Creative Soccer Culture

Superfly IV | One Year On

Few boots sparked a reaction like the Nike Mercurial Superfly IV. Heralded as the future of football footwear design and welcomed in an epic launch event in Madrid ahead of the 2014 World Cup, Nike's new toy arrived on a whirlwind of hype. One year on from that release, we're asking ourselves - What have we learned from 365 days of the Superfly IV?

The first thing we learned, is that FlyKnit is one of Nike’s most versatile materials. Used to great success on a mass of Nike’s running and lifestyle shoes, FlyKnit allows a boot that seems to have a narrow shape to still accommodate almost anyone who's laced up in them. With a natural stretch that occurs with the knitted material, players can experience something incredibly close to the final fit from the first time they put on the boot. The FlyKnit will only continue to shape to your foot over the course of the first few wears, but other materials cannot replicate the instant 1-to-1 fit of FlyKnit.

Some description

See you later innovator? What is difficult to ignore however is the number of professional players that have worn the Superfly and then reverted to the Vapor X. While some proclaim that the Superfly provides a heightened feel and secure fit, others talk about how the collar hinders their quick shifts and turns. If the professional game is any proper way to gauge the success of the collar, it appears that players are more partial to something a little lower cut on the ankle. Perhaps Nike (or someone else) will remedy that situation sooner rather than later.

More senior players are perhaps the hardest to convince a change in boot silhouette, after building a career wearing a traditional boot it's always going to be harder to tell them that there's a need for change. It's the next generation of players that Nike will have most luck marketing to, we feel, and that's why the future is certainly bright for the Superfly and Flyknit.

Some description

While many might not admit it, the last incarnation of the Superfly was extremely overpriced, extremely tough to break-in, and provided very little of the feel that most “speed-boot” enthusiasts would have been hoping for. For Nike to retool practically every aspect of this boot and create something (several years after seeming to discontinue the SF) that has reinvigorated the silo and makes it stand out above standard boot, as a product with its price-tag should do so. There’s an old saying that goes: “when growth stops, decay begins.” Nike are a brand that play by that rule.

Nike’s Mercurial Superfly IV is an amazing combination of years of Nike tech, welded together to give us something that may long stand as a turning point in the football equipment world, although it may take longer than Nike originally predicted. Year of the Superfly? Your call.

Got a pair? What are your thoughts on the Mercurial Superfly IV one year on? Let us know.


The Creative Soccer Culture Brief

Sign up to our newsletter and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the world of Creative Soccer Culture.