The Nike Mercurial Vapor VII is not much different at all from its predecessor, making only a couple of changes that may or may not make any difference at all. I would say that there have really only two real changes to the boot, and both of those changes come in the fit. Nike has finally, after years of complaining, removed the lace cover from the vapor line. You no longer get the useless piece of material over the top of your laces making the boot harder to put on and even harder to lace up. Now that it’s gone, the Vapor now has a slightly deeper lacing system, where you can actually tighten all of the laces. This makes for a much better fitting boot and you are able to truly get that tight fit all around your foot. The other small change that Nike has made to this Vapor is the lower toe box. What you may have noticed in the last series of Vapors when you first tried them on was how much room that you had in the toe box. It was really a loose fit compared to the rest of the boot, but luckily Nike have corrected this issue with a much smaller toe box, making for a much better fit. The Teijin synthetic microfiber is really soft for a synthetic and makes for a very comfortable shoe, with a very easy break-in period. This material is, in my opinion, the best synthetic on the market. You also get the same glass composite sole plate, that is stiff at first, but once broken in, feels really good, eliminating much of the stud pressure. The Vapor line, apart from Superfly, is becoming a more wide fitting boot, and these are no exception. This is not a wide boot, but a wider foot should have no problems fitting in this boot. I wore my usual size 9US for testing and would recommend that you order your normal size.
These shoes weigh in at 8oz, which has become the standard for the vapor line for the last ten years. I think that the reason that they feel so light is because they fit so tightly around foot, so the boot reacts just as quickly as you do. This is where the vapors still seem to beat out Adidas’ Adizero line, fit.
Nike have stuck with the exact same sole plate and stud pattern, which is certainly not a bad thing. The stud pattern consists of all blades that are brought together to form triangle like patterns on the bottom of the boot that make for very good multi-directional traction. Because the studs are a little bit shorter, they will not be ideal if the ground is on the soft side, but they will still do the job. The one thing that I can say about all of the Vapor line of stud patterns is that they all seem to give you that feeling of always being on your toes. I don’t get this feeling with any other boots, so that’s one thing that I have always admired about the Vapors.
The touch on this boot is all that you can ask for in a thin synthetic boot. I complained about the VI having a tacky finish on the instep of the boot, well that has been removed and the boot is now a matte-like finish. Allowing the ball to slide against the shoe rather than grab. Dribbling with this boot is fantastic. The upper hugs your foot very tightly and you really get the feeling of playing barefoot. As I said before, the Teijin material that Nike has is, in my opinion, the best synthetic on market and you will not be disappointed in how is feels.
This is a bare bones upper with no shooting elements. The feeling of shooting bare foot, with some minimal padding of course, is the feeling that you get when striking the ball. For whatever reason, I have always felt like bending the ball always seemed easier when using a boot with a thin upper. Perhaps this is because with a thin boot you can feel exactly where on your foot you are striking the ball, allowing for more precise shots. The glass composite sole also provides an excellent amount of stiffness, so you won’t experience any flex in the boot when striking the ball.
As for a boot that lasts, there perhaps none better than the Vapor series. I’ve almost never seen or experienced any separation of the upper and the sole plate, which is the most common place for a shoe to break. This is a boot that I can say confidently will last for at least an entire season with no problems at all. If you are looking for a “speed” bot to last, this is certainly a boot that you can count on.
Like any speed boot, they are never made to be protective, and this is no exception. The tongue is very thin and the upper is not much thicker. To say the least, these boots do not provide very much protection at all, but that is an element that you don’t expect out of a lightweight soccer shoe.
Nike has essentially re-released the Vapor VI with some minor changes and a new paint job. Are there any improvements? The answer is a yes, but not by much. Basically Nike have perfected an already good boot. Anything that people complained about on the VI is now removed or improved on the VII. If you liked the VI’s you will love the VII’s.
|Comfort/Fit||9 out of 10|
|Weight||8 out of 10|
|Traction||7 out of 10|
|Touch||10 out of 10|
|Shooting||8 out of 10|
|Protection||7 out of 10|
|Durability||10 out of 10|
|FINAL SCORE||59 out of 70 or 84%|