Boot testing season powers on as Neymar gets to grips with his footwear for the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer. Blackout vibes have littered training grounds in recent months and now Neymar has provided a first look at the next-gen Mercurial Vapor.

Nike's leading Mercurial Superfly player, Cristiano Ronaldo, has already been spotted testing the next-generation Superfly VI in a blackout design, and now the Swoosh's headline Mercurial Vapor star has followed suit in a blacked-out edition of what is expected to be the twelfth model of the famed series.


Nike like to launch their summer showpiece around March/April, and with the current Mercurial launching in March 2016 in New York, we're on course for a Spring 2018 release in the climax of the European season before all attentions turn to Russia. Nike are still in the early phases of player testing with Cristiano Ronaldo and Leroy Sané currently the only other two players spotted in the boots (both in the hi-collared Superfly), but you can be sure Nike have been working on these for at least two years already.

The Mercurial Vapor made its World Cup debut back in 2002 as the first generation of the Vapor series and has gone on to feature prominently in four World Cups in total. The 2018 tournament in Russia set to be the fifth.


As for the design of the boots, the upper has taken on some noticeable changes, far more distinctive than previous generations. A smoother material replaces the “Speed Rib” 3D texture of the Vapor XI and travels vertically across the upper, almost reminiscent of the adidas X 16 if we dare say so. The silhouette also features a higher collar than the current lo-cut Vapor as Nike look to have carried the Flyknit Ultra technology across to the next generation Vapor.

With Neymar and Ronaldo dual-headliners for Nike entering the World Cup, and with both players already wearing signature lines, its safe to expect more signature stylings on the Superfly and Vapor respectively as the World Cup merges into the 2018/19 season.


Cristiano Ronaldo testing the unreleased Nike Mercurial Superfly VI earlier this month.

Stay tuned as we learn more about what's to come from the Nike Mercurial Vapor XII.