like other Academy boots, the Mercurial Superfly at this range is Multiground by default, but you may choose to go AG-specific, as well as Soft Ground.

Children’s Mercurial Superfly 9 Pro FG

Kids Pro  the best available version in kids sizes, these lack the Zoom bag in the soleplate, but interestingly are laceless making them easy to get on and off and something unique with Nike boots.

Your Superfly Questions Answered:

  • Is the Nike Mercurial Superfly good for wide feet?

Not really is the answer. Can wide feet wear Mercurials? well you can, but you’d have to go with a longer size than fits your foot shape and you may struggle with getting your foot into the sock collar. You would better looking to the Phantom GT or Tiempo instead, where the last (shape of the boot) suits that wider foot.

  • Who wears Mercurial Superfly?

Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Jadon Sancho, Darwin Núñez, Sam Kerr, Ada Hegerberg all wear the Nike Superfly 9 boots on pitch

  • Is the Superfly good?

As the focus for Nike as their best boot for speed, yes they are good. Whether you get the Elite, Pro, Academy or Club changes how the Superfly rates, but then the price drops as you step down too.

Superfly 9 Elite Review

Nine Things You’ll Want to Know:

  1. First Mercurial to include Zoom Air technology; a comfortable cushioned outsole that does feel bouncy but not with that propulsion feeling from the previous Superfly 8’s Aerotrak.
  2. Follows the adidas’ Agilitycage and Puma’s Speedcage with its internal Speed case; internal liner with cutouts reinforces key areas to strike a balance between responsiveness, lockdown, and upper flexibility
  3. Vaporposite+ changes into a chevron-shaped mesh; partners with the Speed Case for a thin and easy to break down upper
  4. New mesh construction adds a bit of tackiness to ball grip; also removes the sting of a barefoot touch though ball contact still feels raw and direct
  5. Flyknit still comprise the tongue and collar for the Superfly; allows the boot to extend to the sides to accommodate more width, still not a true wide boot.
  6. While still not suitable for wide-feet players, midfoot is now less snug (makes the boot more forgiving but slowly drifts the Mercurial away from its strapped-in, tight-fitting identity)
  7. Tri-star studs replace chevrons to make the aggressive traction more multidirectional; Zoom airbag directly housed within the outsole, eliminates extra underfoot layers and brings the foot closer to the ground
  8. Vapor and Superfly remains the essentially the same; differs only on the latter’s high-cut collar, so the Vapor is better value for money.
  9. Kids Pro version introduces a laceless setup for Nike boots

Our Superfly Elite Expert Review

Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 Elite FG

Nike's speed focused flagship boot the Air Zoom Mercurial Superfly Elite as worn by Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Jadon Sancho.

Product SKU: DJ4977

Product Brand: Nike

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

✔️ Pros
  • Designed to exact specifications of Nike’s Elite athletes
  • Barefoot feel, without the sting when striking the ball
  • Right amount of lock-down without being too restrictive
  • More space around the mid foot which can accommodate some wider feet
❌ Cons
  • One of the most expensive boots on the market
  • Air pocket replaces Aerotrak soleplate from Superfly 7 but not sure it is really an upgrade
  • Straight-line speed sacrificed for multi-direction traction with new stud layout

The ultimate execution of a speed boot, Nike’s flagship Superfly are their most technology packed and worn by their star players on pitch. Similar PRO & Academy versions replicate the look at a more affordable price point.

Boot Rankings, Best For…

Jaymike thinks:

  • Speedcase works really well in locking the foot in place while keeping the upper flexible; makes the boot more in-tune with the foot
  • Vaporposite+ upper feels similar to Superfly 7’s Flyknit
  • Snug but not restrictive
  • Won’t accommodate wide feet but does have additional width on the midfoot; Narrow-feet players may feel the midfoot a bit roomy and that the toe box is slightly higher now with extra space
  • Didn’t get a propelled feel from the Zoom Airbag but does get a comfortable and cushioned interaction with the sole
  • Stud pattern not as aggressive in linear traction as past Mercurials; has plenty of grip still, especially for cuts
  • Touch is sharp, thin, and precise, but lofted mesh takes away most of the sting
    has a bit of tackiness for ball grip
  • Changes in the fit might lose the speed focus and magic behind the Mercurial
  • Still one of the best boots in the market and an easy boot to like

Futbol Emotion say:

  • One of the most technologically loaded boots in the market
  • Like the pearly white launch colourway
  • The additional space and volume is noticeable around your foot
  • Upper has a barefoot touch and a little more grip
  • Studs are now multi-directional
  • Not much reaction from Zoom air but cushioning is pleasant and comfortable
  • Didn’t like the fact that zoom air is not full-length like introduced in the ultra version
  • Like the speedcase reinforcement and overall comfort level
  • Boot upper had more creasing than you’d usually expect
  • Would have preferred some amount of zoom air on the heel as well

Get Your Pair Here

Superfly 9 vs Superfly 8

For energy return, the 9 use their Zoom Airbag and the pressure generated when stepped upon to create more force. The 8 had an aggressive snap back from it’s Aerotrak outsole, which seems more successful in the energy-return aspect. The Zoom outsole does makes your feet feel closer to the ground because of the Airbag sitting directly on the plate.

8 vs 9 Superfly

Flyknit comprises the tongue and collar of both boots. No complaints there. Both boots have a very similar laced setup.

The Superfly 9 implements a liner with cutouts, reducing the material in the upper compared to the eight that had a full-length Titan synthetic and Avail-Q microfibre liner instead.

The chevron-shaped mesh on the Superfly 9’s Vaporposite+ upper makes the boot feel barefoot during ball contact but with less sting when you hit it. It also give a certain level of tackiness to your contacts with the ball, whilst the grip is not much of a focus in the Superfly 8.

