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Nike Mercurial Vapor


The origin of the Mercurial Vapors can be traced back to as early as 1998, when Ronaldo debuted the original Nike Air Mercurial boots. The boots were originally released in black, but a version in silver/blue/yellow was released for the 1998 FIFA World Cup and a blue/black version followed soon after. All boots were made in soft ground (SG) and firm ground (FG) varieties, with the SG version using non-removable studs. In 1999, the Mercurial 2 was released in two colourways: black/blue and black/red. These were identical in shape, size and fit to the originals, but they had a different insole and a smaller swoosh on the side of the boot. The Mercurials were Nike's first boots to be made using synthetic materials, and also their first venture into the market of lightweight boots designed for speed.[citation needed]

Mercurial Vapor

The original Vapors were released in mid-2002, just before the World Cup of that year. The first glimpse anyone outside of Nike got of the boots was in the Nike cage advert (starring Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry and Roberto Carlos), in which a close-up shot of the boots is taken near the end of the advert. The boot was first released in three colourways: cinder/white/maize; dark obsidian/white/university blue; and medium grey/chilli red. A chrome/lime variation (worn exclusively by Ronaldo in the semi-finals and final of the World Cup) was released to the public in limited numbers (just 4,600) in the period after the tournament. Other colours included white/ice/black; chrome/black; black/chilli red; dark charcoal/surf blue/white; shock orange/white. In addition to the NikeSkin Vapors, Nike released its first kangaroo leather version of the shoe in black/grey. The Vapors also continued with the R9 designation on boots that was featured originally in the previous Mercurial lines. Both chrome colourways featured the "R9" mark.

At the time of release, the Vapor was the lightest boot on the market with several key innovations. The upper was made of an extremely thin, lightweight synthetic known as Nike Skin. It was claimed to be thinner and stronger than any kangaroo leather. The Vapor also featured an external heel counter which was very uncommon at that time as well as a "glass" filled outsole called NikeFrame, inspired by track sprint spikes and designed to spring back into shape after push-off. According to the booklets inserted into the box with each pair, the shoe showed a 3% decrease in the time to cover a 20 metre sprint compared to other boots.

This section requires expansion.

Mercurial Vapor II

The Mercurial Vapor II was released in January 2004 in two colourways: team red and photo blue. The photo blue boots were debuted by Ronaldo a month earlier, in Real Madrid's clash with Barcelona at the Camp Nou, whilst Thierry Henry debuted the red pair in Arsenal's 5 1 win over Internazionale in Milan, with Henry scoring two goals. The revised version of the boot differed from the original Vapors in three respects: first, the material from which the boot was constructed was made marginally thicker; second, a cushioned area around the ankle with a slightly larger heel tab was added midway through the MVII run (generally known as v2.1); and finally, the pattern down the sides of the boot was modified to make the indentations more pronounced, along with a thin coloured stripe to complement the colour of the boot. The boot still maintained the same upper material, sole plate, and external heel counter. The boot was also released in many other colourways, which included cinder/maize; mist blue/navy; gunmetal, burnt orange/black; navy/silver; gold/black; white/red; chrome/photo blue; chili red/silver; and the final colourway, aluminium/gold, was released as an homage to the colours of Real Madrid, which were to be worn by Ronaldo. Once again, Nike also released a kangaroo leather version, this time in a White/Black colourway.

This section requires expansion.


The MVIII is the third generation in the Mercurial Vapor family and was released in 2006. It featured Teijin microfibres which easily conform to the foot and is very lightweight and durable. The boot itself weighed only 196g (6.9oz). It also has a carbon last to give support to the heel and more padding was added to the heel cup area. The original MVIIIs were released in a white/gold colourway, which was followed by sport red/white; silver/yellow; platinum/red; deep royal; dark charcoal/gold; ignite (a yellow/green combination); white/silver; and blue graphite/sonic yellow. A limited edition boot was released to commemorate Italy's fourth World Cup triumph in World Cup gold/Azzurri blue.

