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Today I’ll be reviewing the Nike Vapor Speed irons, the sister irons to the Nike Vapor Pro and Nike Vapor Pro Combo irons.
Nike has made huge strides as a golf equipment brand and these irons are certainly indicative of that.
Read on to find out what you need to know about these top-quality golf irons to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
These irons have been received extremely well. They have a 4.7/5 on Global Golf, and they had a 4.5 star rating on Nike’s official website before Nike got out of the hard goods business.
What People Like
- great feel
- great aesthetics
- great distance and high launch
- a big improvement over the previous year’s Nike Covert 2.0 irons
What People Don’t Like
- some feel that the forgiveness isn’t quit up to par with other irons in the game-improvement class
- some feel that the look at address isn’t very confidence-inspiring
What are the features?
Nike’s top-of-the-line game improvement irons are low and deep weighted, which promotes a higher trajectory and increased distance.
Also encouraging a higher ball flight (and increased ball speeds) are the lightweight, “tip-responsive” steel shafts.
The center of gravity (CG) is balanced in the center of the face, and the clubheads themselves feature “Spring Steel” faces with NexCor technology (a technology that increases ball speed for a wide range of players).
Long irons (4, 5, 6, 7) have Flybeam reinforced hollow cavities that help with energy return and off-center stability, while short irons (8, 9, PW, AW) have RZN cavities that provide refined feedback and stability.
The grooves on the clubface are deeper and closer together (what Nike calls “X3X Groove Technology”), which promotes more ball spin. The width of the sole is moderate and the leading edge is beveled, and this allows for more forgiveness off when hitting off the turf.
Below is a table of the iron specs (loft, lie, etc.) if you’re interested.
|Name||Loft||Length (men)||Length (women)||Lie||Offset|
|3 (Hollow Cavity)||19°||39.75"||-||59°||0.180"|
|4 (Hollow Cavity)||21°||39.25"||-||60°||0.170"|
|5 (Hollow Cavity)||24°||38.75"||37.75"||61°||0.155"|
|6 (Hollow Cavity)||28°||38.25"||37.25"||62°||0.140"|
|7 (Hollow Cavity)||32°||37.75"||36.75"||62.5°||0.125"|
|8 (RZN Cavity)||36°||37.25"||36.25"||63°||0.110"|
|9 (RZN Cavity)||40°||36.75"||35.75"||63.5°||0.095"|
|PW (RZN Cavity)||44°||36.50"||35.50"||64°||0.080"|
|AW (RZN Cavity)||49°||36.25"||35.25"||64°||0.065"|
|SW (RZN Cavity)||54°||36"||35"||64°||0.050"|
How do these irons perform?
Compared to the other models in the Vapor series (Pro and Pro Combo), the Vapor Speed irons launch higher without excessive spin, and this is beneficial for golfers who hit it low and could stand to gain some distance by hitting a higher trajectory.
Tests have shown that mis-hit shots with Vapor Speed irons typically go a bit further than the other Vapor models, probably due to the added stability from the Flybeam (see above). This can help amateurs with slower swing speeds improve their consistency.
The Vapor Speed irons are generally easy to hit due to the size and length of the clubface, as well as the weighting of the sole.
As I mentioned above, they are very forgiving; you will definitely be able to tell when you mis-hit a shot, but your ball flight won’t be penalized as much as it could be, which is a big plus.
What about look, sound & feel?
The Vapor Speed irons aren’t necessarily like typical game improvement irons you’d find on the market. The offset is reasonable, the top line isn’t overly thick, and the sole is wide enough to be very forgiving.
The length of the head from heel to toe is a bit longer than other similar irons, but not offensively so.
The shafts are relatively long, and this, combined with stronger lofts, helps significantly with distance.
These irons have really solid proportions overall, and they can make you feel pretty confident when you’re addressing the ball. The “swoosh” design on the back is very minimalist and effective – you can be sure that the irons will catch eyes when they’re sitting in your bag.
The strike itself sounds like that of decent golf club: very solid. Nothing amazing, but certainly nothing bad either.
I personally liked the feel of the irons and found them very responsive and forgiving.
Where should I buy these irons online?
Because of the age of the Vapor Speed, and also because Nike stopped making golf clubs, it can be quite difficult to find these irons.
A couple years ago, brand new sets were readily available on Amazon and the Nike store, but this has changed.
- can handle tough lies just fine
- can shape shots with ease
- consistent ball flight
- nice look and feel
- forgiveness is decent but could be better
- may be a bit too light for some
- offset makes irons a little more difficult to hit compared to other similar game-improvement irons
The Vapor Speed irons are excellent irons at a now very low price point, and if you’re someone who wants any of:
- great forgiveness, more consistency, a higher launch and/or more distance on your iron shots (especially if you tend to hit low trajectories)
- modern-design golf irons with the latest technology
…then these irons are certainly an option you should consider. They are among the best that Nike currently has to offer.
A quality set of irons such as these can help you play better golf for many years and more than pay back their value over time.
The Speed model is well suited for recreational golfers who want more forgiveness and a better trajectory on their shots. Moreover, the best thing you can do is try them out yourself and discover if they’re for you or not.
If you have any thoughts or opinions about the Nike Vapor Speed irons, be sure to leave a comment below!