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The 10 most iconic Nike Mercurial Vapor shoes

A masterpiece after another, the famous boots designed by Nike worn from 1998 until today

The 10 most iconic Nike Mercurial Vapor shoes A masterpiece after another, the famous boots designed by Nike worn from 1998 until today

Almost all of us bought at least a pair, since it was impossible not to do it. We did it because each of them made us look like our favorite player, or because he let us imagine playing in the Champions League or World Cup final. Precisely for this reason, each one reminds us of a period or a moment in our life that we are particularly fond of.

The magic of the Mercurial Vapor has touched several generations, being its twenty-year history, and continues to be one of the most popular Nike campaigns in the world, always actual and interesting.

"Mercurial" because they are as changeable and aggressive as their first testimonial in the offensive area, and "Vapor" because they are light and thin like air, these little shoes continue to make their way into the hearts of fans even today, from the 1998 World Cup in France to get to that of Russia, from Ronaldo 'the Phenomenon' to the Portuguese one. That's why we wanted to draw up a list of the ten most iconic Mercurial pairs:


1998 - Mercurial

Created on the occasion of the French World Cup, they are one of the first symbols of the partership, which later became historical, between Nike and the Brazilian National team, which began only two years earlier.

Precisely for this reason, the testimonial designated to wear them during the competition was Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, O' Fenomeno. To note, in addition to the similar style to the Air Max '97 and to a blue, yellow and silver colorway, also the absence of the vertical swoosh, which then will become the characterizing element of the line. As is well known, that world was not very fortunate for the Verdeoro, overcome in the final by the hosts considering also the precarious health conditions of Ronaldo. Despite this, the 1998 Mercurials are still enjoying great success, so much so that they were put back on sale on the twentieth anniversary of their presentation, both in the Air Max version and in the slightly revised field version.



2006 - Mercurial Vapor III gold and green

This collection is also designed for R9, who wears it in the German World Cup. The colors are a tribute to the Brazilians, and they blend well with what was the team of the "Joga Bonito". Even today we wonder how Ronaldinho, Adriano, and his companions did not triumph in that edition.


2008 - Mercurial Vapor IV blue and yellow

Probably one of the most sold models in Italy in the history of football shoes, it represents a real revolution both for the material from which it is made of, that is entirely in carbon fiber, and for the large Nike logo positioned vertically below the laces. The Vapor IV mark the beginning of mass consumerism around the Mercurials, which in 2008 began to be worn in all the Italian pitches, or even in schools. It's from this moment that the passionate fever starts to grab the collections just launched, at a time when online commerce was not yet so developed.


2008 - Mercurial Vapor IV orange and black

Impossible not to associate them with Alexandre Pato and his arrival in Italy, given the curious coincidence with the nickname of the Brazilian. Indeed, "Pato" means duck, and for this reason some have thought that his choice to wear orange shoes in the first games was a tribute, but the theory was never confirmed by the player. What in any case the Rossoneri fans remember most of those days is his goal in his debut against Napoli, where he certainly did not disappoint the expectations of the AC Milan fans.


2008 - Mercurial Vapor IV pink and white

They represented a turning point in the world of soccer clothing, too. Until that time it was rare to see players on the playing field with such bright colors, and therefore the fluo pink of this line destabilized many fans.

Their presentation in Serie A took place during the Italian derby on November 22nd, 2008, and saw as testimonial the former Juventus striker Amauri, at the time considered one of the strongest one in the Italian scene, and also Marco Materazzi, Nerazzurri legend. Certainly, regardless of the criticism, from this moment on, the Nike brand will begin to dare more, both in the choice of colorways and in graphic styles.



2009 - Mercurial Vapor Superfly red, silver and dark blue

The advertising campaign that accompanied their launch was so impressive that it is still difficult to forget, also considering the use of "Infinity 2008" by Guru Josh Project in the commercials. As all models of the line, this was also sponsored in the name of speed and lightness, which actually trace its distinctive side. The silver, red, and dark blue colors on the swoosh, were highly appreciated by the market, so much so that many numbers immediately sold like hot cakes.

Their debut took place on the occasion of the Champions League match between Manchester United and Inter in March 2009, in which the two main testimonials of the line, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, found themselves facing each other.



2010 - Mercurial Vapor Superfly II grey and fluo orange

The announcement of this model, in gray and fluorescent orange colors, arrived a few days after Inter's European victory on the Bernabeu night, and when Italian national team, world champion in charge, returned under the leadership of Marcello Lippi, with the Netherlands that was among the most accredited teams to win the World Cup. How many things have changed in football since then to today...

Presented in the great South African World Cup, the Superfly II reminds us of the infamous Jabulani ball, as well as the deafening sound of the vuvuzelas, which put a strain on our eardrums throughout the tournament.

Among the most exciting images related to these shoes, impossible not to mention the goal with a panenka from outside the box of Fabio Quagliarella against Slovakia, unfortunately useless for the final result.




2012 - Mercurial Vapor VIII fluo peach and black

Following the style of the Vapor IV, the eighth Mercurial launch makes its way into the market during the 2011/2012 season, accompanying the run of Antonio Conte's Juventus. Among the Bianconeri, many have worn them: Mirko Vucinic, Martin Caceres, Fabio Quagliarella, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal. Certainly, the great goal of the Chilean in the 3-0 against Napoli, was a great spot for the brand, which then presented new colorways for Euro 2012.


2013 - Mercurial Vapor IX purple, black and light green

Who knows how many times we cursed the Vapor IX because the player who had scored against you at FIFA 13 brought them to their feet…This line of Nike was in fact one of those included in the video game, and was assigned to the players with more technique and speed, which became a conviction if you found them against you. Apart from the PlayStation, the model featured Kevin Prince Boateng, Luka Modric, Mesut Ozil, and many others.



2014 - Mercurial Superfly IV fluo peach and yellow

Probably one of the most revolutionary shoes of contemporary football, given the very important innovation of the Dynamic Fit collar on the ankle, then replicated by the competitors and present in all the Mercurial collections up to the present day.

Launched on the occasion of the World Cup in Brazil, the Superfly IVs were the shoes, among others, of Neymar and Willian, the two players suspected to drag the Seleção to the victory of the home tournament. Instead, the realty was much more disappointing, and it saw the Verdeoro losing 7-1 against the future champion Germany, in one of the worst defeats in the history of the World Cup.