Elite performance with a major flaw
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The Mercurial Vapor 13 remains one of the best boots around despite having its flaws.
Editor’s note (Oct 2021): Do check out our review of the Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite for our thoughts on the latest version of the Mercurial silo.
Nike Mercurial is an institution. My first love for football boots was thanks to the Nike Mercurial Vapor 2 – worn by Thierry Henry in his pomp. It was the sleekest thing ever and close to 20 years on, I believe it has aged well. Despite its early reputation for poor worksmanship and a claustrophobic fit, I maintained my admiration for the Mercurial as it led the way in innovation for the industry though my taste for boots started veering towards power boots and the more comfortable leather options.
It was only a year ago when I reviewed the previous generation Mercurial to rekindle some love for the speed boot genre.
The Mercurial Vapor 12/Superfly 6 hadn’t been around for too long and the new “generation” looked almost entirely alike. Could this have been just a minor facelift, falsely sold as a big update? How could they have improved on an already excellent boot which came close to being The Best Boot of 2018?
Same looking Mercurial Vapor, different upper
While I tested the high cut Superfly in the previous generation, I decided to plonk for the Mercurial Vapor 13 this time around considering my preference for lower cut boots. The Superfly will set you back some extra dollars for its dynamic fit collar – something I was not one overly keen on as it did not provide much more value for money.
The biggest change between both generations is its application of Flyknit. The last generation had a moderately stiff upper despite how thin it was. I loved the “raw” feel of the Flyknit to the touch but it definitely needed a few games to break in to. The new Mercurial Vapor 13 however keeps the handsome look of its predecessor but has changed out the upper construction altogether.Up close with the new upper’s texture.
The upper now looks less “raw” and comes with a very glossy sheen. It’s also less smooth to the touch as the Flyknit is strengthened with the infusion of “high tenacity yarns” that allows the boot to be softer while keeping its rigidity and shape for lockdown. This also means we can say goodbye to Flywire cables to keep your foot in place while sprinting and changing direction as these yarns do its job throughout the entire upper.
And it’s due to these high tenacity yarns which creates that hand-knitted look on the entire upper, giving it some texture and character to the Mercurial Vapor 13. Despite its knit roots, the glossy coating does unfortunately make the boot feel most plasticky than knitted.
Still a very snug fit
As is tradition with speed boots, they’re usually narrow and tight and I was reminded of the Mercurial Vapor 13’s speed boot DNA when trying to put them on.
But once they’re on, my word, I was reminded again why I loved the previous iteration – and more. The anatomical soleplate returns and it just plants and hugs your foot snugly into the base of the boot. It does take a while to get used to the sensation of something cradling your foot’s arch but that is one feeling I can always get used to.
Wiggle your toes and you can feel the difference in the upper. The Mercurial Vapor 13 feels much softer and is more forgiving to your feet.Notice how narrow the boot looks.
Fit-wise, it accommodates slim footed players. It just barely fits those with moderate width feet, like myself. I’ve also noticed a slight narrowing of the toebox area (as compared to last gen’s model) which would come to haunt me later in the review. Go true to size, like I did with my pair of US 9. 5s.
For those with wide feet, I’m sorry but this boot will never be for you. The Mercurial has never been kind to those with wide feet and you might be better off with the adidas X19.1 or Nemeziz 19.1 if you want a speed boot that can accommodate your width.
Just like the best speed boots do, the Mercurial Vapor 13 makes you feel very light on your feet as it weighs a mere 190g in my size US 9.5. But it’s not just the low weight that gives you that nimble feeling.
The upper comes with almost no padding so every touch you get on the ball feels raw and engaging. I had to be completely focused when receiving the ball, with every touch in the dribble and with my passes as there was no cushioning to dampen the touch. Maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy but it got me to be razor sharp to perform better in every aspect with the ball as I controlled the ball at pace.
The glossy coating across the upper isn’t as sticky as some people claim for it to be so don’t expect the ball to stick to your feet like glue though the knitted texture does help provide a small level of friction when it comes to contact with the ball.
Striking the ball was also surprisingly delightful as you feel the full brunt of the contact with the ball – this is as barefoot as it gets. If you love a barefoot feel, the Mercurial Vapor 13 is definitely for you.
Off the ball, you can feel the high tenacity yarns working overtime to hold your foot in place as you pivot and make quick changes in direction. The lockdown is pretty good and I think Nike deserve some kudos in trying to solve this problem while ensuring some level of comfort. That said, I think Flywire cables do work a little better to enforce lockdown but they’re not the most comfortable experience so perhaps Nike was right to do away with them.
Longer studs on FG and AG
A word of caution on the studs. The FG studs are now longer by 1mm and judging by the looks of the AG variation I tested, it may have also been lengthened slightly. Considering how I almost exclusively play on AG, this isn’t actually good news as longer studs dig in deeper and may cause big injuries if they don’t dislodge while you run and move.
Thankfully, the AG studs maintain a balance of aggressive traction without being uncomfortable. There was little to no stud pressure and you can really feel the boots digging in as you kick off every step across the AG field. The conical studs also make pivoting easy though I would still have preferred shorter studs for a peace of mind.
