Most of the reviews about these cleats focus on technical aspects. But, what about the performance in training and real games? Isn’t that our concern when we are choosing a pair of cleats?
In this review, I will tell you everything about the general features as well as my feelings and thoughts regarding what makes these cleats unique and who will be a perfect player for this classic.
After ten training sessions and two games in three months, I will tell you why you should give these cleats a try.
Leather and comfort: the classic combination
If you are interested in buying these cleats, it is because you are looking for the best comfort at a really good price.
And that’s what you will exactly find in this case: we are talking about approximately 100% kangaroo leather in the upper (without regarding the heel leaner and the tongue made of synthetic leather).
But, is not only kangaroo leather; it is a premium version of this material that combines two features: elastic fibres and firmness. That could sound contradictory, but it isn’t if we consider other cleats.
Some cleats are really soft but tend to overstretch, which gives you a sensation of losing your cleat while you’re playing. Others use an internal structure to maintain the shape, which generates a rigid cleat even having the softest kangaroo leather.
In this case, you will find the perfect balance.
For that reason, the feeling out of the box is great, a little bit stiff at the beginning, but that is something that you want.
If you wear these cleats just for walking in your house, after a couple of hours, you will find that they have acquired the same shape of your feet, and you will be ready to play without having a big struggle to break it in. That means no blister, no scratches and no pain at all.
Do you have wide feet or a high arch (cavus foot)? No worries: these definitely are the cleats for you. The leather has the property of being tight but not so much.
Also, the tongue is more or less independent of the rest of the upper, so it will never stretch your feet in your instep. The tongue has a fold-over that doesn’t change the shooting, yet it maintains your laces tie.
Then comes the touch. Again, what gives this cleat the structure is not an internal cage but the stitches that you can easily observe and for that reason you will only have a thin layer of cloth between the leather and your feet, so the feeling is straight, direct and simple.
Studs, heels, soleplate, sizing and your feet inside the cleat
It is not only the leather that gives comfort; there are other elements to be considered, and you must acknowledge them if you are thinking about buying these cleats.
First, the studs. These are a little bit shorter than others, and for me, that is a great advantage. Why? Because most of us are playing in nonprofessional fields with an irregular quantity of grass or without proper maintenance.
If you are using long studs, your feet are going to hurt. And, if you chose to play with turf cleats, it is possible to miss the traction and even slipping off.
So again, the perfect balance: 13 short studs a little bit wider to maintain the traction and the versatility that requires playing in irregular fields.
There is a bonus: you totally can play these cleats in artificial grass. I have done it, and the performance was great. But, please keep in mind that this type of field is very abrasive for your cleats, and the leather will suffer.
So, just a piece of advice: maintain your cleats clean and use a little quantity of vaseline in the place where the leather comes together with the soleplate to protect it from the abrasion.
Second, the soleplate is made of TPU in a very light and flexible variation, which provides a really smooth sensation. More importantly, it is made especially for wide feet, so if you have it or if you are overweighed, this insole and the overall construction of the cleats is great for you.
Third, the heel counter is external and, inside the cleats, there is a soft and cushioned material that offers you a soft feeling and a surprisingly excellent grip avoiding the classical blisters in your heels.
Also, the insoles are really gripping, and you can change them if you are using some special insole.
Finally, the big problem that these cleats have is the sizing. It is especially complicated nowadays when most of our buying is through the Internet. I strongly recommend to try them in a store.
If you don’t have the chance to do so, it will be better buying half size bigger than your normal size.
For example, I usually wear 8.5 US in almost all my cleats and shoes even in my Nike Tiempo Legend VI that could be considered of the same family. But, in this case, I am wearing a 9 US, and it fits great.
Showtime: performance and knocking down myths
As I said above, my idea is to offer a real review. That means I wore these cleats in real situations (training and games) not only one or two times to write a comment—you will find that in a lot of places.
But, keep in mind that you are going to play with these cleats no matter what technical features you read. So, I will express my opinions and feelings after ten training sessions and two games. Also, I will offer an insight into the durability and the general performance.
First, I cannot stress this enough. The cleat is extremely comfortable, and you will feel no pain in any part of your feet. This is because of the combination of the leather and the conical cleats.
I had used them in a new and high-quality artificial grass field, but even playing under the rain or snowing, the response was just fantastic.
Second, a lot of time I have read or listen that the leather cleats are not considered “speed cleats”. In other words, that means that they are heavy. And I would like to challenge this misconception.
What is a “speed cleat” anyway? Will you be faster just using them? Well, the answer is NO.
In the first place, the cleats are not heavy: they weigh 235g each that is close to the Nike Tiempo Legend VI (202g) and much less than the Adidas Copa (290g) all made of kangaroo leather.
