Nike Prime Iron DF SP

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.0) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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Nike Prime Iron DF SP Review Facts
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When people think of footwear manufacturing company Nike, the first thing that usually comes to mind is their fashionable and well-performing running shoes. However, Nike has branched out into different forms of athletic apparel for a wide variety of physical activities. These range from sports such as tennis and basketball to shoes specially designed for certain training routines. The Prime Iron DF SP is one of Nike’s training shoes, with the intention of being used for both running and physical strengthening exercises like weightlifting. To accomplish this impressive feat, some equally impressive design features are present in these trainers.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Impeccable sense of style
  • Fantastic midsole design and functionality
  • Breathable and comfortable upper
  • Excellent weight distribution
  • Flexible and lightweight outsole
Cons
  • Design compromises mean missed potential
  • Limited availability
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The intricate design of this training shoe’s outsole serves a deeper purpose than simply looking good. The numerous small triangle-shaped treads are able to provide enough traction for running while keeping the weight low and allowing for compatibility with other activities. Several zig-zag shaped grooves have been placed horizontally along the forefoot, which helps to improve the Nike Prime Iron DF SP’s flexibility without inhibiting its overall durability. Were it not for the particular shape of these grooves, their inclusion could have exacerbated wear and tear. It’s this thoughtful combination of style and substance that make these shoes so appealing.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Nike went in a slightly different direction when it came to designing the midsole of the Prime Iron DF SP. In order to handle the different movements from a typical training session, a dual density design was implemented for the EVA foam cushioning. Referred to as Dual Fusion by Nike, the emphasis on denser padding around the middle of the foot greatly increases the overall stability of the shoe. This can help with pronation issues and cuts down on arch strain during repetitive motions. This is the secret to these shoe’s high versatility and their viability as a highly effective training accessory.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The mesh fabric used for the Nike Prime Iron DF SP’s upper was implemented as a compromise between the different demands of the exercises that encompass an ordinary training routine. Because of this, it feels as though it manages to provide a little of everything but fails to deliver on any of it to a satisfying degree. There’s breathability due to the mesh, but not nearly to the same degree as Nike’s popular Flyknit material. There’s some much-needed protection for training, but it’s not to the degree that an individual could drop a weight on their foot without sustaining an injury. In a word, this shoe’s upper is passable.
Weight
Weight

Weight

There’s very little to say about the weight of these shoes. For the most part, they weigh about the same as any ordinary training shoe or casual runner. It obviously isn’t as light as sprinting or road running shoes, which means that runners accustomed to these forms of footwear will have a difficult time hitting the same speeds in a pair of these trainers. Fortunately, they aren’t nearly as heavy as the tougher hiking and trail running shoes, meaning that fatigue shouldn’t be a concern after long periods of time wearing them. Something that is quite pleasant about this shoe’s weight is that the construction of its midsole and outsole help to evenly distribute it across the entirety of the wearer’s foot in a manner that feels natural.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Breathability isn’t as big of a concern in the big picture of this shoe’s design, but some thought was put into its inclusion nonetheless. The synthetic mesh material that covers the upper portion of the Prime Iron DF SP allows for easy flow of air in and out of the shoe. This goes a long way toward preventing the accumulation of sweat, which will be a lifesaver for the perspiration-prone fitness freaks out there. The low cut of the rearfoot also improves breathability by exposing the ankle to fresh air as well as reducing the overall weight of the shoe. While that may not sound related to its ventilation, the fact remains that a lighter shoe will require less effort to move and thus cause the wearer’s foot to generate less sweat.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Part of the versatility that these training shoes offer is their ability to facilitate comfortable workout routines, even when they involve multiple radically different exercises. The secret to this lies in the outsole’s mostly flat and thin design, supplemented by the dual cushioned midsole. The result is enough comfort while running or standing to perform a wide variety of conditioning and cardiovascular movements. However, in the interest of keeping the total weight of the Prime Iron DF SP down, no extra comfort related amenities have been added to these shoes that runners may have grown accustomed to. This could result in some initial discomfort, but that should quickly fade as wearers adjust.
Style
Style

Style

Nike is known for their impeccable sense of style; it’s what put them on the map as one of the most popular athletic apparel manufacturers in the business. With that impressive pedigree, the Nike Prime Iron DF SP has some sizable shoes to fill. In many aspects, they’ve managed to design these trainers in a way that lives up to these astronomical standards. Starting at the bottom, multiple interesting design flairs are present that simply won’t be found on any other shoe. The Dual Fusion midsole is also aesthetically pleasing with its alternating colors and multiple jagged ridges. Finally, the upper’s mesh material comes in a plethora of fascinating print patterns with a wide range of colorways.
Durability
Durability

Durability

As a training shoe, the Nike Prime Iron DF SP is designed to handle a lot of stress that can come in multiple forms. Much like many other aspects of its design, compromise was necessary to meet the needs of cross trainers when constructing this product. The end result is a shoe that will provide the same measure of durability as a decent running shoe, just in the kind of situations more commonly encountered by a cross trainer. What this means is that these shoes won’t provide the same amount of mileage when running on standard running shoe terrains, but it will provide an equivalent level when used in a gym or on a treadmill.
Protection
Protection

