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…

Nike Tiempo

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!

Nike Tiempo Premier M

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!).
Nike Tiempo Premier FG

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.

NIke Tiempo Premier 3m

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!

Nike Air Tiempo Legend

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.

Ronaldinho Nike Tiempo Legend

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!

Nike Tiempo Legend II

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.

Nike Tiempo Ronaldinho

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.

Nike Tiempo Super Ligera

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.

Nike Tiempo Legend III

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.

Tiempo Legend Elite

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.

NIke Tiempo Legend IV Elite - Football Boots

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!

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  1. says: Zpuckz

    This is a timeline that perfectly shows how a company’s greed ruins the beauty that made it so successful to begin with. The climax being 2005 and the devastating results being 2010 when quantity killed quality. Nike actually stopped using Kangaroo leather and substituted it for some “KANGA”-PLASTIC crap, doubled its retail price while probably wasting less to make these shoes and just focused on its advertising rather than quality control. Nike have managed to kill a legendary boot and don’t seem to want to stop . Now they wana ruin Umbro. Its america’s big business disease spreading like wildfire..

  2. says: Hidekeung

    I am waiting for the  Tiempo Legend IV release out to the regular market. Great looks and design compare to the previous.

  3. says: Ly5x Legend

    you have some valid pionts there,yes they are destroying the heritage of the tiempo with loud designs, price and `kanga touch` but they have to keep up with times, with the teimpo 3 sales went down and there was a lot of compliants saying `the colorways are too similar` and `thier is no added tech to the boot`(flywire,shotsheild etc) so they had to change it,
     and i feel that they are putting umbro back in the race with gt and geotherma   my persenal opinon

    1. says: Zpuckz

      My point exactly, these “technologies” are just shannanagens to make people buy. A lot of these are just ridiculously unecesary. A shot shield is suppose to make my acuracy improve? Reduced boot weight is gona make me faster?…As someone who has been batlling it out on the pitches on the weekends for years now I can assure you that is all laughable. Adidas Copa Mundial, Pantafola D’Oro, Puma King Classic Top Di, Mizuno Morelias & Umbro Speciali HG are all models that have had little tweaks here and there. Hardly “kept up” with the times so they may not be too known but once you touch a ball with them on you will know nothing else.

      1. says: Paul

        So why exactly is this a bad product? its lighter, it has kangaroo leather, flywire adds support, to me it seems like good changes (well cost maybe (although the non elite version only costs $150 and weights the same); and by the way you haven’t even tried the boot and yet you are saying its bad?

      2. says: Paul

        So why exactly is this a bad product? its lighter, it has kangaroo leather, flywire adds support, to me it seems like good changes (well cost maybe (although the non elite version only costs $150 and weights the same); and by the way you haven’t even tried the boot and yet you are saying its bad?

  4. says: Rwp3rd

    Tiempos were around way before 1994, the first ones came out in the mid 80’s and were worn by Ian Rush, Charlie Nicholas and Glen Hoddle amongst others. They looked similar to the 94 version but had a gold swoosh and no fold over tounge. The tounge was long though and flopped over, similar to the Adidas Copa Mundial/World Cup. A lot of the pros painted the swoosh white(I did the same to mine). Nike also released the Tiempo Supreme in the late 80’s which were black and silver. I had both and but soon switched back to World Cups.

  5. says: Bryanlagunas

    great timeline……………..well except for da last two or 3 designs. First i really liked my old tiempos. these newest tiempos got carbon composites and da bottom playes are different and they have kanga lite. worst of all they added flywire to da newest versions. I hate that. Nike is messing up. They should have kept it classy like back then but i guess moneys more important.                                                     TIEMPOS= X(  (Dead)                           

  6. says: hayashi

    Notice how the earlier versions had the front of the soleplate tacked instead of the cheap glue that Nike uses nowadays – adidas is guilty as well with the latest versions of the Predator. The cheap glue/cement/whatever-Nike-calls-it causes splits between the sole and upper really fast, which translates into less durability and hence more money when players have to buy new boots.

    I’m not being biased, I’ve had a few different Tiempos in my time.

    A funny long-time observation of mine is that the Super Ligera does have its front tacked, which means Nike KNOWS that as a problem and has the gail to feature that as a key feature to durability for the Super Ligera.

    Copa Mundials and Morelias are the true quality boots.

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