Then, have you worried about using the so-called ‘heavy cleats´? The answer is more related to your stamina and not to your velocity.
Using a heavy cleat will affect you more in your resistance than in your velocity because once you start running the weight of your cleats is relative (thank you, Einstein). It is also relative to your own weight and your strength. Hence, if you are a big guy, 60gr of difference is not a difference at all.
Every time I play football, I use a Garmin clock with me that measures the distance and the velocity. And these are my number in games:
Nike Tiempo Legend VI Elite vs Nike Premier II
So, the difference between the Nike Premier II and the Nike Legend VI is marginal in terms of distance over time and velocity.
Finally, about the durability in these months and almost 80km, I have contradictory thoughts: on the one hand, the leather, the interior and the cleats of the cleats are just like new, on the other hand, I have noted that in some places the upper has taken off from the soleplate.
It is minimal damage, and I have to confess that I have this issue in other cleats and I have solved it just using a special glue, but still, it could be a problem if you are going to use this cleat in any surface and a lot of matches.
The main characteristic of these cleats is comfort. The leather and the soleplate will provide you with the best feeling. And, most importantly, they are going to adapt to any type of feet (wide, fat, with arc [cavus] and with prominent heels [Haglund deformity]).
In terms of performance, the cleats are great, and I could not detect any difference with an elite cleat like the Nike Tiempo Legend VI. Obviously, there are differences in the feeling, but not in my numbers. (A short note: David Luiz wore them in some games in the blue variation).
I didn’t write anything about the aesthetics because it isn’t the main issue in terms of performance. Nevertheless, you can find them in several colours.
And when I say several, I mean it is the cleat with more variations in all the market. Every six months, you will find new colours and styles.
In the same vein, the prices could be ridiculous: the new ones cost around 100 US dollars, and the old colourways are close to the 70 or 60 US dollars or even 50 US dollars in eBay.
Who should buy these cleats? I will say, everybody. You are getting the best comfort, an incredible versatile cleat for a wide variety of fields at a very good price.
Even if you are training or playing or if you have another pair of cleats, these are an excellent option in any scenario.
Beware about the sizing! I strongly recommend you half size more than your current size, but if you can try it before buying, it would be great.
Football boots have come a long way in the last 15 years. Gone are the standard black leather boots and in came a carnival of colours and major innovations with synthetic and knitted uppers. While we all love the variety that boot manufacturers provide, sometimes all we need is something simple that works well.
I was personally looking for such an option with a reasonable and affordable price tag. What I got was not just the Nike Premier 2.0 but a love affair with one of the most underrated boots available today.
Spoiler alert: I love the Nike Premier 2.0.
The Nike what? Never heard of them.
The Premiers were made exactly with the cost-conscious consumer in mind who wants a decent quality boot with no frills. They’re modeled after older Tiempo boots, are made of a kangaroo leather upper and look like it just came from 1998.
This means no Flyknit, no All Conditions Control (ACC) skin, and no mid-cut Dynamic Fit collar.
Who really needs all those to kick a ball anyway? Despite the lack of modern tech, Nike has made some upgrades to the old leather boot to make this a modern iteration of a classic.
The tongue is back in style
Let’s get the most prominent feature out of the way – the foldable tongue. While the Premier 1.0 featured a modern lace tongue, the Premier 2.0 goes full Totti with an extended foldable tongue that covers the top of your laces.
Boot makers have shed it for the last 10 years but it makes an appearance on the Nike Premier 2.0. It’s bizarre to think that this was considered a major innovation back then, with the idea that the tongue creates a smoother upper surface for a cleaner touch on the ball.
I don’t really buy into the whole “cleaner touch” thing but I noticed that my laces don’t come undone as often with the tongue covering them. It also comes with a Velcro strip on the underside of the tongue to secure it so that it doesn’t flap around like a flag on a pirate ship. At the very least, the football hipster in me approves of the throwback look.
Fall in love with the leather all over again
Leather hasn’t been very fashionable recently. Knitted uppers have taken the industry by storm and I understand why. Knit is usually lighter (even when in contact with water) and requires less maintenance than leather.
It’s also the shiny new innovation in footwear so it’s bound to get its time in the limelight. I also wasn’t impressed with the leather in Nike’s leading leather boot, the Tiempo Legend 7 which was a little stiff and took a while to break in to.
The Premier 2.0, however, is soft out of the box. The leather is pillowy and wraps comfortably around your foot. Each touch on the ball feels cushioned and I feel secure going into tackles with a tough upper protecting me. One month in with the boot and I was pleasantly surprised it got even softer. How that was possible, I have no idea.
