CTR 360 Maestri III Review
Today is marks the launch of the CTR 360 III Maestri, the boot generally seen to be the ‘playmaker’s’ boot. Maestri is Italian for “maestro” and thats exactly who the boot is targeted at, someone looking to command and change the game from the midfield.
The CTR series saw a whole new market open up, one which focused on control – until recently Nike pretty much had exclusive reign over that sector of the market, but recently they’ve been challenged by the arrival of the Predator LZ. However, Nike has had time to advance and improve the boot.
So onto the review. I tested the boot out in training on a fairly sloppy pitch, this was perfect for testing out one of Nike’s newest features on the boot – the ACC Technology. ACC Technology is basically an advancement of the coating which is used on all synthetic boots, but Nike has looked to redesign it to allow the same control in all conditions – wet or dry. On the heal counter of the boot, you also have an ACC indicator – to show you wether the coating is working in wet conditions or dry, it changes from silver to blue when in contact with water.
The boot definitely gave me a really nice level of control, allowing me to catch the ball on my foot from kicking it high, even though the pitch was very wet and so was the ball.
Dribbling with the ball was a dream, even with the pitch greasy and with other players struggling to get a nice grip on the ball – this was really aided by the redesigned ‘dampening pad’ area – which has been flattened and indented to allow a greater contact with the ball while dribbling (which was a slight problem with the raised pads on the boot’s predecessor)
Some people have shown concern about how the outside dampening pads would be when taking a ball on the outside of the boot, as it offers a lot less padding than on both the CTR I and II. However, I noticed no discomfort when using them and had a way better touch on the ball when dribbling with outside of my foot.
Obviously, the most notable feature on the boot is on the instep, the 3D control pad has been completely redesigned to offer maximum contact with the ball. The pads are now a singular arc of variously sized strips with fins to hug the ball
When I played in the boot, I found receiving the ball on hard passes to be easy – the fins allowed simple two touch drills to be carried out with ease. There is also less variation between the two zones on the instep, passing and receiving. This is a huge advance in the boot – as before you were almost forced into playing the ball off the rear of your instep – where as here you can play passes higher up your foot with more confidence. And actually this allows you to work your foot like a ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ pass area – which is massively aided by the two tone design of the boot.
Once again, Nike is using an asymmetric lacing system on the boot, which increases the area on the boot you can use to control and pass the ball with. The slight curvature to the lacing system also gives a very nice and comfortable area to strike the ball with (if you’re a forward that favours the CTR as Tevez and Balotelli did last season)
Running in the boot is a very different experience to the CTR 2 – nike has introduced two obvious seems across the forefoot of the boot, which help the boot to contour to your foot as you push off with it, to offer more comfort and improve your turning in tight situations (vital for a midfielder looking to quickly change the game)
Nike have also drastically redesigned the soleplate of the boot, much like the Vapor 8 – Nike have looked to enforce natural running styles by offering a great deal of support to the front half of the foot, and minimal stud density at the back of the boot. This is because we are naturally inclined to run on the front of our foot – but rear studs are still present to offer support when standing still or jogging.
As you can see from the photo, the soleplate is also much more curved than most boots – and even contours downwards slightly around the big toe area – this really increases your comfort in the boot – which hugs your foot like a glove. The stud pattern on the boot is very different to anything else on the market at the moment. The new and more responsive plate features a 360 degree stud placement – the boot deploys round studs on the medial side and blades on the lateral – is designed to provide premium comfort; perfect for the midfielder’s constant turns, and cuts through the pitch.
My only slight criticism of the boot was that the studs on the instep of the heal were slightly too long for the surface I was playing on, and I noticed an occasional drag when playing long balls on the soft pitch – but maybe I should have used a soft ground boot!
The boot will be launched with Andres Iniesta as the face of the boot, but expect many big name players such as Alex Song, Jack Wilshere, David Luiz and Asamoah to be sporting the boot in the coming season
Who should buy this boot? The CTR 360 III is the perfect boot for central players, mainly central midfielders, but it is also favoured by some centre backs and forwards who value ‘first touch’ over everything else in the game.
Posted on July 23, 2012, in Reviews and tagged 2, 3, 360, black, boots, comparison, control, ctr, CTR360, FG, III, iniesta, Inniesta, maestri, midfield, midfielder, review, Song, Wilshere, yellow. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.