Protection

As was previously mentioned, the level of protection offered by these training shoes is decent but nothing extraordinary. Rather than go with their popular Flyknit upper material, Nike decided to adopt the more protective synthetic mesh construction method. This does provide slightly more protection than thinner designs, while still providing the benefits of lightweight breathability required for effective running, but it fails to provide the kind of protection that might be needed in some training scenarios. It’s a bit unreasonable to assume a training shoe can absorb the full brunt of a weight falling on the wearer’s foot, but it’s important to acknowledge the absence of this feature regardless.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Two design factors play a major role in the Nike Prime Iron DF SP’s responsiveness. The first is its tight-fitting upper, reinforced by a Flywire speed lacing system. This improves the wearer’s response time by preventing any slippage, making these shoes almost feel like another layer of skin. The second important feature is the ingeniously designed Dual Fusion midsole, which is able to accomplish the impressive feat of providing excellent response times for both running and general physical training activities. This one-two punch of clever design results in a pair of trainers with fast reflexes.
Support
Support

Support

The approach taken by the Nike Prime Iron DF SP in regards to support is a smart one, considering the intended demographic for this training shoe. One supportive aspect is the relatively flat outsole, which works to spread weight across the entirety of the underfoot and prevent pinpointed stress. The other aspect with the most significant impact on this shoe’s support is the midsole with its dual density EVA design. Thanks to a concentration of denser cushioning toward the midfoot, wearers of these shoes will receive excellent arch support and can even improve pronation discrepancies.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

This is where these shoes feel the most limited in their scope. Due to their need to accommodate weight training as much as they do running, the design of the Prime Iron DF SP’s outsole doesn’t offer the same versatility a runner would expect from regular running shoes. Their flatter and thinner design make them much better suited for indoor environments such as the gym, although some outdoors training such as CrossFit can be accommodated while they are worn. Something to keep in mind is that the durability of these trainers is diminished when used outside of a gym environment.
Price
Price

Price

These are a relatively old pair of training shoes; Nike has made many other trainers in similar fashion to these, causing their price to drop significantly from their initial offering. The benefit to this is that the average pair of Nike Prime Iron DF SP’s is significantly cheaper than training shoes of a similar caliber. However, finding certain colors and sizes of this shoe has become much more difficult as a consequence.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Much like many other aspects of the Prime Iron DF SP’s design, this shoe’s approach to traction is fundamentally different than an ordinary running shoe. Rather than focus entirely on forward movement-based traction, the flatter outsole design of these training shoes offers a comfortable level of grip in all directions, making it an excellent choice of footwear for plyometrics. However, this omnidirectional focus comes with the consequence of reduced traction in all directions, meaning that wearers won’t feel the same level of grip as they would in more forward-focused footwear.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Right off the bat these training shoes showcase an impressive degree of flexibility that is ideal for performing a wide variety of exercises. The outsole in particular features a visually distinctive set of horizontal flex grooves that provide much of its forefoot pliability. The upper helps in this respect as well, since the mesh material used for its construction offers a comfortable amount of give. Unfortunately, these two elements are separated by a fairly rigid midsole, meaning that they aren’t as effective when working in tandem. Still, enough flexibility is present to prevent discomfort while also avoiding a sloppy sensation when wearing them.
Stability
Stability

Stability

As previously mentioned, the midsole of this training shoe is very firm due to its Dual Fusion design. This is the primary component that drives the Nike Prime Iron DF SP’s stability, and it helps to make this a fantastic pick for trainers with overpronation. This stability is further enhanced by the FlyWire speed lacing system up top, which does a fantastic job of both ensuring a tight fit to the wearer’s foot and reducing the amount of time it takes to tie them. Generally speaking, the upper portion of these training shoes are very impressive in the sense that they manage to strike a balance between flexibility and stability: something that is very difficult to accomplish in footwear design.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Although no specific information is available online regarding the heel drop of these Nike training shoes, a visual estimate would place it at less than 4 millimeters. This would place it in roughly the same range as a trail running shoe or a minimalist road runner. The benefit to this design is that the midsole manages to work well with the outsole when it comes to weight distribution; without extra elevation, it’s easy for the weight from each movement to be dispersed evenly over a wider surface area. However, the lack of extra heel padding may cause some runners who are used to other Nike running shoes feel uncomfortable.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features


  • Flat outsole with emphasis on omnidirectional traction

  • Dual Fushion midsole provides multiple levels of support

  • FlyWire lacing and breathable mesh fabric on the upper

  • Additional midfoot support for pronation correction

  • Low price due to the release of newer models


Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

For an individual interested in a decent training shoe for an excellent price, the Nike Prime Iron DF SP is a tough shoe to beat. However, individuals more interested in either weight training or running, without looking to combine the two, can easily find more competent offerings for similar prices with a bit more searching.