With adidas launching a new special edition boot for Lionel Messi at just about every turn, it's been a bit of a while since Cristiano Ronaldo has had his own bespoke special from Nike. That has now changed with the launch of the new Nike Mercurial IX CR7 boot and its unique space-printed upper. The boot, according to Nike, celebrates the Real Madrid and Portugal man's otherworldly footballing characteristics.
It features an upper that is digitally printed (rather than your analog processes) with an all-over Star Vela Supernova and includes a seven star path print. The traditional Nike Swoosh is flecked silver this time around, evoking an image of the moon's surface and carrying that space theme forward.
Denis Dekovic, Nikes Footwear Design Director, described the idea for the boot in Nike's press release:
"We were watching a game, and after Cristiano scored yet another amazing free-kick the commentator posed the question 'Is Ronaldo from this planet?! When we got back to the design studio we got to thinking about CR7's style and how similar it was to the definition of a supernova - a celestial body that radiates energy - and that was it, we had our inspiration.
"The concept of a star that burns brighter than others reflects Cristiano's style, speed and the idea that as a player he plays without limits, much like the outer reaches of the galaxy. What Cristiano is able to achieve on the field is something that we felt was limitless. So we took that direction and focused on creating a highly luxurious finish fused with modern print and color choices."
Apart from the upper's new design, the changes from the CR7 special to the regular Nike Mercurial Vapor IX are relatively few and far between with that being a good thing. The Vapor is an extremely popular boot for the speed player and this one will be no different. The stud pattern and outsole remain the same and the new upper is coated with Nike's (frankly brilliant) All Condition Control coating which has found its way onto every one of their boots since its launch on the CTR360 Maestri III last year.
If you're wondering whether or not these boots will go well with your three wolves howling at the moon t-shirt, the answer is yes and Nike probably missed a trick by not pairing that with these.