In addition to revealing the 2020 football kits for Nigeria, USA and South Korea,
Marking the first of its kind in the Beautiful Game, the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial incorporates the Swoosh’s famous Air technology into an on-pitch football boot. The futuristic boot is built around a full-length articulated 4.5mm Zoom Air bag that provides a unique underfoot sensation and enhanced energy return. To achieve this, the internal boot chassis was transitioned to the plate, leaving only the sockliner between the foot and the Zoom Air bag for maximum effect.
“We started with a full length Zoom Air bag and visualized what it would look like if the Air bag kept growing up the sides and enveloped the boot,” says Jeongwoo Lee, Senior Design Director, Nike Football. “This led to the creation of an upper so translucent, varying the hues of the internal sockliner drastically impacts the external appearance of the boot.”
Additionally, the Air Zoom Mercurial is crafted from a Flyprint upper, also marking another first. Flyprint is Nike’s first 3D-printed textile upper and allows designers to translate athlete data into new textile structures, while also being lighter and more breathable than Nike‘s previously employed textiles. Furthermore, the boot is equipped with Flywire cables for additional structure and support.
“In the past, there was a lot of focus on cushioning the heel, but Mercurial players don’t play on their heels.” notes Lee. “The players we designed for are taking off from their forefoot at full speed, repeatedly. That’s why we focused on providing a thin, full-length Zoom bag that can best be defined as snappy. You don’t squish into it so much as propel off of it.”
Although the Air Zoom Mercurial is just a concept for now, it gives fans a look into the future and what Nike has in store. In case you’ve missed it, Nike’s Space Hippie collection repurposes scrap material from factory floors.