The Eight took the Mercurial to a more forgiving and accommodating fit and feel than on previous generations. The ninth generation levels it up and gives a bit more midfoot leeway, which might disappoint some who prefer the strapped-in seatbelt-like snug feel of the previous Mercurials.

The new Tristar stud configuration gives the boot a multi-directional aspect to its speed and traction, whilst the  previous Aerotrax soleplate with it’s chevrons was all about straightline speed and was more linear in nature.

Previous Models

The original Superfly was released as the Mercurial Vapor Superfly in 2009, now on to it’s ninth generation it sits alongside the Mercurial Vapor 15 as the boot of choice of many Nike professional athletes.

The latest Superfly is the 9, released in the Summer of 2022 with the Air limited edition release & the Bonded pack, designed for the Women’s European Championships.

Mercurial Superfly 8 (2021)

The 2021 Mercurial Superfly was the 8th generation of the brand’s popular silo, the original release was the Dragonfly, with all the individual aspects of the boot highlighted in different colours and numbered, they were followed shortly by the red Spectrum pack.

Mercurial Superfly 7 (2019)

The 7 were released in July 2019, high-tenacity yarns reinforced the Flyknit upper for a soft yet well-structured boot, and an Aerotrak arrow spine on the soleplate made them very responsive and fast-feeling. These included feature colourways like the white Mercurial Dream Speed III with black accents, the pink Mbappe Rosa taking inspiration from the Berry Vapor IV, and the bright blue Sancho SE11. Regular releases included the orange-yellow Daybreak Superfly, shiny chromic Neighbourhood boot, and the flashy crimson Future Lab.

Mercurial Superfly VI (2018)

Nike introduced the Superfly 6 on February 7, 2018, it was the first Superfly to have a split-sole construction and to have the Flyknit yarns coated with ACC rather than having the ACC on top of the upper. The release of the Superfly 360 came with the Born Mercurial orange colourway pack, designers Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones had their respective takes of an orange Superfly 6, with the former designing his with eye-catching circles and the latter with a safari-skin graphic. Released in the year of a World Cup, Nike included them in the Just Do It pack dedicated for the 2018 tournament; the Just Do It dressed the boot in a pearlescent white accented by orange hues.

Mercurial Superfly V (2016)

The Superfly 5 debuted on May 17, 2016 under the Spark Brilliance football pack; the launch colourway had a red-purple split, black accents radiating from the collar, heel, and speed ribs adorns the boot. A Flyknit boot that had textured Speed Ribs wrapping around the upper. CR7’s Chapter 5: Cut to Brilliance, Chapter 4: Forged to Greatness, and Chapter 3: Discovery were all based on the five’s template.

Cut to Brilliance displayed a multi-coloured graphic of diamond cuts on a grey upper while the Forged to greatness had a fiery orange base a silver top with a metallic tone. Discovery’s colours reflected his days with Sporting Lisbon. Lock In, Let Loose combined yellow and black in a Superfly 5 and the Fire and Ice Pack had the boots in red and blue colours to be worn by players depending on their club’s kit.

Mercurial Superfly IV (2014)

The Superfly 4 saw Nike Flyknit for the first time on the Mercurial range and brio cables on the sides of the boot connected the laces to the sole and acted like slingshots to propel the player forward. Once again, Ronaldo dominated with his first Chapters releases, named Savage Beauty and Natural Diamond. The IV launched on April 25, 2014, and the debut colourway became part of the pack for the World Cup that year.

Some of the distinct colourways included the Urban Lilac in the Liquid Chrome Pack, the Hyper Pink of the Lightning Storm Pack and the Bright Crimson of the Intense Heat Pack. Superfly 4 also brought the What The Mercurial which combined popular Mercurial colourways into one mashed up boot.

Mercurial Superfly III (2011)

Superfly 3 were released in April 2011, they were more of a cosmetic update to the Superfly 2, the boot debuted with a violet upper with a white Swoosh and tonal heel. Alongside the launch colourway was a CR7 exclusive black-on-black safari print with yellow accents.

A more streamlined purple Superfly 3 was released later that year in the form of the Court Purple/Metallic Luster-Magenta. It was also in late 2011 that another CR7 signature colourway appeared; with a red pinstripes and black block stripes combination on a grey upper.

Mercurial Superfly II (2010)

Nike launched the Superfly 2 on February 24, 2010; introducing the Nike SENSE studs that expanded or retracted depending on pressure, weight, and surface condition. The first Superfly 2 had violet poppy/obsidian/orange colourway. This Mercurial generation gave CR7 his first signature boot and arguably one, if not the most iconic Ronaldo colourways; the Safari print, Nike would remake those in 2020 to celebrate ten years since the original boots.

A distinct feature of the Superfly 2 was the diamond cut-like graphic on the medial side. The Superfly 2 had a large orange or black Swoosh located on the toe box and moving towards the lateral side. The colours on each side would usually be different, like the cactus/white/anthracite and the Voltage Cherry/Obsidian/Silver.

Mercurial Vapor Superfly (2009)

Nike unveiled the Superfly 1 in February 2009. It was the boot that made Cristiano Ronaldo the face of the Nike Mercurial. The first edition of the Vapor Superfly featured an ultra-thin Teijin synthetic reinforced by Nike Flywire cables for lockdown and structure. It also introduced a carbon fibre soleplate.

The original max orange/abyss/metallic platinum colourway was able to debut on the field but not on retail, prompting Nike to remake the colourway 11 years later with the Future DNA Mercurial Vapor 13, the boots ultimately debuted on retail in black with a volt yellow Swoosh.


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.