The battle recommences
From the first Mercurial until arguably the end of the lifecycle of the Predator Powerswerve, the boot industry was engaged in a titanic battle between the two dominant boots on the market. For many people, the boot choices came down to Predator or Vapor. Sure, Nike made some excellent power boots, like the T90 series and adidas made a couple of decent speed(ish?) boots, like the first two models of the F50 (though they weren’t really speed boots), neither brand could wrestle each other’s title away. A common question during this time period was whether or not one preferred the Vapor or the Predator. The Predator was the all-around boot, giving good performance and great comfort while the Mercurial couldn’t compete for comfort, it more than made up for it with its performance aspect.
I’m not sure either brand really won that battle as much as the rules were changed when Nike released the CTR360 Maestri, and adidas decided to completely change the Predator with the launch of the Predator X. But now, finally in 2020, a real Predator is (mostly) back and a conversation I’ve seen beginning to rise again is, which of the two people prefer.
This battle is far different than all of the previous ones between these iconic silos. The Mercurial no longer always destroys the feet of its wearer all the time and not everyone finds the newest Predator as comfortable as once was assumed. The flip side of this is now the Predator is competing in the performance aspect much more than it used to. It ultimately comes down to what kind of performance someone might be looking for. The new Predator is the return of a “proper power boot”, rubber spikes and all, the newest Mercurial is all about speed and a barefoot touch so they couldn’t be more different in many ways.
And yet, in spite of this divergence of either boot’s performance, this conversation has started to rise again. It could probably be because both boots are seen as each brand’s most iconic silos. As such, it means that each boot really represents what each brand is trying to achieve. For adidas, it’s a modern take on their popular boots of old. For Nike, it’s about pushing the tech as forward as possible. Neither one is necessarily a bad product either. As I have mentioned before, its good when both brands are pushing each and putting out great product like this, because ultimately it benefits the customers for brands to make the best product possible. I personally prefer the Predator but I like that the Vapor does well because that means adidas can’t put a boot out and say “job done” and the new Predator signals to Nike that the Vapor isn’t the only iconic silo on the market.
The release of the Predator, as well as the recent Air Zoom Mercurial concept shows that both brands realise that just having a boot with a knitted upper is no longer a guarantee of success like it was in recent years. This isn’t to say that the new Predator is creating a shake up like the mass introduction of knit did, but rather that the industry is changing. I am really excited to see this rekindled battle unfold.
What do you think about the newest iteration of the adidas vs Nike battle? Please share this with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!