The Euro 08 category features the Mercurial Vapor IV and Air Legend boots from Nike – we had already reviewed the Vapor IVs and I was looking forward to testing out the shoes.
The actual playing experience is going to differ from person to person, but personally I thought 4 things stood out with the Vapors:
Very light and a comfortable fit. As a SL reader said previously, it truly is like you’re barefoot. Performance-wise the weight of your shoes is not going to make a significant difference (considering that all football boots made for the top level are similar in weight with marginal differences) but running in these shoes is a good experience and you feel more natural while on the field.
Ball control is a matter of individual skill but once again the Vapor IV gets your feet closer to the ball than with most other shoes, giving you a dimension of control getting close to what you’d feel while playing barefoot. I admit that this could be more psychological than anything else due to the ‘natural’ feel the shoe gives and I suppose you’d need to do extensive cross-product testing to be sure (and that sounds like an interesting summer project for anyone fanatical about football shoes).
Granted that the pictures are always better than the product, but the Nike shoes seem almost ‘flimsy’ to me. This has a lot to do with the material used to make the shoes – incredibly light-weight and durable but ultimately not so classy-looking.
There’s a trade-off between making a shoe lightweight / enhancing its performance and making the shoe safe for the rough n tumble world of football. The Vapor is definitely more performance-oriented than safe, but then again you’re supposed to play football and go for the ball (and jump out of the way if someone comes studs up at you), not kick out at other peoples’ feet or leave yours in to see if your shoe can stand up to an Essien crunch.
Balance-wise the shoe is fine, so if you’re OK with the looks then this is definitely a pair of football boots to buy.
You can get your own set of Nike Euro 08 Shoes here (Legends or Vapors).