Resident boot lover, JayC (@nosajpersonlah), picks his favourite colourways from the Hypervenom series.
The Nike Hypervenom Phantom is one of my favourite boots to talk about because it’s had such an interesting story throughout its different iterations. In many ways, its story resembles your classic trilogy story. The first Hypervenom started out with a bang and became a fan favourite. The second generation Hypervenom suffered a major setback with its stiff upper before making a triumphant return with the Nike Hypervenom Phantom 3.
With rumours swirling that the Hypervenom Phantom is set to be replaced with a new silo, I thought that it’d be fun to take a look back at some of my favourite colourways throughout its existence.
Nike Hypervenom Phantom – OG Launch Colourway
We begin with the OG. The colourway that launched Neymar to superstardom. Equipped with a revolutionary NIKESKIN upper that gave a barefoot like sensation, the Nike Hypervenom Phantom was nothing like its T90 Laser 4 predecessor, which was built like a tank and full of shooting elements.
The Hypervenom’s were marketed for ‘A New Breed of Attackers’, and dang did the boot pull it off. I loved the black/warning orange colourway and snake-like rubberized skin that mirrored the deadly snakes in the wild. The boot didn’t just look dangerous, it made you FEEL dangerous as well. Whoever came up with this as the launch colourway deserves a raise.
HyperVenom Phantom Premium Gold/Volt/Black
With the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, Nike wasted no time in focusing attention on their golden boy Neymar. Neymar shared with Nike designers about how he’d spray his boots gold as a kid and the Nike Team obliged him with his own signature colourway.
The boots were launched after the group stages and man did the gold and yellow on the Hypervenoms looked amazing on Neymar against the canary and blue of the Brazil jersey. While we’d have preferred a more subdued colour like white or black to contrast against the flashy gold, if you had to give such a loud pair of boots to a player, there was no one more deserving than Neymar.
Neymar carried the Brazil team in style but unfortunately, his World Cup was cut short by injury in the game against Colombia, the only game that he wore it.
Still, we had this assist to remember him by:
Nike Hypervenom Phantom Transform SE
Rounding off the first-generation of the wildly successful Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Nike released the limited edition Nike Hypervenom Phantom Transform.
To the untrained eye, it looked like a plain black boot. However, when coming in contact with heat, the contact area would turn into a vibrant orange pattern. How cool was that? It was like wearing a boot that flicked into action, when you did on the pitch, striking fear (and goals) into the heart of defenders unfortunate enough to meet you.
The OG colourway looked dangerous but this… this was just lethal.
Hypervenom 2: Neymar x Jordan
In 2016, Nike got everyone on the hype train by releasing the limited edition NJR x JORDAN COLLECTION, a collaboration between the wildly popular streetwear Jumpman brand and their golden boy Neymar. The collection included a limited edition Jordan sneaker as well as 2 colourways of the NJR x JORDAN Hypervenom, one in black and the other in white.
Taking inspiration from Neymar’s favourite Jordan, the Jordan V, the Boot also included touches to honour this collab.Neymar Jr.’s Brasil number, 10, appears on the side of the left black boot while his Barcelona number, 11, appears on the left white boot with the signature number 23 appearing on the right boot of both colourways.
The Jordan x Football collab has definitely grown since, with PSG wearing some sweet custom Jordan kits in their current Champions League campaign. All that would probably not have been possible without this Neymar x Jordan collab which puts this boot firmly in my top colourways released. And besides, who can hate on a Jordan?
Neymar Ousadia Alegria Hypervenom II Phantom
Celebrating Neymar’s mantra of “Ousadia – Alegria”, which means which means “Daring and Joy”, Nike collaborated with the famous designer Bruno Big to create a unique Hypervenom Phantom II bespoke to Neymar.
Neymar and Bruno Big launched the boot at a local pitch in Brazil after spray painting a wall with the new Ousadia Alegria design. They also spraypainted 1000 shoe boxes to form a graffiti wall before breaking them apart for sale.
