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Football Boots > Nike Mercurial Superfly III - How does it compare?

Numerous boxes of Nike Superfly III boots have passed through SoccerBible HQ since their release. We've had a chance to play test the new boots (full play-test will be coming next week!) and gain a more hands on perspective of the new features the Superfly III brings to the table.  

The self-proclaimed winning formula that NIke had with the Superfly II meant that minimal changes were needed for their next generation Superfly III. For some though, these updates are still a blur with the obvious graphical changes appearing to be the only difference. As the mad buzz that has surrounded the boots since its release begins to fade away, we thought we take one more detailed look at the how Nike's lightest boot compares to its predecessor.

It's easy to say that the only changes have come in the shape of the new graphical design on the instep and heel of the boot. Although this is the main distinctive difference, Nike have made technological steps forward inside the boot that makes it more than a Superfly II with a new paint job!

Nike insist that minimal changes have been made to the Superfly III due to responses received from professionals (they must not have spoken to the long list of adiZero converts!). Adjustments have been made to the Superfly III's flywire that Nike say is a technology in ''constant evolution''. The placement of the wires has changed in the Superfly III so that the upper conforms better to the foots shape. 

As you can see, the flywire now extends further towards the heel that will help to strengthen the boot. This was partly due to the incorporation of an extra lace hole at the top of the boot - another minor addition to the Superfly III.  This updated flywire now offers the tightest, close to your foot feeling that no other synthetic soccer shoe can. 

Nike have made slight changes to the upper of the Superfly III boots. The construction of the upper has been refined so that it now offers a softer ball touch. By making upper softer and less stiff, Nike have significantly reduced the breaking in period for the boots. As we found out in our play-test, the new upper feels noticeably different from the Superfly II and offers great feel for the ball while dribbling at speed.

Performance over weight has always been Nike's mind set when designing the Superfly boots. The Superfly's unique traction elements is what sets it apart from its speed boot rivals. Despite gaining a mixed reputation, the revolutionary NikeSENSE stud technology still features in the Superfly III.

From what we have experienced here at SoccerBIble, the Superfly's stud configuration allows an unrivalled confidence when sprinting and turning at full speed. The carbon fibre composite, that is designed for exceptional strength and energy return, is now supported by a newly modified coloured sole frame that allows extra support. 

Another modification that nearly slipped under the radar was the adjustment of the toe box area. The size of the front of the boot has been changed and now features a lower toe-box to allow better boot to ball contact. It should also eliminate the possibility of the boot tearing at the toe-box, creating a longer lasting, more durable boot.  

So there you have it. An evolution instead of a revolution. Although the Superfly III may not include the usual amount of changes you'd expect in a new boot release, Nike have made slight modifications that build upon the key successful elements of the Superfly II.

A graphical redesign along with minor tweaks throughout the boot combine to create the most advanced Superfly yet. Fans of the Superfly II looking for an upgrade certainly wont be disappointed. Think of it more as a software update for your iPhone!  

The Nike Superfly III is now shipping from selected retailers worldwide. To see our full article on the new NIke Superfly III football boots click here. As always, let us know your opinions on the hotly discussed Superfly III!

Have your say and join the conversations with the SoccerBible community online, on Twitter and on Facebook



next messi said:


April 3, 2011 7:37 PM

next messi said:


April 3, 2011 7:39 PM

bayyo158 said:

i love em 1st

April 3, 2011 7:45 PM

tomislavdalstop said:

Please post images of Vapor 7 Blue/Orange

April 3, 2011 7:45 PM

bayyo158 said:

very cool

April 3, 2011 7:45 PM

bayyo158 said:

sprfly 3 for me

April 3, 2011 7:51 PM

PAulRaindropp said:


April 3, 2011 7:54 PM

lummers said:

i think that they are both really nice

April 3, 2011 7:58 PM

YBJ_92112 said:

weren't the WC 2010 superflies 10% lighter?... they could've at least released those in the new colourway with the refinery mentioned

April 3, 2011 8:00 PM

ricky 15 said:

i have the superfly 2 and they are great looking foward to the 3

April 3, 2011 8:17 PM

I Messi I said:

There was no point at all in making these new ones, those changes are really small and picky and probably not even noticeable.... New boot needed Nike!  

April 3, 2011 8:17 PM

dkwicks05 said:

Soccerbible. I mean no disrespect by this post at all. Just want to say, that judging by the posts by your followers when these boots were released, majority of them including myself, were and still are not impressed by what Nike has released. There is nothing exciting by the release of this new boot. Sure they might have changed a few things, but essentially, they have not given the SFII any new upgrades to warrant this being called the SFIII. As it stands currently, 5 out of the current 10 news articles on your website are about the SFIII. I think you have missed the mark here. We really are not interested in this boot and feel let down hugely by Nike on this release.

