For a boot such as the Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII, no short-cuts are taken in ensuring that the final design meets every requirement of Nike's top level athletes. Following years of design development, early prototypes travel the world making their way onto the feet of some of Nike's most recognised names.
Player testing is a vital stage in the pre-launch cycle of any elite level football boot. For the Nike Vapor VIII, player interaction and feedback has helped shape the final design like never before. Nike athletes from Ronaldo to Neymar have actively contributed with feedback and suggestions, resulting in the most advanced and considered Mercurial yet.
For months we've brought you exclusive images of Nike players testing blacked-out Mercurial Vapor VIII boots in training. Familiar faces including Theo Walcott, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mesut Ozil were all given advanced access to some of the first Vapor VIII models in existence, before giving their feedback to the Nike Football team.
Speaking on Nike's prototype test boots, Chris explained; ''These are the black-out boots that you see sometimes on SoccerBible. That gives us hundreds of hours worth of feedback. The feedback has been amazing. The players have really picked up on the refinements and improvements that we've made on this shoe.''
''The specific aspects that players like Ronaldo, Walcott and Drogba have picked up on during the testing are the way the upper forms to the feet, the softness of the upper and the softness around the heel and the comfort that provides. Also the weight. This is a much lighter Vapor than we've produced previously. This is 185g, so the players have immediately picked up on that.''
Check out our full feature on the Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII here. Join the conversation and share your thoughts on one of the year's biggest boots releases online, on Twitter and on Facebook.