Often times with Elite shoes, I find that, while superior to the non-Elite boot, the cost of the upgrade is just prohibitive. I mean $400 is a bit much for a boot that you’ll be replacing in the next two to three years. This isn’t the case with the Nike Total 90 Laser Elite boot. Not only is the boot superior to the regular Nike soccer shoes, but the price is just right if you’re a serious player.
How about we just go ahead and get the color and look out of the way, so we can sink our teeth into the structural upgrades. I have in front of me the black and green colorway, and it’s a simple, classic looking boot. It’s black all over, with “electric” green shot shields on the instep. The cleats are the same green as the shields. “T90” is stamped into the inside of the heel, which adds a subtle, effective touch to the style. That’s it, guys and gals. As I said, it’s simple yet classic. The luster of the synthetic leather is tempered by the brick-esque pattern of the material, which is definitely a good move by Nike. All-in-all, the boots have a reserved yet powerful look to them.
Now, let’s talk about the structural upgrades, because they are worth it. First, the carbon fiber both lightens the boot a bit and also makes for a more comfortable, stable boot. The stability is aided by the cleats as well—the regular lasers have ridged cleats while the Elites have solid, harder studs. Whereas the regular Laser boots feel a bit awkward beneath my feet, the Elite boots are surprisingly sturdy and comfortable. I didn’t feel any abnormal pressure on any part of my foot in the Elites. Another small change in the Elites is the placement of the back four studs. The Elite boots have them positioned more towards the center of the heel rather than on the outside, which makes all the difference in balance for my foot. The heel cup, which is missing the distinct outer plastic cup of the regular boots, is still protective and resistant to pressure. It cradles the heel nicely and holds it in position well. Nike made all the right upgrades with these boots, and has really changed my perception of the lasers. The Elites are a complete shoe rather than appearing like an amalgamation of several ideas lumped together.
That said, the only drawback I’ve found personally is the width. As I’ve said time and time again, Nike boots are just too narrow for my feet. The shoes are fine lengthwise—I fit into a size 9 fairly well. My wide foot causes the laces to spread apart, which then causes them to be the largest surface on the boot. If Nike is your brand (or your feet are narrow), then these boots will fit like gloves. The heel makes it a little tough to pull the boots off, but that’s a good thing. You’ll have no trouble with the boots slipping or sliding during the game. At $227.49, these boots are truly worth the price. If you’re not playing in a serious capacity (i.e. rec leagues, intramural), then I don’t know that you’d want to shell out the money for these boots. If you’re a serious footballer, though, I’d give some serious thought to purchasing these boots. They’re superbly built shoes, and I think you’ll find them worth the extra money.
Written by: Kris Dyer, contributing editor, soccerprose.com
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