Trivia time: Eagle-eyed boot nerds had begun to note that while Neymar’s boots looked like low cut Hypervenom 2s design wise, the upper material looked different, and seemed to be sleeker than it should have been. Yes, this was the beginning of him wearing Mercurial Vapors masked as a Hypervenom. The man r-e-a-l-l-y didn’t like his Hypervenom 2 and quite honestly, I don’t blame him either.
Nike Hypervenom Phantom WR250
The WR250 Hypervenom Phantom 2 came with a great design, but an even more interesting background story. The WR250 was launched in January 2017, after the launch of the Hypervenom Phantom 3, but utilised the upper and design of the Hypervenom Phantom 2. Unfortunately, Wayne Rooney had been suffering from injury issues which led to the goal coming a little after Nike’s plan of launching it before the Hypervenom Phantom 3 was unleashed to the world.
But it was all worth the wait, as Rooney hit this beauty on January 21st against Stoke City to finally become United’s all time leading goalscorer after just 12 years at the club. As United looked to be consigned to a 1-0 defeat, who else but captain Wayne Rooney to the rescue again to send us United fans into a mixture of relief and joy at the same time.
I loved the subtle detailing of the “250” on the tongue and his iconic jersey number 10 on the side of the boot while the the deep red and pure whites of the boot looked fit for a United and England legend.
Sure, I might be wearing my Manchester United tinted glasses here to put this in my top colourways, but hey, who can say no to a clean white and red two-toned colourway.
Hypervenom 3: Raised on Concrete
The Raised On Concrete pack takes players back to their younger days, playing on the concrete floors of street soccer courts to hone their skills. Like most kids, I grew up being a nuisance to neighbors with the noise generated from playing at my void deck. It’s on these grounds that I scored my first goal, nutmegged my first victim, got nutmegged for the first time and learnt what it was like to play against the big boys.
Romanticism aside, I’ve always been a fan of red boots (totally unrelated to my club allegiance) so the silver and red combination really gets me.
Hypervenom Phantom Harry Kane SE
When Tottenham Hotspur and England’s Harry Kane notched his 100 Premier league goal, it was a special moment which Nike wanted to note. Not only had he joined an elite group of players to have hit 100 Premier League goals, the boot nerd in me also noted that he had hit all 100 goals wearing the Hypervenom Phantom 3.
To mark this special achievement, Nike released the special edition Hypervenom Phantom HK – a two-tone white and blue design in Kane’s preferred colours, highlighted by subtle golden details and the number 100 running down the heels of both boots.
I’m a huge sucker for predominantly white boots, in part due to how they look and in part because they’re just less warm to play in. But this white blue gold combination was just next level – a ridiculously classy colourway combination to take your hat off to and appreciate, just like the man himself. Unless of course, you’re an Arsenal fan…=P
Nike Hypervenom GX SE
Technially not a Hypervenom Phantom 3, the Hypervenom GX SE shared many similarities with the low-cut Hypervenom Phantom 3 that it would be a shame to not mention them.
The Air GX was the first boot produced in the famed Nike’s Montebelluna facility that was launched in 1996. Today, the facility famously still provides Nike’s professional players with boots engineered to their exact specifications.
Boot Nerd Trivia: Nike has factories in several locations, with the most common ones being Vietnam, China, Bosnia and Italy. The made in Europe boots tend to have a slightly more narrow fit, but slightly less break in time.
Nike used the latest Hypervenom plate, flywire and flyknit technology and merged it with the premium and super-soft Alegria leather to modernize the Air GX – bringing the weight of the boot down by 35%
What I loved about the boot is that it came with various touches to honour the Montebelluna team. The Montebelluna crest accompanied the colours of the Italian flag on the sockliner and heel. Italy’s flag also appears on the lateral side of the boot while the Alegria leather symbol on the upper includes the number 20 to mark its 20th Anniversary in 2017.
By now, long-time readers of the site will note that I’ve always been more of an old-school leather boot guy having reviewed most of the leather boots on the site. Having said that, modernizing old-school stuff with new school methods to produce a better product will always receive a thumbs up from me, and the Hypervenom GX definitely fell into this category.
Which boot was your personal favourite from the Hypervenom Phantom series? Let us know in the comments section below.