If your current soccer cleat is holding you back and you want a speed cleat with superior technology on rapid acceleration, Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 is one of your best options. This soccer shoe is the most famous among forwards but performs very well in other roles on the pitch.
Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 has over 2,290 professional soccer players using it (or its twin brother, the Superfly 8) in major competitions. Although Nike may introduce a new model soon, this soccer cleat continues to grow in popularity.
Some sports medicine physicians also recommend it for players with problem feet because of its perfect blend of comfort, flexibility, support, and shock absorption. However, be aware that it has a super-thin upper, which may not be ideal if you need more impact protection.
Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Vs. 14
The 14th generation of the Vapor is arguably the best Mercurial ever made. It is, in fact, better than its predecessor in terms of locked-in fit and stability and continues to have the most structured upper among speed cleats despite having a stripped-down Vaporposite+Flyknit upper.
The latest upper construction also offers a more barefoot-like sensation than its previous model. The new Aerotrak 2 soleplate is almost identical to the Vapor 13 soleplate except for the backbone plate that connects the entire outsole. This new model also looks more visually appealing than its predecessor. However, with the added technologies, it becomes a little heavier than the model it replaces.
The New Technologies of the Vapor 14
The new upper is Vaporposite+Flyknit material instead of just full Flyknit. The result is a firmer synthetic upper than before, with a better locked-in fit and more stability on multidirectional movements.
The Vapor 14 has an Avail Q Lining, a new microfiber technology designed to control the ball. The forefoot also has a new Speed Band that helps lock the foot down during acceleration or change direction. But despite the new material and technology, it still delivers the familiar Mercurial feel players love.
What Player Position is Best for Nike Mercurial Vapor 14?
This speed cleat will be best for roles that involve a lot of straight-line runs. While the Vapor 14 is most famous among soccer forwards, you’ll also see it used in other positions on the pitch. However, be aware that the thinner upper will provide less protection. The Vapor 14 may also have less capability for side-to-side movements compared to the top control cleats.
Should You Choose a Takedown Model?
If you want the best performance of this soccer cleat, choose only between the Elite and Pro models.
The Elite Model. If you want the best of Nike Mercurial, this is the model to choose. It’s the top-tier, most expensive model with the most premium materials and absolute technologies that can help bring out the best in you.
The elite model is the most elegant-looking Vapor model. It is more comfortable and more pliable than any other Vapor model. It has the best locked-in fit with the most barefoot-like yet well-structured sensation. And it is the most lightweight model available.
The Pro Model. This mid-tier model feels like the elite offering from the ground up but is $110 cheaper than the top-tier model. It has less refined materials that feel a little bulkier than the Elite model. The synthetic mesh upper doesn’t mention any Vaporposite technology or Speed Band around the forefoot, so it doesn’t offer the best locked-in fit.
The Pro model is also a little heavier than the Elite model. The outsole features Nike Aerotrak zone and Chevron studs that look similar to the top-tier model but are less pronounced and don’t have the same quality as the top-tier model.
If you love the Vapor 13 for its soft upper, your first impression of the Vapor 14 will be love or hate. Although the previous model has a mushier full Flyknit upper, which also feels more padded, the new Vaporposite+Flyknit upper of the Vapor 14 has a better locked-in fit, more barefoot-like experience, and more stability on multidirectional movements. And for those reasons, the Vapor 14 remains the top soccer cleat among elite players.