April 3, 2011 8:47 PM

Guti.haz14 said:

superfly is the hottest boot, but it sucks! i have them and after one training i want to sell them!

April 3, 2011 8:53 PM

pcm19 said:

that "they were good before so we wont change them" excuse is ridiculous. heres something: make them the same feel but make them lighter! adizeros and even leather editions are far lighter, and maybe even the adipure sl's. this just means youll be behind adidas a whole year AGAIN, and youre giving adidas time to further-develop their adizero design. Why is there so much news on this boot, just because its the superfly automatically doesnt mean we should be obsessing over JUST A NEW COLORWAY. this boot is a huge dissapointment. i guess were gonna have to wait another year for a light nike speed boot.

April 3, 2011 8:58 PM

StewyGreer said:


April 3, 2011 9:21 PM

oakster1043 said:

If you have read any of the interviews they have avoided the lightest talk all they have said is that they are the lightest Nike boot. They are more geared toward traction... does the technology necessarily work? I felt it didn't hurt so there was nothing wrong with it. On another note, the developers listened to the players and gathered they needed to be softer and offer better durability and that the boot was good and wouldn't need much of a change. What i find contradictory is the fact that Adizeros did not change very much at all aside from the Primes... and what did they do? They made the material softer and more durable from the originals and jacked up the price. I felt what the pros were saying when I wore my superflys they were stiff and the toe box was too high so it felt odd, glad to see the changes and thinks it's sad that people are in such an uproar over this, when if you have worn the II's then you should be excited with the changes if you ask me. This is a good boot I look forward to feeling the difference on the field rather than bashing it on a forum.

April 3, 2011 9:28 PM

bubbles said:

this is so dumb. different coloured boots for each foot!? what will they think of next!

April 3, 2011 9:38 PM

ddlsportsnut said:


If you want a boot as light as the adizeros, you are going to have to sacrifice comfort.  I would pick superflys over the adizeros any day.  10 oz does not make a difference in how fast you  are!  That one millionth of a second it shaves off means absolutely nothing!  I'll pick a great boot over a 300 dollar piece of plastic any day.


Umbro has already done that, and it was sick...

April 3, 2011 9:52 PM

nikefootball said:

" we thought we take one more detailed look at the how Nike's lightest boot compares to its predecessor" um just no the superfly i's were lighter and the sl's does nike think we are dumb?!!!!

April 3, 2011 10:22 PM

Demose said:

I can't see that "extra lace hole" in the other pictures of SPIII... Kinda strange. =/

April 3, 2011 10:29 PM

vinniele22 said:

the toe of the new superflys look like sls

April 3, 2011 10:40 PM

bubbles said:

oh I see what they've done here. it's not 1 boot for the left and 1 for the right u just didn't read it properly. doh. I prefer the Superfly II, so much better technology in that 1

April 3, 2011 10:49 PM

Getsuga04 said:

Nike insist that minimal changes have been made to the Superfly III due to responses received from professionals (they must not have spoken to the long list of adiZero converts!). - i love it!

April 3, 2011 11:18 PM

moriorixs said:

nike seemed to have made " minimal "changes to the laser iii without having to create a whole new boot, why do the "minimal" changes in the superfly have to be any different

April 4, 2011 12:17 AM

CRR125 said:

 Adizeros's don't have the best design around but they are great quality and lightweight boots.  if Nike would create a SF3 look-a-like with a lighter design they would sell so much more to those players that are worried about lightweight boots because the design is great

April 4, 2011 12:28 AM

jazzovani said:

nothing change except the color combination....

April 4, 2011 1:33 AM

jazzovani said:

nothing change except the color combination....

April 4, 2011 1:33 AM

candl3wax said:

I agree that there is way too much fuss about this boot.  I also agree that Nike didn't need to create a whole new Superfly model for the small number of adjustments they made to the SFII.  They could have done something like they did with the all-carbon SLs, meaning they could've called this boot Superfly II SL or Superfly II something instead of making it Superfly III.  It is the exact same boot as the II.  And to ddlsportsnut, are you saying the Superflys aren't a $300 piece of plastic?

April 4, 2011 1:51 AM

Arian said:

MVIII  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pure speed boot ever made without carbon fiber and flywire!


April 4, 2011 1:55 AM

mr.heyou said:

the soleplate hasn't changed at all, it was corrected in the elite ediotion for the world cup and then

April 4, 2011 2:32 AM

Johnny23 said:

I believe it took adidas some time to release the adizero boot, Nike had a lot of speed boots compared to adidas and no one was complaining about adidas releasing heavier boots. For instance the +F50i from adidas was released in 2009 with a weight of 11.2 oz, the mercurial vapor IV was released in 2008 and only weighted 8.8 oz that’s not including the SL version. So it really shows people jump on the bandwagon. I agree with pakster1043, I was excited when I found out those things were changed because that caused a lot of discomfort when it came to breaking them in. It's really funny that many bash on the product before even trying it.

