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Nike has made the bold move of releasing a boot that is set to compete with the fabled adidas Copa Mundial. In simple fashion, they have named it
Bryan Byrne is the founder of SoccerCleats101, a website created as a valuable source of unbiased information for players looking to find out about soccer footwear. Got a question about boots? Hit up Bryan on Twitter.
Nike Premier: Kangaroo Leather mix
Adidas Copa Mundial: Kangaroo leather
Nike has found a way to produce a K-leather upper on a boot that is priced under $100 - that is something to be impressed by. The only issue is the fact that Nike has labeled it “Premium” leather and not directly stated it is K-Leather. In other words, there is something else going on with the upper or it is comprised of 2 different leathers. Either way, it is super soft and folds very easy to the touch.
adidas, on the other hand, don’t need to explain their upper as it has been tried and trusted for generations without needing to be changed. Ask anyone about the Copa and you are sure to get a pretty positive reply in regards to the buttery soft K-Leather upper. It is sheer quality and provides a very durable life. In other words, the leather itself makes them value the $120 price tag.
Nike Premier: 8.6 oz
Adidas Copa Mundial: 11.7 oz
Obviously, here lies the major difference between the boots. With all of their modern techniques in play, Nike is able to really shave down the weight of the boot and produce something that aligns with the modern marketplace.
At 8.6oz, the Premier is a pretty ideal weight for what players look for. Nike has got there by producing a very thin upper and they introduce a new, very minimal, soleplate. Added to that, they have gone with a cut off tongue and a pretty basic insole. Many players will like the final result, which is a very modern designed classic boot.
The Copa, on the other hand, lies at the highest point of the current boot weight spectrum. At 11.7oz, they might seem pretty heavy, but the Copa is no slouch and its overall design has outlived many players careers. The K-leather upper is thick and durable, while the soleplate is intended to provide stability over more than a single season. Then there is the fold over tongue, decide to cut it off and you probably drop the weight of the boot a few ounces!
Nike Premier: Cut Off at Tongue
Adidas Copa Mundial: Fold Over
Over the years, there has been a debate over how the tongue on the Copa Mundial should be worn. Some players like to cut it off, while others tuck it under the lacing. Either way, it is a part of the Copa’s history and makes for one of the most iconic looks there is.Nike decided against challenging this and instead trimmed the tongue off at the ankle line. This also allows for less weight in the boot and cleaner look above the lacing system. Underneath, they have added a layer of padding and it is a simple but effective addition.
Nike decided against challenging this and instead trimmed the tongue off at the ankle line. This also allows for less weight in the boot and cleaner look above the lacing system. Underneath, they have added a layer of padding and it is a simple but effective addition.
Just to note, both boots feature a central lacing system.
Nike Premier: Conical
Adidas Copa Mundial: Conical
Even though boot stud configurations look pretty similar, there are some differences between both releases. Both feature 12 conical studs, with 8 on the forefoot and 4 holding down the heel.
The Copa is tried and trusted and has continually provided players with consistent traction. On the outside of the boot, adidas place 4 studs, while the inner side has 3. Then, they place the remaining stud in the middle of the boot for added grip when accelerating away. The one thing to note about the Adidas design is that the studs are wider and have more contact with the surface.
Nike has made some modifications with the Premier by adding 4 studs on both sides and an additional single blade in the middle. So, you are getting one extra blade compared to the Copa. This is put in place to add extra stability as you push off the surface. The studs along the forefoot are also thinner than those on the Copa.
Nike Premier: $99
Adidas Copa Mundial: $119
For so long, the Copa Mundial has been seen as one of the best value for money boots on the market. The quality of the leather and general durability has consistenly offered fans the best there is. Last year, we did see a $10 hike in the price, but other than that they have stayed relatively stable. No matter what other companies produce, the Copa will continue to be the tried and trusted, top bang for your buck option.
Nike set out to create a quality boot priced under $100, and that is what really makes these an interesting release. Everything about them oozes quality and I can already tell you that for the price, they are must consider boot. The only real issue is durability and that is yet to be determined. By providing a lower price range, Nike has taken a very smart first step, but we will wait to see how they pan out in games over the next few months.