Kevin Mirallas Signs With New Balance

Kevin Mirallas and New Balance

New Balance extended their line-up of players with the signature of Kevin Mirallas this past weekend. The Everton winger fits the brands marketing strategy real nicely; a household name who isn’t a superstar, yet has huge upside and potential.

Mirallas will wear New Balance’s Furon range of boots. Furon is engineered for those who play for the single, momentous opportunity, the one chance to decide the game and define the outcome. These players thrive under immense pressure and take their opportunity. If the ball drops to a Furon player, it’s Game Over for the opposition.

Upon completing his deal with New Balance, Kevin commented:

New Balance is making a huge impact in football and has big ambitions for the future. This is why I am delighted to be joining the exciting brand. I am already impressed with the Furon boots; they are comfortable, look great and will help elevate my game.

New Balance Furon Kevin Mirallas

 

The Perfect Deal On New Boots This Weekend

Weekend Boot Sale

For those considering picking up a new pair of boots this weekend, there is a deal available that gets you an extra 15% off at soccer.com. The code is good on any footwear purchase over $99 and runs through midnight on 8/22, Monday night.

To get the deal, make sure to add code 16SAVING in the “Promo Code” box during checkout at soccer.com.

As an example, if you’ve been considering picking up a pair of the highly sought after NJR X Jordan Hypervenom, the code helps drop the price from $325 to $276. Considering there are a limited number of pairs available, that is a pretty good deal!

Hypervenom Phantom NJR

Nike “Elite Pack” Released

Nike Elite Pack

With the new season underway, Nike Soccer has introduced their latest set of boots in the form of the Elite Pack. For the first time, all four of Nike’s latest released Soccer silos — Magista, Mercurial, Hypervenom and Tiempo — are represented in one pack, along with a request from players to “Join The Elite.”

Each pair features a primary Grey or almost Silver base that is highlighted by accents of sea foam green, volt and hints of teal. The hit of Volt, in particular, really creates a visual popping effect that is sure to stand out under night lights.

NIKE ELITE PACK MERCURIAL

Mercurial Superfly V

The 5th installment in the Superfly series is built as a total speed system. One of the key features of the Superfly V is how all of the materials interlock to produce the most efficient package possible. A dynamic mid-cut collar secures foot to ankle, while the upper is a textured Flyknit material, with horizontal style speed ribs running across the upper for extra definition on the ball. They are also highlighted by a new plate mapped to the natural contours of the foot. Additionally, the boot’s soleplate is 40% lighter than the carbon fiber plate it replaces, yet it is stronger and more responsive.

Category: Speed
Weight: 6.8oz
Price: $299.99

Also available: Mercurial Vapor XI, Veloce III

NIKE ELITE PACK MAGISTA

Magista Obra 2

The latest boot released by Nike is highlighted by a unique heat map design. Nike has placed a focus on sensory amplification through feel, for improved creativity, placing a high level of texture across the upper material. Outside the boot, the material feels unusually rigid. But, when you place your foot inside it is a completely different story. They are very soft and plenty pliable, with lots of space to maneuver your foot around in natural fashion. One huge improvement comes in the form of the mid cut collar, which has a wider fit with a different cut around the angle.

Category: Control
Weight: 7.2oz
Price: $299.99

Also available: Magista Opus II, Onda II

NIKE ELITE PACK HYPERVENOM PHANTOM

Hypervenom Phantom 2

A boot designed for stoppable agility, engineered for precision striking and playmaking. The NikeSkin upper offers a barefoot style feel on the ball, are considered to be a decent option for players who have a wider foot, and most importantly have a very short breaking in time. All positives! Across the upper, Nike also use Flywire to keep the boots shape, so they are snug through the midfoot. Underfoot, the split-toe design and agility traction pattern combined unleash a quick response for sudden changes of direction.

