With rumors swirling about the longevity of the T90, the newest incarnation would have been an easy opportunity for Nike to stick with the material that accompanied the launch of the Laser IV and they could have easily taken the easy route and created a sub-par boot. Luckily, for all of us, Nike have chosen to give the current Laser IV a facelift that places the boot on par with all of the top boots on the market and has us holding out hope that the aforementioned rumors might not be true.
The Look- Although I was not a fan of earlier colorway releases with the Laser IV, the newer versions that have one dominant color paired with a good accent color have really won me over. The Mango and Volt versions are bright enough to please those who want to be noticed and the Black with total crimson is plain enough to appeal to those that want a little less flash. Although the top-tier version is nearly indistinguishable from lower tiers from a distance, they have the look of a boot that exudes quality and there are enough colorways to satisfy anyone.
The Touch- The newer versions of the boot have a synthetic upper that is on par with Nike’s Kanga-Lite for being one of the best synthetic uppers available to date. It allows you to feel the ball despite the relatively large shooting element that comes on the Laser. The fins help give a little extra grip and make sure the ball stays glued to your foot, but I would be a bit reticent to say that the fins will add to the curl you can put on the ball. The part of the shooting element that runs next to the laces provide a great, firm feeling when you strike through a ball and it could even be seen as a bit of a target for people learning how to shoot properly.
Although I had some break-in issues with earlier editions of the T90 IV, the more recent models have an astonishingly small break-in period. I did experience a few moments where I had tied the laces too tight causing my feet to fall asleep and there was some soreness after the first few uses. However, once the upper starts to form to your foot then you get a fit that is phenomenal. The Poron inserts are still present in the insole and it helps with the overall comfort of the boot. Fact in that the shooting element also acts as some extra protection against those really aggressive challenges, and you have a boot that keeps you safe and comfy.
The Verdict- The early versions of the IV were slightly disappointing and it was quickly overshadowed by the Maestri III, but Nike has made some impressive redesigns. The new synthetic places them even further above Adidas in the race for great synthetics and is as close as possible to the incomparable Kanga-Lite 2.0 as we have seen yet. If the opportunity to snag one of the “dying breed” that is the Laser IV, I would tell you to jump at the opportunity. If Nike do choose to end the T90 line with this incarnation, it certainly goes out on an extremely high note.
Written by: Andrew McCole, writer, soccerprose.com