It is one of the more unique state laws currently around: Assembly Bill 1188 stops the import of any products with kangaroo leather into California. Yes, this is actually a thing! About a year ago, the law (that is not supported by Australians, who actually struggle to keep Kangaroo numbers in check) was brought back into action. Since then, K-leather boots have become increasingly difficult to get hold of. Although it is only one state, soccer is a big deal in California, so it has obviously had an impact on how brands approach new releases and sales numbers. Can you imagine a world where you can’t get your hands on a pair of adidas Copa Mundial or Nike Tiempo Legend? That is a true life reality here.
Well, Nike has made a positive step and listened to disappointed fans by creating a version of the Tiempo Legend using an alternate material; calf leather. Although it can be purchased anywhere in the US, it comes with the state abbreviation CA and gives players here a direct opportunity to own a pair of the classic, heritage style silhouette.
Thus why this release is labelled the “California” Nike Tiempo Legend VII. We picked up a pair to give you a rundown of what to expect should you be interested in picking up a pair. If we miss anything you need answered, let us know in the comments!
You can find the “California” Tiempo Legend at soccer.com.
Calf Leather vs K-Leather
Without a doubt, the better quality leather is k-leather. It provides a much more supple and responsive feel right out of the box, and you can see the difference when you hold both boots side to side. The k-leather version has a glossy finish compared to more of a matte finish on the calf.
Above pic: Calf (left) vs Kangaroo (right)
What You Need to Know About Tiempo Legend VII
One of the first things you will notice about the Tiempo VII is the highly defined upper and the fact there is not a single stitch used through the strike zone. This all plays out to improve the overall fit and feel, with Nike leveraging a sort of 4 tier system. The calf leather is the top layer and the first level between boot and ball.
The leather is fused with a thin foam, this adds a little extra cushion and strength to the upper material.
Fit-Mesh, which makes its debut inside the Tiempo Legend 7, acts as a floating lining attached to the raised biteline of the boot, not the leather. It helps contain your foot so the leather doesn’t have to. Nike Flyknit through the midfoot and tongue encases Flywire and helps provide cushioned coverage atop the foot. The plush feel of the Tiempo Legend 7 extends all the way to the heel, where cushioned, articulated pods hug the foot in place.
How do they Fit?
So, how do they actually feel on foot? This is definitely a snug fitting boot, with all of the materials locking in to create an “as one” connection with your foot. From the design of the tongue, to the ability to tighten the Flywire lacing, they are extremely adaptive through wear. You can definitely dictate how tight they fit around your foot, but unfortunately you can’t really go the other way like you would in boots with a detached tongue. From the first time you try to put them on – use the stretch in the tongue to help open the ankle slot – they should be pretty tight, they are designed to be. I found that they fit my medium/wide foot very well, with enough flex through the upper to keep things comfortable. In terms of length, they are very much true to size.
If you wore the Tiempo Legend 6 and are wondering how they compare fit wise, everything about them is very similar. Whatever size you were comfortable wearing in the Legend 6, you will also wear in the Legend 7.
What Are You Getting?
You are essentially getting the very same boot the rest of the country gets, except the k-leather upper is switched with a calf leather. That is it. Everything else is identical, from the blackout detailing to the foam skeleton underlining and Hyperstability outsole. There is also a pretty cool blackout boot bag included in the box, an appreciated addition.
So, both versions of the boots have an original retail price of $229.99. But lets break down a few extra details here. The California Tiempo is still retailing at full price, a result of the fact they are not long on the market. So, if you are buying a pair you are going to end up paying slightly more than you would for a k-leather pair right now.
There are two different blackout versions of the k-leather Tiempo currently available, both have very similar looks but are different. First is the Academy Pack, a release that lit up the market when they were introduced earlier this year. They were available at one point to California consumers. The second version, released as part of the Stealth Ops Pack, is actually the one that the Cali version mimics. They feature the exact detailing and shades right across the upper.
Find the “California” Tiempo Legend available at soccer.com.