And finally, what is a speed boot if it’s not snappy and responsive? The stiff midsole works really well in tandem with the anatomical soleplate to make you feel locked in but yet, always springing forward with every sprint. I don’t have problems with the split sole format and, in fact, I think it makes the boot look just that bit better.
Performance comes at a cost
As I ended my first game in the Mercurial Vapor 13, I noticed that my toes were in pain. A blister on my left big toe soon split into a bad cut that took a week to heal. My next game saw my other big toe nurse a major bruising.
For all the fantastic performance features listed above, the Mercurial Vapor 13 reminded me again that this boot is not for the faint of heart. That low volume and narrow toebox will be a problem for those with moderately wide/large feet. Despite the initial joy I had playing in the Vapors, the awful state it left my toes in really left a bitter taste.
There are boots where I go “I can’t wait to wear them again in my next game” and unfortunately, the Vapor isn’t one of them purely due to the punishment it dishes out to my toes. It’s a massive shame because, save for the pain it has inflicted, this may just be the best pure speed boot I’ve ever worn. It has fantastic traction, a softer upper that manages to keep your feet locked down, that barefoot sensation and of course, the anatomical soleplate.
It’s also a really handsome boot with beautiful detailing around the heel and split sole area. It looks and feels like what a premium, state of the art boot should. However, it does seem like two steps forward but one step back for Nike with the Mercurial Vapor 13 due to those toebox problems.
I really hope that one day, Nike produces a Mercurial that is comfortable and fits most players easily without compromising its performance. Until that day comes, I’ll have to treat the Mercurial Vapor 13 like that short summer fling that was good while it lasted but leaves me wanting more.
An excellent speed boot that, unfortunately, was mainly designed for slim footed players.
Anatomical soleplate feels divine
Small toebox causes bruising
Tough to put on
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Nike Elite vs Vapor Untouchable NFL Jerseys 2021 (My Review) – Sports Fan Focus
This is a Nike Elite vs Vapor jersey comparison. These are the authentic NFL jerseys. There are actually five different types of NFL jerseys. Quickly, here’s what you need to know (affiliate links take you to NFLShop.com):
- Nike Legend – The Nike Legend is unique compared to other NFL jerseys. It fits almost like a standard t-shirt, and is more affordable than other jerseys. I was a bit shocked how much I liked the fit. True to size. Lightweight, and easy to wear. Click here to view the Nike Legend jerseys at NFLShop.com. NFLShop.com is the official online shop of the NFL.
- Nike Game – The Nike Game jerseys are popular fan jerseys due to price point. They have the true look of a jersey, but are replicas, which means they are a bit more affordable than premium jerseys. Relaxed fit, but true to size. These jerseys are a good option if you are looking for a Nike jersey on a tight budget. Click here to view the Nike Game jerseys at NFLShop.com.
- Nike Limited – The Nike Limited Vapor jerseys are my favorite jersey. Vapor style has clean front with seams converging in back. Sits flat against body. This jersey has stitched numbers and graphics. Awesome jersey, with a great fit and some premium finishes. More affordable than the Elite authentic jerseys. True to size. Click here to view the Nike Limited jerseys at NFLShop.com
- Nike Elite – These are the authentic NFL jerseys, and the closest you can get as a fan to wearing what the players wear on the field. The fit will be slimmer than other jerseys, mimicking the athletic fit of the players’ jerseys. The Elite jerseys have all the premium finishes, including stitched graphics and authentic paneling. Click here to view the Nike Elite jerseys at NFLShop.com.
- NFL Pro Line Jersey – The NFL Pro Line Jersey is not made by Nike. It is a more affordable replica jersey, which might be a nice option if you are on a tight budget. This jersey has a baggy, loose fit, and you may need to size it down. Click here to view Pro Line jerseys at NFLShop.com.
The “Vapor” jerseys are a type of Nike Limited jersey and a type of Nike Elite jersey. These Vapor version are designed a little bit different than the normal versions of the jersey (more on that later).
I actually own and review all 5 types of NFL jerseys. They each have unique strengths and design differences.
This is the jersey that I recommend as best fan jersey due to its combination of fit, quality, and price (affiliate link takes you to NFLShop.com; Limited Vapor jerseys).
Although both the Nike Elite and Nike Elite Vapor jerseys have premium finishes that are created to match exact specifications of what the players wear on the field, these two jerseys have significant differences, including price.
This is the current price of the Nike Elite jerseys at NFLShop.com (affiliate link takes you to NFLShop.com). When I bought them, the Nike Elite Vapor jerseys were more expensive, but prices can fluctuate.
If you are set on buying either a Nike Elite or Vapor jersey, this article will focus solely on those two types of jerseys so that you will be completely informed. However, if you want to read some of our other jersey review and comparison articles, you can visit our jersey resource page.
- We also have a buyer’s guide that will help you determine which jersey is right for you. Visit our article: Best NFL Jersey to Buy
Nike Elite vs Vapor Jersey
The Elite jerseys are the authentic jerseys, and they aren’t cheap. If you want to spend big money on a jersey purchase, it is definitely worth taking the time to make sure you get your choice right.
Comparing the Nike Elite to the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable on the surface might seem like there would only be minimal differences since both are Nike Elite jerseys, but there are actually significant differences between these two jerseys.
