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The modern game is all about attack. Whether you’re a ball-playing centre back in the John Stones mould, a midfield maestro like Kevin De Bruyne, or a silky skill merchant like Neymar or Kylian Mbappe, the message is the same: go forward. Pass forward. Run forward. Always forward.

On that note, today Nike reveal the “Always Forward” pack, a new colourway that spans their entire range of boots across all four silos: Mercurial, Phantom, Hypervenom, and Tiempo. We say colourway, in reality it’s colourways, plural – two vastly different ones, to be accurate. 


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.

Watch Now: Unboxing the Nike Always Forward Collection

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?

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

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