Nike Celebrates 15 Years of the Mercurial & “El Fenómeno”
Launched in 1998 with the tagline “ultralight, so your legs can be as fast as your imagination,” Nike‘s Mercurial football boot was specifically crafted for the creativity and speed of Brazilian football phenomenon Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima – “El Fenómeno,” better known across the globe simply as “Ronaldo.” Now, 15 years later, Nike is recalling the original silver-yellow-blue design – worn by Ronaldo in France throughout the 1998 World Cup – with the introduction of a celebratory special edition take on the Mercurial Vapor IX. According to Nike Football Footwear vice president Phil McCartney, “Ronaldo’s impact on the game 15 years ago was immense, and in the run up to 2014, we wanted to celebrate that boot and the man himself. We thought a modern construction of his 1998 boot would be a great commemoration of that moment.” As such, the contemporary update sees a one-piece seamless upper while retaining the motif of the original. Further tweaked with a metallic finish to its silver base, the original’s yellow accents have been scrapped in favor of Volt – a hue synonymous with the brand over the past decade-plus. Limited to 1,998 pairs as a nod to the OG, this Mercurial Vapor IX Special Edition is due out May 8 at select retailers across the globe and via Nike’s online store.