Understanding these differences will likely make your decision much easier, and it’s safe to assume that one of the two will likely make more sense for you. In this comparison, we will discuss Nike Elite vs Vapor Untouchable across these 4 main categories:
The regular Nike Elite has a true-to-size standard fit. It can fit a bit loose through the chest due to the authentic paneling on the jersey made to match the paneling specifications of the jerseys that players wear on gameday.
The fit of the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable is a slim athletic fit – it fits slim especially through the chest, stomach, and shoulders. If you are looking for an athletic, slim fit, you will likely not need to size up or down. If you are in between sizes and prefer a looser fit, sizing up might be your best bet.
**Pictures below are of a white Andrew Luck size 40 Nike Elite jersey and a blue Saquon Barkley size 40 Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable jersey. I am 6’3″ tall and weigh 200 pounds.**
There is a lot to unpack with both of these jerseys. Both the regular Nike Elite and the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable use numerical sizing instead of the standard small-medium-large sizing. I own a size 40 in both, which is comparable to a size medium.
Nike Elite Jersey Fit
The fit on these two jerseys is quite different. As mentioned above, expect the regular Nike Elite to have a standard, true-to-size fit. The authentic paneling can create a looser fit in the chest.
Again, in my opinion it fits true to size. But to make sure you have all the information possible, I want to post how the Nike Elite jersey fit is described on the product page at NFLShop.com:
“Fit: Men’s Nike Elite Jerseys have an athletic cut that fits snug in the chest and shoulders.”
Again, I would disagree with this just slightly. To me, it does not fit near as “athletic” or “snug” as the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable. To me it is more of a standard true-to-size fit that can fit a bit slim around the waist but also have extra room in the chest due to the paneling.
If you’ve read any of my other reviews, I have said numerous times that the Nike Elite is one of the hardest jerseys to give a fit description on due to the paneling.
The fit overall is slim-type fit, but the paneling creates some extra space in certain spots. Overall, the jersey fits on me in a way I would personally describe as a standard fit. Expect a little bit of a slim fit right around the waist line.
But again, it is not so slim and snug that I couldn’t layer underneath. Here I am layering a size 40 (I am 6’3″ 200 pounds):
The jersey is standard through the stomach area, then tightens slightly at the waist line near the bottom of the jersey. Again, the most notable fit feature of the regular Nike Elite is the chest paneling causing extra room through the chest area.
Also, expect the Nike Elite jerseys to run a bit longer than some other types of fan jerseys. For example, here is my Nike Elite jersey placed underneath my Nike Limited Vapor Mahomes jersey:
So just make sure you are preparing for about an extra inch of length in the Nike Elite jerseys (length can vary by size).
Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable Jersey Fit
The Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable jersey also has a very unique type of fit. It has an athletic, slim fit that lays flat and snug across the chest, shoulders, and stomach.
Just know this: the sleeves are very unique compared to other fan jerseys because they have elastic sleeve cuffs that keep the sleeve tight and short, giving it an athletic look.
Although many love the athletic look of the fitted sleeves, just consider it isn’t necessarily for everyone. Here is a look at the fitted sleeves on my size 40 Saquon Elite Vapor jersey:
What does Vapor mean exactly? It was a jersey design that Nike launched in large part to reduce the paneling, which from a player’s perspective meant less grab points (source). With Vapor Untouchable jerseys, the paneling uniquely comes together in the center of the back of the jersey, allowing the jersey to lay comfortably flat in all other places:
In the picture above, if you look closely you can see where the paneling comes together under the numbers on the back side of the Elite Vapor jersey.
In fact, if you go through this link and take a look at the Tom Brady Elite Vapor at NFLShop.com, the product picture gives a fantastic look at how the panels come together and shape the jersey. This design feature really differentiates the Elite Vapor from the regular Nike Elite.
The Nike Elite Vapor is a very comfortable jersey to wear. It has stretch fabric that allows the slim fit to move comfortably and not bother me in anyway. I actually also like how the neck area fits on the Nike Elite Vapor more than the regular Nike Elite.
Overall, I hate to simplify it, but your decision on whether or not the Elite Vapor is for you might come down to these 2 things:
- Are you okay with an athletic fit?
- Are you okay with fitted sleeves?
When discussing Nike Elite vs Nike Elite Vapor, comfort is something that must be discussed. To me, the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable is more comfortable to wear than the regular Nike Elite.
As I’ve mentioned previously in the article, the Vapor Untouchable jersey design limits the front side paneling of the jersey, which allows the jersey to lay flat against your body instead of bubbling away in certain panel spots.
Combine the reduction in paneling with the stretch woven fabric design and the Nike Elite Vapor has, in my opinion, a very comfortable fit.
The regular Nike Elite I would not describe as uncomfortable, it’s just a unique fit because the authentic paneling is unlike anything else you wear. Standard t-shirts don’t have zone paneling, etc.
When comparing Elite vs Vapor price, it is important to remember both of these jerseys are authentic jerseys. They won’t be cheap.
They both are expensive in comparison to other NFL jerseys. But they also have the authentic design and premium features.
Because the price on these jerseys can reflect their premium quality, I would suggest taking a peak at the price to help you make your decision. When I bought mine, I got the regular Nike Elite for cheaper than the Elite vapor, but I can’t guarantee that is always the case.
