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Nike Premier Review

Nike Premier vs Tiempo

For many players, wearing classic and traditional styled boots is the only way to go. For a long time, the Adidas Copa Mundial has been the mainstay when it comes to classically inspired boots, while it has been an area that Nike has sort of avoided by sticking with more modern feels.

Then they dropped this latest gem of a release – the Nike Premier.  This is a boot that features a timeless inspired look with a whole lot of modern technology. On paper, it seems to be a rather ingenious move by the home of the swoosh and since they were unveiled to the market, there has been a steady wave of positive comments geared toward them from fans. I’ve had the boots for a few weeks and here is how they have performed.

Interested in a pair, they are currently available at Soccer.com for a pretty awesome $99.99.

Introduced to the Market

From concept, Nike worked with the idea of creating a high performing, timeless classic that would be would be available to consumers for less than $100. It is not directly implied, but the boot is intended to be a direct competitor to the Adidas Copa Mundial, with the more modern nature of the Premier giving it a fresh edge.

Nike Premier side profile

Nike Premier Soleplate and Stud Configuration

Breaking In and Comfort

This really is a delicious release from Nike that will have players drooling over the comfort they offer right out of the box. Everything about the boot is created with a little extra flexibility in mind and that translates as you put them on and jog for the first time. One area that really stands out is the soleplate, which bends extremely easily and really syncs with your foot movements without being too floppy. It creates a very natural feel and players will definitely appreciate the efforts Nike has taken in developing it.

The upper is also buttery soft and you will find they offer a nice touch on the ball right away. A major benefit is the fact that there is no technology included in the upper, so the minimal leather design simply provides a uniform ride with old-school performance. If comfort ends up being an issue for any player out there, please let us know in the comment section below as we would love to know how other players experiences compare to ours.

New School Performance

Don’t be fooled by the extremely simple, traditional look of the Premier – Nike has gone to extreme lengths in producing a boot that is as modern as it comes in terms of technology. We have found out since their release that a lot of research went into the production of the boots, with the intent of finalizing a product that would stand the test of time on the market. There are several different areas of the boot that they have worked on and the following are the ones worth pointing out.

No. 1 – Touch – what is with the upper?

First and foremost is the leather upper that Nike use. In order to downsize the weight of the boot, they have gone with an ultra thin layer of material. The end result is a buttery soft upper that really molds to your foot shape effectively. When you can pinch the leather and feel it fold right to the brink, you know that it is pretty special. We still don’t know the exact type of leather used by Nike, with many some reports it is K-Leather and others touting a goat leather. The one thing we do know is that the entire upper is created using natural leather, something that is quite rare for companies to do with new releases these days.

[Also See: Nike Premier – What Does it Mean For The Tiempo Legend?]

No. 2 – Traction and Stud Configuration

Another key area for Nike is the development of a new soleplate and stud configuration. Lets start by talking about the conical studs and the lower profile design. Each of the 12 studs located on the sole has been trimmed in both length and width. This provides a lower center of gravity with a quicker release from the surface as you push off to sprint. In the center forefoot, a slightly more oval shaped stud has been added. This has the dual functionality of being a brake stud as well as an added source of traction for releasing from the surface. I found the design to be effective, especially when it came to playing on artificial surfaces. The configuration provides the ability to penetrate the surface without causing any drag.

No. 3 – The Soleplate

This is the real winner on this boot, in my opinion. Rather than creating a hinge design, where the boot bends immediately under the toes, Nike has produced a more uniform flex through the entire forefoot. In other words, the bend is gradual and provides support right through the foot movement. Being honest, these boots seem to be designed for more mature players who have been playing the game for a long time. We are talking about the 30+ demographic here, and these are the players that will end up buying the boots. Thus, the concept of creating a much more comfortable bending motion is a master stroke by Nike as the more mature player relies more on comfort than that initial burst of speed. In hand, the boot folds very easily right back into a 180 degree position!

Nike Premier Back Studs

Soft Leather upper - Nike Premier

Nike Premier Swoosh

Wrap Around Swoosh

In order to truly develop a unique final product, Nike has added a wrap around swoosh the goes from one side of the boots and around the heel to the other side. The real boot connoisseurs out there will spot this one and appreciate the style it adds to the boot. Along the heel, Nike has embossed the text “EST. 1972”.

Keeping Things Simple With the Tongue

Rather than fighting against the fold over design Adidas owns, Nike has cut the tongue off at the ankle and solved the “what should you do with the tongue” dilemma! On the under side, they place a suede material that adds some extra grip against your socks, and they have included a layer of additional padding through the center. It doesn’t add a lot of value, but any additional help to protect in heavy tackles in duly appreciated!

