In 2013, Nike launched Hypervenom, a new line of boots for a new breed of attacker. Players everywhere, from Neymar Jr. to Wayne Rooney, immediately took to the pitch with great success in the new boots. Meanwhile, Nike’s design team never stopped working on what they could possibly do to make the next Hypervenom boots even better.
“Much like the players we design for, we’re constantly pushing the parameters of what’s possible. We are relentless innovators.” – Nathan VanHook, Senior Design Director for Nike Football Footwear.
Nike’s design team focused on making Hypervenom II the definitive boot for deadly agility. “We started very simply, with members of our team wearing white socks and spray painting them while their feet were flexed in various football-specific movements,” says Phil Woodman, Nike Football Footwear Designer. “As they unflexed their feet, the unpainted white lines identified prominent flex grooves. That exercise quickly escalated into visits to Nike’s Sport Research Lab to consult with our scientists on how the foot can best move with the boot for ultimate agility.”
To achieve the level of anatomical synergy the team envisioned, Nike Flywire is strategically mapped into Hypervenom II with additional siping added in heavy ball-contact areas for enhanced touch. The Flywire is integrated into a responsive loft mesh of varying density levels, a departure from the uniformly dimpled upper of the original Hypervenom. These were the first of many enhancements developed throughout the design process. Ultimately, every component of the original Hypervenom evolved into something better for Hypervenom II.
“Players loved the original Hypervenom, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do even better. We’re not afraid to make as many changes as the boot needs to be the best. The kind of players who wear Hypervenom would expect nothing less.” – Max Blau, VP of Nike Football Footwear.
“This is foot-informed design at its finest. All of the linear angles on the boot align with the natural flex of the foot. The Flywire powers a lockdown system that prevents the foot from sliding within the boot. We didn’t design a boot that works for the foot, but rather with the foot.” – Nathan VanHook.
Hypervenom II is designed for attacking players who are deceptive by nature on the pitch – capable of moves in any direction and usually making the one their opponent least expects. The boot had to be crafted to support those kinds of movements, all while delivering a strong sense of style.
“I feel confident wearing the Hypervenom II. I’m able to change direction, accelerate and evade defenders without hesitation and I also love the look of the boot.” – Neymar Jr.
“The Dynamic Fit Collar hadn’t been introduced yet when the first Hypervenom came out. We experimented with a variety of collar iterations, ultimately designing a new Dynamic Fit Collar with seam placement off the tendon for enhanced comfort and no distractions.” – Phil Woodman.
Hypervenom II is the first Nike Football boot to mix a Flyknit collar with an enhanced mesh upper, complete with NikeSkin and All Conditions Control (ACC).
“We had very positive player feedback on the upper we designed. It was a new feat of engineering for us to integrate a Flyknit Dynamic Fit Collar onto that upper in a way that transitions beautifully for the player. The collar provides a sense of enhanced fit and proprioception players demand with the iconic look they desire.” – Phil Woodman.
The Flyknit Dynamic Fit collar reveals a pop of underlying color when flexed, adding style to the performance substance. The overall design is aggressive, bold, powerful and edgy – like the players who wear it. Hypervenom players are notorious for the agility to execute directional moves in tight spaces, zigging when others zag. That zig-zag capability meets literal interpretation on the functional sidewalls of the boot.
While the sidewalls of the boot definitely catch the eye, they serve a distinct purpose in cradling and transitioning the foot from the plate to the upper. The sidewalls are neither as firm as the plate nor as soft as the upper, providing a medium that makes the shift between the two surfaces more comfortable while keeping the foot solidly centered on the plate with no rollover.” – Nathan VanHook.
The eye stays of the boot follow a similar zig-zag pattern and are offset to the lateral side, allowing for a larger medial side strike-zone free of lace interference. The laces themselves are imperceivable from inside the boot to eliminate the possibility of distraction or irritation.
In response to player feedback, the sole plate of Hypervenom II is comprised of a softer compound than the original for added comfort. The split-toe design and agility traction pattern unleash a quick response for sudden changes of direction. A stunning wrap-around graphic adorns the plate and sidewalls of the boot.
“We draw great inspiration from nature. With Hypervenom II, we focused on a variety of animals that carry special coloring on their underside, often indicative of poisonous capabilities. They may look innocent at first glance, but have these colorful prints one might not see until it is too late. We brought this ‘belly of the beast’ aesthetic to Hypervenom II to leave a strong impression on those left in the player’s wake as he maneuvers past them.” – Phil Woodman