When someone thinks about ‘heritage’ boots, we immediately think of a plain color scheme with minimal technological additions. A boot that meets the demands of past generations of footballers while attempting to also please new generations of players: leaning more towards quality and durability, and less towards a tech-ed out boot that has been stripped down to offer the lightest possible footwear available. The Nike Tiempo Elite bridges the gap between ‘old’ and ‘new’, all the while giving users a boot that oozes class and quality.
With the Tiempo Elite, every colorway harkens back to a time of simple two-tone boots that were predominantly black or white. Although only one black colorway is currently available (black/orange), the white colorways are all relatively similar. The boot is mostly white with the Nike Swooshes on the instep in outside of the boot being colored in with one of three current options (Gold/Red/Green). The Gold and Red both have slight accent colors (Volt for the gold, and silver for the red) with the Green colorway only having green and white on the entirety of the boot. I tested the White/Gold/Volt colorway, and the gold and volt make the boot absolutely ‘pop’ out of the box and out on the pitch.
The design of this boot is only slightly changed from the last Tiempo, with the biggest noticeable difference being the lack of a fold-over tongue. That being said, it is still one of the classiest boots on the market today. With players like Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Andrea Pirlo, and Patrice Evra, the Tiempo has massive professional acclaim. Nike have also taken advantage of the uptake in the Tiempo line, and have pushed this boot in nearly every ad campaign as their ‘touch’ boot.
The Nike Tiempo Elite is unparalleled when it comes to the overall comfort of the boot. Despite having the Carbon Fiber Soleplate that caused many to complain about the comfort of the Mercurial Superfly’s, the blending of this with the kangaroo leather and flywire truly equals a match ‘made in heaven.’ The supple nature of the leather completely counteracts the stiffness of the soleplate, and makes breaking in time minimal. We then find where the thought process came from to blend Nike’s Flywire with the Kangaroo leather of the Tiempo- after the leather starts to stretch, the Flywire makes sure that it stays snug and tight to your foot. The result- a perfectly molded boot that still feels secure.
The comfort on this boot has caused me to say, on more than one occasion, that I would love to have a pair of house shoes made out of the same materials (minus the studs…of course). The padding of the leather is a perfect blend between feeling protected from harsh tackles and being able to have a commanding touch on the ball, the tongue is also slightly padded to give a nice cushion when the time comes to switch from brilliant passer, to composed finisher.
The conical studs round out this quality boot by providing perfect traction in most conditions and on most surfaces, it also makes sure that your weight is evenly placed on the soleplate so that your won’t have to worry about anything weighing you down while using the Tiempo. As far as fit goes, I normally wear a size 11.5 US tennis shoe and a size 11 US boot, but with the Tiempo Elite, I wore a size 11.5. The kangaroo leather does allow you a little room to maneuver with the sizing, but I wouldn’t depend on too much stretching as it might cause issue with the snugness of the Flywire.
This boot really doesn’t have any added tech on it to tell you that it can make you “shoot harder,” “aim better,” or anything else of that nature. The main reason for the score is because of the fact that, despite the lack of add-ons, the Elite allows you to feel as confident on the ball as your abilities will allow. Let’s see how this Nike mainstay stacks up.
Touch- The touch on this boot is fantastic, but it is definitely what you would expect with a Kangaroo Leather upper. You will be able to ‘caress’ the ball as Pirlo might do for Juventus, and you definitely won’t have the boot causing any touches to go awry. The dribbling aspect of the boot ensures that you will be able to maneuver the tightest of spaces and be able to deliver a perfectly weighted pass. Although any newcomer into boots that have the Flywire technology may fear it affecting some aspects of play, I can assure you that it performs its function in ensuring a quality fit WITHOUT affecting any of your skills on the ball.
Kicking- The Tiempo Elite is, like most heritage boots, a ‘no frills added’ type of boot. Although this boot doesn’t possess some of the technology that you might find in a AdiPower or T90, the quality of the leather allows you to really get behind any shots that you may fire towards the goal-mouth. There is a nicely situated piece of memory foam in the tongue that makes sure your foot doesn’t start to get bruised from your 30 yard blasts, and the Elite will make sure that the ball flies as straight and true as the strike you put on it.
Traction- Although I am a bit biased towards conical studs over bladed, I want to convey that the traction afforded to you through the Tiempo Elite is great. It is certainly a tried n’ true stud pattern, with little changing on this soleplate in years, and one of the biggest pluses on this boot is how well the studs would function on different field types. The likelihood of a stud snapping off in turf is notably less than a boot with blades, but the studs also allow for good traction on firm-ground fields.
Protection- The protection offered on the Tiempo Elite is one of the few ‘expected’ things on this boot that definitely meets expectations. The kangaroo leather is thin enough to offer a great touch, but thick enough to protect from most challenges. The memory foam in the tongue also aids in this area, and the heel is thick enough to keep you safe from anyone hoping to get a late challenge in.
Kangaroo leather is one of the most durable materials used in the footballing world today, and these boots are covered in the stuff. With proper care and maintenance (and maybe a little extra TLC after tough matches) these boots could last you multiple seasons. The soleplate should also hold up for a while, and, for the extra $ that the carbon fiber costs you, it better. I have used mine on and off for about two seasons and the only issue is some slight grass staining, but they look like they have many more games left in them.
The only thing holding this boot back from a 4 or even 5 in this category is the monster price tag. Although you can occasionally find a sale allowing you to swipe these for a bit under the typical cost, it is rare to ever see them below their $350 price tag. No boot deserves this type of price tag, but, if you come into a bit of cash, this boot certainly hits all the right notes. Toss in a sharp little boot bag and some extra laces to make you feel rewarded for splashing serious cash, and you’ll be carrying these boots everywhere you go.
1. Amazing touch and comfort: Nike have put all their top quality materials to work within this boot. Having such premium pieces on the boot, there is no doubt that it offers some of the best touch and comfort on the market.
2. Durability: Bar the inevitable scuffing that comes with any white football boots, the durability offered by the Nike Tiempo Legend IV Elite is almost unrivaled and with the proper care and maintenance, should be able to last you a few seasons!
1. Big boot price tag: The cost of the boot is going to scare away many possible Tiempo users, and it is difficult to ever justify spending that much money. If this boot was competitive as far as pricing goes, it would dominate the market…but, as it stands, it is far beyond the reach of most normal boot-buyers.
Coming into this review, I was of the mind that no boot would ever fix the pit in my stomach that I feel when getting a boot that costs so much money…however, there is a first time for everything. The Tiempo Elite is certainly a boot that is difficult to even imagine not using when I’m getting prepared for a game, and it has certainly rocketed its way to the top of my ‘boot charts.’ Despite the hefty price tag, I have no qualms labeling the Tiempo Elite as the ‘ultimate heritage boot.’ Sheer brilliance, sheer quality- kudos Nike.