Category: Agility
Weight: 7.4oz
Price: $274.99

Also available: Hypervenom Phinish II, Phatal II

NIKE ELITE PACK TIEMPO LEGEND

Tiempo Legend 6

Nike use a leather upper across the Tiempo Legend forefoot, providing an extremely clean touch on the ball. Two cross layers of stitching placed along the fold lines of the forefoot provide natural movement in the material as you flex. Underneath the upper, a structural support cage is put in place and this adds a defining feature to the boot. You get a lot more definition thanks to a lattice style construction along the instep and a V like appearance direction down towards the toes.

Category: Heritage
Weight: 8.4oz
Price: $209.99

Also available: Tiempo Legacy II

Nike Magista Obra 2 – Boot Review

Nike Magista Obra 2 Review

When they were released to market, the original Nike Magista Obra provided players with a completely new type of performance not experienced before. With the introduction of the Magista 2 and the “evolution of touch and traction”, they have continued to push boundaries and taken the intro design to another level. The Magista looks to be the boot that sets the way for other Nike releases, taking on never before seen performance elements that set them apart and make them a leader.

From the visual design to the updated collar fit, there is a lot to cover here, and I’m sure you all want to know just how they compare to other boots on the market. Are they best Nike mid-cut collar boot released to date? Yes would be the answer to that; but you’ll need to read below to find out just why.

Initial Reaction

Visually, these boots are crazy, and it does take a minute to figure them out. In fact, you kind of need the back story to comprehend why they are designed the way they are. A concern I’ve continually had with Nike mid-cut collar boots is the feel through the Achilles. Nike say they have addressed it on this release, so I’m very interested to see how that plays out in-game.

Nike Magista Obra 2 On Feet

Breaking In and Comfort

When you take them out of the box, the first thing you will notice is how textured the upper is, with that texture holding a pretty firm stance under your fingers. In other words, it is not very soft. Naturally, that seemed like a legit concern before testing them. Any stiffness in a material usually means less natural feel on the ball, when it matters most.

BUT, that absolutely is not the case whatsoever. Once you slip your feet into the boots, the experience is totally different. The inside is decked out with a plush layer of soft material that molds perfectly across your forefoot. You can feel a layer of cushion between this material and the actual outside coating. As you begin to move your foot, the entire structure naturally contours and sways with your motions. Basically, the tipped ridges across the outer coating are a little more rigid, but in between – the basic layer on top of the forefoot – has much more natural flow and a fundamentally sound stretch. Once you get to experience them in person, you will understand this a little more but I want you guys to understand the actual feel to the touch doesn’t manifest itself into the actual feel when performing.

With the radical design changes in the boot, I figured it was a better idea to steadily break the boot in. So I didn’t take them out of the box and into a game. Right throughout, I didn’t encounter any comfort issues so in reality I was being a little cautious starting out. In saying that, I’d have no problem stating that this is a boot you can wear in-game from first wear should you need to, pending the fit feels right when you slip them on for the first time.

Nike Magista Obra 2 Upper Texture

Heat Map Design

Lets hit on one of the most glaring pieces of the boot right off the bat; the heat map visual design. Nike tackled the concept of “sensory amplification through feel.” Basically what that means is they were looking to find the areas of the foot most sensitive to touch and mapped them against high-touch zones. The end result is peaks and troughs along different parts of the upper, depending on how much cushion is needed in that region at key moments.

The areas with deeper shades of red are the areas where padding is thickest. This would be through the instep and along the outstep where players tend to look to bend balls to the outside. This makes complete sense and almost follows the logic of the adidas Predator LZ series. It is a similar concept implemented in a different fashion.

Touch, Control, Striking Performance

Let me just skip right to the conclusion of this section; this is the best boot for striking a shot to hit the market since the Nike T90 Laser series was retired; they are seriously that good. You get such a natural level of feel and touch on the ball, with the benefit of an upper material that allows you to really strike behind the ball. The extra definition provides a perfect zone for catching the ball solidly without feeling the full impact. And that same definition allows for improved control on the ball, with the material “wrapping” around the ball as you connect with it. To put it another way, when the ball connects with the upper it seems to push the area around it up around the ball, sort of cupping it. An odd sensation, but these definitely rank as one of my favorite striking boots released in recent times.