Towards the end of the 200607 season, further colourways were released, including obsidian/metallic platinum; metallic zinc/tart orange; cactus; silver/red; and argon blue.

On 13 September 2007, Nike released a limited edition 10th anniversary version of the Mercurial Vapor, featuring "all the modern technology from the current MVIII combined with the original Mercurial Upper design from 1998." These boots featured in an advert with the Brazilian star Ronaldo, where he reinacted many of his past goals, which he scored wearing the famous Mercurial Vapor boots.


In April 2007, some initial pictures of what were believed to be the new Mercurial Vapor boots were leaked onto the Internet. Not much could be ascertained from the pictures, but they did show that the MVIVs might have a cover over the laces in the same vein as the Adidas F50s. The Nike "swoosh" was also larger than on previous versions. Only two colourways were shown, those being orange peel/obsidian and anthracite/vivid blue. Later in the year, a limited edition version of the Mercurial SL was put up for sale online. Only 2,000 pairs were made available, costing 250 (400/$600) each. This version of the boot is made almost entirely out of carbon fibre and weighs a mere 190 grams (6.7 oz). The shoe is made in one colour: black, with two pink "swooshes" on each boot.[citation needed]

In December 2007, a promotional video was released by Nike, featuring the former world record holder for the 100m sprint, Asafa Powell. In the video, Powell dons the Mercurial SL boots, and sprints the length of a football pitch in 9.94 seconds, before instructing the Nike representatives to "Tell them they're fast." The Nike representatives are then seen taking the boots to a mansion in London, where Didier Drogba opens the door and is told "They're fast."

In January 2008, football boot specialists Pro Direct Soccer released information about the Mercurial Vapor SL boots. The retail version will cost 189.99 and, at this stage, will only be released in an orange peel/dark obsidian colourway. The soleplate is made of carbon fibre, while the upper is made of NikeSkin, a form of Teijin, bringing the weight of the boots to approximately 210g. The Mercurial Vapor SLs were released on 20 February 2008. At the same time, Pro Direct Soccer released information on the Mercurial Vapor IV boots. Aesthetically, they look the same as the Mercurial Vapor SLs, the only difference being that the soles are not made of carbon fibre but of a fibre composite, increasing the weight to about 230g. The Mercurial Vapor IVs were released on 1 February 2008, at a price of 119.99, and in two colourways: orange peel/dark obsidian and black/vivid blue.

One of the latest advertisements shows Cristiano Ronaldo appearing to outrun a Bugatti Veyron, allegedly the fastest car in the world, while wearing the orange peel versions of the Mercurial Vapor IV boots. The most recent advertisement for the boots show Aaron Lennon of Tottenham Hotspur and Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa go head-to-head on a 45 metre track where the speed was based on the fastest to the ball and the fastest with the ball.

A third colourway was revealed on the first weekend of March 2008. Cristiano Ronaldo wore them on 1 March 2008 in Manchester United's FA Cup exit against Portsmouth. This new colourway features a sport red outsole with a gold "swoosh". This new colourway was released on 7 April 2008.

The carbon fibre Mercurial SL boots were used in a professional match for the first time in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and Chelsea, when they were worn by Cristiano Ronaldo. Didier Drogba was also expected to wear them, but instead wore the black Mercurial Vapor IVs.

On 7 June 2008, a limited edition brown leather version of the Mercurial Vapors was released to coincide with the start of UEFA Euro 2008. Each boot will weigh approximately 275 g (9.7 oz). A green and white colourway, as worn by Cristiano Ronaldo, was also unveiled on 7 June, and was released on for release on 24 July 2008, as is a white and blue version.

The seventh colourway of the Mercurial Vapor IV was a marina/volt version, which was worn by Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovi.

On 24 November 2008, Nike released an eighth, limited edition pink colourway called Nike Mercurial Vapor Berry. Initial pictures of a pink colourway called Nike Vapor Rosa were leaked onto the Internet.[citation needed] These were then backed up with a video from Nike, which stated "You better be quick," and featured players such as James Milner, Theo Walcott, Marlon Harewood, and Cesc Fbregas. Nicklas Bendtner debuted the boots when Arsenal faced Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium on 22 November 2008.

