Nike Mercurial Rugby Boots

All Nike Mercurials for Rugby are lightweight and offer optimum acceleration. They are particularly targeted at quick back players like wings, centres and fullbacks. There are different grades of Mercurial boots available; Elite, Pro, Academy & Club, with the cheaper versions perfectly suitable for the club player.

The Mercurial Superfly 9 and Vapor 15 are the latest boots from the Nike Mercurial series and are jam-packed with technological innovations designed to make the boots comfortable, lightweight, responsive, and to boost your speed on pitch.

Superfly 9 Elite Rugby

Soft Ground Elite SG-Pro AC

Designed for the muddy & wet pitches; anti-clog technology keeps mud from sticking to the sole

Firm Ground ELITE Superfly FG

For better condition grass pitches and firmer ground, pro level speed merchant boots

With the Superfly 9, you get the integrated Flyknit tongue extend upwards to form a high-cut Dynamic Fit collar. That’s the only thing that separates it from the low-cut Vapor 15. It will take a significant liking for a collar piece for one to spend around £20 and get the Superfly over the Vapor.

Vapor 15 Elite Rugby

The main draw of the Nike Mercurials is the underfoot experience brought by the Zoom Air technology. It’s the 3/4-quarter length bag of compressed air pocketed directly into the soleplate and covered only with the insole. This allows the wearer to sit directly on top of the strobel unit and activate its benefits. Another attraction of the Mercurial is the Vaporposite+ upper, which is comprised of an inner Speedcage strap (meant to balance upper flexibility and lockdown), and an outer dual-mesh layer that provides the boot its structure and gritty surface texture. The one-piece upper with a central lacing system is completed by Nike’s Flyknit on the tongue (and the DF collar for the Superfly).

Who should wear the Nike Mercurials?

The Nike Mercurial is one, if not the best execution of a speed boot. The overall package is lightweight thanks to how thin the materials are from upper to sole. Based on a slim last, the boot shape is most suited for narrow-fitting, though the stretch of the Vaporposite+ composite and Flyknit allows the Mercurial to accommodate some width and essentially be comfortably pliable enough and form-fitting. Vaporposite+ also strikes a fine balance between being thin enough to have a feel for the ball while also being spongey enough to take out the sting when kicking it. Despite falling short of giving that energy return or responsiveness in creating that feeling of boosting acceleration, the Zoom Air actually does a good job of absorbing impact and facilitates a smooth transition from one step to the other. If any or all of these sounds appealing to you, then consider the Nike Mercurial as your next pair of rugby boots.

As mentioned above, the Mercurials are usually targeted for your runners at the back. There’s also something for the fly-half given how the upper helps the player feels as much of the ball as possible. However, with all the grinding and pushing off the ground involved in scrums, that cushioned underfoot sensation of the Air Zoom unit can significantly ease off the burden forwards place on their feet, benefiting them physically.

Cheaper Academy Mercurials

Soft Ground Academy SG-Pro AC

A bit heavier than the SG-Pro AC outsole of the elite as it uses an entirely different hydrophobic plate and the stud screw-inserts; metal studs are replaceable

Academy Mixed Ground

Replaces some of the aggressive tri-stars with conicals

Nike has provided cheaper options for the Mercurials by way of their Academy and Club levels. The Academy has a Nikeskin mesh with graphics and texturing to mimick the look of the top-end model. A neoprene sock collar forms part of the Superfly 9 Academy for those that want ankle wrap in the cheaper mercurials.

These takedown models have multiground variations for natural pitches, but we recommend the soft grounds, for use on muddy rugby pitches, with the the Academy coming in the SG PRO anticlog sole, offering a combination of metal removable conical studs and a few moulded blades, with Nike’s anti mud and moisture technology that prevents outsole dirt accumulation.

It does come in stiffer and slightly denser than the Elite, but the Nikeskin mesh does a great job in giving you a glimpse of that textbook Mercurial snug fit and secure lockdown. And it still has the Zoom Air technology, albeit limited to the heel.

Kids Mercurial Superfly & Vapor


The Academy would suffice if you want an economic option for growing young players. But if when it comes to the kids, Nike has the Jr. Superfly Pro and Academy Vapor options. Both have an easy slip-on construction that has a pull tab and a laceless, crisscrossing straps for the closure. The Pro is closer to the pliable feel of the Elite’s Vaporposite+, and this kid-friendly toned-down version also has the internal Speedcage mechanism. The same can be said about the Academy Vapor and how the upper replicates on a kid-level the adult Academy Nikeskin material. Replacing Flyknit on the Kids Superfly’s collar is a neoprene material. The Vapor remains a low-cut, but arguably forms more of a mid-cut since it retains a bit of that Neoprene piece around the opening.

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