For the second part of the Form, Function and Philosophy breakdown of the Nike CTR360 Maestri III I discuss the Function of the shoe with some help from my friend Brandon Lostutter.
Brandon represented me on this trip to the Nike Soccer Innovation Summit and thank god he did because after reading what he went through in the wear test I would have looked like a fool. I have not played soccer for years and when I did I wasn’t that good. I have always been attracted to the design and creation of the Nike Soccer line, as seen in the first part of the series Form. So when I had the chance to send some one to represent me I instantly thought of Brandon as he plays multiple times a week. Check out his breakdown of the Function of the shoe as he put it to the test in multiple drills and through the ultimate assessment in a scrimmage.
During the Nike Soccer Innovation Summit, I had a chance to lace up the new CTR360 Maestri III and take it on to the pitch for a series of performance testing. Nike brought us to the same field where The Chance had been held earlier, bringing in the coaching staff of The Chance to work us through a series of drills. The exercises that we went through highlighted many aspects of the new technologies and materials that make up the CTR360 Maestri III.
After putting on the CTR360 for the first time and warming up a bit, you instantly notice how light the boot is. For a product designed for maximum control of the ball, these boots surprisingly disappear on your feet.
The first drill was a dribble and shoot course where the player would sprint, receive the ball, dribble through multiple cone obstacles, and finish with a shot on a miniature goal. The idea of the drill is speed and control, and the CTR360 delivers on both. The new sole plate incorporates a 360-degree stud pattern, which includes rounded cleats on the medial side for easy turns and bladed cleats on the lateral side for harder cuts. When cutting with the ball, the CTR360 plants itself and only moves when you want it to. Even after an hour of wear, the studs can not be felt through the plate, adding to the disappearing feeling you get with these boots on.
The second drill we experienced was a circle of 6 passing boards, the player was to pass to the boards in order, receiving the ball and one touch passing to the next, all for the fastest time. The boots have a revamped 3D control pad area set in the medial side of the upper. This area is made up of a fine mold that is injected into strips on the midfoot of the boot and is texturized to help control the ball during passing and receiving. This new innovation was definitely felt during this drill. Compared to other boots that I have experienced, the CTR360 has a sense of stickiness to them, giving you a better feel for the ball and what direction it is going.
The third drill was affectionately known as the “Rooney Drill,” as it is named after footballer Wayne Rooney. The player receives a ball at the top of the box and one touches to a shot on goal. This is done on both sides so you use both the left and right side. We ran through this once, and the second time we had a chance to douse our boots with water to see how the new All Conditions Control (ACC) Technology held up in dry and wet conditions. The dimple pattern on the lateral part of the toe also creates a grip point for shots to come off of. There was little to no difference in performance between dry and wet, although I would really like to see if this is the case in true wet weather conditions.
We also had a chance to scrimmage 7 vs. 7 for the last hour or so of the wear test. Seeing your teammates in these boots when running fast breaks is a great experience. The contrast of black and yellow makes it so you can see exactly where their feet are making it an easier and more accurate pass no matter where you are on the pitch.
After 2 solid hours of soccer drill and scrimmaging, the CTR360 feels as good as it does the first 5 minutes you put them on. The mix of comfort, lightness, control, and speed make the CTR360 an elite choice for any player looking for the ultimate in controlling the game on the pitch.