One of the biggest brands in the soccer industry, Nike, has made significant strides with cleat innovation and technology. Dynamic Flyknit, All Conditions Control, and Flywire cables are just a few of the many cutting edge advancements that the brand has come up with over the years, making them one of soccer’s most recognizable organizations.
Striking again with an ingenious idea, Nike decided to create a cleat that pays homage to the company’s soccer heritage while staying modern. The brand’s answer to this is the Nike Premier soccer cleat.
Released in 2013, the shoe brought with it the air of a classic Nike cleat with a modern twist. This is no coincidence as the pair is inspired by the 1971 ‘The Nike’ cleat release and the Tiempos in 1994. While sporting a traditional look, the cleat’s construction is far from dated.
Nike Premier soccer cleat releases
The Nike Premier soccer cleats’ first release received a warm welcome from the market. The Swoosh aimed to create a soccer cleat that embodies a timeless classic with a modern twist - all of this without breaking the bank. The brand has outdone themselves with the creation of the Nike Premier soccer cleat. The black soccer cleat has a straightforward style featuring a white soleplate with black studs reminiscent of old-timey cleats.
Delving into specifics, Nike opted to use a kangaroo leather upper to provide comfort, durability and, an excellent ball touch. This material also ensures a uniform feel to the cleat. Opting for a low top design, what Nike made sure about this shoe is to minimize distractions by sticking to a no-frills construction. Additionally, the brand opted to have a simple upper incorporating a short tongue which only extends to the ankle area.
The soleplate is where most of the Nike Premier soccer cleats’ technology went. With a TPU-base, it offers flexibility while providing enough support to the foot. The material creates a uniform flex in the entire foot without compromising support. Consequently, the stud configuration includes twelve low-profile, conical studs. This setup can accommodate quicker releases as the player sprints, while an oval stud placed in the forefoot acts as a brake and reinforces traction.
It’s hard to find fault in the Nike Premier soccer cleat especially when it brings it’s A-game regarding performance, comfort, and durability. The question is, how about the price? The good news does not stop here.
While this model is considered a premium Nike shoe, it’s been a selling point for this model to have a budget-friendly rate. There has been speculation why the brand can afford to offer the Nike Premier at such a low price. A critic pointed out that Nike heavily relied on word-of-mouth in marketing the shoe which, perhaps, is the reason why the shoe is relatively inexpensive.
Nike Premier 2.0
The follow-up to the Nike Premier soccer cleat came out in 2017. The new release didn’t make a lot of changes to the original but mainly improved upon it. The second generation Premiers included updates mainly in the tongue, upper and, heel areas.
Notable Nike Premier Soccer Cleat Features
Nike kept things simple in designing and constructing the Premier. Staying true to their classic cleat concept, the brand incorporated modern materials and a straightforward construction to the shoe while going for a traditional look.
- Kangaroo Leather - The Nike Premier soccer cleat wears a kangaroo leather upper. Considered as a premium material, this natural leather is highly prized for its fit, durability and lightweight feel. It is well-suited to the brand’s effort to create a traditional look and feel for this model. Although, there is a catch with this natural leather as it is not waterproof.
- TPU Soleplate - Lightweight, durable and offers great stability, a full TPU upper is used in the soleplate. A common feature among soccer cleats, this material is known for its abrasion and impact-resistant abilities. It also retains flexibility even under cold temperatures.
- Stud configuration - The shoe has a combination of conical and bladed studs. For maximum traction, four studs are placed on both sides of the front and an additional four at the back. For added stability, a single bladed stud is set in the middle of the soleplate.
The differences between the first and second release of the Nike Premier cleats
There are small but significant changes made in the second release of the Nike Premier shoe. The updates in the cleat were mainly implemented in the cleat’s upper.
- Tongue - The most apparent change for the Nike Premier soccer cleat version two is the tongue. While the first generation’s tongue is short, Nike opted to go for a fold-over tongue for the cleat’s second release. To make sure that this new feature does not distract from the player’s performance on the pitch, Velcro has been added to keep the tongue in place.
- Stitching Pattern on the Upper - In addition to this, the stitching pattern in the upper is different. This feature is comparable to those of older Nike Tiempo
- Heel Area - Another element added to the second version of the Nike Premier soccer cleat is the brand’s name placed in the heel area which is presented in bold white letters.