In early January 2009, Nike released the final two colourways for the Vapor IVs: citron with charcoal and charcoal with max orange. The citron colourway has been especially popular with professional players, and was worn by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovi.

Mercurial Vapor V & Mercurial Vapor Superfly

The Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly & Vapor V were the fifth incarnation of the Nike Mercurial line and the first of the Superfly line. The Mercurial Vapor Superfly marked the first time a boot was made using Nike Flywire technology, while the Vapor V followed the use of a lace cover like it's immediate predecessor. The boot was launched by Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford in Manchester on the 26th February 2009. It was debuted during the 200809 UEFA Champions League knockout stage a match between Manchester United and Inter Milan by Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovi. The following weekend players across the world also debuted the boots (Notably Robinho, Theo Walcott, Alexandre Pato and Dani Alves). Both the Superfly and Vapor came in the original Max Orange/Abyss/Metallic Platinum colourway as well as six others: Black/Voltage Yellow/Max Orange, Orion Blue/Metallic Silver, Obsidian/Max Orange, Vibrant Yellow/Black/Midwest Gold Orange, White/Pink Flash/Black/Metallic Silver & Abyss/White which was not released in Superfly version.

Mercurial Vapor Superfly II & Mercurial Vapor VI

The second release of the Supefly series was released on 24 February 2010 at a Nike Football/Soccer event at the Battersea Power Station in London. Once again Cristiano Ronaldo launched the boot first appearing in a Violet Poppy/Obsidian/Orange colourway.

WMNS Mercurial Vapor

A Women's version of the Mercurial Vapor V has been planned for release. They were released in April 2009, and are available in one colourway: white/metallic silver/max orange.[citation needed]

Similar versions

Mercurial Talaria

Mercurial Veloci

Mercurial Steam

Mercurial Veloci and Mercurial Steam can be both available in Astrotuf.

Players who wear them

Main article: Nike sponsorships


^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor 10th Anniversary Ltd Etd FG Black/White Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 

^ Vapor IV's yess [sic] believe it Vapor 4's *beware*

^ Asafa Powell, Didier Drogba. (December 2007). Mercurial SL: Superlight, Superstrong, Supersonic. Nike, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 

^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor SL FG Orange Peel Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 

^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Soft Ground Orange Peel Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 

^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Soft Ground Black Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 

^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor SL FG Sport Red/Gold Football Boots". Pro Direct Soccer. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 

^ Mercurial SL Carbon - Premire in Champions League Final

^ "Nike Vapor IV Leather Euro Championship Edition". Pro Direct Soccer. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 

^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Pine Green". Pro Direct Soccer. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 

^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV White/Blue Spark". Pro Direct Soccer. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 

^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Citron". Retrieved 2009-04-26. 

^ "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV Charcoal". Retrieved 2009-04-26. 

External links

Who is the Fastest? - A Nike publicity website

v  d  e

Nike, Inc.

Corporate directors

John G. Connors  Jill Ker Conway  Timothy D. Cook  Ralph F. DeNunzio  Alan B. Graf  Douglas G. fouser  Jeanne P. Jackson  Phil Knight  Mark Parker  Orin C. Smith  John Thompson

Assets and products

Air Jordan  Air Melo Line  Cole Haan  Converse  Exeter Brands Group  Hurley  Nike Air Max  Nike Considered  Nike Free  Nike Golf  Nike Mercurial Vapor  Nike Shox  Nike SB  Swoosh  Team Starter  Nike Total 90  Umbro

Annual revenue: $16 billion USD (9.5% FY 2005)  Employees: 26,900  Stock symbol: NYSE: NKE  Website:

Categories: Association football equipment | Nike brandsHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from July 2008 | Articles to be expanded from January 2007 | All articles to be expanded | Articles with unsourced statements from October 2007 | Articles with unsourced statements from November 2008

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