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Strap yourselves in, the Nike innovation machine has revved up its engines to drive a new chapter of cutting-edge speed into 2021. What we’re looking at here is the 8th generation of the Mercurial Superfly and the 14th generation Mercurial Vapor, both pulling up with the most dramatic re-design in recent years. 


Scroll on as we outline 7 of the key technology upgrades you need to know about on the new Nike Mercurial Superfly & Vapor ‘Dragonfly’ football boots or jump straight in to shop the new Nike Mercurial football boots now at Pro:Direct Soccer.

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Why’s it called Dragonfly?


The design of the new Mercurial draws on the natural geometry of a Dragonfly’s wing as a guide to driving maximum efficiency with minimal weight. The 360 degree rotation of the wings in the air and the Dragonfly’s ability to fly backward and forward are due to the materials of the wings and how together they work better than a single material ever could. That's the concept here.

New Engineered Vaporposite Upper


Evolving from the 2019 Mercurial 360, the new Mercurial introduces a Vaporposite upper that combines a grippy grid mesh with premium lining for ball control at high speeds. It’s made up of four layers: Duragon Wet Traction, Engineered Mesh, Titan Synthetic and Avail Q lining.


These four materials all work together to provide that perfect marriage of fit, feel, touch and control in all conditions. This is where the Dragonfly concept comes in – with these 4 materials working better than one single material could – and while four materials sounds a lot for an upper, just look at that semi-translucent upper.

Stripped to 7 key components


To deliver such a lightweight, efficient boot Nike stripped the design down to 7 key components, each made visible for an arresting aesthetic that relays the pure essentials of speed. Each component is numbered on the upper of the boot:


1. Avail Q Lining: Premium Microfiber that forms to your foot

2. Speed Band: Forefoot lockdown to maximize first step speed

3. Vamp Lining: Lightweight cushioning precisely where your need it

4. Toe Reinforcer: Anatomical shape for a barefoot feel

5. Speed Collar Package: Soft foam to minimize friction

6. Speed Wings: Medial speed icons

7. Flyknit: Adaptability for a close fit

New Aesthetic 


The bright launch colorway is made up of a digital psychedelic palette, inspired by a computer motherboard, which pays homage to iconic Mercurials over the past 23 years. Nike are rightly proud of the technology in this one and they're showing it all off by letting the tech take centre stage in the overall appearance of the boot.

New Soleplate


Underfoot the Nike Aerotrak plate brings responsiveness for quick cuts and acceleration. On the underside, the split soleplate is now no longer split, connected instead by a spine that runs the full length, which works in conjunction with a responsive internal BZM chassis.

What did the players say?


Led by athlete insight, the boot takes on four areas of focus: Fit: an upper that feels like a natural extension of the foot. Touch: natural touch, helping athletes to maintain control at high speeds.Traction: quick acceleration and breaking in all directions. Style: brighter, lighter and faster

Nike used their leading players extensively at every stage of the testing phase and the key feedback they received was that the new-generation Mercurial provides better ball handling as well as being softer and more comfortable than the previous generation Superfly 7 and Vapor 13.

Superfly or Vapor?

As per usual Nike have released the Mercurial in both Superfly and Vapor silhouettes and the decision is entirely yours. If you prefer a little bit more of harnessed pressure around the ankle then go with the Superfly, if you like that low-cut feel then it's all about the Vapor with its updated longer heel tab.