When you throw the word “Legend” in the name, you have to ensure that the cleat has a long life. It needs to be iconic, credible, and trustworthy. Nike Tiempo Legend 8 Academy justifies its legendary in-game status, and as we move on to the eighth-generation, it further consolidates as one of Nike’s most popular cleat series. From launch to our latest introduction to the eighth incarnation of the cleat, Tiempo has always been the choice for players looking for that magical blend of exceptional comfort, superb feel for the ball and quality leather. All of these features are blended to create Tiempo 8. Let’s see what it’s all about.
The upper of Tiempo has more leather than any other cleat. The stitchless, quilted leather upper is primarily a design aesthetic and is inspired by the Tiempo 4, 5 and R10 cleats. It’s the softest leather you’ll ever feel. Most leather cleats need stitches and adhesive to hold it together, but the Nike Tiempo Legend 8 Academy leather upper is entirely free of both. Quadfit Mesh technology is an interwoven fabric that provides cleat comfort and breathability. It also works as a barrier to the leather to stop your foot from over-stretching the cleat.
The Flyknit Fit Tunnel works just like a sock. It wraps your entire midfoot, providing a custom fit that makes the cleat feel lighter than previous Tiempo models. This technology offers the fit, structure, and support that your foot needs. Nike focused on perfect fit in the Mercurial series in 2018 and carried it to this Tiempo model.
A combination of conical studs, chevrons, and blades give you the best quality underfoot. Chevrons near the forefoot help you dig quickly when trying to sprint; the conical studs provide that consistent traction that Tiempo has always offered, and the heel blades make sure you never feel like you are not firmly planted before you smash a shot on the half volley.
Break-in does not exist, and the Quadfit system means that the fear of stretching the leather associated with proper stitching is not a worry. Nike also ensured that the adequate level of heel padding is there to avoid hot spots, keep your ankle locked low in the cleat, and make it more comfortable. We may not like all three upper materials that combine in terms of time on the ball, but they strike all the right notes to get your feet singing. It feels more noticeable than previous Tiempo models, and also slightly lighter.
For a cleat with such a history, it’s always going to be tough to meet the standard that your product has set. It’s also interesting to see Nike try and steer their marketing towards making the Tiempo a welcome home for defenders. The kangaroo leather on the cleat is very soft and thin enough to keep the cleat from feeling bulky, but a layer of Quadfit and Flyknit tunnel in the latest Tiempo will keep you enjoying the upper and get in the feel we long to experience a legend. Long-standing fans will be thrilled, but if you want to switch from a speed cleat like Mercurial then, it will take time to get used to it.