Nike Phantom Vision Review – Academy, Pro, & Elite Models

nike phantom vision review

Curious to know what these Nike cleats were worth all the buzz surrounding them, I have had the chance to test the three model variations.

Throughout this article, I’m going to be reviewing these shoes based on my own experience. As an offensive midfielder playing in Division III, I have tested each pair for a little more than a month.

Launched in July 2018 by the most famous sports equipment brand, these Nike Phantom Vision cleats have taken over the soccer fields by storm.

If you are considering changing soccer shoes and are looking for high performance, you certainly have come to the right place. Right after the 2018 World Cup, these shoes have been chosen by some of the most prestigious soccer players in the world: Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, and Coutinho just to name a few.

So without further ado, we kick things off with the entry-level cleats: The Phantom VSN Academy

Nike Phantom Vision Academy Review

Product Overview

If you’re looking for a pair of soccer cleats that are good all around, look no more. Everything you need is here: comfort, flexibility, durability.

This model could, however, use a better ball touch which can be improved in my opinion.

The new lacing system plays its part to perfection, it is fast, it is efficient, it is flawless. The Dynamic Fit sock feels nice but seems of lesser quality than on the other models where it is made of Flynit.

All in all, I was quite pleasantly surprised with these Phantom VSN Academy. In all honesty, I don’t think there are many other options that will deliver such a high-quality boot at that price point.

If you’re on a budget but don’t want to compromise on quality, I highly recommend that you give these a try.

COMFORT

FLEXIBILITY

DURABILITY

VALUE

We Like

We Don't Like

Nike Phantom Vision Academy In-Depth Features Review

Ball Control

Far from being perfect, the touch could be perfected. The external structure is somewhat basic and the ball will grip a little less than what you would get with a higher-end pair of soccer shoes. This “issue” has been made even more obvious during a rainy day of practice where I felt some difficulties to drive the ball as I normally would.

Nevertheless, I want to give props to whoever designed the Ghost Lace technology. Not only is it innovative and efficient, but it also greatly improves your performance. Thanks to a near-perfect lacing system; the contact surface with the ball is simply flawless. This will make you shoot, cross and pass more consistently and reduce mistakes.

My teammates even thought that I was wearing a laceless pair!

Comfort

The minute I put these on, they were an instant slam-dunk in terms of comfort. Very rarely have I felt such a great combination of lightness and comfort in a pair of soccer cleats.

Compared to its direct competitors at the same price range, there’s no question about it, these are the most comfortable shoes you can get, period.

What is even more amazing to me is that these shoes only weigh just under 8 ounces (225 grams). The shoe offers great foot support and a great feel thanks to its padded inside which feels rather nice.

Durability

After using them on a dozen practice sessions, the shoes seem to be as good as new. Only the studs have some light scratches which is normal.

However, I would be curious to see how the Dynamic Fit top sock will stand the test of time.

Even though I may lack some perspective on the matter since I tried these for a limited period of time, my experience tells me that these Phantom Vision Academy should easily last you a full season, if not more.

Style

Style and looks are always a subjective matter and my opinion is simply my own idea of style. That being said, you should take this section with a grain of salt and are more than welcome to disagree with me.

I’m not the biggest fan of this shoe’s design, I think the materials that were used in its conception don’t give it the best aspect. The Ghost lace technology is able to give a cleaner overall look to a rather dull looking pair of cleats.

Value

There are no two ways to go about this. This pair is simply the best value for your money you can expect for less than a hundred bucks. The number of features, characteristics and amount of technology that are packed into these shoes is simply way above what we normally see on the market.

Nike Phantom Vision Pro Review

Product Overview

Rebranded “Pro”, this mid-range pair of Nike Phantom Vision soccer shoes presents a few variations from the Elite model.

The upper, for example, is not made of Flynit but Nike Skin which is a synthetic textured fabric that supposedly improves durability and allows better ball control.

The amazing Ghost Lace is still there, as well as the Dynamic Fit collar that surrounds and perfectly secures the ankles.

COMFORT

CONTROL

PERFORMANCE

VERSATILE

We Like

We Don't Like

Nike Phantom Vision Pro In-Depth Features Review

Ball Control

Where the Academy version failed to impress me, the Pro was able to grab my attention. The mesh-based Nike Skin really does a great job by offering both a padded touch for optimal protection and a seemingly barefoot touch.

When it comes to the fundamentals that are dribbling and shooting, these shoes are simply awesome. Thanks to the smooth surface provided by the Ghost Laces, your strikes will simply be no less than spectacular.

It is worth noting that the forefoot and lateral sides don’t have micro texturing as the Elite version does. The texture is still high-quality and helps you hit the ball firmly while sending it wherever you intended to.

Comfort

Much like the Academy ones, these shoes are extremely comfortable and provide a lot of flexibility to your foot. When it comes to sizing, no problem there either as they run true to size.

Forget about the break-in period, these are good to go straight out the box. They also don’t take a lot of getting used to, I was completely adapted after a single practice session.

