How do you take a boot deemed by many as perfection to the next level? If you’re Nike, you visit each individual element, tweaking and improving as you go to create a model that boasts all the qualities of its predecessor, but that still feels new: this is the Superfly VII “New Lights”, one of two launch colourways for the next generation of Mercurial.

When creating the next generation Mercurial, Nike looked to build off the huge success of the Superfly VI and Vapor XIII, taking the progressive view of using them as a spring board towards achieving next-level perfection. That meant improving where it could, namely with the fit, adding more responsiveness and making it more lightweight and breathable. This is the 21st year of the Mercurial, and it looks every bit the part.


The 2018 Mercurial 360 was one of the most beloved Nike boots of all time. Of the hundreds of professional players wearing the boot, only five in the world have opted to have their Mercurials modified in any capacity. When asked to rate the boot on a scale of 1 to 10, professional players overwhelmingly rank it as a 10. The lowest score? One lonely 8.

For a design team that starts every project by listening to the voice of the athlete, that 8 serves as a challenge. The 2019 Mercurial breaks the previous two-year cycle of innovation upgrades, working to make the boot better on a faster timeline than ever before.

So what are we looking at here? Let's start with an upgraded upper. The structure of the knit upper of the 2019 Mercurial is more open than that of the 2018 version. This lessens any stiffness of the material, making it softer and more comfortable. High tenacity yarns, which are much lighter and stronger than previous Merc yarns, are then integrated into the structure for lockdown from heel to forefoot. These high tenacity yarns keep the boot from stretching out and make the 2019 Mercurial upper Nike Football’s strongest Flyknit offering to date. The upper construction also marks the first time Flywire and Flyknit have been melded into one.

Along with the improved Flyknit, there’s also the thinnest NIKESKIN layer ever, and that’s still accompanied by an ACC coating. The dynamic fit collar has also been tweaked, with a new shape that slopes from back to front to improve fit.


Along with the texture of the updated Flyknit upper, the radical new branding is also instantly noticeable, and it’s seen across both the “New Lights” edition here and “Under the Radar” release. It sees bold “Merc” and “Just Do It” callouts wrapping across the heel and under the foot, accompanied by “Nike Football” in a spectrum of languages across the plate, and the “Engineered For Speed” phrase that’s been tied to the Mercurial. The Swoosh has had a bit of a redo as well, modernising its look with a broken outline that sees it dip under the boot.

The soleplate takes inspiration from speed cycling shoes that clip into pedals, the new Nike Aerotrak plate serving as the power transfer area. In conjunction with the revamped internal chassis, Nike's Aerotrak plate delivers more snap than its predecessor. It is intentionally minimalist, leaving only what is truly needed — and shaving weight off the boot in the process. The 2019 Mercurial 360 comes in under 200 grams. Rapid.

This is the first drop of the Nike "New Lights" Pack so keep an eye out for the rest of the collection – Tiempo, PhantomVSN & PhantomVNM – dropping later this summer. And yeah, it'll be on the feet of all leading Nike pros including Neymar, Mbappe & CR7.


Pick up the Nike Mercurial Superfly VII "New Lights" from from July 7.