So, for the folks that know me, y'all already know I'm a Nike boot connoisseur of sorts. I've been wearing Superflys and elite classed boots, since well...I've played the game. I recently made some poor consumer choices of failing to get my hands on the the GS Concept I's, but told myself I wouldn't make the same mistake for the II's. Last night I gave the boots a little test drive on the slick pitch of my college (mind you my college's womens program is a NCAA D1 school, so the pitch is pristine). Now I'm not one to go into hype about boots improving your control, rather I believe they supplement your skill-sets, although in a very subtle sense.
Comfort-wise, the GS II's are pretty narrow and tight, even for someone that's worn Vapors and Superflys essentially their whole playing career. There is a new stud configuration; Nike went from the traditional four bladed studs at the rear, to just two smaller bladed studs. The soleplate is also much different, having deviated from the standard carbonfiber soleplate that has become so familiar to the Nike Elite line. The sole plate and stud configuration left me feeling with a much lower ride to the ground, I could essentially feel every bump and inconsistency on the pitch, which was a pretty nice feeling, but at the same time, was kind of annoying, considering I'm still trying to break them in, so my arches were left even more sore. In terms of comfort, I wasn't blown away, nor surprised by anything the GS II had to offer. 6/10
Performance-wise, the GS II's were fantastic. Getting back to the new soleplate, I felt that with energy from my strides were, in unison to how incredibly light these boots are (Nike's lightest boot yet), being transferred effortlessly and effectively onto the pitch. It literally felt like I was running with just socks on. The synthetic kanga lite upper is extremely supple, if you ever get your hands on the GS II's beside noticing the weight, feel the kanga lite, its awesome. Being that the boot is so thin, I could really and when I mean really, I mean REALLY, feel the ball as I passed and received. This is a huge difference from what the Superfly III's had to offer. I was telling my buddy whom I was testing them with, that the Superfly III's, while light in their own right, was an awesome boot, had an odd feeling of being thick around the instep and toe-box. While the material by no means was thin at all, it just felt like it was somewhat padded, which to say wasn't a negative. But, I had been so accustomed to the feel of the synthetic material used in Superflys when I started taking some touches with the GS II's new ACC synthetic recycled material, I felt like I was playing barefooted, which was very odd for me. It was odd in the sense that a pass that I would normal hit in my Superfly III's would be almost effortless in terms of feeling on my feet, I could barely feel myself making the pass, but with the GS II's I could feel the contact with the ball so much more, which I have yet to determine whether it is beneficial to me or not. It was mildly raining when we were kicking the ball around, so I couldn't have asked for better conditions to test the ACC (All Conditions Control) material of the boot. Every strike of the ball felt consistent in terms of the feeling, not once did I feel that the wetness affect my control, or any hit or mishit. Performance-wise I'd rate the boots at a 9/10
Support: Now, I've tried on and played around with Adizero's, and I was disgusted with them. I felt no support, and just generally felt like the ball would deflect off my feet in funny ways when I went to settle the ball out of the air. Maybe it's just me, but I feel the same way about every F50 boot to ever be released. The Adizeros had one thing going for them, and that is the malleability of the material, when you take a step the material offers almost no resistance to your foot in terms of flexion, the same is for the GS II's. However, the feeling I get when I put on Adizeros is that when I come to a halting stop from a dead sprint, that the boot's upper material will just buckle under the immense force being placed upon them when stopping on a dime (which of course won't happen, but it's just the way I feel). This problem lies in the sole-plate and heel counter, the Adizeros have a pretty good soleplate and stud configuration in my opinion, but the heel counter for some reason just never caught my fancy. Nike has somehow stuck a perfect combination, not only is the material malleable, but the soleplate supports my foot very well, and the heel counter does exactly what it needs to do, holds my heel in place when coming to stops or sudden changes of direction. Not once during my testing did I feel like the force of any my cuts would cause me to lose footing. Support 9/10
Additional comments: The shape of the boot is much more narrow than the Superflys, the boot holds a much more slim profile, which subsequently enough makes scooping the ball up extremely easy. The toe box of the Superfly III's was a bit rounded, which made chipping up ball not necessarily difficult, but rather a more conscientious action.
Final thoughts: I am very impressed with the boot, knowing that it is meant for people with a thirst for speed. I didn't have any expectations for the boot to be comfortable- when has a speed boot ever offered comfort? The lower ride feel you get is very nice, gives you a sense that all that energy from your strides is making good contact with the ground. The material is awesome, very comfortable and responsive. And the soleplate, what more can I say about the soleplate? Thing is perfect, just perfect. Only con that I really see is the break-in pains. Having broken in Vapors and Superflys my feet have become somewhat resistant to the pains of breaking in Nike's speed line of boots. But, with the new soleplate, my arches have been given a nice beating. Which is good, because all it means is that I am adjusting to the new boot and functions it offers, while obviously at the same time, the boot is being broken in to supplement my needs.
Overall rating: 8.5/10.
I am looking forward to testing the boots in a game this weekend, so hopefully I'll have some more comments to add. I also intend to add more comments once I've fully broken them in.
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