13 best Nike Tiempo soccer cleats

Based on reviews from 37 experts and 641 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Nike Tiempo soccer cleats. Updated Apr 2020.

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  1. Any color
    $65 $40 Save 38%

Thirty-four years and counting, yet the Nike Tiempo soccer cleat is still one of the best soccer cleats of all time. It is the cleat that launched Nike into the soccer arena. But more than anything else, the Nike Tiempo soccer cleats are known for providing superb comfort. From the time it was first called Nike Air Legend Tiempo up to the present, soccer fans from all over the world still rave about the legendary soccer cleats.

Historical Nike Tiempo soccer cleats timeline

best nike tiempo soccer cleats
Best Nike Tiempo soccer cleats - November 2019

Being the longest-running soccer cleat silo from Nike, you can never go wrong with the Nike Tiempo. Over the years, it has evolved massively but one thing is sure, it has kept its heritage comfort, classic style, and elegant simplicity in check at all times.

Nike Tiempo (1983)

The original version of the Nike Tiempo soccer cleat comes with a classic look but with a modern feel. It features a premium kangaroo leather upper and an old-school outsole. The stud pattern consists of six conical studs. From this version came many more modern and innovative releases in the years that follow.

Nike Tiempo Premier (1992)

This iconic Nike Tiempo soccer cleat was introduced in the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA. Borrowing the words of Dave Daly, former Nike Soccer general manager, “the Tiempo Premier was the first one where we actually made a shoe the athletes around the world actually wanted to wear.” Prior to its release, fans regarded Nike soccer cleats to be irrelevant to the market.

The upper is made of kangaroo leather with double-cross stitching in the forefoot area. Just like the original Adidas Copa soccer cleat, it also has a classic fold-over tongue.

Nike Air Legend R10 (2006)

This Nike Tiempo soccer cleat is the first-ever release of Ronaldinho's signature cleat. It was unveiled using the famous “Crossbar” video where it shows Ronaldinho wearing this soccer cleat for the first time and expertly hits the crossbar four times in a row.

Nike Air Legend II E8 (2008)

This Nike Tiempo soccer cleat uses a premium kangaroo leather material all over the upper. It also features an updated pattern detail in the forefoot. For excellent fit and comfort, this soccer shoe is equipped with the Zoom Air heel technology in the midsole.

Nike Tiempo Legend III Elite WC (2010)

This Nike Tiempo soccer cleat has some of the most drastic changes from the original version. New features of this brightly colored Nike Tiempo soccer cleat include the waterproof Kanga Lite upper and Carbon Fiber soleplate. These materials reduced the overall weight of the soccer cleat significantly. As Nike’s response to making lightweight top-end models, this soccer cleat dropped a full 2.0 oz. in weight from the standard version.

Nike Tiempo Legend IV Clash Collection (2012)

This popular Nike Tiempo soccer cleat combines vintage style with modern technology. It has the classic feel of a true Nike Tiempo soccer cleat but with the addition of carbon fiber soleplate, Flywire cables, and a Poron insole.

Another feature of this soccer shoe is the revamped stitching placed strategically on the forefoot. It helps minimize the overstretching of the leather and at the same time provides lateral support.

Popular technologies used in Nike Tiempo soccer cleats

  • Kanga Lite. It is a synthetic material that mimics the comfortable fit and soft touch properties of leather. Together with the All Conditions Control (ACC) technology, they provide a consistent touch on the ball rain or shine. It is used in top-tier models like the Nike Tiempo Legend III Elite.
  • Zoom Air. This hyper-responsive, low-profile cushioning technology integrated into the midsole was designed with agile players in mind. It is composed of thousands of tensile fibers that give way when the foot hits the surface. Upon pushing off, these fibers literally snap which then releases energy back into the foot.

This revolutionary technology was originally made for Nike running shoes.  It is similar to the cushioning technology found in Adidas Ace 16+ Ultraboost, Adidas Ace 16+ Purecontrol Ultraboost, and Adidas Nemeziz Tango 17+ Ultraboost.

  • Flywire. This futuristic technology found in Nike Tiempo soccer cleats took inspiration from NASA’s use of Vectran fiber. It is composed of lightweight and heavy-duty Vectran filaments that act like cables in suspension bridges. They wrap around the foot for excellent lockdown, support, and flexibility.

It is also found in signature Nike running shoe models as well as in Nike Mercurial soccer cleats.

  • Since almost all Nike Tiempo soccer cleats use genuine leather for the upper, they can take up a lot of water when playing during the rainy season. In response to this, the company introduced the Hypershield technology to ensure that the shoe absorbs less water and dries out quicker than other leather soccer cleats.

With this amazing technology, Nike has developed a heritage cleat that has the benefits of synthetic soccer cleats.

  • Flyknit. This form-fitting upper material is made up of flexible fabric and yarns that create a sock-like construction. With the help of cables in the lateral sides of the upper, it provides a second-skin fit and feels.

The first ever Nike Tiempo soccer cleat to feature a Flyknit upper is the Nike Tiempo Legend VII Elite. However, because it is a heritage soccer cleat, the Flyknit material is only found in the tongue and the rear half of the shoe.

  • Anti-clog technology. This exciting technology is found in the soleplates of some soft ground Nike Tiempo soccer cleats. How does it work? As soon as water touches the underside of the shoe, the Anti-clog forms a liquid barrier between the soleplate and the mud. It is used in Nike Tiempo Legend VI SG-PRO Anti-Clog, Nike Tiempo Legend VII Anti-Clog SG-PRO and Nike Tiempo Legend VII Elite Anti-Clog Traction SG-PRO.

