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What happened to the Nike Magista?

The Magista was in many ways a forward-thinking boot which paved the way for a number of future releases. We celebrate it’s significant impact here.

The Nike Magista

Forgotten Boots: Nike Magista

Welcome to Forgotten Boots, a brand new series where we’ll be casting a light on the boots which once graced the pitch at the highest level, but that are now fading slowly and gracefully into the background. These are boots which can still perform with the best of them, but in the often ruthless churn of the industry even the cream of the crop eventually has to succumb to the young pretenders.

In our first edition we ask the question: what happened to the Nike Magista? Let's take a look at a boot which left a lasting legacy despite its relatively short reign.

Brief history of the Nike Magista

Image from Nike.

The Magista launched in the spring of 2014 to much acclaim. Nike were (and arguably still are) in many ways kings of the boot world at the time, but the release of the Magista cemented their commitment to innovation despite their pretty position on the throne.

Like any good release, the Magista introduced not only some new technology but also a radically new look. As strange as it seems to say now, 2014 was the first time we saw sock football boots in the wild. These days every brand has several sock boots in their locker, but just over 5 years ago they were an entirely new concept. The Magista Obra (a sock version of the Magista) represented Nike’s first crack at the new sock boot whip, and former VP of Sport Performance Footwear Phil McCartney explained the company’s thinking at the time:

“With Magista, we’ve designed a shoe that feels like an extension of the player’s body. This isn’t a boot that just goes on your foot, it’s a boot that works with your foot”.

Phil McCartney, VP of Sport Performance Footwear, Nike

This simple philosophy caught on, and momentum gathered pace thanks to the Magista’s involvement in two major tournament wins (which we’ll highlight later on). Although the boot would eventually be phased out in 2018 after a relatively short lifespan, the impact of the Magista and sock boots in general is undeniable.

What happened to the Nike Magista?

Although the Magista received a tonne of backing from Nike, a number of factors led to its discontinuation in 2018.

Firstly, the boot simply lagged behind other boots from Nike’s stable in terms of popularity. Though the novelty of a sock was a big draw early 2014, Nike quickly jumped at the chance to utilise socks across their other boot silos. Most notably this included adding a sock to the seemingly eternal Mercurial, and now the Mercurial Superfly (the sock version of the boot) dominates the market. The biggest draw of the Magista suddenly become less of a ‘feature’.

Image from Nike.

Perhaps more important though was Nike’s complete overhaul of their boot offering. In an effort to streamline their burgeoning collection of boot silos, the brand switched gears in 2018 with the release of the Nike Phantom Vision (or Phantom VSN), the first of two boots which would fall under the new “Phantom” section of Nike boots. The Phantom Vision was followed in 2019 by the Phantom Venom (Phantom VNM, as seen in the picture above), thus filling out the Phantom collection.

Alongside these new releases the much loved Tiempo received a major overhaul, cementing Nike’s commitment to the range.

The release of the two Phantom boots and the rework of the Tiempo meant it was curtains for both the Magista and the Hypervenom. It was a radical shift for Nike, and something of a surprise given the Magista and Hypvervenom’s widespread usage. Time will tell if it was the right call, but it’d take a brave person to bet against the Swoosh.

Technology of the Nike Magista

As we’ve already mentioned the Magista was famous for the use of a sock, but the boot was so much more than that.

The technology of the boot was designed to meet the needs of a creative playmaker, and elements like fit, touch and traction all saw attention. Nike Flyknit, a material now common across Nike’s boot range, was used for the first time in the Magista. This alone helped the boot to achieve two things: a close touch of the ball and greater control when delivering a pass.

Image from Nike.

Then of course we have the sock, or to give it its proper title, the ‘Dynamic Fit Collar’. The improved fit was a game changer, allowing wearers to be freer from the typical distractions you’d face when changing direction quickly and interacting with the ground and ball in a split second. Once again Phil McCartney is the best man to describe what was going on:

“The [Dynamic Fit collar] allows the foot, ankle, and lower leg work together as a single unit, emphasizing their natural movements.”

Phil McCartney, VP of Sport Performance Footwear, Nike

Further enhancements were found on the upper, where a friction generating 3D-knit texture added yet another weapon in the control arsenal. In boots of the past extra layers were required to help create this sort of friction, but Nike Flyknit was able to recreate the same sort of performance with just one layer, thereby bringing the foot closer to the ball.

Image from Nike.

I could keep going for ages. NIKESKIN was found across the boot, a special application that protected feet from water and cold. The skin was claimed to be less than 0.1mm thick, practically ‘melting’ onto the boot in a way which wouldn’t get in the way at all.

Image from Nike.

Quite simply the Magista was packed full of nifty tricks and features, offering something for everyone no matter their position or the conditions they were subjected to.

What is the Nike Magista Obra?