April 4, 2011 2:49 AM

Johnny23 said:

@Demose both of the superfly III colourways have the extra lace hole on the Nike website.

April 4, 2011 3:34 AM

Steven4vapor said:

I say they designed these boots by what the pros like. Not what the people want.

April 4, 2011 4:22 AM

Krisztian Nemeth said:

they are exactly the same, nike just stealing money and relying on advertising as usual

April 4, 2011 4:58 AM

barc4b0y said:

the same the same... just styled changed basically...

April 4, 2011 5:02 AM

Ratchet said:

@moriorixs: Minimal changes? They made the boot narrower, added TPU fins and "strike pods". Granted, I wouldn't agree that they made the boot "better", but it is still significantly different and the only visual similarities is off-centered lacing and the studs/blades.

The SFIII? Oh look, we put the "flywire" in at a different angle. Then we are going to write some pseudoscientific technobabble and say it provides increased performance. But really it is the same boot with a SLIGHTLY different shape. And really, a different shape does not mean it is better. It means it MAY fit better on some people, but others may find that the previous shape fits them better. Really, it is just an an alternate SFII for those that find the original SFII uncomfortable.

Adidas redesigned the Adizero F50 twice and made no claim to a new boot. The changed the heel and tongue, and changed the visual design with a laddered effect on the toe. Then they reduced the weight and released the F50 Prime. What is Nike's excuse for pretending to have made a new boot? Frankly, the whole idea of it bores me.

April 4, 2011 6:27 AM

Ratchet said:

Conversely, I see no reason for Nike to try and compete with the Adidas Adizero F50. Adidas just made a minimal boot. There isn't anything that fancy about it. They just made the upper with a layer of plastic, and used hollow, fragile plastic studs that easily fall off. The boot isn't made with any amazing, low density plastic that weighs less than air or anything. Granted, Nike could design their own cling film boot, but they have opted for comfort more than weight. Which is more important. But on the other hand, the thin layer of plastic does provide a more glove like fit than the Mercurial.

April 4, 2011 6:31 AM

LADA said:

intresting that there is a lower profile on the toe box  

until reading this i didnt know of any real modifications done by nike on its iconic boot.  THNX SB!

April 4, 2011 8:02 AM

Juve96 said:

Honestly superfly sucks. Adizero is much cheaper you can get like two pairs for the price of one pair of superflys and adizero is muuuuch lighter.

April 4, 2011 8:55 AM

predators7 said:

To all die hard vapor fans:


Face it that adidas has the best speed boot and you are now turning to other things, like comfort. I had most of the vapors since vapors 2 and they are the most uncomfortable boots ever, but at least they used to be light. Now I have adidas adizero leather, no blisters and light. Also If the studs fall off I don't really mind because adidas is going to give me a new pair.

Oh, and comparing sf2 to sf3 all you can see is that Nike is getting too lazy, only decent boot at the moment is ctrs.

April 4, 2011 8:59 AM


c'mon soccer bible..!!!!!!why do u make all this fuss around a boot that has seldomly changed??????its not only me saying this.....even my nike lover friend admits that the SF3 is another fail for nike .... and really why are all the posts run around nike????

right now at the moment to be real with ya adidas is the ferrari of the industry and nike is just being an......

u know better!!! so plzzzzzzzzz get off the tail!!!

April 4, 2011 9:29 AM

9ranty said:

I waited for the Superfly III release to see if they'd be worth buying...I went a bought a pair of cactus Superfly IIs instead haha

April 4, 2011 9:31 AM

Ratchet said:

Predators7: The Vapor is a more comfortable boot because it is wider and made of a softer material. The Adizero F50 is uncomfortable because it is narrow and provides no cushioning. I understand they work well for some people, but with wide feet and a more muscular build, the F50's are painful and are clearly designed for short, scrawny people.

April 4, 2011 9:58 AM

Getsuga04 said:

since it was just a revision, nike should have named the boot SF2.5 instead...

April 4, 2011 10:51 AM

unomaas said:

Most expensive "update" ever... Would you pay 400 dollars for an IOS update?  NO..................

April 4, 2011 12:28 PM

Liverpool maniac said:

The studs are further from the heel of the boot on the 3's. Overall an extremely disappointing release from Nike. They make up for it with their CTR's though

April 4, 2011 12:30 PM

Heejun2232 said:

Think of it more as a software update for your iPhone!   Ha! That's Funny That they say that.

April 4, 2011 1:55 PM

10unknown96 said:

the SFIIIs are a whole gram heavier than the IIs

April 4, 2011 2:14 PM

mercurial16 said:

You guy's have too realise that it's not all about lightness. I love the Adizero's but when I want shoot at goal i prefer the Superfly's, when I want more protection on my feet i prefer the Superfly's. The Superfly Boots are overall much better than the Adizero's the only thing that the Adizero's have is that they are lighter. I will Alway's prefer Nike over Adidas.

