Nike Total90 IV Laser Kanga-Lite
The Nike Total90 IV Laser Kanga-Lite is a boot that has a lot to live up to. Filling the void that was left after the removal of the Kangaroo leather used on some of the T90 III's and attempting to usher Nike's celebrated power boot silo in with this new leather-like synthetic was something that few companies could successfully attempt. But, if anyone is going to do it, Nike definitely has the credentials to make it happen.
Design - 4/5
The release colourway of the Nike Total90 IV Laser Kanga-Lite is a classic black and yellow combination with silver accents seemingly splitting the boot in half. I've always been a huge fan of boots that have one dark colour and then a really bright one to complement it, and these lasers certainly fit the bill. The number of colours involved with this boot is actually somewhat conservative in comparison with the other T90 releases, and most of the contrasting colour is provided by the striking element on the instep of the boot. The sole-plate is also looks pretty snappy, with a lot more detail on this incarnation of T90 than the last few.
Comfort - 4/5
The main reason I purchased the Kanga-Lite version of this boot is because I knew I would need the boot to stretch a little more than the synthetic version. Although both types of T90 don't have much stretch to them, the comfort is top-notch. The Kanga-Lite is amazingly soft and supple, and it has a great "out-of-the-box" comfort. It only took one practice session before the boots became completely broken in, and the top-quality sock-liner that Nike put in their high-end boots only added to the comfort. The tongue on the Nike Total90 IV Laser Kanga-Lite allows you to make sure the boot fits right, and it also prevents any 'bite' that the laces might try and take out of the top of your foot. One word of caution: They are very narrow (in comparison to the wide fitting Laser IIIs and have the same shape as the CTR360… the fit is great for anyone with a narrow foot hoping for a perfectly shaped boot, but anyone with a wider foot should definitely try this one on before buying.
Performance - 4/5
The Nike Total90 IV Laser Kanga-Lite is certainly one of the more "technology" laden boots on the market. With the striking element on the top of the boot and the fins on the front part of the instep, Nike has certainly introduced features designed to aid a player during play. When passing with your instep, you get a great feel on the ball, and the non-element covered portions of the boot offer a feel on the ball that you would expect from a much thinner material than the Kanga-Lite.
The adaptive shot-shield when held in your hands just feels like raised pieces of a rubber-like plastic, but they do provide a great firm striking service when you are shooting or really laying into a ball. The fins also make you feel like you are getting a little extra swerve on any of your curling shots or passes, and, although the true effects are probably marginal, it makes you more confident in those aspects of your game. However, my favourite feature is not one that Nike has included in any of their ad campaigns. Nike has placed a strip of memory foam down the middle of the tongue of the boot, and it makes catching any ball on the top of the boot feel fantastic. It also adds some serious protection for any possible challenges you might face.
Value - 3/5
This colourway of the Nike Total90 IV Laser Kanga-Lite can already be found for around £110 ($175) in comparison to the £135 ($210) release price. These boots will have the durability to last more than one season, and, if properly cared for, may last even longer, but the fact remains that they are a bit on the pricy side.
Overall - 4/5
The Nike Total90 IV Laser Kanga-Lite is definitely a solid offering for Nike's Power boot silo, and the professional and amateur uptake proves that they have certainly created a quality boot. The difference between the Laser III and IV almost makes it feel like a completely redesigned boot, but I think Nike have made a positive change. If you're looking for a quality boot with loads of technology, then the Nike Total90 IV Laser Kanga-Lite is for you.
Andrew McCole is a contributor to www.soccerreviews.com