Creative Soccer Culture

Nike Launch '98 Inspired Mercurial IX Colourway

Another celebration of "El Fenómeno's" '98 Mercurial Boots

Nike continue to round off 2013 with a late charge of releases by launching a brand new Nike Mercurial Vapor IX colourway as a tribute to the famous 1998 boot worn by Ronaldo. Fifteen years since he laced up in the first Mercurial, R9 is still influencing his iconic range and this Vapor is more than just a colour update, it comes with a story.

This isn't the first time that Nike have acknowledged Ronaldo's contribution to the Mercurial line, earlier this year the 15 year celebrations began with 1,998 limited edition Nike Mercurial Vapor XV boots and an even more limited release of just 15 pairs of Chrome versions. The limited editions barely made their way on to pitch but the latest Mercurial IX colour-up will be worn by Nike's contracted Mercurial players from this weekend and throughout the holiday season.

Hang on, this boot looks nothing like the 1998 Mercurial? Fair point. Visually, it's a completely different colour combo, the neo lime/crimson design hardly reflects the blue, yellow and silver on the 98 Mercurial but it's the smaller details where some resemblance emerges such as the '98M' on the heel which pays homage to the original.

Other than the obvious link on the heel to the Mercurial 98 you have to search a bit harder to find others. Inside the boot there's a small fact box on the sock liner explaining the story further; the moment the inspiration for the boot comes from - Brazil's Ronaldo wearing the first ever speed boot and Nike also share a secret fact that the Mercurial was almost named the Ultravelox. 

Another subtle resemblance to the 1998 Mercurial is again tricky to spot, but if you look closely at the 'Nike' text on the instep of the boot you'll see three swerving lines that mirror the pattern found on the original boot. At first glance you wouldn't know this boot was in honour of the Mercurial 98 but the story is very much hidden in the details.

Nike have designed the latest Mercurial colourway with a silver tongue, a trend we've seen them adopt since the launch of the Tiempo Legend V. The body of the boot fades from blue to lime as the paint job makes its way towards the toebox and the bold 'Nike' on the instep and Swoosh are finished in bright crimson.

Like what you see? Drop us a line in the comments. Join the conversation online, on Twitter and on Facebook.


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.