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Following on from the digital domination of the Game Over Pack, Nike today show their respect for one of the icons of the game with the release of the Mercurial Superfly VI Elite LVL UP, featuring classic colourways from the silo’s history. Oh. My. Word. What a boot. Let’s get into it.
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Over the past 20 years the Mercurial has accelerated away from the competition, continually improving at a rate few, if any, boots have been able to match. Put like that, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect partner for the silo than Cristiano Ronaldo, whose dedication to self-improvement has reached almost legendary status.

Since 2003, Ronaldo’s development as a player has progressed pretty much in parallel with that of the Mercurial as a boot. He’s levelled up multiple times during his career, and now Nike are using his story as inspiration for the next generation of superstar footballers, chief among them the prodigy that is Kylian Mbappe and Aussie sharpshooter Sam Kerr.

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Before we run down some of the colourways that feature on the design, let’s be clear: this isn’t a CR7 boot. There are no logos, no signatures, no CR7 branding of any kind. It’s a boot for everyone who wants to improve their game, including other pros – that’s the whole point. Mbappe, for example, will have grown up watching Ronaldo in a variety of the Mercurial’s most fondly remembered colourways, and we know for a fact that he’s looking forward to wearing this boot and appreciates its heritage.

The base colours for the design are white and “Pure Platinum”, separated in parts of the upper and then mixed together on the lower half of the boot to create a grainy effect similar to the famous CR7 Safari of 2010. It’s a beautifully clean execution, providing the perfect platform for black accents and the bands of colour that travel across the toebox, along the length of the outsole, up the back of the heel, and the tip of the tongue. The coloured graphic is also used all over the insole and on the lace aglets.

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All in all there are over 25 past Mercurial colourways featured on the boot – way more than there were on the 2016 What The Merc? edition – with the immediately obvious ones being the black and white spots of the aforementioned CR7 Safari, the gold/white and silver/red dotted gradients of the 324k and Quinhentos Superfly IVs from 2016, and the fiery flames of the volcanic Chapter 1: Savage Beauty of 2015. Also easily spotted are the orange and grey of the Chapter 4: Forged for Greatness from 2017, the starry blue of 2014’s Galaxy Vapor IX, and the bright pink of the 2012 Vapor VIII CR. Keep your eyes peeled for some of those classic colourways popping up on our social channels and here on Extra Time.
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The other design element worth mentioning is the lateral-side Swoosh, which is executed in Cristiano’s preferred larger style, wrapping around the midfoot and toebox, rather than the smaller version seen on most inline boots. Further, given its black colour and the spotty Safari texturing that it sits upon, the Swoosh becomes a direct reference to the Black/Dark Shadow follow-up to the Safari that released in 2011.

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Nike have absolutely smashed it here (the boot bag included with the Elite is a cracker too). We can see the LVL UP Merc being one of the most popular Mercurial designs of recent years, and with the full selection of Pro, Academy, and Club price points available in addition to the Elite, it’s within reach of every level of player. Surface-wise, as is normal for a summer release, you’re looking at a choice of FG or AG-Pro, with court and turf shoes an option for small-sided specialists. And yes, kids’ sizes are available. No excuse, really.

The Nike LVL UP Mercurial Superfly VI Elite and Pro football boots are available to buy now at prodirectsoccer.com, with the full collection to follow on 4.4.19.

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