Creative Soccer Culture

Nike Drop 'Retro' Air Zoom Mercurial Vapor XV SE

Arriving out of nowhere with a blast from the past, Nike have dropped a special edition colourway for the Air Zoom Mercurial. Referred to as the Mercurial ‘Retro’, it sees a throwback look to the iconic Air Zoom Mercurial VT from 2001.

The current on-pitch Air Zoom Mercurial – the one that’s on feet at the World Cup as part of Nike’s ‘Generation Pack’ – is a throwback to the look that was made famous on the feet of Ronaldo back in 2002. But as well as that predominantly metallic copper look for the Match Mercurial, there was also a number of other colourways released, and one of those was an inverted look of R9’s signature boot that landed on the Air Zoom Mercurial VT in 2001. Now, with a welcome dose of nostalgia, Nike serve up a special edition Air Zoom Mercurial Vapour XV that pays homage to that look from 20 years ago.

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The Air Zoom Mercurial VT landed as part of Nike’s ‘Alpha Project’, which had a simple objective on paper: to identify and solve product performance problems for (and with) the athlete. It stood out with the signature five dot sign-off on products, with each dot representing a letter from the word Alpha. This was a special boot in the continuing evolution of the Mercurial line, and its look is welcomed back on the ‘Retro’ Air Zoom Mercurial Vapor XV, which arrives complete with those signature ‘Alpha Project’ five dots, appearing on both the heel and internally, on the sockliner.

The Nike Air Zoom Mercurial VT featured a full synthetic upper with a TPU outsole and Nike's first ever mixed soleplate (metal and rubber, screw-in and fixed) which they called VT for Variable Turf. The studs were also unique in their triangular shape and had a specific stud tool to remove them. And of course, it rode in on a full-length Zoom Air unit.

The same “Zoom Air” wording appears on the Air Zoom Mercurial Vapor XV toebox in the same position as it did on the OG, as does the smaller Swoosh on the heel. On the flip side, clear panels show the Zoom Air units, while an iridescent shimmer on the heel lends a smart finish.

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Pick up the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Vapor XV SE at

Daniel Jones

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