His return from retirement has been the shock talk of the town over the past few weeks, and last weekend he even managed to score his first MLS regular-season goal since September 2014. But an even bigger talking point (from our perspective) are those blackout boots that Landon Donovan has been wearing on-pitch. It is all a bit weird really!
First off, it is obvious that Landon is protecting his own image rights by wearing an unmarked pair of boots. Given the whole “adidas sponsors the league” jargon, and the fact Landon is probably out of contract with Nike, it is likely he can’t prominently display what he is wearing until he gets his endorsement back.
Back in 2014, when he retired, Donovan had easy access to his boot of choice, the Nike CTR360 Maestri. Since that time, the CTR360 has been retired and their hasn’t been a specific boot released to fill its void.
So, he has made the decision to switch over to another tried and trusted performing boot; the Nike Tiempo Legend 6. The most recent release in the series was the Pitch Dark version, but that featured Hyper Turquoise detailing along the swoosh. This version is a NIKEiD edition. How do we know? Well, on the soleplate, as seen in the very top image, he has added a Personal ID text in the form of “TIEMPO”.
It is all a bit confusing if you think about it; he is wearing a pair of blackout boots but he has added the name of the boot on the soleplate, like we wouldn’t notice. I’m not getting the logic in this one, but Jelle Van Damme currently wearing very similar boots. Could be a Nike thing. Either way, Landon has chosen an excellent boot for this personal situation.
In recent times, the Tiempo Legend 6 has come up against some harsh (but justified) criticism for it’s overall durability. But outside of that they are an absolute top performer that are a fan favorite in the right circumstances. They are about as comfortable as boots get, and a super classy leather upper covers a fully functional internal cage system, intended to keep you locked in without affected touch on the ball. This perfectly suits Donovan right now, as he works his way back into playing at the competitive level. He currently needs something that is extremely reliable out of the box, while allowing him to readjust to the speed of professional soccer and the need for a clean touch on the ball as he is being closed down at speed. Watch this space to see what he chooses to wear over the coming weeks!