This is the current price of the Nike Elite jerseys at NFLShop.com (affiliate link takes you to NFLShop.com). NFLShop.com is the official online shop of the NFL. You can buy from them with confidence knowing you are not getting scammed.
As mentioned throughout the article, the Elite vs Vapor design is quite different. Let’s look at some pictures of both jerseys and then below I will briefly discuss some of the design features of both.Nike Elite Design
Again, you can clearly see the authentic paneling, but also see how it pushes away slightly in the chest area.
BackNike Elite Vapor Untouchable Design
Clean front side due to the Vapor Untouchable design which limits paneling. Of course, note the sleeve length in comparison to the regular Elite.
If you look closely at the last picture, you can see where the seams come together on the Vapor version.Nike Elite vs Vapor Comparison Photos
These are both size 40’s. As you can see, the sleeves are longer in the regular Nike Elite vs the Vapor. Also, you can see the Nike Elite Vapor is slimmer through the chest and stomach, and about a half inch shorter in length.
The collars are different, but both offer premium versions in comparison to other types of fan jerseys. The Nike Elite Vapor (blue, left) has the Chain-Mail mesh grill at the front of the neckline along with a metallic NFL shield. The regular Nike Elite (white, right) has the built in flywire to prevent stretching and has a rubberish NFL shield at the front neckline. I don’t foresee stretching being an issue with either jersey unless you overdo it.
We’ve already discussed the sleeves at length, but here is another close-up look at the difference in sleeve length and design.
Both the Nike Elite and the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable offer sewn-on numbers, letters, logos, and name plates.
Nike Elite vs Vapor Jersey Summary
To summarize the Nike Elite vs Vapor jerseys, these two jerseys are both premium fan jerseys and offer authentic replicas of what players wear. The Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable version has a much more athletic fit than the Nike Elite, including fitted sleeves.
In many cases, only one version is available to buy per team. So you choice may already be made for you.
The Vapor Untouchable version allows the jersey to lay flat across the chest because the paneling is limited. In my opinion, the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable is the more comfortable fit between the two, just make sure that having fitted sleeves does not bother you.
I don’t recommend sizing up or down for either jersey, although the Elite Vapor has a slimmer cut, so if you are in between sizes, and don’t want it to be extremely tight, it would likely be best to size up.
Where to Buy?
If you can’t shop locally, buying from NFLShop.com is a nice solution. You can buy from them with confidence knowing you aren’t getting scammed. Click here to shop for Nike Elite jerseys at NFLShop.com (affiliate link takes you to NFLShop.com).
Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite New Lights
Description of Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite FG New LightsFull Flyknit upper – single piece upper
The Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite New Lights has an upper which is made from a single piece of Flyknit, being extremely flexible. Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 features microtexture for an improved grip on the ball, when moving in high speed. The full Flyknit design covers the entire boot and you foot, following the movements of your foot – creating a feel of a second layer of skin, a truly unique fit and incomprehensible level of comfort. The upper has been treated with NIKESKIN and ACC (All Conditions Control). NIKESKIN is an ultra thin PU layer that has been combined with performance mesh, to allow for a light breathable and tight fit. ACC is an integrated coating that enhances the touch and control of the football, in all weather conditions. The inside of the boot has been lined with high quality material. In the heel area it is lined with suede like material, that ensures an improved lockdown. Perforation in this area also adds to the breathability.Re-engineered outsole for superior grip
A thin contoured insole with NIKEGRIP tech, keeps your foot safely in place and enhances cushioning. The outsole of these Vapor 13 Elite New Lights is a combination of an internal pebac chassis and a two part external nylon soleplate. The two part external outsole reflects the shape of your feet, placed under your heel and in the front. The internal pebax chassis is engineered to provide the perfect balance of flexibility and responsiveness, and has a 3D pattern that lock down the insole. All this to enable the maximum power output.Stud configuration for acceleration and deceleration.
In the modern version of the beautiful game, much is decided by your ability to run fast and change direction quickly. But equally important is the ability to stop quickly. Using advanced computing, Nike engineered a new stud configuration. Pressure point and flow of power were mapped, different studs and shapes were tested and analyzed. Eventually Nike came up with the ideal combination of placement and shape. They have been slightly angled for improved grip, both when acceleration and change of direction. Equally effective when stopping.
Nike’s Vaporfly Is Its Most Hyped Shoe Ever. Why Is It So Hard to Find?
Hector Espinal, a sneakerhead and soon-to-be marathoner, was equal parts nervous and giddy on Thursday, November 2, when he stepped into the Nike Store in New York’s Flatiron District. How could he not be? The 26-year-old would soon be one of a minuscule group of individuals to own the Vaporfly Elite—the shoe that Eliud Kipchoge of Nike’s Breaking2 experiment famously wore in May when he attempted to crack the two-hour barrier running 26.2 miles. Out of every item in Espinal’s 112-pair collection, which he splits between his Bronx apartment and his mother’s house, this $600, size-9 shoe—tuned by Nike to precisely match Kipchoge’s foot mechanics—would be the most symbolic.
“It’s like owning a friends-and-family version of the most hype lifestyle shoe ever—just that this one means something to us runners,” he jokes. “It’s proof that nothing is impossible. It’s proof that with the proper training and the right technology we can do anything we want.”
