The Nike Tiempo Legend 5 brings the Tiempo line into the future. While the Legend 5 maintains a high quality kangaroo leather upper, offering a premium feel, pretty much everything else about the boot is different in comparison to past Legend models.
The fit and overall shape is easily the most noticeable change coming from any of the previous Tiempo Legend models. Nike has implemented the X1.1 last base shape of the Legend 5, borrowed from the very popular Hypervenom Phantom. This gives the Legend 5 quite a unique fit in comparison to any other traditionally styled leather boot currently on the market. The X1.1 last is all about having a more natural fit, where the boot is slightly wider in the forefoot and slightly narrower in the toe box.
From right out of the box, it is very apparent that the Legend 5 needs some break-in time. That’s not to say that the boot is uncomfortable from brand new, but instead the fit is just slightly more snug, allowing the leather to stretch and form to the exact shape of your foot. I found that it took about an hour and a half to two hours of wear-time until I started to feel truly comfortable in the Legend 5, which isn’t very long at all. Also keep in mind that I had no issues whatsoever with discomfort or blistering throughout the break-in process.
Once broken-in, the Legend 5 is suitable for a wide variety of foot types, as long as you don’t mind having a slightly tighter fit in the toe box. I have average width feet and am also slightly flat footed, and found that I was able to achieve a very comfortable fit. Like I mentioned earlier, the X1.1 last is all about providing a tighter, closer to the foot feel, that requires the leather upper to stretch to the exact shape of your foot. As long as you don’t have excessively wide feet, you shouldn’t have any issues wearing the Legend 5.
Sizing is also one of the significant changes coming from past Legend models. The Legend has always been a boot that fit true to size, but the Legend 5 fits half a size small. Instead of wearing my usual size 9US, I needed to go half a size up to a 9.5US for the proper fit. The change in sizing is most likely due to the new shape of the boot, but trust me when I say that this boot runs half a size small, just like the Nike Premier. The leather will stretch width-wise, but the length of the boot is half a size small.
When it comes to overall comfort, the high quality kangaroo leather upper is very soft and extremely flexible, giving the boot a very natural feel on feet. Obviously great comfort is expected from a kangaroo leather boot, but the Legend 5 is not a standard kangaroo leather soccer cleat. The Legend 5 features Nike’s all-new Hypershield liner, which is essentially a thin, honeycomb mesh, similar to what you’ll find as the base layer for Nike’s NikeSkin synthetic. Not only does the Hypershield liner make for a very soft and comfortable fit on feet, it also makes for minimal extra bulk, does not take away from the ball feel and also allows the leather the dry more quickly!
Other comfort elements include a synthetic leather tongue, with a memory foam insert running through the middle. The heel is lined in padded synthetic leather, which is not only comfortable, but also does a good job of keeping your heel locked in place. The insole is fully removable and very high quality, featuring Poron inserts in both the heel and forefoot. I’m also a big fan of the soleplate flexible soleplate, as it gives the boot a very natural feel when running.
Overall, the Tiempo Legend 5 offers the premium feel that you would expect from a “heritage” boot, but doesn’t lack the modern innovation that you expect from a boot in 2014. It’s a great blend classic feel and modern innovation that just works extremely well.
Surprisingly, the Legend 5 the lightest Legend model to date. In comparison to the Legend 4, the upper is now made entirely of kangaroo leather, as opposed to being a combination of both leather and synthetic, but somehow Nike has managed to trim a little bit of weight from the boot with the Legend 5. The Legend 5 weighs in at a very impressive 8.8oz, which is pretty surprising considering that the quality is arguably better coming from the Legend 4 to the Legend 5. At 8.8oz, the Legend 5 is not only going to offer a solid, classic feel, its also not going to weigh you down.
The Legend 5 introduces some minor tweaks to the classic Tiempo stud pattern. The core of the stud pattern remains the same. You’ll find four bladed studs under the heel, and four conical studs on both the lateral and medial sides of the forefoot. What has changed are the two bladed, support studs running through the middle of the forefoot, which are now positioned at a slightly different angle, change that has no noticeable impact on performance.
The biggest change in the stud pattern is the introduction of one small, Mercurial-esque bladed stud right at the tip of the toe. While the stud is very small, I found that it does make a noticeable difference when it comes to the amount of grip you get when pushing off for a sprint.
Nike has also made changes to the soleplate that have an impact on the overall traction. The soleplate is still made from a relatively thin, and very flexible TPU, which allows the soleplate to move very naturally with the bend of your foot. Nike implemented a small slit through the middle of the forefoot, inspired by the Nike Free, designed to allow for better flexibility. In all honesty, the slit is so small, I don’t think that it makes the soleplate any more flexible than it already is, but I do think it’s a good idea.
Nike has also implemented the same split toe design found the Hypervenom Phantom. Essentially the split toe design is supposed to allow the toe box area of the soleplate to move more naturally with the bend of your foot, but in all honesty, I did not notice any difference in feel whatsoever. It certainly doesn’t hurt the performance, just don’t expect too much from this fairly gimmicky feature.
In terms of overall performance, the Legend 5 offers a good blend of grip, maneuverability and stability. The studs themselves are slightly longer than average in comparison to other conical stud patterns, so on a high quality, natural grass, firm ground playing surface, the traction is great. There is plenty of grip when pushing off in nearly every direction, and since the soleplate is so flexible, no matter which way you twist or turn, you’ll have as many studs as possible under your feet at all times.
