We are currently on the sixth one of the 7 chapter Cristiano Ronaldo Superfly story. This phase is the Born Leader, which speaks to Ronaldo rising from the bottom and officially becoming captain of the Portugal national team. The new colorway is flashy and all, but with this piece, I’m going to tone the flashiness down a bit and talk about something that isn’t spoken about often, the new budget model, the Nike Mercurial Superfly 6 Academy “Born Leader”.
The new Superfly 6 Academy “Born Leader” (retailing at $95 for this colorway), has some pros and cons as far as looks and feel go. The Superfly 6 Academy has a basic synthetic upper that isn’t extremely thin but is somehow thinner than the previous Victory. The Superfly’s upper feels bulky, especially fresh out of the box. When passing/striking the ball, I didn’t quite feel as if I was truly contacting the ball. The upper is very padded, making the fit awkwardly tight. As I said before, the synthetic is thick and padded, making the touch a bit too hard and plasticky. I personally like a snug, one to one, barefoot feel with my boots, but this didn’t give me that.
The Superfly 6 Academy does feature a one-piece construction with the elastic collar that goes through the laced area, normally where a tongue would be, and around the ankle. The collar material is on the cheaper side, as it feels more like an actual elasticated sock rather than a true knit collar. That’s completely okay since this is a takedown model, but regardless of that, the collar does hug my ankle nicely for a close to seamless transition from ankle to foot. The collar fulfills its purpose of looks and feels, but just below that if the area of concern for me. The heel pushes into my heel/achilles, which was quite uncomfortable over time.
The main feature of the new Superfly 6 Academy, is the (MG) Multi-ground sole plate. It’s a hybrid of bladed and conical studs to allow play on multiple outdoor surfaces, firm and artificial ground. The hybrid plate is a good idea if you don’t want to buy separate FG and AG cleats. The MG soleplate does get the job done, but it’s not a noticeable difference. With a normal FG Mercurial, you get bladed studs. You can feel a bit more grip but it can be a bit dangerous while pivoting, as it can cause knee injuries from too much grip. The AG soleplate does sacrifice some grip but does have less probability to cause injury. The Multi-ground soleplate is a great blend of the two, having bladed and conical studs allowing me to comfortably run with enough grip without feeling overly dangerous. I’ll be looking forward to more of this.
Nike has put out some decent takedown models, and although this personally is not one of the best, the Nike Mercurial Superfly 6 Academy is a good budget model for those who don’t want to “splash the cash”. For its price, it provides a decent boot for players. It’s a decent boot that could use some touch ups to be even better.