Rules dominate the world. Some things must happen. Death. Jedward concerts. Taxes. Jedward reunion tours. If you run a soccer blog, you must eventually pen a review of a pair of soccer cleats. Today is that day for Futfanatico.
As an introduction, I am not loading this post with links because I don’t have to do so and don’t want to do so. At other sites, “ebay themed” posts have mysteriously appeared. On the black hat Dark Sith Lord scale, I am a few notches above Darth Maul. Still, for four years I’ve kept the site respectably “obnoxious ad” free. No pop-ups. No pop-unders. Not even an occassional pop-through. Instead, Kindle blog subscriptions pay the bills. Media Strike handles the tactful & lonely footer banner ad. However, my very first sponsor back in 2008 was SoccerPro, a US soccer gear store.
In reward for those four glorious years, I’ve penned this ode to the Nike Tiempo Legends, my cleat of choice.
Obviously, not just anybody can become a soccer blogger. You have to meet certain criteria. Generally, you must be a sterling physical specimen who harbors supreme talent at playing soccer but an unfathomably gruesome injury hindered your meteoric ascent to the professional ranks. That’s what happened to me, at least, and to every other soccer blogger. Thus, while I and other bloggers enjoy writing about soccer, we still set foot in the world of mortals from time-to-time and kick a ball around. My cleat of choice? The Nike Tiempos.
I know what you’re thinking. Tiempo means “weather” in Spanish. What bumblefuck at Nike named a shoe after “weather”? Would you wear a pair of Reebook Weathers? Maybe Sketcher Hurricanes or Croc Typhoons.Well, don’t just jump to conclusions. The name suffers from a bad case of the “It’s in Spanish therefore it must be cool,” but the boot’s quality speaks louder than words. How so, you ask?
All my Nike Tiempos have lasted from 1.5 years to 2 years. I play at least once a week, sometimes more. I play in a pretty competitive league with washed up college players and naively ambitious highschoolers. I also play in the Rio Grande Valley, so the ground oscillates between dry, drought ravaged fields and lush, muddy grass. My cleats don’t just collect dust by sitting on a dresser in front of kinda creepy (admit it) Jesus and Maria candles and a miniature Nicaraguan flag. They take abuse, but they also dish it out.
In terms of style, I’m super happy that the new Nike Tiempo’s have excised the “lip” that used to fold over the laces. In my second-to-last pair, after a year the “lip” crumbled off. Like a collar on a soccer jersey or any non-see through mesh fabric in a male speedo, the lip was 100% superfluous. Good riddance. Also, the new Tiempo’s feature some very high quality leather. How high quality? Well, to use a parlance you may understand – if you play solo you won’t chafe yourself, but in tandem expect a nice crack when you whip (in a cross). They are Tobias Funke approved.
I scored my first ever goal off a direct free kick with the new Tiempos: a left-footed rocket to the upper far corner from just outside the box. If you buy the Tiempos and do not score the exact same goal within two weeks, then I suggest you quit soccer and take up a new hobby like cross-stitching. Your mother, your friends, your colleagues, they’ve all filled your head with lies. You’re really not very good at soccer. Don’t expect the Tiempos to change that. However, you may look slightly better when you make a fool of yourself on the field.
Of course, all soccer cleats face a tension: the texture must produce a hard shot on goal but a soft first touch. After getting my Tiempos, the first time I played I swear that I thought I was barefoot. The tender feel of the ball. The sharp turning. The precise stopping. In fact, I even stepped on a piece of broken glass and my foot started to bleed. Then I realized that, in fact, I was paying barefoot. I had forgotten to put on my Tiempos. I bandaged my wound, put them on, and hardly noticed any difference not attributable to my bleeding foot and the intrusive bandage.
I haven’t cut my foot on a piece of broken glass since. My first touch is softer than a feather pillow wrapped in a silk pillowcase. I highly recommend the Tiempos.
NOTE: I have no direct commercial gain from you going to SoccerPro’s site and buying these cleats. In fact, there’s no affiliate links nor SEO trickery in this post. The cleats rock. So does SoccerPro. That is all.