Hot on the tail of the Sniper Speed review we have their leather counterpart, the Legend Speed. Much like the name implies this boot is a heritage speed hybrid putting it in a much beloved and successful category in the boot market. Unlike a lot of heritage boots on the market as of late the Legend Speed sports a kangaroo leather upper so it is sure to go well with heritage and speed boot lovers alike.
I was expecting the overall performance to be very similar to the Sniper Speed as the sole plate is exactly the same, identical studs and tech in both with the only major differences being in the upper where one is synthetic and the other natural leather. Granted I know that the Legend Speed shall go over better with me as the upper is miles better but a large portion of this review will look extremely similar to the Sniper review. For testing I got in a pair of size 9 in the Red/White colorway.
Side by side with the Sniper speed I would choose the Legend speed hands down as the more attractive boot out of the two. They have a classy but flashy red and white color combo and as the boot is made from Kangaroo leather and not slick synthetic puts it way ahead of it’s bland blue and yellow counterpart. The stitching is pretty minimal and neatly laid out and the symmetrical laces look nice and clean. One thing that is different about the boot is the plastic X Blades badge on the heel of each boot which I kind of actually like. The sole plate is decked out the same as the Sniper with the upper firmly cemented and stitched to the upper and decked out with the same tech and blades. The guys at X Blades have managed to keep the weight of the boot down to what I consider to be an ideal weight which is around 7.3 ounces so the feel of these boots is very appealing.
Basically if you read the Sniper speed review you already know what tech lies in the out sole of the the Legend Speed. All the tech is designed to reduce the likely hood of injury other than the upper though with the Kangaroo leather of the Legend you will be getting more protection than the thin synthetic of the Sniper. If you missed the tech run down here it is again.
- Compressed sealed EVA injected between outsole and upper to provide extra cushioning to absorb shock on heel strike.
- Bionic sole system with graduated blades lengths, to aid in reducing pressure on posterior muscles.
- Dual Density outsole allows a singe piece out sole to flex where needed and to offer stability and support in vital areas.
- XRS blade system providing maximum grip and a release system that may assist in reducing lower limb injuries.
As injury prevention is my thing the Bionic sole system, Dual density, and XRS blade system really stands out to me. Here is a better explaination of what the XRS blade system actually does.
XRS, otherwise known as the X Release System, is a cleverly engineered blade pattern that releases its grip when strain becomes too high. Where other patterns may hold for too long and cause injury in excessive circumstances, the XRS gives ultra grip only to the point of excessive force and then releases to save what could be lengthy times on the side-line.
Having spent two boots worth of testing with the same sole plate configuration I have to say that what X Blades claims about their tech is true but the upper of the Legend is much more appealing than the Sniper. They are definitely more suited for soccer than for Rugby so these are the way to go.
I would say these fit a half size larger than normal. I was tentative to have a size 9 for testing as I am usually a 9.5 or a 10 in some boots so I was surprised to find that the 9 fit very well. As the leather is thinner it has very good contour and a bit of stretch to it but I wouldn’t recommend them for those with wider feet though they will fit most feet very well. The heel set up is identical to the Sniper speed as it rides higher on the heel.
Break in and Comfort
From box to a game the break in was virtually seamless. Once again however the high riding heel collar for me is a recipe for blistering, luckily after the blisters from the Sniper Speed I have developed calluses on my heels so the blisters didn’t develop but after a game and a half there was no longer chafing. Other than that the boot breaks in as one would expect a leather boot to break in. It took a wear or two for the upper to contour to my foot.
After the break in was over and even during break in (besides the potential blistering on the heel) the wear is very comfortable. On turf you can feel the studs but the weight is distributed well so it isn’t noticeable unless you are looking for it. I would put this at the top of my comfortable speed boot list. The upper feels better on the foot than the upper of the Sniper speed as it flows better so that is where the boot has a step up. Overall it feels like wearing an extra thick pair of socks with studs on the bottom.
Performance and Durability
Everywhere the Sniper Speed is lacking the Legend Speed excels. The touch is superb as one would expect from thin kangaroo leather and there is also the texture necessary to control the ball which was lacking with the Sniper. The stitching on the forefoot and surprisingly the even a bit of the logo detailing on the instep helped to aide in controlling the ball. I really wish the laces either started up higher on the boot or offset but the extra layer of leather around the eyelets not only reinforces them but adds a bit of extra cushion and makes striking shots pretty enjoyable. The outsole is as equally flowing as the upper synching up very well with the natural movement of the foot but with a slight spring to the forefoot portion of the soleplate making it responsive where it needs to but flexible in other areas. No snags on turf though I wouldn’t recommend buying them solely for turf use. Overall, performance is very much exceeded expectations.
As long as I keep taking care of the leather I’m certain that the boot shall keep up for a season or two if not more. Stitched and cemented together I highly doubt that there will be any separation down the line. Also seeing as the first two eyelets are well reinforced with plastic there should be no tear through. It is very hard to tell which part of the boot will go first but the way they are priced I’m sure they will outlast any boot in the price bracket.
Where it Sits on the Market
It has more of a place on the soccer market than the Sniper speed by far. The sniper speed defintiely has the feel of a rugby boot as the upper isn’t ideal for controlling a ball at your feet while the Legend gives excellent control properties due to the leather upper. As the main light weight leather boot contenders on the market are the adipure sl, puma king sl, the mizuno morelia Neo with no current offering by nike I think that the Legend speed is in a good place. It seems to be the most durable by far so you are getting a good long wear out of them. It is also in the injury prevention category as well so it is a triple threat with it also being durable and a lightweight kangaroo leather boot.
There are not as many negatives as expected but there is room to improve. Once again the rubbing at the heel was a nuisance but I didn’t blister this time around but would have if not for a healthy build of up of callus. Also there is a bit of extra stud pressure but it is distributed well so it wasn’t terrible, of course this is on turf and not on firm ground so it might not translate over. Other than that I have no complaints.
I was very pleased with how the Legend Speed performed despite the irritation on the heel. There are very few areas I would say need improving otherwise, xblades have made a very neat little package here and I will definitely be using them again once the spring comes around. As an offering from a company that flies under the radar the Legend Speed is a very competitive boot and is sure to go over well with those new to the brand.
Technology Efficiency: 70%
Total Score: 75%