Nike Tiempo Legend Rugby Boots

For traditional rugby players who prefer leather boots, Nike offers the timeless Tiempo Legend. However, it must be said that the classic Swoosh silo has moved on from being a pure leather boot and simply aims to recreate the leather feature and benefit in a synthetic setting. The Nike Tiempo is available in Elite, professional-level model as well as the more affordable Academy takedown and the Nike Jr. iteration.

The Tiempo Legend is now on its tenth generation, and it is in this release that the Tiempo has gone full synthetic leather. The question now is: does it effectively replicate the fit and feel of the natural material? You can also be forgiven in wondering how the Tiempo stack up now to other leather rugby boots, or if it even has a place among today’s rugby boots in the first place.

Tiempo Legend 10 Elite Rugby

Soft Ground Anti-Clog Tiempo Elite

Packed with non-removable metal studs but maintains a lightweight hydrophobic soleplate that effectively minimises dirt and mud build-up from wet pitches

Tiempo Firm Ground ELITE

Comprised of moulded conicals and some support blades better suited for dry natural ground and even synthetic pitches

The highlight of the Tiempo Legend 10 is the Flytouch Plus upper. It is the best simulated leather by Nike since the days of the Kangalite material. Flex grooves are present across the forefoot and a bit on the midfoot that helps Flytouch to be pliable and supple. Still, as soft as the Nike proprietary material is, it is just a tad bit short of totally replicating the plushness and stretch of natural leather. But, in all fairness, you could make the argument that the more structured make of Flytouch makes the Tiempo 10 better in terms of responsiveness. The synthetic leather is inherently a dense material compared to the Mercurial’s mesh-based upper and the GX’s knit, and so offers the Tiempo the most protection among all Nike silos.

An elasticated Flyknit fills in the tongue area and has its ends attached underneath the throat of the central lacing system (which always make any boot reach an acceptable degree of lockdown). Flyknit then flows around the edge of the low-cut collar to hug the ankle closely. Nike then removes any heel pressure by using a u-shaped internal promo heel counter. As far as the outsole goes, the plastic plate is one of those firmer ones in the market, further contributing to the responsive edge of the Tiempo Legend 10 compared to other full-leather boots.

Players who will Like the Tiempo Legend 10

Players who value comfort will like the fact that it is one of the softest material out there in a pair of rugby boots. It’s also a welcome that Nike maintained the softness and comfort at such high levels without causing the boot to become floppy. Because of the volume on the heel, the round shape of the forefoot and the lateral stretch from the Flyknit tongue, the Tiempo Legend 10 can appeal for those who needed some additional width. It’s not the widest of option but at least leans on that direction. With the soleplate among those that are in the stiffer side of the spectrum, we think this Tiempo will win those that need something flat and stable to step on to feel closer to the ground. The overall thin profile of the Tiempo 10 makes it speed-boot light, another reason for rugby players to consider the boot.

Position-wise, the synthetic leather boot is best utilised by your forward players. Especially in scrums where you need to push hard off the ground, that stiff outsole and comfortably flexible upper material provide those players with the boot experience that will keep them going on these duels. Flytouch has that a bit of grip on its surface and dampening effect to ball touch, something that other fly-halfs (Handre Pollard is one of them) might prefer to have with their boot vis-a-vis their roles as kickers.

Cheaper Academy Tiempo Legend

Academy Tiempo SG-Pro AC

First-gen hydrophobic Nike plate that helps you efficiently remove mud and dirt; makes the boot heavy because of the plate and the screw inserts for the removable metal studs

Tiempo Academy Mixed Ground

The stud height, not to mention the dominance of conicals, makes this a versatile option for playing in both natural and artificial pitches

At least in terms of the synthetic leather, Flytouch Lite of the Academy Tiempo feels drastically similar to the Flytouch Plus, which really puts into question why would you need the Elite in the first place if you can have almost the same experience at a much lower price point. There are noticeable differences, however, such as the inclusion of a standard tongue construction and the wearable mesh liner. Because of the tongue, the Tiempo Academy offers more adjustability when put side-by-side with the semi-one-piece finish of the Elite’s upper. Adding to the economic value of the boot is its playing surface adaptability to both natural and synthetic grounds.

Kids Nike Jr. Tiempo


Nike can only provide a Nike Jr. version to the Academy level of the Tiempo Legend. But considering how well this takedown boot is built, rugby kid players won’t really miss much with their own Tiempo Academy option. Soft Flytouch Lite presses comfortably against their feet, and the traditional tongue application helps you to open up the boot as needed to house in the physical growth of their feet.

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