The new year means new cleats and Nike have come out strong with the brand new Phantom Venom. The Phantom Venom replaces the similarly titled Hypervenom Phantom as being the cleat custom designed for finishers. If you’re the player responsible for putting the ball in the back of the net, these cleats are for you. So what’s different you ask?
There are lots of things to be excited about as Nike took the best features of the aforementioned Hypervenom, combined it with some new technology, and threw in some T90 nostalgia for good measure. The result is the all-new Phantom Venom.
The Phantom Venom has taken what worked from the Hypervenom with an ultra comfy Flyknit upper and Flywire cables to give that perfect lockdown. Where they have made big changes is in covering the laces with Flyknit to give a bigger strike zone and adding some texture to the insole. While covering the laces is not exactly on the same level as the Phantom Vision’s Ghostlace system, it is effective and looks clean.
The biggest addition to the upper is on the instep where 13 ridges make up what Nike is calling the Precision Power strike zone. These ridges may look familiar to you if you were a fan of Nike’s T90 Laser cleats. The ridges in the Precision Power strike zone were thoroughly tested and put at ascending heights and very specific angles to keep a mishit ball down. It’s an amazing feature and might just see a few shots end up in the back of the net rather than over the crossbar.
Nike has not made the Phantom Venom just for those that like to smash the ball in the back of the net. They’ve added a micro-texture mold in the toe and vamp of the cleat ideal for putting backspin on the ball as you chip the keeper. They really are giving strikers the tools needed to accel at their craft.
The soleplate on the Phantom Venom looks significantly different than the Hypervenom 3, but is actually very similar in design and feel. The HyperReactive plate is the same flexible Pebax and nylon mixture that gives support, flexibility, and traction in all directions. It looks far different with a faceted structure aesthetic and different stud configuration. Whereas the Hypervenom 3 had a mixture of studs and chevrons for cutting and striking, the Phantom Venom is all chevrons. The result is a flexible feel ideal for agility and explosive speed in all directions.
Overall, the Phantom Venom is an amazing cleat that strikers will love. It draws on the heritage of past cleats and adds updated technology and learning to give the most specialized cleat around. You’ll be hard pressed to find a cleat so ideally designed for one specific position on the field.