I’m also a fan of the instep and its design. Since the days of the CTR360 Maestri and Umbro Geometra, I’ve become a firm believer in having an extra element added along the instep that helps you take the ball in out of the air with tight control. The extra definition there allows for more friction and basically helps the ball stick closer to you as you look to control it. And it proves useful as you look to play solid short passes along the ground.

Magista Obra 2 Fit

Magista Obra 2 Ankle Cut Collar

Upgraded Mid Cut Collar

Things on the Magista are very different as Nike look to change the game up. They have gone with a more anatomically contoured Dynamic Fit Collar, designed to accommodate the shape of the ankle bone while leveraging a thicker knit structure for additional coverage. The revamped collar also dips lower on the tendon for comfort. This is something I had major issues with on other Nike collar boots, for example the recent Superfly V release. This time around, no such issues as the lowered collar provides a much more enjoyable feel with less stress on the Achilles as you look to cut and accelerate with your ankle positioned at tight angles.

Also modified is the tongue-less design, as Nike placed some additional light padding under the laces for coverage in what is a high contact area. As stated above, these are one of the best boots for striking a ball that I’ve worn in a while. So, although the additional padding is not something I directly noticed in-game, it obviously plays a valid part.

When it comes down to it, the all important question is “are these the best mid collar boots ever released by Nike?” The answer is a simple YES. And that has a lot to do with the actual shape and fit of the collar around the ankle and down through the foot. it is just so much more naturally effective.

Magista Obra 2 Traction Soleplate

Soleplate and Traction

An area where Nike saw major room for improvement with the Magista series is in the soleplate and traction system. The first thing they did was trim down the materials used, making this new version 37% lighter than its predecessor. They then took data from the Nike Research Lab to help them create a new rotational traction system. Rather than individual stud performance, the new design interacts as one system. A mix of half conical studs (traction when accelerating) and Chevron (stable grip in all directions)   work in unison to provide stability through dynamic movements.

In reality, it plays out real nicely with no issues. When it comes to soleplates, your checklist should be pretty simple; something that you feel secure in, doesn’t cause drag on surfaces and keeps you stable through play. I had the opportunity to wear them on FG and AG, both with positive results. They are obviously best suited to FG, but I’ve no qualms about recommending them for use on newer AG.

Nike Magista 2 Tech featured

Nike Magista 2 Design Process

How do they Fit?

This is a spacious boot, with a very accommodating fit through the forefoot. The original Magista was very similar, and it quickly became a fan favorite for players in need of a wider fit. They are definitely the widest through the forefoot of all Nike boots right now. Length wise they are very much true to size. If you have worn the Magista, they are very similar and for adidas players, the PURECONTROL would be the closest boot to compare the fit to.

If you have questions about the collar, I’ve included details about that in its own section above!

Critics Notes

One of the challenges to owning boots like these is that they are not very breathable. In game, that means your foot is a little hotter, and they are very difficult to air-out after play. And you know what that means; smelly boots! I’ve worn many mid-cut collar boots and I’m very particular about taking care of my boots. But, these took on their own unique scent, the type of scent you don’t want to have in anything you wear. Why that is, I’m not too sure but if you own a pair you need to make sure they air dry IMMEDIATELY after every wear.

Magista Obra 2 In Play

 

Adidas Dark Space Pack

adidas dark space pack football boots

Setting the scene for the start of the new season, adidas unveil their latest collection, the ‘Dark Space Pack’.

The latest boot pack from the three stripes includes the ACE and X silos and is delivered in a sumptuous all black colourway.

Highlights for this latest release:

All back versions of X 16+ PURECHAOS and ACE 16+ PURECONTROL make up Dark Space Pack –
Purecut Sock System used in X 16+ PURECHAOS to provide ultimate fit
Non Stop Grip (NSG) technology used in ACE 16+ PURECONTROL to deliver cleanest striking area
Dark Space Pack available in limited numbers from today (4th August 2016)

X16+ ‘Dark Space Pack’

X 16+ Dark Space PackX16+ Dark Space Pack

 

Designed for players with pace – the X16+ PureChaos represents the ultimate in speed. adidas’ lightest and most aerodynamic boot features a state-of- the-art PURECUT SOCK SYSTEM which covers the cleat laces to give players the ultimate fit X16+ PURECHAOS will be worn by the likes of Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez.

