First Impressions: As a fan of the first generation of the Nike Hypervenom Phantom, it was a welcome sight to see a move away from the Phantom 2’s upper that was stiff to say the least. The new FlyKnit upper on the lowcut Phantom is a massive improvement and something you fall in love with instantly when on feet.
The Look: The launch colorway was released beside some colorful boots Nike decided to release in celebration of the Spring. The boots colors actually make up the three colors found on the Phantom. Orange makes up the Instep area that then goes to Yellow, and then Green. It is not my favorite colorway ever, but I think it was a neat addition to include the colors found on the other boots in the pack.
The Touch: This is easily one of my favorite parts of any review, the tech specs and performance. Starting with some upgrades that made the Phantom 3, incredibly more impressive than the Phantom 2. Starting with the brand new all FlyKnit upper, we finally have a soft, but strong upper that can truly be a fantastic successor to the original Phantom. The upper also features foam pads that become harder when hitting the ball with force and are marketed to make your strike harder. The upper is completely covered in ACC technology to allow the optimal touch in any weather condition. The lacing system is pushed off center to help create a larger striking surface. The tongue, or lack there of, is all exposed flyknit and is stretchy enough to help get into the boot easier. A brand new Pebax soleplate features Conical studs on the inside of the boot and bladed studs on the outside of the boot. While playing in the Phantom 3, I found everything to my liking. I found that when striking the ball you are able to strike the ball comfortably with not much sting thanks to the new foam pads. When controlling the ball, the FlyKnit helps aide in a closer touch on the ball and with time, the FlyKnit becomes even softer and when fully worn in, the upper is one of my favorite that I have ever tested. Passing the ball is the same way with the FlyKnit upper giving a clean touch on the ball and does not interfere with any type of pass you may need to attempt. The soleplate is a surprisingly solid addition. I was a fan of the all-conical studs plate found on the last two phantoms, but with the stiffness in the back of the boot and some flexibility under the toebox. I thought maybe I would have some issues with the odd stud pattern, but I had zero issues with sticking in or lack of traction so for me, that is a win in my book. The Phantom 3 as a whole takes another step in the Hypervenom evolution towards the best boot for strikers we have ever seen. Don’t be upset with me T-90 fans, I appreciate what the T-90 line did for boots made for strikers, but the latest Phantom has me excited again for what could be next for the Hypervenom line. Don’t let me down Nike, please no more boots like the Phantom 2.
The Feel: I have been a Phantom for as long as the Hypervenom has been on the market. They fit my feet well and the upper is comfortable on top of my foot. The same goes for the new Phantom. I personally did not experience any sort of discomfort, rubbing, or blisters while playing and testing in the Phantom 3. It should be noted that everyone’s experience in the boot will be different, but for this reviewer, this is comfortable from the time you take it out of the box, until the day it gives out, which I have not gotten to yet.
Bang For Your Buck: You can pick up the Phantom 3 for a cool $179.99-$169.99 over at SoccerPro.com depending on the colorway you want. Now for me, that is a no brainer for one of my favorite boots on the market today. I think any player would be hard pressed to find a boot better than the latest Hypervenom Phantom. Hands down, my first choice cleat at the moment.
Who’s Wearing it?: With the arrival of the Phantom 3, we also had a new crop of players who will headline the boot. Neymar made the rather public switch to Mercurial Vapor, which opened the door for Harry Kane, Robert Lewandowski, Marcus Rashford, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to headline the Phantom line.
The Verdict: While it may not be a NikeSkin upper with the honeycomb pattern we came to know and love with the original Phantom, but the latest addition to the Hypervenom line is the true heir to the Hypervenom Phantom throne. The FlyKnit upper is a fantastic replacement for the disappointing Phantom 2.
Sizing: True to size.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5