Last summer Nike debuted their unique Dynamic Fit Collar before the World Cup. The collar was originally only included with the top-tiered Mercurial Superfly IV and Magista Obra boots. Nike expanded the Dynamic Fit Collar to also cover their third-leading shoe this year with the release of the second generation of the Hypervenom Phantom. That expansion also included the mid-tiered Hypervenom Phatal II DF, which we will be looking at today.
Nike’s opening colorway for the Hypervenom Phatal II DF is really something unique. The upper is mostly a Wolf Grey color that brings out the accenting Total Orange with a jagged cheetah print effect. Matching grey laces and Dynamic Fit Collar camouflage to the upper, while a black Nike Swoosh completes the heel cup design. A large orange Nike Swoosh also covers the striking surface of the boot.
My first fitting with the Hypervenom Phatal II DF was a little tricky. It was my first experience with a Dynamic Fit Collar and it took more effort than I imagined it would. Finding leverage to pull my foot down into the shoe after squeezing into the collar was an experience I won’t forget. It took a few times of taking the shoes on and off until I was really comfortable with the process. If the Dynamic Fit Collar is something that you are not interested in, there is a traditional low-cut version of the Hypervenom Phatal II without the DF collar.
Nike has stripped down some components from its more expensive Phantom version to make the Dynamic Fit Collar more available in the market. The Phatal keeps two standout pieces from the Phantom; being the sole plate and the Flywire.
The glass nylon soleplate is the same one that Nike has been using for the past few years. The soleplate includes a split-toe design that is hardly noticeable. This soleplate has been very good to me. I have had a few different pairs of shoes with this design and each shoe has been very comfortable out of box. There is some stiffness that will work itself out, but for the most part you will hardly notice it after a couple hours on the field.
The traditional stud pattern for this soleplate is a little much for play on field turf. The alignment of the studs are fine, its just the length of the studs can sit deep into field turf. When those longer studs sit into the turf when turning at pace you can feel them dig into the surface and are not as responsive to your body movement. This does slow you down to win the ball, but even more importantly could cause injury if worn on the wrong surface. There is a version of the Hypervenom Phatal II with Artificial studs that may be hard to find, but would be perfect for those who primarily play on field turf. I have played on grass more recently and the Phatal’s conical studs do a good job of digging into the ground and pivoting with your movement during a change of direction at pace.
Nike included their Flywire system through its upper to give the shoe a tighter grip on your foot when lacing it on. I enjoy the support that the Flywire has given in all of my shoes, be-it running or soccer that have included this technology. It really does give you a locked-in feel that helps keep your feet from sliding around inside the shoe.
Nike chose a different upper for the Hypervenom Phatal II DF than the Flywire woven material that they use in the Phantom. Mirage synthetic microfiber material was used in the debut version of the Phatal and is being used again by Nike in the second generation of the Phatal. It is a thinner one-piece upper than what was found on the previous model. The thinner mirage synthetic upper does gives you a little more comfort and closer touch on the ball. I found the upper to be good on my first touch. It is lower grade of an upper than I would expect for a shoe with the retail tag above $150. For those looking for a Hypervenom boot with a NikeSkin & Dynamic Fit Collar, it looks like the Phantom is your only option.
I was not enamored with the Dynamic Fit Collar, but neither did it inhibit my playing style or body movement in any way. Playing with the collar was generally unnoticeable. My biggest takeaway from the DF collar was that it held in heat in warm temperatures. Playing temperatures are reaching the mid-90’s this time of year. The Hypervenom Phatal’s thick elasticated yarn was noticeably holding a warmer temperature on my body.
The Hypervenom Phatal II DF is a solid shoe. If you are looking for an introduction to the DF collar than this a good introduction. There are some subtle design changes with the quality of materials that the Phantom utilizes, but the more reasonably priced Phatal will do the job on the field just as well. Get out there and try the Dynamic Fit Collar and let me know if its right for you!