Creative Soccer Culture

Looking Back At The Nike Mercurial Dream Speed Series So Far

The Nike Mercurial Dream Speed series was launched back in the latter half of 2019, arriving as a disruptive special edition for Nike’s elite players, fronted by Cristiano Ronaldo. Now, three years and four further releases later, we take a look back at the series so far…

The Nike Mercurial Dream Speed series was announced as an exploration of speed, interpreted through a series of unique designs that would be unveiled one at a time over several seasons. Inspired by the journeys of the game’s fastest players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, and Sam Kerr, and with a heavy influence from the Portuguese in particular, the series has progressed through five iterations. Now, as we eagerly await a sixth instalment, we take a look back at the journey so far.



Inspired by the fastest players in the game and taking design cues from blueprints, the first Nike Mercurial Dream Speed edition outlined technical details found in a Mercurial schematic such as perforation patterns, registration marks, crop lines, colour codes, a scale ruler, and other graphic elements that show how the boot was built. It was a bold opening to the series, featuring iridescent flashes throughout, most notably on the big and bold 'MDS 001' graphic that wrapped round the heel.



The second iteration of the Mercurial Dream Speed delivered a juicy slice of summery vibes as it took to the pitch in a citrus-infused colourway, the transition of colours representing the various frequencies of light. It featured the speed of light (299,792,458 meters per second) embedded within the outline of the Swoosh, while the gradient dotted design on the upper took inspiration from the iconic Mercurial Vapor III.

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Inspired by the pure speed of the game, Nike launched the third drop from their Mercurial 'Dream Speed' series, with a design packed with graphic elements that characterised quickness. The busy design featured, among other things, a predominantly forward facing chevron band that pointed the way, a wavy net pattern that represented the rippling effect made when a goal is scored, a dotted pattern on the grid of the inner heel to denote formations used by winning teams across the years, as well as the famous safari print. Phew!

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Featuring a design that’s inspired by space shuttle reentry capsules descending at hypersonic speeds, the Mercurial Dream Speed 004 landed in March 2021. Typical low earth orbit re-entry speeds are near 17,500 mph, and that speed creates incredible energy caused by friction, resulting in a heat of 1500 degrees Celsius with well-known visible effects. And that’s where the look for the Dream Speed 004 came from, bursting with colour in a nice contrast to the MDS003. There's also a nice checkered flag added on the forefoot and heel, just so you know it's fast, in case you missed it.

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Dropping almost a year ago to the day, MDS005 was created to the exact specifications of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the design inspiration came from his most powerful tool— the mind. According to Ronaldo – and who are we to argue – a calm mental state means strong decision making, so the boot plays with that in the "Barely Green/Volt/Electro Purple" colourway, slowly transitioning from a tranquil green into commanding hues of turquoise and purple, demonstrating the power generated by a restful aura. Not quite seeing the link to speed as clearly as with the other entries, but we'll assume it's there and leave it at that.

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Daniel Jones

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