A few years ago, you would have been amazed to find that there was no boot claiming to be a member of a “control boot” silo. Now, every brand is clamoring to create a member of the fastest growing boot style on the market today. All of this was caused by the initial CTR360 and we are now enjoying the third version of that game-changing boot. The memory foam pads are gone and the revolutionary Kanga-Lite has been upgraded, but you can still sense that the main goal of this boot is to be seen as a control boot. Has Nike continued to move forward with this boot and have they improved on a template that was already so successful?
The Look– The boot colorways that have been released tend to lean towards a two-tone color scheme. The current colors available are the black and white colorway that, to me, is one of the best colorways available on the entirety of the market and a mint and black colorway that will only appeal to certain fans. The 3D pass pads and the dimples on the fore of the boot all add to an overall look that makes for an appealing boot that avoids having too many frills and additions. Nike has stepped farther away from being able to easily distinguish colorways from their top tier boots and the other tiers, but you will know the Maestri rom the fins on the pass pads.
The Touch- Although the initial version of the Kanga-Lite was impressive and massively successful, it pales in comparison to the new upper used on the Maestri. Nike is definitely making the best synthetics on the market and Kanga-Lite 2.0 is the best of the bunch. The touch on the ball is great and it still provides enough padding for shots and passes to feel fantastic when they fly off of your foot. Although Nike may claim that the 3D pass pads effect how the boot addresses the ball, but they merely act as a slight dampener for when you receive balls into your instep. After using the Maestri in a game, I can safely say that every other boot is playing catch up.
The Feel- With the majority of boots available, I would advise that you slowly work them into use and that you break them in as slowly as you can. With the Maestri, they are ready to wear as soon as the box arrives on your doorstep. Although there is some tightness towards at the beginning of the toe-box, that quickly gives way to one of the best fitting boots available. The CTR360 has been a fantastic fitting shoe since its inception, but the III continues and improves upon the fantastic standards of the boots that came before it. This boot also has a durability that should last for longer than a season matched with a comfort that can only be matched by a pair of house shoes.
The Verdict- Although I would never claim that there is a best boot on the market, the Maestri almost has brought me to place it on top of the heap. The comfort, feel, quality, look, and every aspect of this boot has me suggesting it to any person that approaches me and asks what boot they should get. The Maestri may have changed the game when it was initially released, but Nike has refused to sit on their laurels and release the same boot with slight cosmetic changes. The Kanga-Lite 2.0 will result in better synthetics in the future and the quality of this Maestri will cause Nike and other companies to try and create boots that attempt to reach the heights that the CTR360 has reached. If you are looking for a new boot or are thinking about snagging something new, I really cannot suggest this boot highly enough.