Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. In an era where boot favourites have a shorter life span than ever before, there’s one legend that has outlived them all. The Nike Tiempo Legend. We lace up in the seventh generation boot to reel off our verdict.

In today’s ultra-competitive boot market, it’s impressive to see a boot make it beyond a few colourways, not to mention a seventh series. The Tiempo Legend is old enough to take you out for a drink, old enough to cast a vote, and, if the boot was as smart as it is comfortable, able to graduate from university.

If you haven’t figured out that Nike are bit in love with their FlyKnit, there can be no doubt at this point. They’ve taken their most hallowed franchise and injected a technology that might have scared a few players, but we’re in an age where it seems like the right construction can blend anything together for a positive result. We have brands creating a boot from medical bandages, and it actually works, so Nike trying to take their favourite new toy and blend it with the Legend… it’s got a chance.

As long as the leather melts on your foot, does it matter how it looks?

In short, yeah. Course it does. Nike have already outdone themselves in terms of colourways with the new Legend. We’re only a few weeks in, the major European leagues haven’t even gotten started yet, and we’ve seen three different colourways. The initial was a brilliant blackout that was super limited (and we’re hoping isn’t the last time we see the Legend VII in a blackout), that was followed up with the official launch colorway of “Black/Laser Orange”, and a third option of “Black/White/and Gold.” If you’re heading towards the Legend VII, you’re going to have plenty of options in terms of choice.

It’s a Legend. Isn’t there a photo of one when you look up “comfort” in the dictionary?

The one area where the Tiempo has always dominated, has to be comfort. The supple leather that Nike has used for a boot that is now in its seventh iteration is one of the biggest reasons why Nike has a boot that has been successful enough to actually have seven iterations. However, this time around Nike has taken kangaroo leather and paired it with a healthy dose of FlyKnit… a knitted material that is certainly known for providing a ridiculously high level of comfort. Can the Swoosh take two materials that we’ve all fallen in love with and elevate their game even higher? Or can you really have too much of a good thing?

Ladies and gents, you can never have too much of a good thing.

The FlyKnit tongue is the first thing that you feel and notice about this boot when you’re putting it on. It stretches as you slip your foot in, meaning that anybody that ever struggled with the Tiempo VI or recent Vapor tongues should have no such issues with the Nike Tiempo Legend 7. After you have the boot on, the tongue then immediately hugs the top of your foot and showcases why FlyKnit is now on every top-end Nike boot. The FlyKnit on the back portion of the boot is comfortable, but that’s down to Nike putting a fantastic suede-like liner in the heel and tossing a ton of well placed padding back there. In truth, the FlyKnit is so coated and thick that you can’t really tell it’s FlyKnit, but we’ll discuss that more later.

The leather on the boot is ever so slightly stiffer than you’d expect from a kangaroo clad Legend, but it softens up with every wear to couple with the FlyKnit for some extreme comfort. The out of the box comfort is good, but, as is to be expected with a leather boot, it shines brighter after every wear. That means that the boot isn’t going to be as glorious as a Legend demands until after two or three good sessions in the boot. Be patient, it’s worth it. In terms of the material used under the leather, Nike is calling it their “Fit-mesh.” A material that is built to keep your foot locked in while allowing the leather to be experienced without putting too much between you and the upper, it lets the leather be the soft material that provides comfort without the need for any type of thick liner or padding.

The new soleplate, known as “Hyperstability,” is a departure from the Tiempo soleplate that has adorned the boot for over two decades. However, in the comfort department, you’re still getting a set-up that lets the comfort of the upper stand up and be counted. Don’t expect any pressure points to pop up, just enjoy the ride.

All of these elements blend together to make the Nike Tiempo Legend 7 extremely accommodating to all foot types, and we found that the Legend VII fits true to size if you’re a fan of your boots being snug, but anyone hunting for a fit with a bit of room at the toes could go a half size up. The leather will stretch a bit as time goes on, but don’t expect the boot to overstretch because of the internal structure that Nike has placed under the upper.

It’s time to lace up with the boot, the myth, the Legend. How does it drive?

The Tiempo has always been able to deliver comfort, but it’s when tackles start flying in, shots start being launched, and passes begin zipping around the pitch that define a Legend. From Ronaldinho showing us all that the Tiempo is not bound by a skill set or position all the way to where we stand today, the Tiempo Legend has made its history by always being present in the biggest moments and by always delivering the goods. It’s time to see if the seventh round with the Legend can still deliver.

The beauty of a leather boot is the touch that is provided on the ball. If a brand isn’t able to find the blend between top-tier comfort while still letting the leather actually function and not feel over-padded, then you’ll be looking at a boot that will fail. For the Nike Tiempo Legend 7, despite the upper looking like it has a ridiculous level of padding, the marriage is incredible. The structure of the upper doesn’t dampen the feel for the ball, and you can quickly tell that the main function of all the underlying structure is to prevent overstretching. Whether you are taking the ball out of air with your forefoot or passing with your instep, you get that crisp sensation that Nike have been giving us with the Legend for years… and, yet, it somehow feels even better this time around.

One of our main worries was that the FlyKnit tongue would be a totally different feel than the leather portions of the boot. However, Nike put some thick strips of FlyKnit across the tongue to make sure that the feel matches up with the leather on the rest of the boot. It’s a simple addition, that really helps this boot shine during play. It helps prevent lace-bite when you’ve totally tightened up the boot, but also feels great when controlling the ball or firing at goal.

The new soleplate helps take the Legend in a more aggressive direction. The Legend has always been dependable, but it’s not exactly a boot that would ever have been called responsive. The new stud layout and change helps the boot be more responsive during use and feels like you get more grip when changing directions. When you add in the FlyWire that the boot has, it comes together to make rollover feel nonexistent, and every cut and turn handle like a dream.

Our only negative is that the FlyKnit in the heel does feel a bit like a gimmick. It’s not uncomfortable or negative towards performance, but it just doesn’t feel necessary. The inside of the boot is layered in padding and suede (meaning you can’t tell it’s FlyKnit), and the heel on the outside of the boot is coated rather thickly to aid in locking in your foot and to stay durable (meaning you can’t tell it’s FlyKnit). If something that has zero impact on performance or comfort is the only negative we can really find, then you know that Nike has stepped their game up with the Legend this time around.

The FlyKnit tongue is a perfect marriage with the leather, and the slight added padding in the tongue makes it feel uniform across the upper when addressing the ball. The boot looks and feels more streamline than the previous generation as Nike have battled hard to avoid that ‘chunky’ tag. They’ve succeeded.

In a world where the battle between the brands is as intense as it has ever been, and where a simple update of the Legend would have been met with a very lukewarm response, Nike have done quite a job with the Legend VII. You get a great experience with FlyKnit, a kangaroo leather upper that absolutely melts on your foot with each wear, and a combination that shows why this boot has been able to stand the test of time. It’s seventh heaven for us.

Pick up the Nike Tiempo Legend 7 from prodirectsoccer.com