To pay tribute to the iconic Mercurial Vapor Ronaldo wore at the 1998 World Cup, Nike launched 1.998 pairs of the Mercurial Vapor XV. This launch is to give a hommage to one of the most famous football shoe in the industry.
During World Cup 1998, I was a volunteer during the event. I remember the world watching Ronaldo’s silver/yellow/blue shoes and being completely shocked.
People, the press, pseudo experts said the likes of: How dare Nike create a shinning shoe? A non traditional colour football shoe is a joke! What does Nike know about football anyways! etc, etc…
My take was very different. The shoe was made for Ronaldo, the colour palette was inspired from his qualities: Speed, style and skills. The swoosh was “fairly new” in football and their positioning had to be different, yet matching one of the core company’s values: “Be on the offense always.”
Ronaldo was one of the center of attention during the World Cup and so were his boots. “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.” said Phil McCartney, VP Nike Football Footwear.
Soccer Bible explains the technicality: “In the years since the first Mercurial boot was created, modern construction has allowed for a more refined way of making boots. For example, the original version of this boot was constructed of multiple materials stitched together.
This version is a one-piece, seamless upper as per other Nike Vapor Mercurial IX editions.
“Not only from the point of view of construction, but the team approached it with a 2013 aesthetic in mind too. The yellow from the 1998 version is replaced by the distinctive Volt color that became synonymous with Nike design last summer in London, and the original silver is updated with a metallic finish.”
In football, Nike doesn’t hesitate to set the trend. We had a strong example with the Safari shoe for Cristiano Ronaldo that created an unprecedented buzz.
The limited edition is set to generate immense buzz due to its look, but also since another Ronaldo will be wearing it. Check it out (Courtesy Soccer Bible).