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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. 

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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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