Nike has recently revealed that they will stop using K-leather in the construction of their football boots, meaning big changes ahead for the brand’s longest-lasting silo, the Tiempo, and the grassroots specialist, the Premier.

The Tiempo has been a mainstay in Nike’s roster for almost as long as the Swoosh has been in the football game, standing alongside the Mercurial an ever present since the 90s. But where the Mercurial has always been more prominently about speed and finishing, the Tiempo has been about comfort and control, and this has been in large part thanks to the traditional K-leather construction. Now, it looks as though the next generation in that iconic line will be very different, after Nike announced that they will no longer be using K-leather beyond 2023.

This summer, Nike will launch a new boot innovation in its Tiempo franchise," Nike said in a statement emailed to “The Tiempo Legend Elite will debut with a new Nike-only, proprietary synthetic upper. The upper has a new material that is a better performance solution and replaces the use of kangaroo leather. In addition, the Tiempo Premier, also set to launch this summer, will move away from the use of kangaroo leather.

The statement continued, “Nike divested of its only kangaroo leather supplier in 2021 and will stop making any product with kangaroo leather in 2023.

Earlier this year, a bill passed in Oregon which will soon prohibit the sale of any kangaroo parts or kangaroo-based products. With Nike’s Beaverton headquarters based in the state, the new mandate may have played a significant role in the decision.

Nike’s announcement stating its intentions to move away from kangaroo leather follows PUMA’s announcement that they too intend to stop using the material in the construction of their boots.


Earlier this month PUMA unveiled the King Ultimate, an iconic boot in the brand’s history, revamped for the modern day. And the most notable change from what had come before was that it was constructed from K-Better, a material the brand described as “a completely new, non-animal based upper material” that is at least 20 percent recycled material.

As part of the promotion for the King Ultimate, PUMA stated that the new K-Better material had outperformed the previous King K-Leather in testing for touch, comfort and durability, something that would make the move away from leather that much easier. "We’re phasing out K-leather for this K-Better material because we’re really convinced by it: convinced it’s a better material, and not only that it’s a better material but also it’s better for the planet, it’s sustainable and has recycled components." explained PUMA Lead Product Line Manager for Teamsport Footwear, Peter Stappen in an interview with us.

As far as the Tiempo goes then, it means a revolutionary step in its ongoing evolution when the Tiempo Legend X arrives later this year, if it carries on that monicker. 

tiempo 43-min.jpg

Shop the Nike Tiempo and Premier at