Out with the old K-leather Mercurial Vapors and in with the new, Teijin synthetic leather. About 10 years ago using leather for the upper of soccer shoes was, by far, the better choice. However, with the latest advancement of synthetic material the choice is becoming harder for football players. The choice was even hard for Nike because until they have constantly switched off-and-on between using K-leather (kangaroo leather) and a Teijin upper (synthetic leather). Nike has completely gone away with the K-leather upper on the Mercurial Vapor IX and instead switched to a Teijin upper featuring both a golf ball dimpled synthetic and a leather finish. You may ask, “what’s the big deal between buying one upper versus another?” Well, let me tell you the big deal.
One material is not solely better than the other, so before buying a specific shoe, you should determine which material is best suited for you. The synthetic upper is becoming the hotter choice among many of the top shoe companies. The Mercurial Vapor is made for players looking to improve their speed on the pitch and this Teijin material contributes to that. However, this comes at a cost. The break-in time on these shoes could take a bit longer than the leather uppers. As well, you might not get the best feeling on the ball. To counteract this problem, Nike has created the dimpled, golf ball texture to let the ball form to your foot. Price will not be an obstacle when purchasing there shoes because the synthetic material is significantly cheaper than their leather counterparts and will be much less maintenance.
The Teijin upper is the best synthetic material you can put on soccer cleats. Nike gets all of this material from Teijin, a company in Japan. So if you want to send some thank you notes for your sweet new Vapors, don’t send them to Nike, but to Teijin themselves. They have truly revolutionized the idea of a synthetic upper. Think about how limited soccer shoes would be if they could only use leather. Bulky, heavy, plain shoes are not for everyone. Nike is able to speed up the game and provide some style to the Mercurial Vapor IX because of the Teijin upper.