Football boot design is unique. While all athletic shoes are designed to engage with the foot, football boots are also designed to engage directly with the object of play. For this reason, scientists in the Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL) have spent countless hours analyzing the various angles and intensities with which the ball comes onto and off of a boot when playing football.
By studying at a micro level how the ball connects with the boot, pressure maps and data points were formed to guide parameters for generative design. Another integral consideration are vector forces. Both of these areas of study support the goal of creating a new, useful, innovative texture for a boot.
The design of the Phantom GT (Generative Texture) used these digital data sets to create a boot built to help perfect feel on the ball and unleash a player’s creative skills. During two years of development, hundreds of different configurations were evaluated before the design team landed on the optimal patterns and varying heights and angles of the texture. Designers learned how much texture is too much, so as not to make the boot excessively grippy. And by molding the texture right into the Nike Flyknit upper (as opposed to affixing texture atop it), the boot retains a soft, pliable, premium feel without risk of texture detachment.
This means every element of the Phantom GT upper is strategically beneficial for the player, backed by data-driven science and testimonials from the pros. The boot encapsulates the optimum balance of feel and grip, and is properly scaled to every size offering and coated with ACC (All Conditions Control).
In addition to its revolutionary upper, the sole plate and traction of this boot is entirely new, enabling sharp cuts and underfoot control. The new Nike Hyperquick System features a generative chassis with agility studs. It is built to be more rigid in the heel for planting, while the forefoot is designed for swift change of direction. Conical studs have been split for quick cuts, complemented by wide rotated chevrons. Together, they combine for the best FEA (Finite Element Analysis) traction pattern Nike has ever produced for medial and lateral movements.
Kevin De Bruyne said, “The Phantom GT is fantastic — it’s pretty much exactly what I need to help me play the way I do. The touch, the feel of the boot is the best I have worn in my career and I can’t wait to launch them. Nike has pretty much made my perfect boot.”
Kai Havertz added, “I felt a difference in the new Phantom boot as soon as I put it on. The fit and feel is incredible and not like any boot I have worn before.”
The underfoot design cues are striking. There is an open arch on the medial side, increasing the “boot to ball” control area. Anatomically tuned ribs on the lateral side, slightly reminiscent of Nike Free, have been engineered for optimal underfoot support. The coloring, gradient and graphic possibilities are endless and will be explored in future colorways.
In another first for Nike Football, Phantom GT is available in a FlyEase option!
Consistent with Nike’s universal design principles, the Phantom GT Academy FlyEase features a fold-down heel for easy entry and a wrap-around strap closure in lieu of laces. Carson Pickett, defender for the Orlando Pride, remarks, “Honestly, my first reaction when I saw the Phantom GT FlyEase was relief. I thought about my younger self and what it would have meant for me if something like this existed when I was growing up. I feel like this boot represents me and anybody else who is unique. FlyEase is very easy for anybody to put on quickly, which I love.”