The stitching on the boot also ensures that the leather doesn’t stretch too much over the years. But do expect lots of creases on the boot over time. That’s a sign of a boot that is truly seasoned and an upper that is as soft as butter. Expect it to feel even softer over time.
Built for comfort
On top of the buttery soft leather, the heel area is lined with a synthetic suede liner for maximum comfort through your 90 minutes. Slipping in and out of the Premier 2.0 is a breeze as the laces and foldable tongue come loose when you need it to.
All this without affecting the lockdown of the boot, which is pretty solid. This is a very welcome state of affairs as compared to many mid-cut style boots that are a pain to put on and remove.
The soleplates feature a classy matte finish and are very flexible and light. Due to my experiences with barefoot running, I do like flexible soleplates as they provide a lot of freedom and comfort in movement.
The conical studs are also very short which makes this suitable for AG surfaces despite the fact that this boot is marketed for FG. Don’t expect aggressive traction and enjoy the greater mobility it allows you with the rounded studs.
For a boot that looks like it’s from 1998, it weighs like a boot from 2018. The Nike Premier 2.0 weighs a mere 235g – pretty average among many of today’s boots.
A boot that every player needs
At its heart, the Nike Premier 2.0 has all the basics that a boot requires. An accommodating fit, a super comfortable ride through your 90 minutes and a tough upper that lasts years for you. It feels kind of silly when you think about all the tech and gizmos that manufacturers have incorporated into their boots.
Once you put on a pair of Premiers, you’d wonder what the fuss was all about with today’s innovations. What you will have on feet is a consistently performing boot at half the price of a top-grade boot in the market.
I have many boots in my collection, many of them sporting the latest tech in the industry. However, it’s a testament to the Nike Premier 2.0’s enduring quality that I always revert to them when I look to keep my game on the pitch simple, solid and reliable – exactly what I would describe one of the best boots I have ever owned.
Good to know
- Despite the similarities with the original Premier, the second version of the Premier made some updates to its construction that not only offer aesthetic value but functionality, as well. One very recognizable update is the new flap tongue that showcases the swoosh and gives the cleat a more iconic feel. Nonetheless, the cleat maintains a natural leather upper.
- Another obvious update is the new stitching pattern that features double cross-layer stitching over the forefoot. This stitch pattern gives the leather upper more ability to stretch in multiple directions. Moreover, the stitching follows that of the old school Tiempo models.
The Nike Premier II Firm Ground boasts comfort with its kangaroo leather upper that gives the foot a snug wrap. The inner suede liner also offers a soft feel. The cleat is available in standard men's sizes. One thing to take note though is that the soccer cleat runs quite small but has a medium width.
The Premier II Firm Ground utilizes a light TPU outsole that provides comfort and flexibility. The sole allows the feet to stay close to the ground to facilitate better turns and twists. With the sole's innate flexibility, the cleat gains stability and a springy fit that allows an optimum launch.
The outsole has a molded conical firm ground studs that provide targeted traction for natural grass surfaces.
The front upper of the Premier II Firm Ground is made from very soft and flexible kangaroo leather while high-quality leather lines the rest. These two types of leather adapt to the foot perfectly, ensuring a high level of comfort. The leather upper also allows for a close, cushioned touch on the ball and a superior feel and control.
The cleat entrance also offers an anatomical fit that supports the ankle well. Moreover, the heel cap with a suede material offers added comfort.
A key update of the cleat is the small flap tongue over the top of the laces. A Velcro is added underneath the flap to help keep it locked down during games. This update is more of an aesthetic than a functional one.
Nike Premier II ‘Bone White’
The Bone White colorway of the second edition Nike Premier makes use of a Bone/ Burgandy Ash/ Metallic Gold color scheme. The upper is colored in the lightest shade while other elements including a part of the tongue and soleplate are in Burgandy Ash. The Swoosh found in the medial and lateral side of the cleat is in this dark shade, as well. The Swoosh found on the tongue, however, looks elegant in gold.
Nike Premier II ‘Classy Black/ Gold’
Oozing class is the black and gold colorway of the Nike Premier II. The pair sports a black upper with elements painted in gold. Areas colored in the metallic shade includes a huge part of the tongue as well as the bold Swoosh logo found in the medial and lateral side of this soccer shoe.
Nike Premier II ‘New Lights’
The New Lights pack creates a clean look for the Nike Premier II. The colorway makes use of a striking blue tone elements paired with a clean white upper.
The Nike Premier II is available in several colorways including:
- Metallic Vivid Gold/Metallic Vivid Gold/White
- The soccer cleat weighs 8.2 oz.