If you are familiar with the Nike Tiempo Legend range, this latest release might look slightly different to what you are expecting. The all new Tiempo IV Elite not only has a redesigned upper that features vamp stitching, but it also comes with Nike’s patented Flywire technology. Feedback for the release has been extremely positive with the Black/White/Total Orange colorway going down a treat. The Orange laces, in particular, make the boots pop and they are very noticeable on the field.
My primary concern with the Tiempo lies around sizing, with the range offering a tight fit. Over the past four weeks, I have had an excellent opportunity to put them through their paces with the following results..
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Finding the Right Size
An area I recommend doing some research before ordering is size. The Tiempo IV Elite has a slightly tight fit and as a result, I needed to go up a half size for testing. Normally, I am a 9US but ended up wearing a 9.5US to ensure they were comfortable. One of the reasons they fit tighter is the Flywire technology, as it holds the upper in place and does not allow the leather to stretch, essentially wrapping your foot tightly. With the regular Tiempo IV, which is a tight true to size fit, I recommended considering a half size as an option. With the Elite, I simply recommend choosing a half size to ensure a comfortable fit!
With sizing issues out of the equation, I found the Tiempo IV Elite broke in really well. In fact, I was quiet surprised with the comfort level starting out considering I have had problems with Nike’s Elite ranges in the past. I am starting to think that the difference might actually lie in the construction of the upper, with leather offering more maneuverability and flex than other synthetic boots (like the Superfly in particular). The Carbon Fiber soleplate was stiff starting out and did cause some slight discomfort but there was much more ease in how they felt through the break in process. I ended up wearing them in 3-4 jogging sessions before I felt like they were really ready for sprinting, twisting and turning. Right through the upper, the K-leather is super soft and easily molds to the shape of your feet. On another positive note, there were no hot-spots and I never had any concerns in terms of blisters!
Flywire is used to minimize weight and maximize support. Basically, high-strength threads in the upper work like cables on a suspension bridge offering engineered support through the midfoot. One thing to note is that Flywire acts just like a tendon would on the front of your foot. The layer of material used to cover the cleat is only there to keep out dirt and rocks, it is the Flywire structure that adds protection. Because of this, Nike has been able to create lighter soccer cleats. This is the first time that it has been included on the Tiempo range.
This is the area where I really can’t fault anything about the release. Nike has done a wonderful job of crafting this release into an in-game war machine, designed to ensure you are prepared for whatever happens through 90-minutes. What you are getting is a boot that delivers in the right areas. They leather upper is super soft and offers fantastic touch and control on the ball. The mixture of Flywire technology and a Carbon Fiber soleplate allows for great weight distribution through the entire boot, and produces a wonderful feel as you wear them. It is a unique experience that offers consistency over long durations of play. As a winger, I had plenty of opportunities to get crosses in with positive results. They have an ideal strike zone to ensure firm contact and they ultimately allow you to deliver a crisp pass/cross with confidence.
This release really mixes classic with modern. You get a very traditional leather upper that offers a stylish look, only for the orange detailing to pop and make the entire boot stand out. It is a fantastic look that really works. Along the heel, there are two orange stripes that are positioned to enhance the visual effect, essentially allowing your team mates to spot you via the boots. Nike also reduced the shape of the tongue, leaving it as an ankle cut. It sits comfortably in place and compliments the overall look.
Elite vs Regular Tiempo
There is a huge difference in what you pay for the Regular Tiempo IV compared to the Elite. You need to compare the technology included on the Elite range to understand where the money is going. What you get with the Elite that you don’t get with the regular is a Carbon Fiber soleplate and the addition of Flywire. This results in a pretty minimal weight difference of 0.2oz, but a more protected upper on the Elite. The Elite also has a complete K-leather upper compared to a mix of synthetic and K-leather on the regular. Is it all worth the additional $200? That is down to you and your budget. Personally, I am of the opinion that the regular Tiempo offers far superior value for money, but you can only get the entire experience by purchasing the Elite’s!
I can’t offer many negatives about the Tiempo IV Elite. They are a solid boot that perform well, look great and serve their intended purpose on the field. But, I am definitely not a fan of the hefty price tag! This is just part and parcel of the current trend in the soccer market, with Nike’s Elite range running especially high. Ultimately, it creates an exclusive allure about the range, and apparently it sells. I just don’t see a great deal of value in paying $350 for a pair, especially when you can get the regular version for $135. Sizing is also a concern and I strongly encourage players to research before spending money on a pair.
Again Nike has produced a very effective boot that falls right into the heritage category, as we expect from the Tiempo range. Performance wise, these just straight up work and they compliment any player looking for a boot that provides great touch and control. The leather upper is top quality and ranks amongst the best I have had the opportunity to test. Ball hogs, in particular, will probably be very excited about getting their hands on the Tiempo IV Elite – although I anticipate players who are not ball hogs will have a new title after wearing them a few times! Get past the high price tag and you won’t be disappointed with this release.
*Boots supplied for review by Nike Soccer.