Espinal went on to run 6:21 through the five boroughs in this year’s New York City Marathon, but not in his new Vaporfly Elites. He would have, he says, if he had gotten them earlier in the training cycle. Instead, he chose one of the two pairs he owns of Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly 4%, a $250 shoe that is nearly identical to the Elite. The 4% uses the same lightweight Zoom X foam and carbon-fiber plate as the Elite, but with a slightly different upper, and it isn’t tuned to match the feet of Kipchoge (or his Breaking2 teammates Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese). The 4% can, however, potentially cut a runner’s marathon time by 4 percent—just like the Elite.
“Other performance-based sneakers, such as LeBron’s line and the initial release of the Nike Flyknit, were big,” says Yu-Ming Wu, CMO at Stadium Goods and founder of Sneaker Con and SneakerNews. “But there’s extra hype around the Vaporfly Elite because they’re beyond limited.”
RELATED: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How Nike Is Trying to Break the 2-Hour Marathon Barrier
Hyped? Certainly. Every media outlet from Wired to GQ to, of course, Runner’s World has lavished attention on the Vaporfly in both its Elite and 4% incarnations. And with some justification: For many runners, the Vaporfly is the gamechanger they’ve been looking for. Kipchoge wore the Vaporfly when he won the Berlin Marathon this year; Galen Rupp and Tirunesh Dibaba wore the shoe when they won Chicago; so did four of the five top women at the NYC marathon, including the winner, Shalane Flanagan. According to a (Nike-funded) study published in November in the journal Sports Medicine, the Vaporfly really does lower the energy cost of running, suggesting that runners of all levels, not just elites, would be faster in the shoes. and found it delivered 80 percent energy return in the heel and 77 percent in the forefoot—the highest values we’d ever recorded.
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“It allows for me to be a more efficient runner,” says Iman Smith, 38, a former Army sergeant turned full-time runner, who ran a 3:10 in New York, shaving 40 minutes off his previous PR. Even though Smith acknowledges his intensive training had a lot to do with his performance—a low-mileage week for him is about 40 miles—he says he can’t imagine racing without the 4%. “You’re not thinking about the shoe. Typically when you’re running for an extended amount of time, at some point you’re always thinking about the shoes. You’re thinking, My feet are hurting. Am I getting blisters? I’m starting to feel the ground under my feet. [But in the Vaporfly 4%] I felt like I could literally run forever.”
Acquiring a pair of the Vaporfly 4% is not, however, as easy as walking into a store and plunking down your credit card. Running stores are perpetually sold out, and even Nike.com has for months shown a “coming soon” notice for the 4%.
Nike does have a third shoe in the series, the Zoom Fly, which is truly widely available, uses a more standard midsole foam, called Lunarlon, and retails for $150—a quarter the price of the Elites, but without the Zoom X foam that could trim your race time.
“We wished we had more stock to fulfill demand, since we’re able to sell through our inventory pretty quickly,” says Wil Cramer, the general manager and footwear buyer for Brooklyn Running Co., in New York City. Cramer wouldn’t reveal just how many pairs of the Vaporfly 4% the shop had sold, but said requests for replenishment by Nike were based on availability. He also confirmed that Nike would be releasing a new colorway next spring 2018, and that his store was already booked to get some—although he wouldn’t say how many.
David Boutillier, CEO of the Fleet Feet Sports branch in Rochester, New York, says he was in the same boat. His store, which stocked sizes 6 to 13 of the 4%, sold out of the core sizes almost immediately. They most recently scored a restock two weeks ago, which had sold out by the time this article was published.
Shawn Marlovits, owner of the Fleet Feet Sports branch in Hoboken, New Jersey, said he didn’t believe his store had the opportunity to bring in the 4% at all. “Regardless of hype around a specific shoe, there’s a lot of decisions that go into bringing the shoe into our store. Every single Fleet Feet is locally owned,” he says. “Nike generally picks the higher-profile stores, especially for a limited-distribution option like the 4%. But honestly, we didn’t have many requests for them.”
Still, Nike’s senior director for global running footwear product, Bret Schoolmeester, tells us the brand is “keen to get as many of these shoes to runners as possible”—a statement that left us pondering the meaning of “as many” and “as possible.”
RELATED: After a Near Sub-2 Marathon, What’s Next?
That the Vaporflys are available at all was not necessarily foreordained. When Nike first announced the magical shoe that Kipchoge, Desisa, and Tadese would wear for the Breaking2 attempt in Monza, Italy, there was little indication it would be available to the general public. The company even joked via Instagram about running ads for a shoe that was unavailable for purchase.
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“Even months later, guys were hitting me up to buy the cardboard box that they came in, no sneakers necessary,” says Knox Robinson, the founder of Black Roses NYC and a founding coach of Nike+ Run Club, who was on site in Monza, Italy, for Breaking2. “I laughed. I left that in the woods outside Monza.”
But in May, Nike did a limited release of the Elite in light blue. The non-Elite Vaporfly 4% had its commercial release in late July; by August, it was nearly impossible to find. In September, the crimson Elite hit Europe. The black Elite was released ahead of November’s NYC Marathon.
No one truly knows how many pairs of the Elite exist in private hands. The website Hypebeast claimed 99 pairs of the crimson Elite were made available in Europe in September. An email sent to an Elite-hunting sneakerhead offered exclusive access to buy one of 100 pairs. When asked, Nike would not confirm the number of Elites that have been sold.