The new Tiempo stud pattern is ideal for somebody looking for a good blend of everything when it comes to traction. You get a lot of the grip that you might expect from a bladed stud pattern, but at the same time, you’re still free to pivot and maneuver in any direction when planted, with very little restriction.
One of the most significant changes that you can’t really see, but can definitely feel is the improved touch of the Legend 5. Nike has managed to more or less modify, and arguably “improve”, the already great upper material that is kangaroo leather. The leather on it’s own is great. Not only is the quality awesome, you also get plenty of it, as it spans the entire mid-foot, forefoot and toe box, giving the boot a very uniform touch across the entire foot.
ACC, All Condition Control, is also a present feature on the Legend 5, acting as somewhat of a wet control element for the boot. ACC is a secretive process that Nike has, which improves the performance of the boot in wet weather, mainly by providing slightly more grip on the ball. Its tough to determine whether or not its an actual feature or simply the placebo effect in action, since you can’t actually see ACC, but I personally can notice a difference between an ACC and non-ACC boot. With all of that being said, it’s a nice feature that I’m glad Nike includes, but it isn’t something that is going to make or break your overall experience with the Legend 5.
Another significant change to the Legend 5 is the new layout of the upper. The lacing system is still central, but is now slightly shallower, leaving the forefoot and toe box area free and clear of any laces or extra bulk. This makes for a much more natural, less bulky feel in comparison to past Legend models, which is something that I really enjoyed about the Legend 5. Many, including myself, immediately made the observation that the shape of the Legend 5 isn’t necessarily “all-new”. For those that can remember back, or perhaps even had a pair of the Nike Tiempo Ronaldinho Dois, the overall shape and appearance of the Legend 5 is almost identical, which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion.
The Hypershield liner also deserves a mention when it comes to touch, simply because it does a great job of cutting down on some of the bulk that is sometimes present with traditionally styled leather boots. The Hypershield liner is thin and flexible, and does a good job of not restricting the flexibility of the leather or taking away from the natural, soft feel of the upper.
The Legend 5 is a very refined and well thought out kangaroo leather boot. It offers and ultra-soft, high-quality and uniform feel for the ball. What makes a full leather boot great is the consistency in feel that it provides, and you get just that from the Legend 5. If you’re a fan of that soft kangaroo leather touch, with no extra bulk or “touch modifiers”, than you’ll love the clean, natural feel of the Legend 5.
Striking the ball in the Legend 5 is nothing that you wouldn’t expect. The soft leather upper and memory foam padded tongue provides a nice cushioned feel when striking the ball. There is no additional grip anywhere on the upper, and for the most part, what you see is what you get. The soleplate provides plenty of rigidity through the mid-foot, giving the boot a nice solid feel when striking through the ball, while the bladed studs under the heel offer plenty of stability when planting for a strike. If you’re a fan of the very natural feel of kangaroo leather, than you’ll enjoy striking the ball in the Legend 5.
In comparison to most synthetic boots, the Legend 5 is going to be a fair bit more protective. The natural padding of the leather upper provides some decent impact protection should you get stepped, absorbing some of the blow. The boot also features an internal plastic heel counter, which provides some decent protection against kicks to the back of the heel. Overall, if protection is a concern for you, than you’ll be happy with the Legend 5.
The build quality of the Legend 5 is really solid. Everything is well put together and the quality of materials is great. The simple design definitely lends itself to being more durable in that very little can actually go wrong. I had no issues whatsoever throughout testing with the durability of the boot, and nothing jumps out at me as a potential concern. The Hypershield liner is also an interesting feature when it comes to durability, in that it definitely does allow the upper to dry more quickly. I would assume that this can only help with the longevity of the boot, but of course only time will tell.
Keep in mind that the Legend 5 is made from natural leather, so some maintenance is required in order to keep the upper in optimal condition. It is also worth mentioning that the FG version of the Legend 5, or any FG model for that matter, is designed for use on firm, natural grass playing surfaces, and nothing else. Using any FG cleats on artificial grass/turf will surely have a major impact on the durability and longevity of your cleats. If you frequently play on artificial grass, the Legend 5 is available with an AG stud pattern.
The Legend 5 is the first time we’ve seen Nike make some pretty significant changes and forward progress when it comes to technology and innovation with the Tiempo Legend series. The boot still maintains the high quality kangaroo leather upper and classic feel that we’ve come to expect from the Tiempo Legend series, but also introduces several new technologies and concepts that are not only interesting, but are actually effective when it comes to performance.
The new X1.1 last gives the Legend 5 a much more snug fit than the average traditionally styled boot, which will be more appealing to players who are used to the fit and feel of a synthetic boot, but are interested in trying something with a natural leather upper. The Hypershield liner is a very unique feature that not only feels good, but also solves, or at least improves upon a problem that has always existed with natural leather materials. The stud pattern also does a great job of providing a nice blend of classic and modern performance, and is something that pretty much anybody will like.
The Legend 5 might not come across as a particular innovative or exciting boot at first glance, but trust me when I say that the experience is quite unique. If you’re looking for a very pure, no nonsense type of feel and playing experience, than I would strongly recommend the Tiempo Legend 5.
|Comfort/Fit||10 out of 10|
|Weight||9 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||62 out of 70 or 89%|