Nike Soccer Reviews, Tiempo Reviews — November 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Nike Tiempo Mystic IV Artificial Grass Review

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Nike Tiempo Mystic IV Artificial Grass Review

The Nike Tiempo Mystic IV AG is the third takedown in the Tiempo line of shoes from Nike. For a lower-end takedown model, you’re actually getting a pretty decent shoe. The upper is made up of two separate materials, full-grain leather in the forefoot and synthetic through the mid-foot. From right out of the box, the leather upper feels nice and soft, wrapping your foot tightly when slip them on. If you’re buying low-end, I can’t stress how much better a natural leather upper feels in comparison to a low-end synthetic, making something like the Mystic IV a great option if you’re on a budget. The tight fit through the forefoot and toe box from brand new means that there is a break-in period before they stretch to your feet, but after a couple hours of wear, they’ll feel even more comfortable. The shape of the Mystic is very similar to the higher end model, so not only are they going to be a comfortable pair of shoes, but they also fit really well.

Sizing on Mystic IV is not exactly the same as the top end Legend IV, but its close. Since the upper is leather, Nike has made the fit a little more snug from right out of the box, that way they’ll stretch to fit perfectly after break-in. I wore my usual size 9US for review, and the fit in the length was very tight. While I personally like that feel, I know that’s not the case for everybody. So, if you’re looking for the tightest fit possible, stay true to size, and if you would like just a little wiggle room, I would recommend going half a size up. In terms of width, I didn’t find the boot to be overly wide through the mid-foot, but again, the shoe does have the ability to stretch. For a low-end soccer shoe, the Mystic IV fits pretty well.

Weight

The Mystic IV weighs in at 9.4oz, which is about average weight for a soccer shoe these days. In a world of soccer shoes where everybody is trying to be as lightweight as possible, shoes like the Mystic tend to get overlooked by more flashy shoes, like the Nike Mercurial Victory series for example. What most people don’t realize is that pretty much all low-end soccer shoes weigh in at about the same weight, so you’re much better off looking at quality over weight. For me, the 9oz mark is the perfect weight range for a shoe like this. Trust me when I say that your soccer shoes are not going to weigh you down.

Traction

With artificial grass, or AG, becoming more and more common nowadays, the type of traction pattern that you use should change too. Just to clarify, AG is the playing surface featuring plastic blades of grass, with rubber pellets scattered throughout, hence the name “artificial grass”. Right now, it is not at all uncommon to see somebody wearing firm ground soccer shoes on artificial grass, but what nobody realizes is that there are so many negatives to doing this. Not only is it potentially dangerous, due to excessive amounts of grip that can be generated from an FG stud pattern on AG that could potentially lead to some pretty severe injuries, but artificial grass will also have a major impact on the durability of your soccer shoes. So much so, that many companies are no longer providing warranties to FG shoes that have been worn on AG. The main reason for the durability issues can be attributed to the abrasiveness of AG, and when using an FG stud pattern on AG you get too much grip, causing your shoes to literally be pushed to the breaking point, generally resulting in premature sole seperation. An AG stud pattern is designed to provide the same type of grip on AG that an FG stud pattern would provide on natural grass.

The studs themselves on Nike’s AG soleplate are about half the length of your average firm ground stud pattern, and are actually hollowed out, giving them the appearance of small rings. The studs themselves are not actually hard plastic either. If you look closely, you will see that the tips of the studs are made from a slightly softer rubber material, very similar to what you would find on a traditional turf soleplate, while the rest of the stud, the part that is attached to the soleplate, is made from hard plastic. The soft rubber tips allow for some extra cushioning when playing on artificial grass, and also allows for the studs themselves to have some flexibility to them. Thanks to this unique design, the studs grip the artificial grass surface really well, but don’t have that clingy feeling that you get when wearing a pair of firm ground shoes on artificial grass. Not only does this make for a great performing stud pattern, but its also much safer.

Artificial grass has the ability to cling to pretty much anything that’s not flat. The AG stud pattern from Nike has the amazing ability to provide plenty of grip when pushing off, but you still have the ability to pivot once your foot has been planted. If you’re going to be playing on artificial grass regularly, I would strongly recommend going for an AG stud pattern on your next pair of shoes.

Touch

The natural, full-grain leather spans the entire forefoot and toe box area of the boot, with the mid-foot of the shoe being synthetic leather. The leather is on the thinner side, but still remains nice and soft, making for a great feel on the ball. The only complaint that I have regarding the touch on the shoe has to be the tongue, which feels just a little bit bulky in my opinion. Otherwise, the touch on the ball is surprisingly good. The synthetic leather through the mid-foot of the shoe does not feel cheap, and for what the shoe costs, the touch on the ball is better than I had originally anticipated. If you’re looking for a more traditional leather feel, you’ll get it from the Mystic IV.

Shooting

Striking the ball in the Mystic IV is not going to surprise anybody. The simple design makes for a very clean striking surface, and the extra padding through the tongue makes for a more cushioned feel overall. If you’re looking for a more traditional feel when striking the ball, you should feel right at home with the Mystic IV.

Protection

For the most part, I would say that the Mystic IV is relatively safe. While the leather is not overly padded, it will still provide some extra protection should you get stepped on. There is also a fair bit of padding on the tongue which should also help out in absorbing some of the blow should you get caught up in a hard challenge. There’s also an internal plastic heel counter, which should keep you relatively safe from any kicks to the back. If you’re looking for a something that will keep you safe without being overly bulky, than the Mystic IV is a pretty good option.

Durability

The Mystic IV feels very well made for a low-end model. The upper uses a decent quality leather and the synthetic doesn’t feel too bad either. The only thing that struck me as a potential issue is the soleplate, which feels a little on the thinner side, but that can be said about all models in the current Tiempo line. Given that you stick to firm ground playing surfaces, stud pressure shouldn’t be an issue. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of the Mystic IV. One thing to keep in mind is that the Mystic IV uses a natural leather upper, so some maintenance is required in order to ensure that the upper stays in optimal condition.

The Verdict

I’m pretty happy with the Mystic IV. From top to bottom, the Tiempo line offers a pretty solid option in each price range, and with a retail price of $80, I would say that the Mystic IV is a decent value. You get a soft leather upper, a quality fit and a fantastic AG stud pattern, all of which make the Mystic IV a great, low cost, classic soccer shoe. If you’re looking for that classic leather feel, the Mystic IV is a great option, especially if you’re looking for a pair of low cost AG soccer shoes.

Comfort/Fit8 out of 10
Weight7 out of 10
Traction10 out of 10
Touch7 out of 10
Shooting7 out of 10
Protection8 out of 10
Durability8 out of 10
FINAL SCORE55 out of 70 or 78%

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