Soccer Game Changers

#2: The Nike Mercurial

This second article also focuses on a revolutionary boot worn by a star of the 1998 World Cup.

The Mercurial’s aesthetic had a waved effect – with shades of the Nike Air Max 95 – made possible by its synthetic upper. This departure from leather was a first for the genre and made the boot incredibly lightweight, for speed – wholly appropriate for its fleet-footed poster boy, the original Ronaldo.

Alongside the moulded studs this cleat also boasted a dazzling colour scheme – although originally released in black, by the time the Brazilian pulled them on in France they were blue and silver replete with yellow trim and ‘swoosh’. Even though adidas and Zidane won that tournament the commercial victor was Nike who would go on to release 8 further iterations – the latest is currently adorned by an equally rapid (C) Ronaldo – and unleashed a kaleidoscope into soccer.