“I think there’s only one factory that can make the Vaporfly to the quality-control standards of the swoosh,” says Robinson. “Due to challenges in fabrication, new materials, lays, quality controls, that’s why we won’t see as many available units.”
Nike did confirm that only one factory makes this shoe, adding that since the ZoomX foam and carbon-fiber plate are totally new and unique technologies, they’re complicated to get right. Even so, Nike wouldn’t reveal the size of production runs of either the Elite or the 4%.
There are many hypotheses about the marketing of the Vaporfly, says Greg Dutter, editorial director of Footwear Plus, a trade publication. While he believes that Nike wants to build this “hard to get” aura around the shoe, he doubts the company is concerned about what wider distribution would do for the shoe’s credibility.
“For decades, average Joes and Janes have been buying into all sorts of ‘breakthrough’ running technologies and elite runner endorsements in the hopes they will run faster,” Dutter says. “So what if the shoe doesn’t work as well for the average athlete? Did Air Jordans work as well for average basketball players? Absolutely not. But they ‘worked’ for M.J., and that’s what millions of people bought into.”
Which is why when the Vaporfly does occasionally come up for sale, runners across the globe troll this release closely. In the closed Facebook group Running Shoe Geeks, 8,350-plus members truly geek out when small amounts are released, racing one another to snag their own. One user, for example, would post a buy link but note, “Sharing info only after I ordered another pair.” These are the folks who notice that, on November 6, Nike’s Australia website suddenly had Vaporfly in stock, with its details already updated to tout Shalane Flanagan’s NYC Marathon win the day before.
Most important for sneakerheads and shoe geeks, Nike has held limited releases, announced exclusively through the Nike+ Run Club app. Sometimes, you simply have to respond to an app notification, reserve a pair right away, and hurry over to a particular Nike shop to pick them up.
Note: These aren’t your typical sneaker launches. There aren’t hundreds of people lining up outside shoe stores, drooling at the opportunity to get their hands on fresh styles. No overenthusiastic hypebeasts. (No stabbings.) Just calm retail staff handing runners the shoe of their dreams. When I popped by a release in Flatiron, a few days after Espinal, there were three people waiting outside the double-doors—simply because the store wasn’t open yet.
Other times, the Nike app prompts you to log a run on a particular day for an access code. This doesn’t always work out smoothly. On December 6, members of the Running Shoe Geeks who had logged a Nike-prompted 5K a few days earlier were up in arms: The access codes didn’t work. Some reported app crashes, while others were told they weren’t authorized to purchase, prompting calls to a “jammed” phone line. In the words of one user, it was a “total disaster.”
However the shoe is offered to the public, limited availability means that it has an extremely high price point on the resale market. Brendan Dunne, news editor at Sole Collector, waited in line for his pair of Elites after getting a limited-release notification through his Nike app. Most pairs, he says, are reselling for between about $1,600 to $2,600. A lot of that resale is happening via Instagram DMs or popular sites like StockX and Kith’s online store. The least expensive pair I found online was $1,500 for a men’s size 8 at Flight Club.
RELATED: Our 2017 Winter Shoe Guide Is Here!
“Anytime something is this limited, a certain amount of people get dollar signs in their eyes,” Dunne says.“But I think this shoe means a lot to hardcore runners and people that were into Breaking2. Others, if they’re like me, want to feel like a part of the movement. Yeah, people sell special shoes all the time. This shoe is too special for me to ever give up.”
Dunne, Robinson, and Espinal all fall into a special category of sneakerheads who consider themselves runners. And that’s the exact type of person who’s willing to spend high for the sake of performance.
“As a runner, when you hear the term ‘4 percent,’ you immediately do the calculations,” says Robinson, who ran his best marathon time of 2:33—a 3-and-a-half-minute PR—wearing the Elites in Berlin. “You think, if my marathon PR was 2 hours, 36 minutes, you bounce that to subtract 4 percent, and that’s exactly right under this 2:30 barrier. That’s something I’ve been chasing for almost 25 years.”
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When you’ve been chasing a time for years, $250—or $500, or $1,000, or more—might not seem a heavy price to pay to achieve the dream. But still, a hefty price tag nonetheless. Especially for a shoe that some say can’t handle the same amount of miles as others in the category. Wilbert Pena, a flight attendant and marathoner living in Washington Heights, is a huge fan of the 4% but admits they wear out faster than other running shoes he’s loved in the past.
“After I completed over 100 miles on my first pair, I felt like I needed a new one,” Pena says. “The bottom of the sneaker was showing some wear and tear. The great bounce I felt when the sneaker was brand new didn’t feel the same due to the foam wearing off.”
Which is exactly why Pena bought a new pair exclusively for race day—something experts would otherwise never recommend. His friend Espinal, on the other hand, will never have to worry about that.
“I’ve been collecting for eight years,” says Espinal. “Because of the crazy price tag, I’ll probably never go for a real run in them. Maybe one or two miles, tops.”Emily Abbate Emily Abbate is a freelance writer, certified fitness trainer, and host of the podcast Hurdle.
