Hear that? Those were shots fired in Barcelona earlier as Nike introduced the Magista boot to the world. Magista brings a number of innovations to the table by taking Flyknit technology to football with a radical new shape for football footwear.
It took four years of research and development in Nike's Sport Research Lab to get to this release, and it looks to be worth the wait. Flyknit has been present in other sports for the last couple of years, namely in running (where the technology made its debut in 2012), eventually making it to the Summer Olympics in London on the feet of Dathen Ritzenheim in the 10,000 meter race. Flyknit has recently been used in Kobe Bryant's Kobe 9 Elite shoe.
Magista uses a custom Flyknit design that allows for a snug, sock-like fit around the foot with an extended collar that goes up past the ankle to lock the foot in. Per Nike's official press release, it was the input of professional footballers that helped decide where the collar ended up with the athletes saying that they "felt more confident and more aware of their movements" because of it. In order to provide added stability for the player's foot, the Flyknit upper is just one piece with eyelets locking "into the outsole, creating strength similar to a suspension bridge."
Speaking about Magista, Nike's VP of Sport Performance Footwear, Phil McCartney, said:
"With Magista, we've designed a shoe that feels like an extension of the player's body. This isn't a boot that just goes on your foot, it's a boot that works with your foot. By eliminating distractions, players are free to unlock their potential and creativity.
"The Magista's mid-cut Dynamic Fit collar is not just a visually compelling innovation, it's designed to create heightened feel for the ball and enhance the player's touch. The mid-cut allows the foot, ankle, and lower leg work together as a single unit, emphasizing their natural movements."
The boot was tested repeatedly, including a run out with the Nike Academy at St. George's Park. As you can see in the video above, the kids were ruthless and gave no consideration to the goalkeeper's feelings. That said, Magista received rave reviews from some of the best young footballers in the world.
One of the questions that popped up on social media ahead of Magista's release over and over and over again was about the boot's durability. After all, leather and the super thin microfiber uppers used in just about all boots by all of the major manufacturers have stood the test of time. Don't worry though, Nike have made a bold claim about Magista's staying power, saying that "the Magista is designed for the player who is always moving, creating the attack and dictating play. In a game that is faster than ever - both mentally and physically - space is at a premium and high-speed control is essential."
Magista's upper is constructed with a 3D-knit upper to provide an aggressive texture on the forefoot to aid with control. The raised texture allows for for the foot to have more surface contact with the ball, creating extra friction for greater feel on the ball during dribbling and shooting. The upper is water resistant, utilizing the NikeSkin technology that first appeared on the Hypervenom boot in an extremely thin layer. According to Nike, the coating is less than 0.1 mm thick and helps stop water from penetrating the upper.
The boot's outsole also features a brand new design to help players stop, turn, and get moving quicker. Magista opts for conical studs on the bottom. The placement of the studs is meant to allow for faster turns. The outsole is made of a combination of Pebax and nylon. For those that don't remember, Pebax made its debut for Nike on the original Green Speed boot. The plant-derived material is made of 97% castor beans and is used partly because of the plant's relatively small water requirements during growth, making it a more sustainable option. The combination of nylon and Pebax for Magista allows for both torsional strength and rigidity as well as flexibility where it matters.
Magista will be available for pre-order on the 29th of April and will be for sale on the 22nd of May. The boot will make its official on-field debut before that.