Claudio Pereira

Introducing NIKE's PhantomVSN

Claudio Pereira
Introducing NIKE's PhantomVSN

Less than 48 hours after the World Cup Final and Nike have already landed their first punch of the 2018/19 season with the launch of a completely new football boot silo. Introducing the PhantomVSN – a series that replaces the Magista line.

A new chapter in Swoosh design, and in boot design in general, the PhantomVSN arrives with a silhouette that revolutionises the control market. Built from the inside-out, Nike's latest addition to the family comes packed with a new concept built for ultimate comfort and control. Read on carefully and we'll fill you in on why this is a bit of a big deal.

To create something different and better, designer Phil Woodman started conceiving of this boot from the inside out. This resulted in a proprietary new construction that will debut in football with the PhantomVSN and soon be adopted in other Nike footwear.

“We developed an internal Quadfit mesh bootie that conforms to fit most any foot, but retains its shape and will not overstretch,”says Woodman. “Quadfit contains the foot without constricting the foot.”

The Quadfit isn't visible from the outside, but it works its magic inside the boot. Quadfit doesn’t have the stretch bias typically seen in woven materials. The four axes of fibers conform to the player’s foot and provide support in all directions. It works because of the unique fiber orientation as well as the separation between fibers; the gaps distribute the load of the foot and mitigate friction. The result is an incredible fit across a very broad spectrum of unique foot structures.

The key visible technology is the new Ghost Lace system. Yeah, that's why it appears laceless, but it isn't. 

“We’ve done tremendous amounts of research, talking with players and analyzing data in the lab,” explains Woodman, “and the results are unanimously in favor of lacing to provide that customized fit each player desires.”

Nike could make a laceless boot, but their players are telling them they don't want that. They basically want something that allows them to customise the fit but in a low key style. Hence the Ghost Lace touchpoints were minimized and a one-pull construction implemented for equal tension all the way down the foot. The laces can then be discretely tucked away to provide an even striking surface. Smart.

A highly texturised Nike Flyknit upper provides that premium touch on the ball, and the triangular texture complements that. The PhantomVSN naturally replaces the Magista silo, but focuses on a more attacking mindset thanks to its new FEA-informed traction pattern to accommodate quick multi-directional cuts.

Players such as Kevin De Bruyne, Philippe Coutinho, and Leon Goretzka are all set to slip into one of the three colourways launched ahead of the 2018/19 season.