Placing the word ‘Legend’ in the name of a soccer cleat has to give some added pressure to its release on the market. You need to be sure it is a high quality cleat that offers something players want. Previous releases of the Nike Tiempo Legend have hit that line of expectation, but where does the latest release fall? The Nike Tiempo Legend III hit the market last spring, with the likes of Carlos Tevez, Cesc Fabregas and James Milner sporting them on release. This review might be coming a few months later than expected, but better late than never, right?
As a guide to what to expect from these cleats, I would place them in the same category as Adidas adiPURE’s and Lotto Stadio Primato. After having an opportunity to wear them in several training sessions and 2 games, here is what I thought of them.
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A lot of friends I spoke to about the Tiempo Legend III during testing, describe them as fitting ‘true to size’. I can’t say that I agree with this statement! I normally wear a size 9, and that is what I wore for this review. In the initial week of testing, these felt very tight, and almost like they were a half size too small. If you have a wide foot, you might want to order a half size up, that is what I will do with any future releases in the range. This caused some uncomfortable before I was eventually able to deem them as ‘broken in’! Thankfully, I didn’t experience any blisters even though they were tight. After a few practice sessions, they did loosen up, although I don’t think I ever felt like they truly fit. If you are a fan of a glove like fit, these are a great choice! I ended up wearing these in 3-4 training sessions and 2 games, which was all I needed to get a good feel for the fit!
Nike chose to modify the design slightly from the Legend II to this latest release. The Legend III has a much darker look, but a twist to the sole. Black is the theme on the upper and Nike have taken away most of the white trim. The sole adds a real pop to the cleat, although the only one that will really notice is the defender you leave trailing behind you! Nike has added a bright illuminated yellow color to the very unique blade/stud combo. Other than that, you are getting a clean looking design that doesn’t scream ‘look at me’! One thing I do really like about the sole is where ‘TIEMPO est. 1984’ is inscribed at the forefront. In my opinions, this adds a touch of class to the boot and gives it more of a heritage!
Performance and Durability
The upper of the Tiempo Legend III is made of a super soft Kangaroo leather that offers great durability when broken in. I have to admit that initially, these felt a little stiff compared to other K-leather cleats in its bracket, but with time this breaks down giving you a lasting boot. Again, like with other Nike releases, I love the insert that is used. It doesn’t move, and it feels great to run on. The sole of the cleat has been split into two, allowing it to have great flexibility. Add this to the forefoot flex grooves, and these feel great to move and turn in. I am also a big fan of how Nike use a mix of conical shaped studs and blades. There are 8 conical at the front of the cleat, and 4 blades at the back. This makes these ideal for artificial surfaces and firm ground.
Other than the size issue, there are no real negatives about the Tiempo Legend III. The fit was a little too snug for me personally and I would have liked a half size larger than I normally wear. Again, I am going to complain about the length of the laces, but I am starting to come to terms with the fact that this is something that many of the big companies are sticking with! One other thing that I wanted to mention is the overlapping tongue. I love the design, but I am not confident in the Velcro used to keep it down. After a few training’s, this started to come loose, and I found myself pushing the tongue back down during the game!
Overall, you are getting a quality boot with the Nike Tiempo Legend III. I am not fully persuaded that these are cleats that will be remembered as ‘Legends’, but again that is only a title and of course my opinion! If you are on the market for a no-nonsense cleat that will give you great support and performance at a decent price, these might be ideal for you. In terms of position, they are a hybrid that are pretty much suited to any player on the field that wants to try them out. I would recommend trying a pair of these on before buying if possible, especially if you have a medium to wide foot like I have!
(boots supplied for review by soccer.com)