ACE 16+ PURECONTROL

adidas ACE16 DarkSPaceadidas ACE 16 DarkSPace

 

adidas’s high-performance laceless boot – has been transformed into this dark colourway. The Primeknit upper and NON STOP GRIP (NSG) technology delivers an unrivalled surface for close ball control. The ACE 16+ PURECONTROL will be worn by the likes of Paul Pogba and Ivan Rakitic.

adidas Release Limited Edition Update of 99g – World’s Lightest Boot

adizero 99 gram boot

Remember the incredible adidas adizero 99g that were released last year? Well, the second edition of the world’s lightest boot was revealed today, limited to just 299 pairs. And in case your were wondering, 99g equals 3.5oz!

At around half the weight of a regular boot, the adizero 99g boot features a 1mm polyamide outsole, designed to reduce weight whilst maintaining the rigidity to perform at the highest level, and advanced lightweight one-layer PU mesh-based upper material. The boot also features a skeleton inner-construction to maintain stability and support, whilst a unique stud layout ensures fastest possible movements in all directions

adidas adiZero 99g Upper

adidas adiZero 99g Soleplate

adidas adiZero 99g 299 pairs

One thing that makes this release a little extra special is the fact it continues to extend the life of the adiZero series, adidas signature range designed for speed. A concern that some might have with this lightweight speed release is durability, but adidas assures us that they have been “rigorously tested for tear strength and abrasions.”

 

 

Up Close – Nike Magista Obra 2 “Black Pack” Reaction

Pitch Dark Nike Magista Obra 2

Just released yesterday, we were lucky enough to get our hands on one of the very first pairs of the second Nike Magista Obra 2 colorway. Swaying right across the color spectrum, this release is vastly different from the intro version. Although it looks like a Blackout, the upper actually has a lighter shade of gray that runs through the heat zone region. And finishing out the look, Nike has added a hit ofTotal Crimson to the signature swoosh.

Many of you will be looking for information on performance and sizing here, so I’ll try fill some small gaps before I post the official review. I had a chance to wear the release colorway in a game last night, and again for a training session this morning. One thing is clear; these boots already exceed any expectations I had for them. They are incredibly comfortable, from the feel of the upper to the balanced traction underfoot. And they just feel right to play in.

Nike Magista Obra 2 Black Pitch Dark

Nike Magista Obra 2 Black Upper

Pitch Dark Magista Obra 2 Textured Upper

To the touch, the upper is so incredibly textured, like a mini mountain range running across the surface of the boot. This follows the concept of sensory amplification through feel and how the Nike team 3D mapped sensitive to touch areas against high-touch zones.  You’d expect them to have a stiff feel, which they kind of do outside the boot. But inside, Nike use a soft, slightly padded material that feels great across the top of your foot.

One huge improvement comes in the form of the mid cut collar, which has a wider fit with a different cut around the angle. This has to be the route Nike takes with future releases of the Superfly and Hypervenom as it provides a much better fit and really does create an extension between leg and foot. In other words, the purpose of the mid cut collar on this release makes much more sense with a natural fit around the ankle that feels like it plays a role in performance.

Pitch Dark Magista Obra 2 Collar

Pitch Dark Magista Obra 2 Soleplate

In terms of fit, the Magista will again be seen as one of the more accommodating releases in the Nike line-up. Through the forefoot you get plenty of space and there is some stretch in the upper material. They might not fit wide-wide fitting players, but they will provide the best option for players that want to wear Nike.

Realistically, I’m blown away by what these have to offer and they are definitely the top Nike boot on the market right now. What is wild about them is that I totally get a T90 Laser feel about them when on the ball. They are definitely not a power boot, but the contoured upper allows for real ping when shooting. Odd, right? I bet you didn’t see a T90 Laser comparison attached with these. More info to come once I get the review posted.

Nike Magista Obra 2 Black Pack