- Price - There was a change in the price, as well. While the original Nike Premier soccer cleat retailed for less than a $100 when it was released, the Premier II belongs to a price range of just over a $100. Although there is a price increase, the shoe is still worth considering with what it offers.
- New Colorways - While the colorways for the Nike Premier soccer cleat stayed true to the classic black and white colorway for quite a while, it was just recently that the brand ventured to more vivid colors. In 2017, Nike released a blue soccer cleat with white accents for the Premier’s second-generation release.
A follow-up release showcasing the new color scheme also happened in early 2018. While still making use of the white and blue colorway, the placement of colors has been inverted using a white base with racer blue accents. And despite the new color scheme, the cleat still holds a similar construction to the second generation Nike Premier soccer cleat.
Other than these, the Nike Premier 2.0 has more or less a similar construction with the first generation Premiers.
Nike Premier VS Adidas Copa Mundial
There has long been speculation by soccer enthusiasts that the Nike Premier soccer cleat was set to become the direct competitor to the poster child of classic cleats - Adidas Copa Mundial. One can’t argue with the uncanny resemblance these two models have. But, what are their similarities? And what sets them apart from each other?
When it comes to the aesthetics, both cleats more or less have the same look. Featuring a black and white colorway, both use natural leather for the upper to create a comfortable fit. Although, the Swoosh chose to expand their color choices with the Nike Premier soccer cleats’ more recent releases.
Both are low-top soccer cleats with the Premier sporting a slightly lower cut than the Adidas Copa Mundial.
The Adidas Copa Mundial has a fold-over tongue which has been a source of a dilemma for Copa users. There has been feedback for the Copa’s tongue coming from players saying that it’s too big or can be distracting during the game. This leads to some users ultimately doing away with the tongue by cutting it off while some heritage cleat lovers prefer to keep the feature to maintain the classic look. Nike, on the other hand, avoided this issue by keeping the design of the Nike Premier soccer cleat simple. Nike made the tongue shorter and cut it off at the ankle area for the first Premier model. For the Premier 2.0, while integrating a fold-over tongue, the brand made sure to include velcro to keep the tongue in place.
- Upper Material
With a slight difference in the upper’s thickness, the Mundial brings a slightly bulkier feel than the Nike Premier.
The Copa Mundial still retains its original soleplate construction hence, the shape brings a more traditional feel to the cleat. The Nike Premier soccer cleat, however, brings a more modern twist with a broader soleplate and better flexibility considering that it uses TPU for the soleplate.
There is also a difference in weight with the Premier weighing a shade lighter than Adidas’ Copa.
The Nike Premier soccer cleat has a removable insole while the Copas don’t.
The first generation Premiers costs less than a $100. The second generation models, although priced for more than $100, is significantly less expensive than the Adidas Copa Mundial.
While both models have similarities, each has something unique to offer. The Nike Premier soccer cleat brings with it a retro vibe but is more technologically advanced (an unsurprising fact considering Nike’s penchant for innovation) compared to the Mundial which is a true classic cleat (a cleat which is virtually unchanged since its first release). Both shoes are great but upon choosing one’s ideal cleat, what it mainly boils down to is personal preference.
Frequently asked questions
Is the Nike Premier shoe available in other colorways?
The second generation release of the Nike Premier soccer cleat has been a colorful one with a Racer Blue/ White cleat and a Black/ Total Orange colorway.
The brand has also experimented with a total whiteout and blackout versions in 2017 on a limited edition release.
What are the benefits of using kangaroo leather soccer cleats?
Kangaroo leather is held in high regard when it comes to leather soccer cleats - and for a good reason. It’s not only comfortable, but it also conforms to the shape of the wearer’s foot creating a better fit. The material is thin and lightweight.
While there are heaps of benefits in using Kangaroo leather, one downside is that the material is not water-resistant.
What is the ideal weight for a soccer cleat?
The lightweight soccer cleat can aid a player’s performance by making the player move faster. The average soccer cleat right now weighs close to 8 ounces which is considered lightweight. This is also the recommended weight as it keeps things relatively balanced.
2 best Nike Premier soccer cleats
- Nike Premier II Anti-Clog Traction SG-Pro
- Nike Premier II Firm Ground
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