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New And Improved – The Nike Vapor Untouchable 3
Nike knows what you’re after
Players seeking speed, take a knee. The Nike Vapor Untouchable 3 cleats have been restructured to limit energy loss so you can gain electric speed on the field. To build them, Nike took a step back and studied what it is speed players are after with their cleats. Here’s what they learned:
Many speed-position players wear a low-cut cleat and then spat before games. Here’s the issue, the low cleat gives you a lightweight feel, but then you bulk it up with tapes, wraps, or braces to add support and you’re left with a heavier system than if you had just gone with a mid or high. With the Vapor Untouchable 3, Nike reenergized what a speed cleat was all about. They tossed the term lacing up out the window and replaced it with locking down. During the design process, they purposely blurred the lines between athlete and equipment, creating a cleat that fits like a second skin. They wanted to give the fastest athletes on the field the feeling of instant propulsion and stick-and-go traction. They succeeded.
Vapor Untouchable 3 Elite
Yes, it’s high, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t light. The Elite weighs in at one ounce lighter than its predecessor and its height is for good reason — the king of Nike’s speed line boasts a full-knit collar that fits tightly around your ankle giving you a taped feel and look. The collar securely hugs the cleat onto your foot and supports your ankle as you come down off a big leap or make lateral cuts at high speeds. Both sides of the collar feature two mesh windows to add breathability and maintain just the right amount of flexibility. The collar provides consistent lockdown as you play, whereas tape can loosen and need to be redone throughout games and practices. The Vapor Untouchable 3 Elite eliminates this problem.
The lockdown is enhanced with supportive Flywire cables that have been integrated into a Flyknit upper. With lighter-weight yarns woven together in a tight knit, this high-tenacity upper blends with the movements of your foot for a connected feel every time you step into the cleats.
We know it’s got a different look but trust us, this cleat performs. Check it out here and stay tuned in the coming months, there are exclusive colorways to come as the season draws nearer.
Vapor Untouchable 3 Pro
Just as with the Elite, Nike hit the drawing board to revamp the Pro. It features a circular knit cuff with high flexibility to allow ease of entry and a free, unrestricted fit. This cuff transitions into a lightweight and durable upper with an integrated tongue that limits distractions on the field. The Pro’s plate is built of a lightweight carbon fiber weave. Carbon fiber retains its shape while allowing flexibility — this allows the plate to propel the foot forward every push-off, snapping back into place after flexing.
Overall, the Vapor Untouchable 3 Pro is still a fast, low-cut cleat but now with a sock-like cuff. It fits slightly wider than the previous model and, just like the Elite, it’s one ounce lighter. The Pro will be coming to Eastbay in a variety of colors to match your team look so keep your eyes open.
There you have it, everybody. Nike Vapor Untouchable 3 cleats are ready to dominate the 2018 season. Stay strong, speed players. Be powerful, run hard, and enjoy the speed.
Four Pairs of Custom Lacrosse Gloves You Must See
When does Kacy Small, aka CruzWorldCustoms, not absolutely blow our minds? Seriously, the work he did for Greg Gurenlian, Joe Walters and even our own Connor Wilson is knockin’ the pants off of the competition everywhere.
It’s almost to the point that if you have a pair of Kacy’s custom lacrosse gloves, you’re a somebody.
Let’s just get to the 4 pairs of custom lacrosse gloves you must see, starting with 3 from Kacy and 1 from Lacrosse.com/Nike!
This time around Kacy did a sick pair of custom lacrosse gloves that he nicknamed The Blueprints for one of he long time players as a birthday gift.
Peep these mitts and then immediately clean up the drool after.
Using a pair of Black/White Nike Vapor Elites as his canvas, Kacy polished up these one-of-a-kind mitts with a blue fingerprint pattern, earning The Blueprints title.
Throwback Superman Elites
Now on to the next MUST SEE pair, this nasty throwback pair all about showing love for classic Superman.
Kacy went to work on a pair of Red and Silver Nike Vapor Elites and came up with this master piece. We have the before and after photos together so you can follow his journey.Before and After
This pair of Brine Mikey Powell mitts were done up in Kacy’s signature Galaxy pattern, but with more of a shooting star look.
This galactic movement helped inspire Kacy to rename them the Galatica customs and they are already on their way to a good home.
Limited Edition Nike Vapor Elite Gloves
Last but not least, I’m throwing in these Limited Edition Nike Vapor Elite Lacrosse Gloves that are currently on a limited run over at Lacrosse.com. I had to get these puppies in the mix not only for their sex appeal but because they are in short supply.
Okay, the real reason I added them is because I want to see what Kacy can do with these bad mamma-jammas as a base canvas. I actually don’t know if my heart can even handle the results.
From what I hear from the crew over at Lacrosse.com, there are only 140 of these pair being made and they’re shipping out to players around the country. There may even be an *unnamed for now team rocking them toward the end of spring so keep your eyes peeled. Right now the gloves are only available to Club Lax members, but the leftovers will be up for grabs soon enough.
Each pair of Limited Edition Nike Vapor Elite Gloves is being monitored with the Volt Tracker so they can find out where the gloves end up. With such a limited run, it’s likely that only a couple players per state will get their hands in these mitts… if that![mks_separator style=”solid” height=”2″]
Want to get your hand
on in a pair of custom gloves for yourself? Follow Kacy on Instagram and shoot him an email if your seriously interested in adding some of his art to your collection!
