For starters, I will confess I have not been the biggest Nike fan when it comes to boots. I always had a hard time breaking in the boots, especially with the Mercurials.
I will tell you that these Nike CTR 360 Maestri III are, and pardon the trite pun- masterful.
For me, the most important thing was that the shoe fits and can be very comfortable. Of course, breaking it in was the fun part as I was part of a select few that tried these boots out at Ronaldo Field over at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. There we ran the boots through and extensive gamut of drills and tests.
The comfort was good as the use of synthetics really took a huge leap forward with the implementation of Kanga-Lite 2.0 in this boot. It allows for a great deal of flexibility as well as the similarity in texture to that of actual leather. The feel at first you have to get accustomed to a bit as there is more of a grainy, raspy feel when the boot makes contact with the ball. Once you get used to it, it is a feel that lets you know that you are getting the best possible contact and touch.
The stability of the boot allowed to generate a great deal of quickness and speed for players that both have it and are direly looking for it. As far as the weight is concerned, the boot weights about 8.5 oz, a bit heavier than the PUMA evoSPEED, but it does offer a great amount of stability.
Stability and Control
The sole plate feels a bit stiffer but it also gives you the flexibility that you need in order to move around the pitch and control the ball. There is no compromising when it comes to the mobility that a player can have with this boot. More importantly, the boot has a system of studs that promote explosiveness and control.
Being in a position where you have to turn and move in multiple directions in order to receive as well as distribute the ball around the park. This is why the outside square studs and the inner round studs make one better able to move in a quick and timely manner.
The passing of the ball of course is what makes this boot so unique. The implementation of the Pass Pad This was probably the one feature of the boot that was I was most impressed with. The eight rubber strips that are located on the instep of the boot serves as a place where the ball can be cradled when both passing and trapping the ball. These rubber fins offer more touch to the ball and in no way seem to hinder the player from feeling the ball when passing at all
The inner studs help in getting into the ground quickly, it also helps to get the stud out of the ground just as quickly as well.
This also helps out in getting the proper balance to shoot the ball and the amount of sweet spot to be able to strike it in the best way possible. The uneven lacing offers a great deal of room on the inside.
The dimpling on the upper part of the boot is part of the all conditions control coating that the CTR 360 Maestri III offers. One of the test that we made on this boot while at the Nike campus was to get the boots wet and touch the ball in an effort to see how the feel was. In the tests one could see that there was still the same amount of control as if the boot was dry. The dimpling and coating aided in getting the control of the ball as close as one could get it to being the same in both wet and dry conditions.
Overall the feel of the foot is very comfortable despite there is no memory foam.
Nike implemented a great deal of feedback that was given to them by Andrés Iniesta after many trials and prototypes that he used. So after many test and retests, you could safely say that the CTR 360 Mastri III is arguably the most unique boot in the market right now. From an overall perspective, the boot offers a great all around experience and as light as it is offers the type of protection that you could find only comparable to the PUMA Powercat 1.12.
I don’t say, and I should never say that a boot makes you a better player. That is not true. What I can say about the CTR 360 Maestri III is that you can have a very enjoyable experience to do it at the Nike Campus with several colleagues, obtain a better understand of the rigors that they put these boots through and be the ones that place them through these tests as well.