Nike Tiempo Legend IV AG (Artificial Grass) Review
The Nike Tiempo Legend 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. 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.
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 9.4oz. 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.
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.
Up until now, I would ay 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.
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. Its nice that Nike is now producing their top end models with the AG stud pattern, so if you’re going to be playing on artificial grass regularly, I couldn’t more strongly recommend going for an AG stud pattern. I can honestly recommend this shoe to anybody and everybody looking for a high quality leather soccer shoe.
|Comfort/Fit||10 out of 10|
|Weight||8 out of 10|
|Traction||10 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||62 out of 70 or 89%|