Creative Soccer Culture

Closer Look At The Nike Phantom Luna

Following the reveal of the female-led Nike Phantom Luna earlier this month, the boot is finally available for retail, and here we take a closer look at the revolutionary new boot, diving deep into the tech under the hood, with insight from Sr Product Director Global Football Footwear at Nike, Collin Eder.

Ahead of the Women’s World Cup this summer, Nike’s new Phantom Luna boot arrives on the scene as the most innovative and researched women’s-led boot in company history. Backed by Nike’s most meaningful investment in women yet, with her at the centre of the process every step of the way, it boasts more than two years for research, trialing, designing, and styling. But that doesn’t mean that this is a women’s boot per se; rather it has been built with a women’s perspective in mind, but it will be available in men’s sizes as well, and as the saying goes, if the shoe fits…

"I think the majority of football boots throughout the history of the of the game have been focussed on men. So, for the first time we wanted to really obsess 'Her' in the lab," explained Collin Eder, Senior Product Director Global Football Footwear at Nike.

"The Phantom Luna is about three years in the making, and three big things came from those insights, but they’re relevant for all footballers. The first is around traction, making the player feel confident, making the player feel safe. But also making sure that they are just as quick as they need to be.

"The second one is around fit, so the uniqueness that she is talking to us about the things that she wants from fit in a football boot.

"And then the third is around touch, and actually how much her game is a lot more focused around team play rather than individual moments which occur within the men's game."

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So, getting down to the finer details, the main point of note with the Phantom Luna is the all-new Cyclone 360 soleplate. The breakthrough circular stud pattern is positioned near the toes, and it allows players to move with agility, precision, and confidence on the pitch.

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"Of those three things, the first thing from a traction perspective, that brings us Cyclone. Obsessing on how she moves, an unfortunate part of the game is that she is much more likely to have a significant knee injury. And a lot of things can go into a knee injury, but if we can just make one small adjustment to a boot that can help, we're doing our job.

"So, the cyclone allows for the maintaining of agility and straightaway speed, but the cleat pattern allows you to release. You're going to have much less chance of getting stuck in the ground. The cleat’s going to allow you to dig in and feel confident, but you’re also going to be able to release. So, [it's the perfect example of] led by her great insight, but super-applicable for men as well."

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Phantom Luna’s fit is also tuned to the female footballer. It features a new upper design, Nike Asym Fit, meaning the boot has a more snug fit around the ankle, based on feedback from female footballers. Subtle ribs in the cuff also allow for ball contact higher up the ankle in trapping and passing.

"On fit, we talked a lot about collar fit with her and around adaptability for fitting different foot shapes and sizes. The ankle bone is not linear on either side, they’re offset, and on females they are actually a little bit lower than they are on men, so we wanted to create for the first time this anatomical design but shaped to the actual way that the ankle bone sits on the body.

"What this allows too, with the way that this material is created is that this compresses to the ankle in a better way. And as the ankle moves and the foot moves it’s going to move more naturally with the boot to the shape of the ankle."

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That Asym Fit is combined with asymmetric lacing, which offers a larger touch surface when dribbling, passing and scoring. The repositioned lacing pattern allows for increased midfoot adjustability to accommodate players with flatter or higher arches.

"From a fit perspective on the midfoot, we hear a lot of times about discomfort around bagginess in the arch. Some individuals have a more narrow arch, so we've offset the laces ever so slightly to allow for that adjustability, specifically in the arch so you don't get that bagginess and you can get that tight fit if you want that tight fit."

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Nike has then applied its latest football innovation, Nike Gripknit, as seen on the Phantom GX, to the Phantom Luna upper, for optimal boot-to-ball connection. The coating gives a “tacky” feeling and is integrated into the material, so the boot stays soft and pliable. It covers the first two laces, taking up more surface area providing more room to control the ball. It moulds to the shape of the foot and gives equal grip in wet or dry conditions.

"From an upper perspective, we talked about Gripknit. About six months ago we launched that and here we're allowed to bring in a ribbed texture mixed in with the Gripknit, so you still get that softness and that suppleness, but you get a little bit of added benefit adding texture. And this is the first time we're doing an all-over Gripknit – GX is a bit of a split."

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The Nike Phantom Luna is a testament to Nike's commitment to pushing the boundaries of performance and innovation. The design provides footballers with an unmatched combination of agility, comfort, and control on the pitch, and is sure to be a star performer in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

"Phantom for us is all about precision, and Gripknit with the Phantom GX really was that innovation for precision, for boot to ball. That was all around receiving, passing, ball striking… it was that unlock – we believe that revolutionary innovation – that was all about boot to ball  precision on the upper.

"For Phantom Luna, we believe that the Cyclone is really that revolution innovation that unlocks precision for movement. The GX has great tooling and a great outsole, but it's using a lot of the best practises that we used in the past. This is an unlock with regards to keeping the player quick, but also allowing for that release and giving them confidence within their movement. So really, now that you've got Gripknit and you've got the Cyclone, we've got this sharp point around precision around the whole of the boot."

Shop the Nike Phantom Luna at

Daniel Jones

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