The only issue here is putting them on without overstretching the upper. Just be wary of that because you can not loosen it like you would with any pair of shoes. Just prepare in advance and take the extra 2 minutes to put them on properly, trust me they are worth it.

Tech Specs

This mid-range tier boot is packed with technological features while still being very affordable. That fact makes it quite unique in its own right.

I have talked at great length about the Ghost Laces which I simply adore because it makes your boot both smooth and tight-fit your feet. I have tried laceless soccer cleats and never really liked them because of the lack of lockdown ability.

Inside the boot, the padded mesh gives these boots their structure and can be also found on the upper lace cover.

The upper is made of the awesome NikeSkin mesh that makes it almost too easy to play soccer.

The soleplate is rather aggressive and provides awesome traction. As a player that likes to change directions quickly and mislead my opponent, this was definitely appreciated.

Overall, the difference between the Pro and the Elite boots do not reside in their features but in their material.

Nike Phantom Vision Elite Review

Product Overview

Midfielders such as myself who tend to run a lot during the game will definitely appreciate the comfort provided by the Nike Hyperprecision insole. For the most technical players out there, the multidirectional cleats are a real treat and give unparalleled traction on the pitch.

I was amazed by the Ghost Lace feature on all three models and I don’t think I will ever go back to another lacing system after trying these.

As for durability, Nike really made sure to use prime quality material while designing these shoes and it really shows.

After about 20 uses (both practice and matches), they still look as good as new and could easily endure a full season or two.

If like me, you like your soccer cleats to be tight and give a barefoot feel, you will be 100% amazed by these Nike Phantom Vision Elite.

CONTROL

TRACTION

DURABILITY

QUALITY

We Like

We Don't Like

Nike Phantom Vision Elite In-Depth Features Review

Ball Control

The control and touch provided by Nike’s Elite Phantom Vision is simply brilliant. The Quadfit technology only available on this pair provides a bigger control and contact area with the ball.

Bullseye there from Nike! They definitely hit the mark and the efficiency of this feature is unquestionable. It really felt like the precision of my passes and crosses improved overnight.

Last but not least, I particularly appreciated the fact that the insole doesn’t move an inch. My feet felt well supported and my consistency was really above average.

Traction

One of these Phantom Vision Elite’s biggest strength is also its outsole. Designed to sustain and support quick movement and directional movements, the cleats were strategically placed to offer optimal traction on the pitch.

I particularly love the multidirectional cleats on the front of the outsole. It really helped me make sharp turns and cuts while running from my opponents.

Comfort

What about comfort? We’ve talked about it a lot for the previous models but is this one any different?

Absolutely not, dare I say it’s even better? Yes, I dare!

The Quadfit technology makes the shoe completely embrace your foot while providing great support and protection. The comfort is provided by the padding and the interior of the shoe made of mesh.

This pair of soccer shoes also surprised me as they are incredibly lightweight. This is a factor that I always keep in mind when buying new soccer shoes as I tend to run almost ten miles per game.

Other Useful Soccer Articles

Nike Phantom Vision Review – Frequently Asked Questions

Plenty of soccer big names currently wear these shoes.

  • Edinson Cavani
  • Harry Kane
  • Alex Morgan
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  • Mauro Icardi
  • Malcolm
  • Robert Lewandowski
  • Willian
  • Marcus Rashford
  • Thiago Alcantara
  • James Milner

Ghost Lacing is one of Nike’s latest technological improvements in their soccer shoes. It essentially keeps the laces hidden and implements a “single pull” system for equal tension throughout your shoe.

The Phantom Vision adapts perfectly to all feet shape and is in my opinion what you might call, a wide-feet friendly soccer cleat.

Like I mentioned previously in this article, the quality of the materials used in the Elite version is way better. There’s also the Quadfit technology on the high-tier model.

Yes they do, they are however hidden by the Ghost Lacing system.

Proper care and maintenance are essential to keep your soccer shoes in prime condition for a longer period of time. What I can say is that you should never put them in your washing machine, always brush off the dirt that may be stuck on the outsole.

For the rest of the shoe, use a soft brush with a mild cleaning solution and rubby rub, scrubby scrub.

 

Nike Phantom Vision - Final Words

When it comes to choosing between the Academy, the Pro, and the Elite version, you have to consider two main things.

What soccer level are you currently playing at? Do you feel comfortable there or do you wish to play in a higher league/better team? Do you feel like a gear boost could be enough for you to reach your goals? Are you unimpressed with your current cleats?

Also, what is your budget? Can you spend around $200 on a pair of soccer cleats? If so, the Elites are definitely worth it. I liked them so much that they have in fact become my new go-to soccer cleats. If not, both the Pro and Academy versions do a damn fine job for sure.

Have you been able to try one of these yourself? Let us know what was your experience like in the comments below.

Paul L Schulz
Paul was born in Victoria, Australia in 1992. He quickly showed an interest for soccer but hated to have to run. Quite naturally, he turned to the goalkeeping position and displayed early signs of great athletic abilities. Today, he still plays and coaches youth twice a week, and his hobbies include hiking, gardening, and writing.