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Nike Mercurial Vapor 8 SG Pro Review

About a month ago, we brought you a review of the hotly anticipated Vapor 8 in FG, we were lucky enough to get our hands on the SG pro model last week, and I’ve been testing them out this week.

The SG Pro soleplate sees a huge change in Nike’s soleplate for the soft ground market, which previously featured a fairly regular 6 stud configuration. The radical re-design is steeped in player-history, which might seem odd seeing as this is the first public release boot with the soleplate on, but for the past few seasons the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr have been wearing boots with this soleplate on, as per their own personal requirements

Images via Soccerbible

As you can see, Nike have pretty much taken Direct inspiration from the pro’s sole configurations

The SG Pro soleplate differs from the FG Vapor 8 in a few ways, the most notable is the glass fibre structure of the soleplate, on the Firm Ground model the boot features a single layer of glass fibre in the forefoot – which gives the boot increased flexibility on tough surfaces. While the SG Pro model is made entirely of two layers of glass fibre, which should give you a more solid grip and greater support on soft pitches.

The boot also features different ‘teeth’ at the very top of the forefoot, these serve the same purpose of the very prominent ones on the FG model – but with the aim of increasing acceleration on wetter pitches. The boot manages to achieve this very well in play, especially because of the clear blade at the front of the toe area – which works really well for quick acceleration when running on your toes.

Generally the blades on the boot give you a varied grip depending on what you’re doing on the pitch. Like the FG model, nike have looked to allow you two different forms of support, a light one for sprinting and a more solid one for when you’re standing or jogging. This is created through the slightly longer metal studs – which break the surface, and the plastic blades which support you in it. When playing in the boot I have to say there was absolutely no noticeable stud pressure – which is extremely rare from a soft ground speed boot, anyone who has owned a pair of Adidas F50 Adizeros in soft ground will know what I’m talking about.

The boot once again features a glass fibre ‘spine’ which appears slightly more curved than on the FG model, I preferred the feel of this one – which is mainly down to the alternated plastic support structure. On both boots Nike has additional areas of support which are created using plastic – this distributes pressure and weight across the areas of the boot which will receive the most pressure in a game, straight out of the box these boots are comfortable and did not require any break-in time at all.

the heal of the boot also features the plastic studs, which gives you a solid grounding on the pitch, and are excellent when turning in tight positions. The studs at the back of the boot are 13″, while the forefoot studs are 11″ – this gives you a nice level of anchoring at the back, which doesn’t keep you stuck in the ground when breaking into a sprint.

The 13″/11″ combination is designed to work best on vaguely soft pitches, like the ones we’re getting a lot at the moment in the UK because of the hot weather/heavy rainfalls. However, as winter comes around – many sunday league pitches will become soggy and marshy – and often this can prove to be a challenge for even the best boots. With the SG Pro, Nike have looked to offer some further comfort with the ‘spare studs’ the boot comes with in a cool ‘test tube’

The test tube offers a longer set of studs, which you can use when the pitches begin to turn to slosh. The body of the boot would take the 13″ stud length which comes as the heal stud length on the boot normally, while the heal gets 15″ studs

The longer stud is much more similar to a ruby boot’s stud – which aims to offer the player extreme traction for scrums and contact when on wetter pitches. This is a great innovation from Nike as it really allows you to customise your boot to the surface you play on, and arguably play around with the balance of stud length throughout the boot.

The upper on the boot is like nothing else on the market, a super light and thin synthetic that gives you an incredible touch on the ball, extremely similar to leather – while having the durability of a synthetic. Out of the box, the upper is softer than any ‘broke in’ previous Vapor models, and as you play in the boot, it will mould to your foot.

Who should buy this boot? I play as a striker and a winger, and the boot is really fantastic for running and dribbling with the ball – but is slightly let down when shooting. In my opinion its a perfect Winger’s boot, but for strikers who love speed – this boot is also a fantastic option.

UK readers can get the boot from soccer scene for £112

International readers can go to nike.com and pick up a pair

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About goalsandgear

Goals and Gear aims to provide you with the most up to date pictures and reviews of all things football, as well as leaked images of upcoming boot releases.

Posted on July 2, 2012, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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