We flew out to Lisbon to take part in a Nike Mercurial Superfly Speed Trial at Portugal's Estádio Nacional training ground. After taking the boots for a spin we sat down with Nike Football Footwear Product Director, Shawn Hoy who talked us through the story of the Superfly IV.

SB: Can you tell us about your role in the development of the Mercurial Superfly IV?

SH: My real responsibility is to go out and find the insight which will lead to the brief, which will ultimately lead to the design. My team and I look at changes in the game first of all then we talk to players and make sure we fully understand how those changes in the game are effecting them. We combine those insights with insights from consumers and retailers to make sure what we've done is right for the athlete and right for the game. My role goes all the way back to when this project started and making sure that we're really responding to changes in the game and creating a boot that would enable the game to continue to move forward.

SB: How did you come across using Flyknit and what are the advantages of it?

SH: The insight was around the idea of locked down fit, above anything else that was what we were really looking to deliver. What we heard very clearly from players was one of the enemies of speed is when your foot moves around in the boot, what we likened it to outside of football was a race car - when you're in a five point harness and you're not moving around in your seat you have the ability to drive fast and drive efficiently.

Flyknit is really interesting because it does a couple of things. It provides lightweight strength and it allowed us to be very zonal in how we were designing the boot. We focused heavily on the midfoot area, we wanted the experience of putting the Superfly on to feel like as if it's really hugging your foot, very much like a sock. Flyknit became the right tool for everything we wanted to do with the boot.

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SB: Can you talk us through the changes on the sole-plate?

SH: The boot is brand new across the board from a fit perspective. Two of the biggest changes on the traction pattern are four studs in the heel for stability and that was an insight that came straight from Cristiano Ronaldo. Even when we had two studs in the heel Cristiano told us he feels more stable and faster with four studs in the heel.

On the fore foot what we wanted to amplify traction because we know that the last bit of contact between your foot and the ground is right up on the toes and we don't want to allow for any slippage. We've brought back carbon fibre, which is lightweight and responsive and now we're able to go to two layers of carbon instead of three to lighten the boot and get it closer to the ground.

SB: Why now for the return of the Superfly?

SH: We just felt like it was the right time and as the boot started to come together we realised that we were onto something truly revolutionary. The name Superfly has always been synonymous with new revolutionary technologies in football and sets a very high bar to be worthy of the name, and we feel that this boot has more than exceeded that bar.

SB: What was the initial feedback like from players?

SH: The first time we ever pulled the boots out in front of players the reaction was a little bit quizzical because they'd never seen anything like it before and then what quickly happens is that they engage with it a little bit, but when things get interesting is when they put it on. For all the athletes it was like "ok I've never seen this before" and then they put it on and tell you've "I've never experienced anything like this before." It's the biggest reaction we've ever had to a boot by a distance.

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SB: What are the differences between the Superfly and Magista?

SH: Good question, (cheers Shawn). Straight away what people look at on the Superfly and Magista is the Dynamic Fit Collar and they assume that the two boots are very similar. But when you think about fit, touch and traction, they're quite different. From a fit point of view the Mercurial is on that very narrow last as it's sculpted for speed where as the Magista's on a little bit more of an accommodating last so the fit is slightly different.

From a touch point the Mercurial has very edited micro texture whereas the Magista has an amplified texture for ball control. Traction wise we know the Mercurial players wants that bladed sole-plate to cut into the ground and out very quickly for linear speed, whereas the Magista players movement on the pitch is more about rotation, hence the conical studs.

SB: The colourway, it's a bright one, what's the deal?

SH: We wanted something that was going to be insanely visible on pitch. We needed to do something that we've never done before and what Flyknit allows us to do is knit in several different colours to create a colour that's never been created before - Hyperpunch. The gold in the Swoosh is to draw attention whilst celebrating the colour of victory, which is gold.

SB: How excited are you and your team to see the Superfly on pitch at the World Cup?

SH: It's funny, it's exciting and it's fairly emotional to see it because it's been such a labour of love but this boot was always designed to be on the pitch at the World Cup in Brazil. It's just something that we're incredibly excited about and incredibly proud of.

What do you think of the Nike Mercurial Superfly IV? Let us know in the comments.