How do they Fit?

This is an area where people have relayed different feedback. I tried a pair that were true to size and a pair that were listed a half size up and I have to say that the half size up felt more comfortable. There really isn’t a great deal of extra room in the boot and they seem to provide a sort of Tiempo Legend sizing to them. If I had gone with the true to size pair, I am sure they would have stretched somewhat over time and maybe that would have made a difference. But, I am all about finding the right size out of the box and I know more traditional players will appreciate that extra level of immediate comfort out of the box. My recommendation is to definitely consider going up a half size on this one.

Nike Premier Tongue

Nike Premier Leather Upper

Nike Premier Upper

Copa adiPure Compared

Compared to the Copa Mundial

These boots are a serious contender compared to the extremely popular and highly regarded Copa Mundial. The Copa is really seen to be the godfather of boots and I can’t remember any other boot that has ever challenged that title. Nike has taken the right approach with these and I really do think their emphasis on creating a super affordable shoe that offers high performance will pay off. Plus, they have hinted at the fact that this is a boot designed to stand the test of time on the market. In other words, it is here to stay with no impending modifications required.

[Also See: Adidas Copa Mundial Review]

Under $100

I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that there isn’t a better boot on the market at this price point right now. Everything about these oozes quality and they are going to really satisfy the traditional player who seeks a simple, uncomplicated boot. It was Nike’s goal to keep the price under $100, something they can do since there will be no big endorsement to go along with the release and there won’t be a team developing the next version. The hard work has been done in creating the boot – now they simply have to gain a following and sell through word of mouth.

Critics Notes

There is not a great deal I can fault about these and it is pretty obvious that Nike has been extremely cautious with their approach to the final product. It is a design that should pay dividends over time. The one thing I do want to note is that I feel like this is a boot that could gain a lot from some key player endorsements. There are a lot of pro players that could easily benefit from what they have to offer. But that is not going to happen, unless of course certain players sport them without direct endorsement deals in place.

Nike Premier Firm Ground

Nike Premier

A Final Personal Note

These boots truly are a stroke of genius and the timing of the release is perfect. For such a long time, the Adidas Copa Mundial has been the tradition players boot of choice and we have been preoccupied with modern highly glamorous releases. Each brand seemed to be fighting the lightweight war, until Nike walked in with these. Although the Copa fan will state that “Adidas has nothing to be worried about”, I really think they have something to be concerned about. Everything about this release appeals to the more modern player who wants a traditional design. And I have a feeling that older players will appreciate the fact that they look like a mature players boot but weigh in nearly 3oz lighter than the Copa. No matter what your stance is on weight, 3oz on both feet over 90 minutes is a big deal! My advice to Adidas would be to find a way to modify the Copa without losing too much of its 1970’s suave appeal.

Interested in a pair, they are available at Soccer.com for a pretty awesome $99.99.

The Skinny Summary

Highlight: Nike has tackled the heritage market with this no-nonsense, very modern and technologically advanced, traditionalist boot.
Category: Pure heritage, as you might have noticed from the design.
Weight: A cool 8.6oz that is right in my “perfection” range.
Would I Buy Them: In a heartbeat and I will be recommending these boots to a lot of players. The quality they provide for their price is exceptional.
Player Position: Rather than being a specific position, this one lies with a playing style. If you want something traditional, that offers modern performance and a simple final product, these are a solid option to consider.

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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46 comments

  1. Nice review. I don't think Adidas should touch the Copa, though. Sure, it's not perfect, but it is what it is. When the time comes I'm not sure if I'll get the Premier or another pair of Copas, but I do know that for someone my age (26) and those who are older, the romanticism of the Copa does matter. I can remember a time not all that long ago when the Copa wasn't just a "great classic boot", but a great boot…period, that competed directly with the modern releases of the time all the way up until the early 2000's. To a large portion of the target market, I think that really does matter. For so many, the Copa was the first "nice" boot that we ever had. And sure that floppy fold over tongue might be annoying and dated, but it's the signature of the Copa.

    That being said, I am super glad Nike came out with the Premier and it's a very attractive boot. Probably much more attractive than the Copa when only considering the tangibles. The intangibles, however, go to the Copa. I'm pretty torn on which I will go for next, but that's not a bad thing.

