20 Years in the Blink of an Eye: Nike Mercurial Cleats

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It’s almost hard to fathom, but it’s true. Nike Mercurial cleats have been around for 20 years.

First developed in 1998 for the legendary Ronaldo, The 1998 Mercurial was designed to flip the entire soccer world on its head– consisting of a thinner soleplate, lighter upper, and ‘sticky’ coating (an early form of ‘all conditions control’), the 1998 Mercurial was the foundation for 20 years of cleat innovation.

From humble beginnings, the original Mercurial sketch

The Nike Mercurial would go through five different iterations before the first major break-through in the styleway was released: the 2009 Mercurial Vapor Superfly. Made to deliver on the pitch for athlete’s all over the world, the Superfly was the first use of patented Nike flywire technology in a Mercurial.

Flywire technology is still used in Nike cleats and sneakers today.

Five years later the Superfly would take on the iconic high-top silhouette athletes associate with it now. Featuring the dynamic fit collar and Nike’s own FlyKnit technology the Superfly IV released in 2014 is undoubtedly one of the biggest trendsetters in style still today. Nearly every other manufacturer has raced to produce a ‘high-collared’ cleat in the wake of the Superfly IV’s success.


The Superfly IV was unlike anything Nike had done before.

The Superfly IV design would hold for two years before Nike released the Superfly V in 2016. Taking all the best parts of the Superfly IV, Nike upgraded the soleplate to be even lighter than the previous carbon fiber plate and introduced textured ‘speed ribs’ to the upper for an enhanced first touch.

CR7 received his own special editions in the Superfly V to commemorate his rise as a superstar.

But now, two years later Nike has radically altered the Superfly with the new Mercurial Superfly 360 Elite. The newest design from Nike revolutionizes the soleplate by dividing it into two wholly independent parts, allowing Nike flyknit technology to wrap entirely around your mid-foot.

This is the first time FlyKnit is being used on the bottom of a cleat from Nike.
The Mercurial Superfly 360 Elite’s independent toeplate allows greater flexibility with each step.
Textured all over and ready to strike, the Superfly 360 Elite hopes to set a trend in the industry like its predecessor.

The Nike Superfly 360 Elite is one of the most anticipated releases of 2018, and both the Total Orange and Black colorways are now available on www.soccercorner.com. If you’re in the market for the most cutting-edge Nike cleat in history, the time is now, because once they’re gone you’ll have to wait until the next release!


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