It doesn’t take a genius or professional football boot spotter (what a job that would be!) to notice that there is one boot dominating the footballing world right now.
The Nike CTR360 Maestri III has been an instant hit since its launch in late July – players in all positions are donning the third generation of Nike’s control boot.
So Sport-locker.net thought it was only right that we put them to the test ourselves!
Our in house football boot nerd Sam Van Gelder has been trying them out on the green stuff for the past month…
Before I go into any great detail, I have to be clear that I am a HUGE fan of the Maestri silo.
When the first incarnation was announced back in 2009, many thought that there wasn’t room for four Nike silos. However, this fear has since been diminished and it is now one of the most popular boots amongst both pros and amateurs.
Since attending the launch event of the Nike CTR360 Maestri II (and what a day that was) – I’ve been converted to the Maestri series ever since.
Out of the box, the CTR360 Maestri III looks surprisingly reserved for a yellow boot. For me, it’s a pretty good looking football boot – classy if anything.
That said, they can still be a little flash for some, so I would suggest going for the red/black colourway if that is the case for you!
On they go
I always predicted that this would be the area where the CTR III would most come into its own and I was not disappointed!
Put simply, it’s the most comfortable football boot I’ve ever had the pleasure to lace up on my feet. The whole foot feels snug and secure. Yet most astonishingly, it feels incredibly lightweight too.
You can almost feel the sensation of the boot wrapping around your foot. The Kangalite 2.0 upper is super soft, and there’s no slippage or gaps in the boot. The suede like finish in the heel keeps your foot locked in and the upper feels extremely durable.
With the ball
The CTR360 Maestri III is one of the first Nike silos to incorporate All Conditions Control (ACC) technology.
This is a coating on the upper which claims to offer the same ball control in both wet and dry conditions. Is this tangible?
Well the actual coating itself is not apparent to the touch but it is does feel rather ‘grippy’ when controlling the ball and then when going on dribbles with the ball close to your feet.
The fact that the upper offers a leather like feel yet remains remarkably lightweight and durable is a huge positive for this boot.
The upper creases and moves in all right areas very naturally, which makes for no break in period whatsoever – another huge plus for this ever impressing boot.
It almost has a barefoot feel to it – a feeling that is heightened by the low toe-box.
I thought the upper on the previous Maestris were impressive but Nike have taken it to a whole new level with the IIIs!
It’s comes as no surprise that Nike employed Barcelona pass master Andres Iniesta as the main ambassador for these boots.
This is the area where the boot really does turn it up a notch and come into its own. This boot was made for passing!
In short, it’s an absolute dream to pass and receive a football in the CTR360 Maestri III.
It’s quite difficult to put into words, but it often feels effortless when receiving the ball. The new and improved 3D control pad delivers superb first touch.
The aim of the strips is to hug the arch and maximize contact with the ball, optimising receiving and passing accuracy.
Despite originally thinking that this area took up too much room on the boot, once you get used to them, they are remarkably helpful – especially when a pass is pinged quickly into your feet.
The asymmetrical lacing system used in the CTR360 Maestri III means for a larger area to strike the ball with – a fairly fashionable trait of most football boots these days.
Whilst not quite as impressive as the T90 Laser IV, these still prove very decent in terms of striking a ball towards the onion bag.
A lot of similarities can be drawn with the adidas adiPower Predator in terms of the soleplate being quite thin and it gives off that ‘power’ boot impression.
Despite a number of continuous strikes at goal, my foot still felt well protected, comfortable and most importantly pain (and blister) free!
Any other business
It’s also worth noting that the traction on the CTR360 Maestri III is far superior to the previous model.
The re-designed soleplate is another huge success of this boot. The old version consisted solely of blade shaped studs. These were great, but could sometimes prove a little rigid when twisting quickly.
The new round studs on the medial side and blades on the lateral make for a very comfortable ride – especially for that midfielder who has to constantly turn and change direction.
I’ve worn the boot on both grass and 3G/Turf surfaces and I can honestly say that they are just as comfortable on both surfaces – which is a first for me!
One minor negative (well, more non-positive) are the dimples on the midfoot on the boot. These are supposed to increase friction and therefore aid control and touch, but I can’t say I really noticed them that much.
It’s safe to say that the Nike CTR360 Maestri III is comfortably (very apt word) my favourite football boot in a very long time!
I was already a huge fan of the Maestri silo, but Nike have somehow upped it to a level I didn’t think was possible in one football boot.
Supremely comfortable yet luxuriously lightweight, it really is a boot for every single player on the pitch.
I honestly can’t see how this boot can be improved. Over to you Nike – you really are going to have to go some to improve on this one!