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And we continue. Following on from last month’s collection that pitted the speed of the Mercurial against the precision of the Phantom, Hypervenom, and Tiempo, Nike’s Always Forward Pack returns today with a fresh drop of brand new colourways.

This time round though, it’s a straight up one-v-one, as the Mercurial and Phantom VSN go head-to-head. Now it’s the Mercurial’s turn to be decked out in that stunning Racer Blue/Metallic Silver that we saw on the Phantom in the first wave of this pack, complete with an eye-catching block silver Swoosh and a very premium-looking execution of the Mercurial’s new “M” logo on the heel. On the FG boot, a silver split-claw soleplate adds extra bling.

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Inside, the previous release’s Volt has been retained, extending all the way up the Dynamic Fit collar on the Superfly for a nice contrast effect. The Vapor, incidentally, has again been given a name upgrade for this pack: it’s officially known as the Mercurial Vapor Frenzy, another take on the pace-centric side of the Always Forward concept.

As the sole representative for precision, the Phantom VSN – or the Phantom VSN Shadow, to use its upgraded name – has work to do to match what is a stunning Mercurial colourway, especially when you consider it’s going to be up against the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Eden Hazard. Fortunately, the accuracy-based boot has been given an equally stylish new paintjob.

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It’s a chiefly black design, with Racer Blue accents on the midfoot panel, collar, and the border of a silver Swoosh. The blue and black also come together in the Phantom VSN’s Ghost Lace system for a subtle, textured look that rounds off the design. Kevin De Bruyne and Philippe Coutinho will be showing it off on-pitch.

For us, it was a victory for the precision of the Phantom in the first wave of the Always Forward Pack – that silver side panel was just too good. But which boot do you think comes out on top of the new colourways: Mercurial or Phantom?

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Pick your favourite from the Nike Mercurial Superfly VI, Mercurial Vapor Frenzy XII, and Phantom VSN Shadow football boots, part of the Always Forward Pack, available now at prodirectsoccer.com

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