Strikers are predominantly known for speed and agility. These players need to create runs at top speeds, turn and stop on a dime, and find the back of the net any way possible. Our top three picks (in no particular order) for the best boots for strikers on the market right now are: Nike Mercurial Superfly, Adidas X 16+, and the new Hypervenom Phantom III.
Nike Mercurial Superfly
The Superfly has long been a boot designed for speed, and some of the world’s fastest forwards like Cristiano Ronaldo have been wearing it for many years. The Superfly is Nike’s most aerodynamically designed boot. It’s very narrow and is meant to fit the foot like a sock. Reaching top speeds is done by cutting down on the amount of drag that a person or machine creates as they move through the air. Narrow surfaces (like the shape of the Superfly) create less drag than wider surfaces.
Another important factor for players that want to reach maximum speed is the weight of their equipment. The Superfly is Nike’s lightest boot, and the soleplate was recently redesigned with compressed Nylon that was 40% lighter. Finally, the stud configuration of the Superfly was developed for striker-specific movements. Strikers tend to make a lot of cuts with their dynamic runs, and the triangular and bladed studs allow for them to properly accelerate and push through the ground without getting stuck.
Hypervenom Phantom 3
The new Hypervenom Phantom 3 was redesigned with cutting and striking (the two most important components of every striker’s game) in mind. The new upper texture features pods that react to the speed of impact with a ball. When the ball is struck for a hard shot, the pods become more rigid and allow the ball to be launched with power from the foot. When the ball is received at a slower speed, the pods will dampen the weight of the ball and allow a player to receive the ball under control while operating at top speed.
The Hypervenom Phantom 3 is Nike’s first football boot to utilize the new Hyper-Reactive soleplate which features a new stud configuration and lightweight nylon base. A mixture of hexagonal studs around the toe and instep allow for rotation and push-off during cuts, and the bladed studs on the outer edge of the soleplate provide lateral traction during these same movements.
X 16+ Purechaos
Like the Mercurial Superfly, Adidas’s X 16+ boot is built with an aerodynamic design. To cut down on drag, Adidas took away all distraction from the upper and created a laceless design with a narrow and smooth shape. The lightweight boot fits like a glove, with a Purecut sock system and heel lining that locks the foot into place and prevents it from slipping inside the boot during dynamic cuts.
Images courtesy of Nike Soccer and Adidas Football.