The summer of 2013 seems like forever ago. Germany hadn’t yet crushed the dreams of millions of Brazilians at the World Cup. Real Madrid hadn’t won their historic La Decima yet — actually, Bayern were just fresh off their 2013 Champions League final victory over rival Borussia Dortmund. “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines” were the songs of the summer; although, those are still stuck in my head so it doesn’t seem like that long ago.
My point is that the original Nike Hypervenom has been around for a minute. It has seen all of those things since a 21-year-old Neymar introduced us to its charms two years ago. The Hypervenom built its identity around the deceptive, agile, and attack-minded player. Neymar, Rooney, and Lewandowski all seem at home in this boot for that reason. Fortunately for them, that hasn’t changed on the Hypervenom II.
As you can see, the next-generation version carries on the identity of its predecessor, but this time it’s less sleek speed and more illusory angles and intimidating stature. So let’s talk about what has changed on the updated Hypervenom Phantom, because there is plenty.
How about we start at the top? Some of you may be disappointed to find the Dynamic Fit Collar sitting up there. Yes, Nike has stitched on their Flyknit collar that debuted on the Obra and Superfly over a year ago. However, there is a key difference. The heel seam is offset, instead of the stiff spine that rides along your Achilles on the other boots, which has been accused of dishing out blisters over time. With the asymmetrical seam, the collar still has support and (hopefully) added comfort. And there is a nice pop of orange along the top and inside, which is always welcome.
Is that Flywire I spy on the upper? Yep, sure is. Nike has ditched the honeycomb look and mapped out Flywire in crucial spots on the new Hypervenom. It’s integrated into a responsive loft mesh that was designed for this updated boot. Areas that get heavier usage on the ball received additional siping, or thin slits, to improve traction and control. This enhanced mesh upper still has the Hypervenom I’s Nikeskin and All Conditions Control, which lends some continuity from the previous edition.
You may be wondering about the zig-zag aesthetic on the Hypervenom II. Nike’s designers have claimed it represents the aggressive and edgy style of their Hypervenom players, who use their agility to zig when others think they will zag. This unique departure from the first generation may be the most intriguing design aspect on the new boot.
Moving down to the outsole, it may look the same with its split-toe construction, but there is a difference down there as well. The soleplate has been made with a softer compound this time, which is quite noticeable when you get the new Hypervenom in your hands. Apparently, this change was made due to players asking for a more comfortable soleplate.
Of course, the outsole is where Nike’s designers used animal inspiration the most. They borrowed the look of deceptive creatures with colored undersides that only give away their deadly nature when it’s too late. The orange with geometric black shapes portray this excellently; it brings to mind the belly of a snake or the skin of a jaguar.
With the Women’s World Cup fast approaching, Nike has finally shown off the Hypervenom colorway of their ‘Blue Lagoon’ World Cup Pack they released last month. Alex Morgan will be flaunting the flashy blue and Volt look in Canada this summer, matching up her relentless offensive skills with the attack-minded Hypervenom. This color will be impossible to miss on the field, especially when it syncs up with the home kit’s Volt socks.
The women’s Hypervenom II goes on sale June 2nd in North America, while the launch colorway hits retail on May 27th.