There were a number of variations of the Magista during its time, starting with the Obra. This was the ‘classic’ version of the boot, which featured the famous sock as detailed above. However, the Nike Magista was also available in the Opus variant, which effectively saw the removal of the sock in favour of a more typical construction. Much of the same technology was found in the Opus though, and the majority of release of the Magista saw both Obra and Opus options available.

Image from Nike.

Later on you could also find the Magista Orden and Magista Onda, which were essentially different qualities of the Magista. Like other Nike silos there were also indoor versions of the Magista, with some even boasting a sock.

Who wore the Nike Magista?

Image from Nike.

Perhaps the most staggering detail of the Magista was the perfect choice of players used to promote the release of the boot.

Following his World Cup winning goal in 2010, Barcelona legend Andrés Iniesta was the poster boy of Nike’s latest adventure. I say poster boy, he was more co-poster boy alongside a certain Germany wonderkid who was set to star at the upcoming 2014 World Cup: Mario Götze.

In an act of symmetry that looked like it had been scripted by a Netflix documentary team, Götze himself followed in the footsteps of Iniesta by scoring a goal in extra time to make it 1-0 in the World Cup final. Two players, in two tournaments, providing the exact same outcome and wearing the exact same boot silo.

Image from Nike.

Two years after Götze’s goal Nike launched the Magista 2, and coinciding with the release was an ascent to the mantle for Kevin De Bruyne. The choice of the Belgian playmaker was a typical stroke of genius from Nike, and his stock only gained traction in the seasons that followed.

Does anyone still wear the Magista?

In the wake of their discontinuation in 2018, a number of elite players continued to wear the Nike Magista at the start of the 2018/19 season. A contingent of Spurs players including Christian Eriksen, Eric Dier and Danny Rose all kept wearing the boot, alongside players like Joshua Kimmich and James Milner.

As recently as this year, Milner even received a custom pair of Nike Magistas to commemorate 500 Premier League appearances, though the boots were never worn in game.

Fast forward to this season and you’d have to be a professional boot spotter to identify any top level players still wearing the Magista, despite their widespread usage just a couple of years ago.

5 Best Nike Magista colourways

5. Magista Intense Heat Pack

Image from Nike.

The ‘Intense Heat’ Magista was not for the faint-hearted, with a shocking orange and purple combination that looked like some sort of Halloween special edition boot (the pack was actually released in March).

It was a memorable look though, and looking back it stands out as one of the most interesting versions of the Magista, even if it would be difficult to match them with your kit.

4. Magista Just Do It Pack

Image from Nike.

It’s fair to say the Nike Magista went out on a high note, with the popular Just Do It Pack variant representing a strong final chapter in the silo’s story. The 2018 World Cup was dominated by the pack, and the white and red Magista more than played its part.

Perhaps the standout feature across all the boots in the pack was the iridescent soleplates. They looked simply gorgeous, and it’s almost certain we’ll see similar themes in years to come.

3. Magista Dark Lightning Pack

Image from Nike.

If I mentioned the main colours of the Dark Lightning Magista in isolation, purple and peach, you might assume we were talking about a boot almost as startling as the Intense Heat Magista. By contrast though, this particular Magista made great use of the unusual colour combo by balancing out the vibrancy with a predominantly black upper.

It’s the sort of combination that balances class and flair to perfection, and though the Magista was typically more on the flair end of the spectrum, it had its fair share of more considered moments too.

2. Magista Floodlights Pack

Image from Nike.

There are few colourways I have enjoyed more than the Floodlights Pack Magista. The various shades of teal look as beautiful as a deep lagoon, and the more typically-Nike ‘Volt’ swoosh feels at home amongst the waters.

Even the textured upper of the Magista seems to lend itself to this colour palette. Perhaps it’s personal taste, but I don’t think we’ll see many better boots from an aesthetic point of view.

1. Magista 2 launch colourway

Image from Nike.

Though the original Magista 2 colourway is not strictly speaking my ‘favourite’ colourway, it is undoubtedly one of the defining looks of the boot across it’s history. The design is of course inspired by heat maps, and there’s something otherworldly about it’s flamboyant usage across the boot.

Given the technological focus of the boot, this was as fitting a colourway as Nike could have provided for the Magista.

Where can I buy the Nike Magista?

Although you’ll no longer be able to find Magista’s on Nike’s own site, there are still a number of versions available here on FOOTY.COM. We look at prices from a large range of retailers big and small, so if someone is selling a pair we’re all over it.

Of course given that the boot is not longer part of Nike’s rotation, you’ll be hard pressed to find specific colourways in specific sizes. However, you can check out our dedicated Nike Magista boot page to see what is available. At the time of writing there are still over 50 pairs on sale, so you’re bound to find something, especially if you’re open to different colourways!

How can I find cheap Nike Magistas?

Deals will be very hard to find, but your best chance is to regularly check our cheap football boots page. Given the rarity of the Magista it will be an absolute steal if you can find a version in this range, but at the same time if you’re open to different models and crucially qualities of the boot there is the chance you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Phil Delves

Grab a brew, and let's talk about subliminal geometric patterns.