Nike Tiempo soccer cleat collection

Nike Tiempo soccer cleats based on stud pattern/surface

The first thing that you should consider when deciding which Nike Tiempo soccer cleat you should buy is the soleplate. In order for a soccer cleat to maximize its lifespan, the stud pattern must be compatible with the playing surface.

The right kind of stud configuration affects the overall performance and comfort on the pitch. It also prevents some forms of joint injuries.

  • Firm ground soccer cleats - This is the most common stud configuration in the market. The 2017 Nike Tiempo soccer cleats for firm grounds (FG) use the new Hyperstability soleplate which features a combination of bladed, chevron-shaped, and jagged conical studs. This precise stud pattern was polished through the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) for enhanced responsiveness and excellent traction on firm natural grass.

Previous Nike Tiempo models feature a thin and flexible soleplate that is similar to the one found on the Nike Hypervenom soccer cleats. The stud pattern is composed of eight conical shaped studs and four bladed studs on the heel to help distribute the pressure.

  • Soft ground soccer cleats - These types of soccer cleats are used on soft, muddy surfaces. Top-end Nike Tiempo soccer cleats in the soft ground (SG) variation comes with a stud wrench and extra sets of metal studs. The stud pattern consists of a mix of removable metal studs and fixed plastic studs.

A new feature added to the Nike Tiempo VI and VII soccer cleats is the Anti-Clog technology. It keeps the mud and other elements from getting stuck in the soleplate. Thus, the soccer shoe maintains its lightweight feel.

  • Artificial grass soccer cleats - The shallow artificial grass (AG) surface needs studs that are slightly shorter compared to the ones used in FG variations. Some Nike Tiempo soccer cleats utilize the glass nylon Nike Hypervenom AG soleplate. Unlike the TPU plastic material used in FG soccer cleats, glass nylon is more resistant to the hot artificial grass surface.

The hollow conical studs that come in different sizes are scattered across the soleplate. This allows the player to have plenty of stability. Each stud has a hard plastic base and a rubber tip which allows flexibility when planting on artificial grass surfaces. Also, it prevents the soccer cleat from clinging to the artificial grass surface too much.

  • Indoor soccer cleats - The indoor court (IC) variation of the Nike Tiempo soccer cleats feature an extra layer of leather in the forefoot. This acts as protection against the abrasive artificial surfaces. The soleplate features a solid rubber material that is suitable for flat, hard playing surfaces.

An interesting feature of the indoor Nike Tiempo soccer cleats is the cushioning system. Top-end models use Lunarlon cushioning while lower-end models use the traditional Phylon cushioning system.

Lunarlon is 30% lighter than Phylon. It features a soft and resilient foam core that is encased in a foam carrier. Using this cushioning system results in springy response and support.

Special edition Nike Tiempo soccer cleats

The Nike Tiempo series have been headlined by various soccer superstars by the likes of Ronaldinho and Sergio Ramos. This US sportswear giant even manufactured Nike Tiempo soccer cleats as a commemoration to some of these athletes.

Examples of special edition Nike Tiempo soccer cleats include the Nike Tiempo Ronaldinho R10, Nike Tiempo Ronaldinho Touch of Gold, Nike Tiempo Legend V Totti Limited Edition, Nike Tiempo Legend VI Totti X Roma, Nike Tiempo Legend VI Pirlo Edition, and Nike Tiempo Legend II Corazón Y Sangre.

Frequently asked questions

What does ‘heritage soccer cleat’ mean?

Heritage soccer cleats are the soccer cleats that have a traditional leather upper. Nike Tiempo, Puma King, and Adidas Copa are among the favorite heritage soccer cleat silos in the market.

Which famous soccer players wore the Nike Tiempo?

The Nike Tiempo soccer cleats are worn by the likes of Ronaldhino, Andrea Pirlo, Gerard  Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Carlos Tevez, Jerome Boateng, Cesc Fabregas, Carles Puyol, and Joe Cole.

Can you personalize the Nike Tiempo soccer cleats?

Yes, you can personalize the Nike Tiempo soccer cleats through NikeID. The personalization ranges from choosing colors, text, and graphics.

On what surfaces can I use the Nike Tiempo soccer cleats?

The Nike Tiempo soccer cleats are available in firm ground (FG), soft ground (SG), artificial grass (AG), and indoor court (IC) variations. Make sure to buy the correct stud pattern for your chosen playing surface. Using your Nike Tiempo soccer cleat on surfaces that it was not intended for can cause premature damages and issues regarding its durability.

Why did Nike drop the word “Air” from the Tiempo Legend III series name?

Nike decided to drop the Nike Air Zoom technology from the cleat when they started making the Nike Tiempo Legend III silo. Instead, they replaced it with the better performing Poron cushioning system.

How to spot a fake Nike Tiempo soccer cleat?

  • A fake Nike Tiempo soccer cleat does not have an internal support structure. Instead, it has an embossed design on the upper.
  • It also does not have the authentic leather symbol on the medial side of the soccer cleat.
  • The Swoosh design on the sides of a fake Nike Tiempo soccer cleat has a glossy finish when it hits the light. The authentic one has a matte finish.
  • The Tiempo lettering on the soleplate does not have the same vibrancy as the one found in an authentic pair of Nike Tiempo soccer cleats.

3 best Nike Tiempo soccer cleats

  1. Nike Tiempo Rio IV Firm Ground
  2. Nike Tiempo Genio II Leather Firm Ground
  3. Nike Tiempo Legend VIII Elite Firm Ground
This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
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