In the world of football boots, there are very few constants. Boots change, companies kill and create new silos, materials are updated, and any brand could drop some random limited edition boot at any time. However, the Nike Tiempo series has always represented a quality boot with an amazing touch that Nike would be insane to replace. With the newest version, there have been some serious updates coupled with Nike’s attempt to blend modern with classic in a package worthy of the Tiempo name. After testing the boot extensively, where does Nike’s newest release stand?
Even from first view, there is no doubt that this is a Tiempo. Sure, it might have a big nod towards the old Ronaldhino Dois, but the big “TIEMPO” on the heel and the other aspects of the boot leave no doubt about this is a modern Tiempo. Outside of the “Reflective Pack” launch, every release up until this point has been given a very slick two-tone appearance that helps the boot look very clean. Unlike the 11Pro with its upper looking like it has a shiny sheen painted on (making it almost look plastic), there is no mistaking that the Tiempo is built in order to show off the leather construction.
Considering the main marketing point for the Tiempo has always been its flawless touch, it comes as no surprise that this boot provides an amazing feel for the ball. Passing and addressing the ball are a dream and it always seem to provide a great touch while still maintaining that padding that you would always associate with a leather boot. While I never tested or used the Dois, if the touch on the ball was similar to this then I truly understand why that boot still maintains a large cult status. The Tiempo has somehow managed to update itself while somehow improving its key aspects. Where striking a ball with a speed boot might feel harsh, or a “power” boot might not be built to have you caress a ball, the Tiempo allows you to power through a strike with impressive feel and execute any action while feeling in complete control of the ball. There is no doubt that this Tiempo will be as successful as the previous incarnations because it is genuinely superior in all areas of play.
The biggest difference in this area is that the break-in period was slightly longer for the V than the IV. This can be attributed to the general stitching and build of the boot, as the areas connected to the soleplate have been engineered to hold their shape so that the boot will not overstretch, but the finished product feels and fits like a dream. The heel and midfoot felt comfortably snug from right out of the box and that sensation has not changed throughout testing. The forefoot, as is the case with any boot of high quality leather, molds to your foot and creates a glove-like fit for your foot that can only be likened to wearing your favorite, worn-in pair of sneakers. The comfort is still impressive and, providing you heed our sizing instruction, only takes a few hours in the boot to fully break-in. This all sits on top of a slightly improved Tiempo soleplate, making for a top notch boot. While still providing great traction and stability on firm ground surfaces (whether dry or slightly damp), Nike have obviously incorporated the HyperVenom support area across the bottom of the midfoot and have added a more noticeable stud near the toe. While I still worry that some American referee that is a stickler for the rules might balk at the sight of this addition, it is another slight improvement that allows the V to stand as a true improvement and heir to the Tiempo throne.
While building a quality successor in the Tiempo line (at 8.5 oz, no less), it surprises me that Nike were willing to change up several aspects of the boot. A simple silo renaming and a possible shifting around of a few stitch patterns would have certainly been widely accepted as an updated Tiempo, but Nike decided to try and improve on the already impressive heritage boot. Needless to say, they have succeeded and have created a great product. However, the price bump from being one of the most affordable to now joining the ranks of the most expensive boots on the market is an unwelcome move by Nike. Despite the fact that Nike still include a gym bag with the boot, a 50 dollar price increase means that the top-tier Tiempo is no longer a budget option. A fantastic boot, but the consumer will now be weighing the Tiempo against all the other 200 dollar boots. I find it difficult to believe that many of the younger shoppers will choose the less flashy Tiempo with options like the Vapor/Venom/CTR or all of the other brand possibilities on the table. But, if you are willing to pay the price, you will not go wrong with the Tiempo V…it is brilliant!
SIZING: One thing is certain with this boot and that is that you definitely need to go a half-size up for the perfect fit. The initial pair that we testing were in our normal size and it was beyond painful without even trying to get the boots out on the pitch. Despite some K-leather stretch, it will be very uncomfortable for anyone attempting to go true to size.