June 19, 2024


Built General Tough

The evolution of the Nike Tiempo

Created in 1983, the Tiempo has passed through the generations and is still one of the most popular pairs of crampons on the market today. A few days after the release of the Tiempo Legend 9, we retrace the history and evolution of an iconic pair worn by many football legends.

If the Tiempo silo is so famous today, it is thanks to the Nike Tiempo Premier 1994 worn by many stars during the World Cup in the United States. During the final in California between Brazil and Italy, 10 of the 22 players, including Paolo Maldini and Romario, put on this brand new pair of crampons. This world will forever change the equipment market, marking the takeoff of Nike with in particular the start of talks with the Seleçao while adidas largely dominated world football until then. But before getting there, the comma brand battled and unveiled the first generation of this legendary silo in 1983.

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1983: Nike Tiempo 1983

The first Tiempo saw the light of day in 1983, twelve years after the release of the brand’s first comma-designed soccer shoe, called The Nike. Unlike the first pair of crampons from the American equipment manufacturer which showed no sign of resistance to cold and humidity, the Tiempo was designed with an extremely high quality material. As on the adidas Copa Mundials of the time, the kangaroo leather stood out and offered unparalleled comfort.

1992: Nike Tiempo Premier 1992

Far from modern standards, the new generations of shoes did not see the light of day every two years in the 1980s / 90s and Nike therefore took time and more precisely nine years before launching the second Tiempo. This improved version released on the occasion of the overhaul of the English league and the creation of the Premier League featured the innovative technology Dynamic Fit which offered additional comfort by making the leather more flexible thanks to a kind of sock integrated inside the pair. The Tiempo Premier already announced the color for the American world with its folding tongue and its classic black-white color.

1994: Nike Tiempo Premier 1994

As the 1994 World Cup approached, Nike decided to strike a blow in the market by presenting the third generation of the Tiempo which was shod by eight Brazilians during the competition. Like all the most popular shoes of the time, this Tiempo Premier saw its kangaroo leather covered in black while white appeared on the famous comma. The tongue was quite large and bendable, a far cry from the small, thin tongues of modern pairs of crampons. We can also see how far we have come since by seeing the upper of the shoe which was filled with seams. A light reinforcement at the heel made it possible to maintain a stable foot but it was especially at the level of the outsole that Nike had concentrated by mixing conical studs and studs in strips to offer better support. The color was nothing innovative but the studs still brought a golden touch.

2005: Nike Tiempo Legend

After the 1994 World Cup, Nike left the Tiempo aside in an effort to design the Mercurial for Ronaldo following the signing of a historic contract with the Seleção. Eleven years after Romario and Bebeto, another Brazilian at the top of his game then began to wear the Tiempo. In 2005, Ronaldinho became the Tiempo Legend Ambassador along with Andrea Pirlo and Joe Cole. In view of the success of the Tiempo Premier, Nike did not make many changes to avoid distorting the pair, which therefore retained its traditional appearance. The Tiempo Legend was simply more modern with the arrival of technology Zoom Air used in running to absorb shocks and gain agility. The outer plate had also been revised with glass to lighten and strengthen the pair. The Tiempo was unveiled in a traditional black and white color but also in a white and gold color especially for Ronaldinho. R10 also discovered his pair at Barça training center in a video that became the first to reach one million views on YouTube.

2006: Nike Tiempo Legend 2

A year after the release of the first Tiempo Legend, Nike unveiled an update to the latter for the 2006 World Cup. The big news came from the lighter weight as OEMs struggled to launch the lightest pairs of studs possible. at that time. To reduce the weight of the Tiempo, Nike had refined the kangaroo leather upper, the size of the tongue as well as the heel reinforcement. For the rest, the technologies Air Zoom and the outer plate remained the same.

2010: Nike Tiempo Legend 3

As Nike and adidas fought a merciless battle with the Mercurial and the F50, the Tiempo, like other pairs, was put aside. It made its comeback four years after its last update with a model that continued in the silo’s historic lineage. The Legend 3 always put the main characteristics of the Tiempo forward with the return of the famous kangaroo leather covered in fairly classic colors. Nike was always sober with its old silo while the Mercurial was revealed in ultra flashy colors. The big novelty brought to the Tiempo came from the outer plate which was divided in half along the entire length of the foot in order to offer better flexibility.

2011: Nike Tiempo Legend 4

In 2011, Nike totally revolutionized the Tiempo, which then had nothing to do with the one released in 1983. Nike’s oldest silo was now closer to the other pairs of the comma brand and in particular the Mercurial. The colors had been revised to bring an even more flashy side while the technologies had also evolved. The tongue was no longer bendable, marking a major change for the silo. The seams were more discreet and allowed good flexibility in the forefoot while the outsole was no longer split in half. The Tiempo had become lighter as the big brands continued to race for the lightest shoe.