Aliens: Fireteam Elite on Steam
About This GameALIENS: FIRETEAM ELITE Set in the iconic Alien universe, Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a cooperative third-person survival shooter that drops your fireteam of hardened marines into a desperate fight to contain the evolving Xenomorph threat.
Face off against waves of terrifying Xenomorph and Weyland-Yutani Synthetic foes alongside two players or AI teammates, as you and your fireteam desperately fight your way through four unique campaigns that introduce new storylines to the Alien universe. Create and customize your own Colonial Marine, choosing from an extensive variety of classes, weapons, gear and perks, battling overwhelming odds in this heart-pounding survival shooter experience.THE ULTIMATE HUNT: Play a pivotal role in the epic events that occur 23 years after the original Alien trilogy as a Colonial Marine stationed aboard the UAS Endeavor, battling terrifying Xenomorph threats. Stunning visuals, iconic enemies, realistic environments, powerful weapons, futuristic equipment, and an eerie soundscape, combined with new storylines in a series of replayable campaigns, expand upon the story from the blockbuster films.SURVIVE THE HIVE:Face overwhelming odds against over 20 enemy types, including 11 different Xenomorphs along the evolutionary scale from Facehuggers to Praetorians, each designed with their own intelligence to ambush, outsmart and eviscerate vulnerable marines. Utilize cover and master team strategy to survive extraterrestrial threats as they overrun your fireteam from every angle, swarm through doors and vents, scramble across walls and ceilings, and strike from darkness with uncanny ferocity.CUSTOMIZE YOUR FIRETEAM:Choose from five unique classes – Gunner, Demolisher, Technician, Doc and Recon – each with their own special abilities and character perks. Utilize an extensive arsenal of 30+ weapons and 70+ mods/attachments in your effort to eradicate the Alien threat. An innovative Perk Board modifies and improves your abilities, while a unique Challenge Card system alters the approach to each Campaign mission, offering a new experience with every playthrough. 90,000 Cooperative survival-shooter Aliens: Fireteam Elite will be released on August 24, pre-order is already open on Steam at a price of 599 UAH [trailer]
The developers of the co-op shooter in the Alien universe announced a name change and opened pre-orders, announcing the exact release date. Formerly known as Aliens: Fireteam, the game was eventually named Aliens: Fireteam Elite, and it will be playable in two months, on August 24, 2021.
The game already has its own page on Steam, the standard version of the game costs UAH 599 ($ 39.99 in the US), and the Deluxe Edition costs almost twice as much, UAH 1099 ($ 69.99 in the US). In addition to the PC, the game can be launched on the previous generation consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as on the current PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S consoles.
Cold Iron Studios’ Aliens: Fireteam Elite takes place in the Alien universe, 23 years after the original Alien trilogy.A team of marines from the USS Endeavor gets into an object infected with xenomorphs from which they will have to look for a way out in four campaigns, simultaneously repelling the incessant attacks of numerous alien monsters.
The player can choose one of five classes (shooter, demolition, technician, medic and scout), each of which has its own abilities and advantages. He also has a wide arsenal of more than 30 types of weapons and 70 modifications / attachments at his disposal.Enemies are represented by more than 20 types of creatures, including 11 different types of xenomorphs, from face-hijackers to praetorians, each of which has its own type of intelligence.
Aliens Fireteam Elite starts great on Steam and on consoles
But Destiny 2.
But in the first place on Steam is still Destiny 2.
Cooperative shooter Aliens Fireteam Elite started from the first line in the UK chart.This is the only new game to hit the top 10 last week; 42% of its sales come from the PlayStation 5, with another 31% generated by the Xbox Series.
Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut, which was in the lead last week, dropped to 9th place in the top. But Marvel’s Avengers and The Last of Us: Part 2 returned to the chart, which had dropped out of the top ten best-selling games a week earlier.
What does the UK have to do with it?
UK Top GfK Chart-Track is one of the few ways to track the popularity and sales of console exclusives.The top takes into account only physical sales.
UK Best Selling Games of the Week:
- Aliens: Fireteam Elite
- Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
- Grand Theft Auto 5
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- FIFA 21
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Marvel’s Avengers
- Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut
- The Last of Us: Part 2
Aliens Fireteam Elite ranks second on the Steam Weekly Chart.A new expansion pack for Destiny 2 leads the pack, with the game hitting the top twice, with the Legendary edition last.
Another new product, Psychonauts 2, launched on Steam from the fourth place; there is no game at all in the console top. Battlefield 2042 does not appear on the Steam charts, but Battlefield V climbed to 6th place thanks to the free weekend.
Best Selling Games of the Week on Steam:
- Destiny 2 Deluxe Edition: Witch Queen + 30th Anniversary Bungie
- Aliens: Fireteam Elite
- NARAKA: BLADEPOINT
- Psychonauts 2
- Battlefield V
- Valve Index Complete Kit
- Cyberpunk 2077
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition
- Destiny 2: Legendary Edition
It is interesting
Major update Caves and Cliffs Part 2: Mainreleased for Minecraft
Steamer tobi (blue), Handheld steamer, Steam brush for clothes, Brush steamer, ELITE, price 363.55 UAH
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