Nike Tiempo Legend IV ACC Firm Ground Review
The Nike Tiempo Legend IV line is easily one of the most popular lines of traditionally styled soccer shoes on the market, offering the perfect blend of classic and modern materials with the addition of ACC (All Conditions Control). The upper uses a combination of natural and synthetic materials, which combine for a fantastic feel overall. The forefoot area of the boot is made from classic kangaroo leather, which offers great softness and flexibility, making for a very comfortable fit. From the mid-foot back, the upper is constructed from Nike’s Kanga-Lite, a synthetic material designed to mimic the touch and feel of kangaroo leather. The transition between the two materials is almost seamless, and if nobody told you that there was synthetic in the make-up of the upper, you probably wouldn’t know. The leather forefoot allows for the shoe to stretch and form to your foot shape, allowing for a truly custom fit after break-in, while the Kanga-Lite mid-foot area of the shoe will maintain its shape with very minimal stretching. This means that the shoe will form to your foot in the forefoot, while the mid-foot will not stretch, allowing for plenty of lock down, keeping your foot securely in place.
One of the main issues that some people have with full leather shoes is that the mid-foot over-stretches after a while, making the shoe fit sloppy, and that just won’t happen with the Legend IV. Other comfort elements include a nicely padded removable insole, a suede heel liner and a memory foam insert running through the middle of the tongue. The soleplate is also very flexible, allowing for a very smooth running experience. Just keep in mind that the thinner soleplate can lead to some minor stud pressure issues if you are going to be playing on hard ground or artificial grass. If you stick to playing on firm, natural grass, playing surfaces, you will not have any issues.
As far as the fit of the shoe is concerned, the Legend IV will suit most foot types. The combination of a central lacing system and a soft kangaroo leather forefoot, allow the shoe to fit a pretty wide foot overall, so like I said, it should fit pretty much anybody. What is very important to note about the fit of the boot is how it fits from right of the box. From brand new, the toe box is a little on the smaller side, and the shoe will fit tight, but don’t worry, because it is going to stretch. I strongly recommend getting this shoe so it fits tight from right out of the box for the best fit after break-in. As long as the fit is not uncomfortably tight, than you should be fine. As far as sizing is concerned, the Nike Tiempo Legend IV fits very true to size. I wore my usual size 9US for review, and the fit in the length and width was perfect, so if you are looking to order a pair, I strongly recommend going for your normal size.
The Nike Tiempo Legend IV weighs in at a very respectable 9.6oz. It is unfortunate how often a shoe like this gets overlooked simply because it is not under the 8oz mark, which is considered to be “lightweight”. Weight is not as important as everybody thinks, and even a shoe that weighs 12oz, is still lighter than most shoes from other sports, including basketball, tennis, and even running. Lighter shoes do not make you faster, and no soccer shoe currently on the market is going to slow you down.
The Legend IV features a slightly tweaked version of one of the best hybrid stud patterns on the market from Nike. If compared to the past three versions of the Legends, the stud pattern is visually a little different, but in terms of performance, is almost identical. The stud pattern consists of four conical studs, in groups of two, running along the outsides of the forefoot, with two bladed support studs in the middle, while the back of the shoe features the standard four bladed studs. The conical studs allow for good freedom of movement once the foot is planted, while still offering a solid amount of grip when pushing off. The studs themselves are fairly thin, so they penetrate the ground pretty easily, which is why you get so much grip. The bladed studs under the heel allow for plenty of stability and are surprisingly stiff, giving the shoe a very solid feel. Along with the flexibility of the sole, this is honestly one of my personal favorite stud patterns. If you have never tried a stud pattern with conical studs, this is definitely one to give a go. Nike also added some little spikes at the front of the toe and the back of the heel, something that is supposed to be that little advantage over others in preventing a slip. The spikes are very small and aren’t in the way, so whether they do anything or not, they are a welcomed addition.