April 4, 2011 3:52 PM

eoaif said:

yes it´s not a new boot. But the adizero is only light, nothing else. I had the primes but they were so uncomfortable that I couldn´t stand it! Now I´ve got the SFII, bought them for only 134,99! so more worth it than new expensive and uncomfortable f50s

April 4, 2011 5:39 PM

10unknown96 said:

for me the sense stud sole-plate is amazing.

love it!

April 4, 2011 7:29 PM

Calum1811 said:

adizero FTW

April 4, 2011 10:51 PM

bubbles said:

wow Ratchet just chill hun, take a breather! I hope you've worn the F50 and the Superfly to be able to conclude so confidently that MV is better than F50 and tell people that their opinions are wrong, who do you think you are girlfriend!

April 4, 2011 11:54 PM

Ratchet said:

@Bubbles Well done :) Good to know that your education system has not gone to waste. My point is not that the Mercurial is better. In fact, I think they both suck.

April 5, 2011 12:09 AM

s31mic said:

@bubbles  you've completely missed the point of this article. It seems you just skimmed through pictures and thought they were new boots which have different colours on each side.

Read again, they are comparing SF II to SF III.

April 5, 2011 1:15 AM

Red Devils 4 Life said:

ok probably still won't go for mercurial though

April 5, 2011 2:23 AM

dkwicks05 said:

End of the day, a lot of Nike wearers have moved over to the Adidas Adizero. Judging by the numbers, you would have thought that this would have concerned Nike enough to release a boot that would be more competitive to the Adizero. But they didnt, they release a boot that is by far the biggest hyped boot release let down ever. But the most concerning thing is about how much coverage this boot is getting. They should save the marketing money and put it into boot development, cause clearly after this boot, little has been done in that department.

April 5, 2011 8:43 AM

villa13 said:

i don't get it.. why are people being such bad haters...

look at the other types of nike and adidas boots...

the adipures, tiempos etc...

everytime they come up with a new one, its mostly just slight adjustments and colourchange..

WHY, if people who actually LIKE and WEAR the superfly's and NOT adizero's and haters,enjoy the boot, does it really matter if they only made some slight adjustments as long as the boots still feel great?

personally i reckon the boots are pretty awesome; and are perfect for me and the way i play, who cares if nike didn't make some revolutionary change. note also tha this is nike's 3rd generation of superfly's... and adizeros.. how many have they had?

April 5, 2011 11:34 AM

Ratchet said:

Technically Adizero's have had 3 versions as well, but they are all so virtually indistinguishable no one has made a fuss about them. Of course, Adidas hasn't wasted a buttload of money pretending the revised Adizero's are actually a new boot.

April 5, 2011 11:55 AM

cl0w said:

I think NIke are loosing now. How they're thinking that the colour makes the boot good. For a speed boot what is the Mecurial the lightness is everything. Adidas with adiZero are taking the speed boot now i think

April 5, 2011 6:28 PM

SellS-ScullY1 said:

The older Mercurials are better because they are lighter, and adiZero is becoming better. i prefer the mercurials but nike are losing their touch.

April 5, 2011 11:58 PM

Lucas Almeida said:

i waaaaaannt!!!

April 6, 2011 2:31 AM

Ratchet said:

Hmmm, saying the boot it better because it is lighter is silly. What benefit is a boot that is a few grams lighter? No measurable benefit whatsoever.

April 6, 2011 7:47 AM

cl0w said:

yeah, saying the boot is better because it is lighter  is silly. but  for SPEED boot it's right. for example if a power boot is very light, the power of the shot is loosing, to increase it companies develop different technologies, but what technology on the SHOE can make you faster?!?! so that because lightnes is ALMOST everything for speed football boots.

April 6, 2011 3:37 PM

Destined4Peace said:

I'm getting a pair. I can't resist any longer....

April 6, 2011 7:31 PM

Ratchet said:

Cl0w. You. Are. Silly. For one, always shoot further in Adizeros the T90 Lasers purely because there is no padding between my foot and the ball. A boot that weighs a few grams less WILL NOT makes you faster whatsoever. Speed boots are a gimmick in that regard.

April 6, 2011 9:59 PM

Juve96 said:

Its funny how these nike boots are lighter than both the sf2 and sf3 and they are almost three years old now.

April 7, 2011 10:02 AM

Ratchet said:

Oh my god. Again. It is funny that people think a shoe's weight determines how "good" it is. If Nike wanted to make a lighter boot, they would have.

April 7, 2011 3:09 PM

speedfoot1234 said:

i agree that the weight of a shoe means its better it is the same what u need is more grip to the ground

April 8, 2011 3:05 AM

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