The Nike Mercurial Superfly has long been a boot for speed, but with the latest iteration, Nike has really kicked the design into 5th gear. Innovations to the upper construction, stud configuration and soleplate make this Superfly one of the most scientifically sound boots in Nike's design history.
A new anatomically-contoured soleplate was developed as one complete piece (as opposed to layers of material), allowing the weight to be reduced by a whopping 40% from the previous carbon-fibre plate. Nike also utilized Finite Element Analysis (FEA) testing in order to determine which traction pattern worked best for the new stud configuration, resulting in a variety of triangular/bladed studs that enhance a player's ability to accelerate as well as stop on a dime.
Another data-driven design innovation was the reconfiguration of the Flyknit upper. Previously, the upper was one uniform piece of Flyknit. To provide more friction between the upper and the ball, Nike created a strategically mapped 3D "Speed Rib" texture. The speed ribs start at a thickness of 1 millimeter and progress to 2.5 millimeters at the forefoot in order to improve a player's control of the ball while operating at maximum speeds.
The Nike Mercurial Superfly V can be found here.
Images courtesy of Nike.