Ahead of the upcoming release of a new generation Nike Mercurial, let's take a look back through one of the best boot collections of all time.

1, 1988 - Nike Mercurial - The first boot built for speed.

Initially known as Tiempo Ultra Light and the Ronaldo Ultra speed, the first Nike Mercurial was engineered with Ronaldo's starting velocity in mind.

Made with ground-breaking tech, the KNG-100 upper acted like leather, but didn't absorb water the way natural fabrics did and was even thinner and lighter than traditional leather - how good!

And finally, the look. According to Nike, it made an impact, with blue and yellow on Ronaldo's feet.

2, 2002 - Mercurial Vapor - From the road to the pitch.

If Nike's first idea for the Mercurial line was to create it as a track spike for the pitch, the third iteration was created to last a 90-minute sprint and deliver the perfect foot-to-ground feel for fast players.

Weight loss was the goal. So, to achieve this, everything from glue to stitching thread was weighed. A new anatomical last created around the natural shape of the foot relieved pressure and brought the player closer to the plate. 

Nike went for all speed, in the boot's look too. Interestingly, parts of the design were inspired by some of the fastest cars in the era of the 2002 Mercurial Vapor. 

3, 2008 - Mercurial Vapor SL - Something outrageous!

A new CEO brought new ideas, new challenges in 2006. This new designer would instruct every single design team within Nike to create something outrageous with absolutely no design limitations.

Up for the challenge, Nike Football somewhat reinvented the Mercurial's lightweight speed concept by constructing the latest silhouette entirely out of carbon fibre, weighing in at just 185 grams. The boot's components came from all over the globe too, making the Mercurial SL a product of the global game. 

© FTBL