Nike Mercurial Glide III Review
The Nike Mercurial Glide III is the first upgrade to the Victory III, and to be honest, I am not sure that it is worth the extra money. If we start with the fit of the boot, you get a solid fit, but the shoe is on the wider side, to suit nearly all foot types. Once you pull the laces tight, the shoe does fit well, but it isn’t going to provide that “zero space” inside of your shoe like the Vapor would offer. As far as sizing goes, the Glide does fit true to size, but keep in mind that it does seem to have the rommiest fit in the Mercurial line. I wore my usual size 9US for review and the overall fit in the length was perfect. The upper is fairly soft from right out of the box and I had no issues with discomfort or blistering. What I did notice is that the upper, because it is layered, tends to fold rather than bend, so you do get some heavy creasing in the upper when bending your foot. While this doesn’t do much to change the overall comfort of the shoe, it is something that I did notice, and is something that is going happen with nearly any low-end synthetic upper. If there is one main difference between the Glide and the Victory, it is that the Glide has an ever so slightly softer upper.
Being that the Glide III is part of the Mercurial line, one would expect that it would be lightweight, and it actually is. The Glide weighs in at 8.2oz, which is right at the maximum weight limit for what most people would consider to be a lightweight soccer shoe. While 8oz is not going to blow anybody away, especially in comparison to some of the high-end lightweight boots on the market, it is still nice that Nike did there part in offering a more lightweight boot through the take-down models.
The Glide III uses a variation on the all new Mercurial stud pattern, with the only major change being in the forefoot. You get the standard four studs under the heel, unlike to two studs that you get on the Vapor and Miracle, so no real changes there. The forefoot uses the new Mercurial stud pattern, using what is essentially only four studs under the forefoot. The studs are all positioned and angled in spots under your foot where you would normally push off when running and making quick changes of direction. The stud pattern as a whole works really well and offers a solid amount of traction, but it must be said that the stud pattern is more geared to be used only on firm ground, rather than multiple surfaces. The studs themselves on the Glide are a little bit wider, like the rest of the takedown models, in comparison the Vapor, so the overall feel and functionality of the stud pattern is not as good as the top end model. I also found that having the four studs under the heel rather than two studs, like the Vapor and Miracle, does change to overall feel of the stud pattern. I wouldn’t say that the stud pattern is not as good, it just doesn’t offer the same experience as the high-end model.
This is probably the biggest let down in my opinion. The touch on this shoe isn’t bad, but I was hoping for a more barefoot feel, that I just didn’t get from the Glide. The upper is made of several layers of what appears to be a predominantly mesh upper with the standard Mercurial finish on the outside. Like I said earlier, it looks like the Vapor, but it doesn’t feel like the Vapor. The upper to me felt a little on the cheap side and just didn’t provide the close touch that I always look for in a synthetic shoe. To me, the upper felt a little bulky, and although this may be completely related to the fit and not the upper itself, it does have a major effect on the entire boot. Overall the touch isn’t bad, it just isn’t that premium synthetic that you might be hoping for.
There is not much worth mentioning when it comes to striking the ball in the Glide III. Of course there is some wiggle room in the toe box area of the shoe, so you can feel the upper close in on your foot when you strike the ball. This isn’t a huge issue and it isn’t going to change the trajectory of your shot, but it takes away from the overall solidness of the shoe when striking the ball. The extra wiggle room at the front of the shoe just takes away some of the feel that you would expect from a thin synthetic soccer shoe, and for that reason, I was not a huge fan. The sole offers plenty of rigidity, which is always a plus and your heel always stays locked in place. The Glide also offers what appears to some form of a glass fiber stiffener on the sole, but upon closer inspection, it is just a sticker and nothing that is going to stiffen the sole. The Glide III will offer a decent feel when striking the ball, but the overall experience is nothing remarkable.
There is not much protection to be had from the Glide III. The upper is comprised of layers, so it isn’t overly soft, but it is still pretty thin, leaving you with very little protection should you get stepped on. There is not much of an internal heel counter, so you are fairly exposed all the way around. The funny part is that the Glide does not feel like a thin shoe on your feet, and it isn’t until the first time that you take a hit that you realize how little protection that you actually have.
If there is one thing that the Glide does very well, it is their ability to take a beating. The shoe is very well made and there is very little that can go wrong with the shoes. They require no maintenance at all, and the synthetic used on the upper is actually very rugged. This is a shoe that will definitely last you a season, and is an overall great value.
The Glide III is honestly not a bad shoe, and while it doesn’t offer that same ultra-premium feel that the Vapor VIII provides, what it does offer is still decent. My problem with the Glide is that there just isn’t enough to justify the jump in price from the Victory III! If you ask me, the Glide and the Victory are almost identical in terms of feel. The other problem that I have with the Glide is that it nears that $100 mark, which is a point where you can get a much higher quality shoe, whether it be an older model that is on sale or something from another brand, there are just much better quality soccer shoes in that price range. The Glide III is a decent buy if you are on a budget, but I do feel that there are better options in this price range.
Comfort/Fit 7 out of 10
Weight 8 out of 10
Traction 8 out of 10
Touch 7 out of 10
Shooting 7 out of 10
Protection 7 out of 10
Durability 8 out of 10
Final Score 52 out of 70 or 74%