  2. I bought my pair two weeks ago (true to size). They are ridiculously comfortable. They are almost TOO comfortable. They feel like a leather sock or what I imagine a ballet slipper feels like. If they are not laced up tight, they will have too much “roll” (an issue that the Nitrocharge EnergySling addresses).
    They are also extremely light and a more comfortable alternative to any boot on the market. The touch is phenomenal and, as mentioned in the review, the sole-plate is better than any high-end boot I have owned. These are my new go-to boot; as long as I lace them up nice and tight. I only wish they would release a white version with a black tick. That would be gorgeous and still be classic-looking and give that extra edge over the Copa.
    If I’m coaching my youth team, I’ll wear the timeless Copa. But when its time to lace up for a game, the Premier wins hands down.

  3. http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/premier-soccer-
    Nike's website states that the Premier is made with Kangaroo and goat leather.

  4. This is class from Nike.
    I'd love to see Adidas counter with a white Copa or a re-release of the Profi Liga.

  5. Bryan, how do these compare to the tiempo flight or even the trequartista as far as touch goes?

  6. My High School aged son was really excited to try these until he put them on. He found them to be very narrow in the forefoot and when cutting he felt the ball of his foot rolling off the edge of the sole plate. He was up a half size already just to get the boot on. Really, really liked the classic style but just didn’t work on his foot. He is coming from a Tiempo Mystic III and that issue was far less noticeable with them–only on cut drills in practice. We might end up having to custom order Trequartistas in a wide fit from Nike for $135 and hope they work. Will be trying them on in a regular width locally first to see if they’re even in the ball park, along with a few others. Too bad his feet don’t match his body shape: 5’9″ and 140lbs.

  7. I have flat and wide feet also I’d say, and I’m really having problems with my feet moving in the shoes, and when tightening I’ll lose the feeling in my feet, so it’s a pain in the ass. Would you recommend these for me? If a tiempo size 8 is good, is 8 also good in Premiers? Also, do the soleplate feel softer than Copas? Had a lot of pain in my feet after using Copas, just like I would have been stepping on rocks all day.

  8. Just got my pair and played a game today. 2 goals! The leather is like butter. I think its softer than the copa, legend, etc. The last shoe I had that was this soft were my predator manias almost 10 years ago. The sole plate is amazing. Feels like you're playing in a sneaker…an amazing kangaroo leather sneaker with great traction. Awesome awesome boot that you can grab at dicks for under $90.

  9. I was hugely excited about these cleats but I have to say I'm really disappointed after wearing them 4-5 times. The problem these cleats have was mentioned before but I have to confirm it since it's left them unusable for me. My feet roll like crazy wearing the premiers. When I cut or take shots my feet almost end up next to the soleplate since the leather is just too soft (yes that's possible). I feel like I'm losing all kinetic power. They should have stitched the leather a whole lot more in my opinion..

  10. I really like the fit and how soft the leather is. But I may be the only person to have issues with the boot when it comes to comfort. I keep getting blisters from the material in the heel which is really disappointing for me because that also rules out Maestri’s for me as well.

  11. I’ve had the Adidas Adipure IVs before and loooooved them! Very comfy, love the look, performed great, and I’ve stuck almost exclusively with Adidas for years. Would really like to get another pair, but can’t seem to find them in the size I need and color I want. How would these compare to the Adipure IVs? And if people recommend the Adipure IVs over these, any recommendations on where to find them??

  12. I am wearing uk 7 Tiempo legend, and uk 6.5 Copa. My normal size is 7 uk, if I get a half size up for Nike Premiers, will is expand over wide after a few months?

  13. Awesome review! I couldn't agree more about the boot, it definitely rivals the Adidas Copa Mundial. The only problem I've had is that the insole slides around when I try to cut because the leather is too soft. Other than that, it's a great boot!

  14. I own them for about 8 weeks now and i'm possitive about them. They feel great, right out of the box, although i went a full size up. The biggest pro while buying them was the classic look (i dont like the bright colors on modern shoes) while still having that lightweight shoe. They feel great on the ball and i love the leather upper.

    Only con for me is that although i maintain them properly (let them dry in the house with newspapers in it, and i polish them every other week) they already start to tear light. So i have my questions abiout the lifespan.

  15. Any tips how to break them in quickly? I have bought true to size and tight as!

    Anyone have a problem with true to size after time?

  16. I am considering these as a christmas present and i have a few questions:
    1. Durability- How long will they last?/Any specific points to watch?
    2. Are there any other boots in this price range you'd recommend?
    3. This or the Copa?

  17. Also, is rolling an issue?

  18. best artificial grass boots, nike premier fg or nike libretto ag ?

  19. I like the fit on the premiers better then the copas. The premiers fit a lot tighter and my foot feel more locked down then in the copas

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