Up until now, I would say that the excitement level around the Legend IV has been pretty low in comparison to other boots currently on the market. Half a year later, Nike has thrown in ACC, All Conditions Control, as a new feature to an already great boot, and the Legend IV ACC is now a boot that everybody is taking a serious look at. The main selling point of the boot is the kangaroo leather upper, but like most modern/traditional soccer shoes currently on the market, the entire upper is not made from natural leather. As stated earlier, from the mid-foot back, the shoe is made from Nike’s Kanga-Lite synthetic, and honestly, I would have it no other way. The transition between the soft kangaroo leather and the equally soft kanga-Lite synthetic is pretty much unnoticeable. Like I said, if they didn’t tell you that the boot featured synthetic materials on the upper, you wouldn’t know. The touch on the ball is fantastic, and feels exactly the same, no matter what part of the foot that you use. You can’t go wrong with the traditional feel of leather, and that is exactly what you get from the Legend IV.
As far as how ACC, All Conditions Control, changes the overall performance or feel of the boot, it honestly is not much a change from the previous models that do not include ACC. As far as what exactly ACC is, it is a secretive process from Nike, where ACC is incorporated into the dye used in the upper. Normally ACC would be incorporated into the actual make-up of the upper, but because the Legend IV uses a natural, kangaroo leather upper, I have to assume that it is somehow incorporated into the dye used to color the leather. What ACC is designed to do, is provide superior friction, or control, on the ball in wet playing conditions. Think of it as a “wet weather” control element, allowing for the best possible touch on the ball in all types of playing conditions.
So, does it work? The answer to that is yes and no. There is a very small difference in terms of the texturing of the upper that you can feel with your finger, which I would say is even less noticeable when making touches on the ball. There is a slightly noticeable difference if you compare the feel to the non-ACC version of the Legend IV, but if this is your first Legend IV, nothing will feel out of the ordinary. The only difference that I could tell with the ACC included on the shoe is that the outside of the upper stays much more dry in wet conditions than a shoe without ACC. This makes for perhaps a slightly better touch on the ball in wet conditions, simply because the ball won’t feel as slick against your foot. When playing in dry conditions, there aren’t really any noticeable differences in terms of feel. So, is ACC any good? Absolutely, it does what is supposed to do, but does not by any means make or break the Legend IV. ACC is something that I would definitely choose to have rather than not have on my shoes, but it is not detrimental to the quality of the touch on the ball that the Legend IV will provide on its own.
Shooting with this boot is also really great. The soft leather provides a nice amount of padding when striking the ball and the overall feel is very natural. What I mean by this is that there is nothing on this boot the feels like it shouldn’t be there, or something is in the way. This boot offers simplicity at its finest and really feels great no matter what you are doing.
Most kangaroo leather boots do offer a little more in the way of protection than the standard synthetic boot will. Since no boot is made with protection as the main focus, it comes down to the small elements of each boot that do provide protection whether it was intended to or not. With the Legends, the boot is slightly padded so there is some protection there. The shoe also features an internal heel cup that is hard plastic, which will definitely protect you from any kicks to the back of the heel. This is a boot that will be safe enough for pretty much anybody.
The Nike Tiempo Legend IV is a really well constructed boot overall. It uses premium materials throughout, whether they be natural or synthetic, the quality is fantastic and it all comes together pretty seamlessly. I would say that the Legend IV is one of the more durable natural leather boots on the market, making it a great choice for somebody looking to get a decent lifespan out of their boots. Keep in mind that the shoe is made from natural leather, so some maintenance is required to keep the shoe in optimal condition. Also keep in mind that the firm ground version of this shoe is designed for use on firm, natural surfaces, and not artificial grass. Using this shoe, or any firm ground shoe, on artificial surfaces will have a major impact on the durability of the boot.
The Nike Tiempo Legend IV is a fantastic shoe, ACC or not. With the addition of Nike’s ACC technology, the Legend IV becomes an even more attractive option for anybody who is looking for that classic leather feel. Along with a fantastic fit, a great stud pattern and solid build quality, the Legend IV ACC is an overall fantastic option for you. I can honestly recommend this shoe to anybody and everybody.
|Comfort/Fit||10 out of 10|
|Weight||8 out of 10|
|Traction||9 out of 10|
|Touch||10 out of 10|
|Shooting||8 out of 10|
|Protection||8 out of 10|
|Durability||8 out of 10|
|FINAL SCORE||61 out of 70 or 87%|