Elite players in the world have longed for boots that would give them a more natural feel of the ball, something that was almost like playing barefoot. Nike listened, and have now created a technology that is aiming to do just that. NikeSkin was brought to the forefront during the summer of 2013 with Neymar and Wayne Rooney sporting the new (at the time) Nike Hypervenom when Brazil and England faced off in a friendly. This was our first opportunity to see the new technology, and we clamored for more information about these awesome new boots.
The technology actually debuted on the Elastico Finale II indoor shoe, featuring a breathable mesh layer that is bound with a thin layer of polyurethane film and treated with All Conditions Control. The lightweight technology allows for the wearer to have a more natural feel and an almost barefoot experience. Since then Nike has incorporated the technology into other silos including: the Magista Obra, Mercurial Superfly, and F247 Bomba Finale II to name a few.
Now for the moment everyone has been waiting for: Does it work?
Everyone seems to love the NikeSkin on basically every shoe that it is featured on, BUT, there are some negative grumblings coming in that are interesting. Most people laud NikeSkin for being light and flexible to fit the foot while giving the wearer an experience that feels great while dribbling the ball, however, they have also criticized the technology for being TOO light and flexible. The problem seems to be that the NikeSkin can give too much when trying to make quick cuts, which can give a feeling of instability. It really seems like a contradicting claim, but the questions about the durability of the shoes are warranted.
The conclusion that I have come to is that the technology works, but that the negatives come with the territory. A lightweight conforming shoe probably isn’t going to be the most durable, and until technology evolves, this is about as close as we can get right now to a barefoot feel. Still, Nike continues to provide leading innovation in the world of football boots.