Following the stunning reveal of the new Nike Tiempo Legend IV last week, we’re taking a look back at how the Tiempo series got where it is today. Formerly the football boots of choice for Cantona, Wright, Maldini and more – there’s no doubt that they’re steeped in history.
But how much of that history do you know? Read on to see the Tiempo Legend’s 17 year legacy in full…
Despite being a relative newcomer at the time, Nike weren’t about to be beaten in their own back yard when the World Cup came to the USA in 1994.
Launching the new Nike Tiempo prior to the tournament, these historic football boots set the precedent that Nike have followed since – with 8 out of 24 players wearing Nike Tiempos in the Final between Brazil and Italy.
1995 saw the release of one of the first ‘Big Budget’ Nike football ads, with the Tiempo as the star of the show!
‘The Wall’ saw building-sized projections of some of the best Nike football boots wearers at the time come alive – including Cantona, Wright and Jorge Campos – and pass the ball around the world!
After 4 years of the Tiempo design being untouched, Nike spruced up their then-flagship range in time for the 1998 World Cup in France.
Adding a Royal Blue detail to the sole, there was very little that Nike felt the need to change for the Tiempo Premier M (how football boots updates have changed since then!).
The Nike Tiempo Premier FG dominated the the next 7 years of Tiempo development, with many still remembering the stripe down the tongue of the boots with great fondness.
Most of the development, however, came on the soleplate. Moving from the traditional ‘mouldie’ studs that started the series, Nike looked to give players the competitive edge by tweaking the bottom of the football boots across their lifespan.
As well as rounded studs, SG screw-ins and blades, by the end of their lifespan in 2004 the humble Tiempo was now using the Mercurial 1 soleplate – making it one of the lightest K-Leather boots on the market!
2005 was a hallmark year for the Nike Tiempo range as it saw the launch of the Nike Air Tiempo Legend.
Giving the series a more modern, sleek look the Nike Air Tiempo Legend brought several new creature comforts to the range – including a mesh tongue for increased ventilation and Zoom Air soleplate for increased support in the heel.
Being made for the ‘Number 10’, it helped Nike and the Tiempo’s cause somewhat to have the world’s most famous ‘Number 10’ on their books – Ronaldinho.
After switching to the Nike Air Tiempo Legend, the at-the-time Barcelona superstar picked up the Ballon D’or to be officially crowned as the best player in the world at the time – which we imagine does wonders for boot sales!
A year later, Nike updated the range again. The Tiempo Legend II brought a redesigned heel counter and new stitching design to increase stability and improve touch – not to mention some great colourways!
With a focus on the playmaker akin to it’s predecessor, Nike put the focus on the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Andrea Pirlo to showcase the value of these quality football boots.
2007 saw Nike honour the Tiempo’s most recognisable ambassador – Ronaldinho – have the honour of a signature boot bestowed upon him.
Designed in conjunction with the Brazilian maestro, the Tiempo Ronaldinho was far from just another new colourway; it completely changed the shape and materials used on the boot to meet the lofty expectations of the Barca trickster.
Rather than a full silo update, Nike released another variant of their classic football boots – the Tiempo Super Ligera in 2008.
Built on a narrower last, the Tiempo Super Ligera was designed to be super-durable, doing away with the classic Tiempo tongue and adding a specially designed vamp to the upper for better ball contact.
The 2009 release of the Tiempo Legend III was a much-welcomed one, with an increased quality in the K-Leather used in the upper and focus on comfort and touch.
However, the boot found itself stripped of it’s identity as the Playmaker’s boot of touch (and in turn some of it’s best players) as Nike launched the CTR360 to much fanfare.
To coincide with the 2010 World Cup, Nike unveiled their Nike Elite Series of football boots – and who would have thought that the humble Tiempo Legend would be the most interesting of the bunch!
Whilst the Carbon Fibre soleplate was the talking point for every other boot, the Tiempo Legend III brought a KangaLite upper into the design to boast the largest weight drop out of all the Elite football boots and mark the first time a synthetic had been used on a flagship Tiempo boot.
And now, we stand in the presence of the Tiempo Legend IV Elite – a football boot that redefines the range in ways we never thought possible.
Bringing a new ‘Total Orange’ Pop colour to the Premier Leather upper, FlyWire and Carbon Fibre chassis, there’s no question that Nike have gone as futuristic as possible for their latest launch in their longest-running football boots brand.
What do you think of the way the Tiempo Range has developed over the years?
Do you have a favourite boot in the range or a favourite Tiempo player?
Let us know in the comments!