Nike has just unveiled its latest football boot - Hypervenom II. Created in partnership with Brazilian striker Neymar Jr., Hypervenom II is created for a new breed of attacker.
After launching the highly successful Hypervenom football boot in 2013, Nike has just unveiled its next iteration - the Hypervenom II. Designed with large input from Brazilian striker Neymar Jr., the Hypervenom II is Nike's boldest boot yet. Set to be debuted by the Brazilian striker at the Copa del Rey Final at Barcelona's Camp Nou on May 30, he will also don the brand new boot for the upcoming UEFA Champions League Final next month. Designed for attacking players who are "deceptive by nature," the innovative design features Nike Flywire strategically mapped into the boot's upper, which is comprised of enhanced mesh, complete with NikeSkin and All Conditions Control (ACC). A Flyknit Dynamic Fit collar with seam placement off the tendon completes the striking new Hypervenom II boot.
With a design team consisting of Nathan VanHook - Senior Footwear Design Director for Nike Football, Phil Woodman - Nike Football Footwear Designer, and Max Blau - VP Nike Football Footwear, the Hypervenom II is big news for Nike Football. Inspired by nature, the visual design of the boot is just as important as the technical aspects. Arriving in a Wolf Grey/Orange colorway that was inspired by deadly animals with poisonous capabilities, this so-called "belly of the beast" is carried to the boot's neon sole. For the first time, there will also be a women's alternative to the Hypervenom II, releasing in a bold Turquoise/Volt colorway.
We sat down with Max Blau, VP Nike Football Footwear, to find out a little more about the bold new release from the sporting giant.
In terms of football's growth in the U.S., Nike has a similar growing impact in the sport. You’re like the newer kids on the block, so how do you use that to your advantage?
The advantage of that is that we write the script – no one else is writing the script and there is no previous script to follow. It gives us as much freedom as we want. When you combine freedom with amazing tools and resources that we have for many years in other categories, and you take some of the things that you think might apply to football, I think truly the sky is the limit. That’s the most exciting part you know, we write the script as we go. So far it’s been young, but still 20 years of doing this and it's amazing to see what we were doing then and what we're dong now. Ultimately, the main focus is the consumer.
What is your favourite feature of the Hypervenom II?
What I like most about this boot is the lock-down. You can really feel like you can push and you don’t feel any stretch or the material giving and your foot sliding inside. It gives you a lot more confidence.
What are other influences for you that are not typical to sport?
The two obvious ones are nature and cars. For the design, for example, when we ask the player what car they drive, it tells you a lot about their personality and what they like. That helps you understand truly the personality and what they feel connected with. It's proven in theory that when you like something, psychologically speaking you feel better, and then you play better. It’s the motion reaction to something you like. It's not just fit, touch and traction, and innovation – it's fit, touch and traction, innovation and style. It’s the four. You know, no one really wants to play with an ugly boot.
Previous Nike Football boots are now becoming collector’s items as each new boot is released. What has been the brand's response to this?
Football is super cool lately – it’s getting cooler and cooler. Guys are collecting boots. It's not just a sneakerhead thing – it’s the boot head. I think that’s great and that’s something we do really well as a brand.
Design-wise, professional football boots are moving into lifestyle. That's another crossover that has been happening. What do you think of this?
Yeah I think that's interesting and something that’s not really being done before. It’s like crossing the bridge between performance and lifestyle. The truth is, when you’re a football guy 24/7, its not like you’re a football guy for 90 minutes then you’re something else. So I think it’s very important for us to work with that and to explore and expand that opportunity beyond and off the pitch and trying to do it in subtle ways. I don’t think you need to be too obvious. Sometimes it’s just the material, or the graphic. But I think there’s something there that consumers want to address.
On the women’s football side of things, Nike is doing a lot there. What is upcoming it terms of that?
It’s definitely a big opportunity, especially in the U.S. where the market continues to grow. What we’ve done is adapt our products – especially size ranges - we used to go down to a size six and now we go down to a four. That way we can offer statement products to women. And then obviously aesthetic, which does not necessarily mean going with a traditionally women’s colorway.
What has been the most satisfying project for you working with Nike?
The most satisfying for me is always the next one. I must say every project has something special. Every project is challenging – some perhaps more challenging than others - but you learn so much from every one in every direction. And part of what I like the most is learning what you can do better. You’re almost like a sports private investigator. It’s super interesting.
Nike Hypervenom II will be available via the Nike Football app beginning May 25 and online from May 27. The women's colorway will be available via the Nike Soccer app in North America on June 2.