2014: Nike Tiempo Legend 5

After unveiling two generations of the silo in the space of a year, it took three years to witness the release of the fifth Tiempo Legend. Between 2011 and 2014, Nike had brought a lot of novelties to its various shoes and this was felt on the new Tiempo which was notably worn by Thiago Silva. We thus found the technology All Conditions Control which provided a better touch of the ball in all playing conditions. Kangaroo leather was obviously back and was associated with technology Hypershield from Nike, which locked in moisture and therefore provided more comfort with low water absorption. As a reminder, the significant water absorption had long been the great fault of the Tiempo and all kangaroo leather shoes. Overall, Nike had once again reduced the weight of the Tiempo by removing all unnecessary layers of material.

2015: Nike Tiempo Legend 6

In 2015, Nike unveiled the 6th version of the silo only a year after the Tiempo Legend 5. Usually the changes were minor when the new generation was deployed shortly after the last one but that was not really the case here even though the the famous kangaroo leather was of course making a comeback with technology ACC which offered good ball control in all playing conditions. In terms of design, the almost nonexistent seams were obvious with the new internal structure which retained its shape thanks to a foam reinforcement which also offered a certain flexibility. Having fewer seams and getting closer to the stems of the Mercurial or the Hypervenom also made it possible to avoid the weighting of the pair caused by water absorption. The polyurethane outer plate, on the other hand, had a stud configuration similar to that of the 5th generation. Finally, as was the case since the Tiempo Legend 4, the tongue was modern and non-folding like on the shoes of yesteryear.

2017: Nike Tiempo Legend 7

During the summer of 2017, Nike revealed the seventh generation of the silo which has gradually become fully that of the defenders. For this seventh part, Nike had seen the big picture by completely revolutionizing the Tiempo which then moved away greatly from what Romario, Francesco Totti or Ronaldinho knew. The irresistible kangaroo leather was obviously back on the upper but this time it was totally combined with technology Fit-Mesh which made it possible to optimize the durability of the leather by protecting it from excessive stretching that the toes could cause. The famous Flyknit also had its appearance at the tongue and heel while cables Flywire provided breathability, flexibility and a kind of locking of the foot. Inside, we found the sole Nike Grip which improved the grip of the foot. Finally, the exterior plate had also been revised and made way for the now famous technology. Hyperstability which brought lightness and stability thanks to its new composition of crampons. In comparison with the Tiempo Legend 6, the 7th version of the silo had lost 60 grams, which showed its modern side.

2019: Nike Tiempo Legend 8

Two years after presenting the seventh generation of the model, the comma brand once again made its creativity speak and presented a pair of studs filled with innovations. After the arrival of the Flyknit in 2017, it’s technology QuadFit which made its appearance on the Tiempo Legend 8. Like the Phantom Vision, which has since given way to the Phantom GT, the Tiempo then benefited from an internal mesh liner which offered ideal support to the foot without giving a feeling of compression. Kangaroo leather and Flyknit made their comeback but the upper had undergone a makeover with the arrival of a skeleton bringing a particular style made of seamless quilted diamonds. Resembling the honeycomb structure of the Hypervenom worn by Neymar a few years ago, this new upper brought better ball control with the return of technology. ACC.

2021: Nike Tiempo Legend 9

While the Copa America and the Euro are underway, Nike has decided to launch the ninth generation of its oldest silo. As always, the comma mark retains the iconic feature of the pair with the kangaroo leather. The contribution of new technologies has brought lightness to the Tiempo which has lost 20 grams in two years and is now approaching the symbolic bar of 200g. This is all made possible by the refinement of the stem which now resembles a Mercurial stem, saying goodbye to technology. ACC which offered better ball control and had been around for many years. This time it’s foam inserts that are placed at key places where the foot and the ball meet with each touch of the ball. The other big novelty comes from the outer plate which has been redesigned and optimized for strength and traction, adapting to modern football where lightness is an extremely important criterion for gaining speed. According to SoccerBible, Phil Foden, Joshua Kimmich, Lucy Bronze and Rose Lavelle are said to have been integral to the development of this pair, which once again shows that the Tiempo is much more than a defenders shoe.

38 years later, the Tiempo has evolved a lot, just like the Mercurial or the various adidas silos. This legendary pair spanning the generations has nevertheless retained the kangaroo leather which has been combined with different technologies over the years to unveil more modern pairs with flashy colors.

Photo credits Nike Premier 1992 and Nike Tiempo Legend 3: @Unisport