Check out Round 1 here.
While the world is going nuts over who can put the lightest boot out on the market, there will always be a place for quality leather boots on the market. No nonsense boots that provide a delicate touch on the ball while giving the user a plush ride that they may have only experienced with house shoes. So, which of these two heritage boot giants will stand the tallest? Let’s take a look…
1st – Touch/Shooting
In terms of the 11Pro, the new upper with its memory foam inserts definitely impresses. The boot provides a fantastic touch while the inserts give the boot a great amount of cushion. While there was some serious concern with the foam dampening the touch, let me push that fear out of your mind. It does make you feel like there is a the tiniest bit extra between you and the ball, but you still feel every touch on the ball and get that great feel that you expect from a leather boot. The leather in the midfoot (unlike the last 11Pro) is a great improvement and it helps allow the boot to be seen as a true leather boot.
When striking with the 11Pro, everything feels great coming off of the boot. I have always loved striking through a ball with a leather upper and the 11Pro does not disappoint in this area. Whether playing a cross-field pass or driving the ball from 30 yards, you feel a satisfying punch as you blast through the ball…
On the side of the Tiempo, the upper is everything that you would expect from Kangaroo leather and the Nike Tiempo. A great touch and a quality feel every time that you address the ball are par for the course with the Tiempo, and Nike have somehow managed to update this version while still giving you the amazing feel that you expect from this silo. Considering how impressed I have always been with the Tiempo, it amazes even me that this boot somehow stands above the past versions. There’s no doubt that the great feel of the boot will have you demanding the ball more just so that you can feel the ball at your feet more often.
Striking with the Tiempo is fantastic. It feels great to wrap your foot around a curled shot or to drive through the ball with power, and there is never a bad moment when playing in the Tiempo. If your teammates question why you smile every time that you strike the ball, the Tiempo will certainly be the answer.
2nd – Traction/Stud Configuration
The 11Pro claims to have an updated stud configuration, but it is just a slightly updated version of what adidas have been slapping on their boots for the last several boots. While it is very dependable and keeps you steady on your feet during every minute of your footballing, it is certainly not the best soleplate available. Considering how strong a boot adidas have created here, this certainly feels like the weakest part of the boot. Considering it is still a quality part, that shows how fantastic the boot truly is.
The Tiempo has also changed up the soleplate slightly, but it has added some improvements to an already impressive set-up. An added stud near the toe helps keep you from slipping in certain situations and the conical studs provide great penetration and release allowing you to move freely while never losing your footing. The new Venom last also gives it a bit of a spine running from the back studs to the front of the boot, but this feels mostly cosmetic. There is a reason that this stud pattern has only been changed slightly for generations of the Tiempo, and Nike have still improved upon it.
Despite this 11Pro definitely giving the Tiempo a much better bout, Nike’s heritage boot still stands a bit above its adidas competitor. The quality of the k-leather upper and the small additions that Nike have added to this boot allow it to get the best of its biggest rival. However, the price difference of these two boots (about $50), gives me pause in declaring the Tiempo as the unanimous victor.
As we see with most of the top-tier boots in today’s market, both are thoroughly impressive. If you just cannot bring yourself to spend the $200 for the Tiempo, the cheaper alternative in the 11Pro ($150) would be an excellent choice!