Nike Tiempo Mystic IV Review
The Nike Tiempo Mystic IV 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.
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.
The stud pattern of the Mystic IV is very similar to that of the Legend IV, just without all of the extra bells and whistles, which can be argued to have no effect. What you get is a simple, no nonsense stud pattern that is one of my personal favorites. The forefoot is made up of four conical studs spread across the inside and outside of the foot, with two small bladed studs running through the middle. Under the heel, you get four bladed studs, two on each side. The stud pattern gives a very natural feel, and is one of the more commonly used stud patterns amongst professionals. The conical studs allow for a solid blend of grip when pushing off and plenty of maneuverability when pivoting. We see so many bladed stud patterns being released, which provide tons of grip when pushing off, but don’t allow for that freedom to pivot like a conical stud pattern can provide. The bladed heel studs offer a very solid and very stable feel when planting your foot to strike the ball. It’s a great, classic stud pattern that anybody can appreciate.
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.
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.
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.
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. Also note that the firm ground version of the Mystic IV is designed for use on firm, natural grass playing surfaces. Using any firm ground soccer shoe on artificial grass/turf will have a major impact on the durability of the boot.
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 classic 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, but if you’re going to spend $80 on a pair, be sure to look at some other options before pulling the trigger.