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Nike Tiempo Legend 10 Academy Review — Best Takedown Boots Available?

Are the more affordable Nike Tiempos better value than the top-end options? Check out our review to find out.

Jeremy Proome

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Nike’s Tiempo line has come under some scrutiny in the last generation with the American brand ditching the once-iconic leather upper of the Tiempo for a synthetic leather alternative, leaving many fans to feel that the boot silo has lost its plush, premium identity. The Tiempo Legend 10 Academy is the second takedown model (under the top-end Elite and Pro) and sits above the ‘Club’ model in terms of quality; and even with the scepticism from longtime fans, the Legend 10 Academy is one of the best boots on the market, and best takedown boots, possibly ever.

In the past, Nike’s takedown boots in the Tiempo range have featured less and less leather as you move down the tiers (from Elite all the way down to Club). However, with this new synthetic upper that Nike is calling FlyTouch Lite, you’re not getting any ‘lesser’ of a material with the Academy model. It is a little thicker than the more expensive models, but essentially feels extremely similar. It may not be leather, but it’s soft, pliable, protective, and admittedly, definitely feels like leather to the untrained eye and touch.

One of the bonuses of the synthetic upper (I know leather purists will hate me for this), is that the boots will be more durable and suitable for wet-weather conditions or, at the very least, a very dewy pitch. While most leather boots are extremely well made and coated with water-resistant materials, ensuring your boots stay dry post-game and avoiding overstretching of the leather is a problem. The synthetic gives you a very close experience to the benefits of the leather, without the concern that water may damage the upper.

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It’s a pretty basic design that puts comfort first and avoids any grippy elements for ball control or gimmicks on the upper. There are some subtle embossed dots to add some subtle traction on the ball, but this is as straightforward as it comes, and all the better for it.

Fit-wise, the Legend 10 is a little sleeker than the Legend 9 that came before it. The boots still look very similar to Tiempos in years gone by, but a slightly more streamlined silhouette makes the boots fit slightly more snugly on the midfoot with a lower profile in the toe area too. This has benefitted the takedown models especially because the Club and Academies of years gone by have felt a little chunky compared to their more pricey counterparts.

The heel area also has received a touch-up, with a softer mesh material around the collar area, making it feel far more comfortable than Tiempo predecessors in the takedown range.

The outsole features the exact same shaped soleplate and stud configuration as the high-end boots, however, the soleplate itself is a little stiffer than the more expensive versions found on the Pro and Elite. With that said, the firmer feeling underfoot might actually appease some players looking for a more stable feeling when running, rather than the flexible and softer feeling of the Elites.

As for the studs themselves, they feel just like the top-end models. The all-conical design on the forefoot helps players twist and pivot in the ground with ease, and while they aren’t super aggressive to make you feel like you’re accelerating off a launch pad, they feel a lot more ‘comfortable’, which is something often more important than pure raw speed. You also get four bladed studs (similar to that of the Vapors) on the heel to help you get a little more bite when planting your planting your foot, which is helpful.

The tooling is simple and does the job, and some added little blades right on the tip of the toe area to give a bit of extra traction when pushing off in the sprinting position and to help with deceleration.

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There’s just something about the Tiempo design that makes it evergreen, with its all-conical stud design, soft upper, and fantastic fit; and with the new synthetic upper, sleeker fit, and improved heel, even the Legend 10 Academy is a sublime choice for its price-point.

You can pick up the Nike Tiempo Legend 10 Academy model for R1,599.90.

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