Gone are the days when football was just a game. Sport is now a global multi-billion dollar industry and the pressure is on for clothing manufacturers to provide athletes with the edge on the field. Driving that home, Nike yesterday unveiled its new Hypervenom boots, a boot that Nike says will allow players to “create space quickly in and around the penalty area”.
The launch was held in Rio de Janeiro with Nike’s new golden boy, Brazilian striker Neymar in attendance. Neymar was apparently rather blunt with Nike about what he wanted during the development process of the Hypervenom boots: “Help me make space more often and more quickly. I want a boot that helps enhance my agility and gives me the space to get my shot off before I’m closed down.”
The result of all of the work is a new boot that combines a redesigned outsole, insole and upper, with Nike happy to make wholesale changes to last year’s boots. The outsole now has separation between the first toe and the rest of the foot, which Nike says will allow for more natural movement from a standing start. A newly-designed insole has had many excess materials removed, allowing players to get even closer to the ground. The really interesting work on the boot is the new upper layer that Nike has dubbed NIKESKIN. It consists of a soft mesh surrounded by polyurethane film which is said to provide the same level ball control in both wet and dry conditions.
Whether or not us mere mortals will get any benefit from the massive amounts of R&D is yet to be seen, but there is no doubt that these boots will sell.