Nike have launched their most innovative football boots set to change the design of football boots forever! They've kept us waiting, but the Nike Mercurial SL football boots are now available!
We've only had a brief glimpse of these, the most high-tec football boots ever, on Cristiano Ronaldo who premiered them during the 2008 Champions League Final in Moscow, and when Ronaldo scored Manchester United's only goal he got the football boots off to a good start.
Much speculation has surrounded the design, manufacture and materials of the Nike Mercurial SL football boots...until now! SoccerBible has the definitive history and creation of the Mercurial SL football boots, from their beginning on a designers pad to the finished football boots, the lightest Nike boots in history!
The designer of the Mercurial SL football boots Peter Hudson dreamt of creating the lightest and fastest football boot ever, to do this Nike decided there would be no limits! Together Nike and Hudson took money, time and manufacturing considerations out of the equation, enabling scientific boundaries to be broken and to create a boot made almost entirely out of carbon fibre, something never done before!
The Nike Mercurial SL football boots were never intended to be sold, much like a concept car they had been designed to lead innovation, drive new ideas and push design and engineering ideas. However, once Nike realised what they had in their hands, they realised they had to bring their innovation and ideas to the players. The Mercurial SL is Nike's most lightweight (190grams), most responsiveness, most flexible and strong boot to date delivering everything a player needs without compromising performance.
The 3-year long development of the Nike Mercurial SL covered four continents and involved the best craftsmen and expert partners in football boots development and engineering. All chosen for their expertise in the field because using carbon-fibre was at the core of the development process. But carbon-fibre has it's challenges and is lightweight, strong and popular across many industries from aerospace to automobiles.
The plate of the Nike Mercurial SL football boots was created in Germany as a seven layer carbon composite material interwoven with TPU and polyurethane to maximize the material. The construction gives the player torsion stability to offer greater propulsion across the field, enhanced by the players feet being closer to the ground. A reinforcing rib adds support to the foot, increasing impact resistance and preventing reverse bending during a hard toe kick. The carbon-fibre is woven together at angles to provide the most flexible, lightweight, foot-fitting support without sacrificing strength.
Developed in Korea the cleats and stud tips were injection moulded on to the plate of the Nike Mercurial SL football boots to create a single outsole piece. The traction of the cleat combined with a minimised heel bucket are perfectly designed for a fast athlete, allowing for quick acceleration across the field with and without the ball.
At Nike’s Research Centre in Montebelluna, Italy, a new and innovative process was created to enable carbon-fibre, a typically unforgiving material, to become a soft performance upper. The interwoven carbon-fibre upper was viewed as the aesthetics the football boots needed, form follows function and so being able to see the creation and materials of the Mercurial SL was vital. The only added element was the pink Swoosh, the inclusion of which designer Peter Hudson feels:
"Invites you to take a closer look so you’ll see the detail and the beauty of the shoe." Hudson further states that. "With the Mercurial SL, we’ve truly delivered on a promise – as a lightweight, high performance boot for acceleration, the Mercurial SL sets a new standard not only for football performance, but as a conceptual product without limits – a product based entirely on a vision. We created a new design and aesthetic vernacular for football.”
Watch 100 metre champion Asafa Powell test the speed of the Nike Mercurial SL football boots on the SoccerBible.