Nike Mercurial Vapor VI Review
The Mercurial Vapor VI FG is equipped with a glass fiber outsole plate for greater speed when attacking the defense.
UPPER: Dawoo Synthetic lace cover creates a large, inviting strike zone. Teijin synthetic microfiber adjusts to the shape of the foot.
INSOLE: The Vapor VI has a contoured sockliner with a Vapor EVA insole.
OUTSOLE: Glass fiber composite plate is the lightweight and exceptionally strong. Dual density injected studs and a new Vapor Traction pattern allows effortless cutting and instant acceleration.
Every new version of the vapor seem to get wider and wider. These are by no means a narrow fitting shoe, so if that's what you're worried about, don't. Like the last three versions of the vapor, you still get that terrible lace cover. As annoying as it is, they did lower it a little bit so it's not "as difficult" to get them on your feet. The teijin synthetic microfiber upper seems to be softer than previous versions of te vapor right of the box, which is a good thing because this is the first vapor that I ever had, since the III's, that did not give me blisters. This in itself is a big enough improvement to qualify this as better than previous vapors. Another new feature is the glass fiber composite sole plate, which acts in the same way as the carbon fiber sole plate on the superfly version of the vapors. It does in fact eliminate "most" of the stud pressure which is good, but unfortunately seems a little too stiff upon break-in. These do not have the flywire on the instep like the Vapor V, but the VI does just as good of a job of locking your foot in place without it. I wore a size 9US in these shoes, and would recommend getting 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.
This is another one of the changes to the vapor line, the change in stud configuration. I don't know why Nike decided to change such a good stud configuration, because I felt that this one is not as good. It still consist of the short bladed studs spread out along the bottom of the shoe, but this time placed in triangular shaped patterns. It does help in changing direction from side to side, but you no longer get that immediate grip when accelerating from a stand still. I found myself slipping while pushing off to start a sprint a couple of times.
This is where I had some further issues with the Vapor VI. The outside of the shoe has a matte finish that almost feels like a fabric like material when you scratch your finger nail on it. The problem is the change of finish on the instep, which is not only ugly but very sticky. Depending on the ball that you are using, this inside finish on the shoe make it feel like you are touching the ball with sticky tape, making dribbling at speed kind of difficult. This for me was a big problem as I would have to change my shoes if my vapors did not want to cooperate with the ball I was using.
The vapors are definitely a good shooting boot. When you strike the ball, you feel exactly where on your foot that you make contact. The tacky instep also give some good grip for bending the ball. You have that feel of "put it where you want it" with these shoes on, which is a great feeling. I do have to say that if you don't really lean over the ball with these shoes, you will send some shots to the moon. The glass fiber sole plate gives plenty of stiffness ad adds that feeling power upon shooting the ball.
I have to say that I really have no worries that these shoes will last. They are made of a synthetic material that Nike has been using, and perfecting for years. These definitely seem like the most solidly built vapors of the ones I've had. I also wouldn't worry about the sole plate cracking like on some of the carbon fiber sole plates that Nike makes.
These are the best Vapors yet. They are actually comfortable right out of the box, which is unheard of from this line of shoes. The new stud configuration is not bad, but just not as good as the old one. Apart from the overly sticky finish, the fit is what shines on this shoe, as is do believe that you still cannot get a closer to a "second skin" like fit from ant other soccer shoe out there.
Comfort/Fit 7 out of 10
Weight 9 out of 10
Traction 7 out of 10
Protection 6 out of 10
Touch 8 out of 10
Shooting 9 out of 10
Durability 9 out of 10
Total Score 55 out of 70 or 79%