The Mercurial and the Tiempo used to be quite different from each other given that they used to have different materials, different construction and different concepts with regard to football boots. As the latter is now synthetic, the line becomes a bit blurry as to how each stand out from each other. Football Boots UK is here to dissect and compare and contrast the boots so you would know which Nike boot is more to your liking.
Before, width is one area where the Mercurial and the Tiempo diverge ways. The former is more on the narrower side while that latter on the wider spectrum. Nowadays, both boots are becoming less and less extreme, which begs the question ‘Do they still retain their respective identities width-wise?.’
The short answer to that is yes. The Mercurial still has that narrow feel, closer wrap feel to them and the Tiempo gives a bit more of that wiggle room. With that said, the Tiempo, especially around the forefoot and toe box, feels less rounded than what it used to be and is trending towards the direction of the Mercurial in terms of giving that snug fit and responsive sensation. This essentially becomes the case when you consider that the FlyTouch Plus will not stretch and mould around your foot like K-leather does. On top of that, the Flyknit tongue construction on the speed boot is more seamless to help it stretch a bit more, whereas in the heritage boot the Flyknit kind of hangs underneath the U-throat to keep on holding the upper and the materials together.
A big reason why the Mercurial and the Tiempo retain their own width feel is the last. It’s actually the underfoot profile of the boots that helps them retain their side-to-side measurement despite the changes of the space around the foot. The uppers and the change in their give are the ones driving the accommodation that the boots deliver to users from the opposite end of the width spectrum.
Regardless of the Nike boot you choose, the central lacing system on both silos should give you that security you need for keeping that lockdown in place.
Nike Mercurial Air Zoom Superfly 9
Nike Tiempo Legend 10
Vaporposite+ vs FlyTouch Plus
Speaking of uppers, the Mercurial is comprised of the meshy Vaporposite+ while the Tiempo has the synthetic leather called FlyTouch Plus. You can opt for the former if your aim is to lean more on the responsive side of things and more of that barefoot touch on the ball. The FlyTouch Plus, on the other hand, has comfort at the top of mind since it is trying to replicate the benefits of leather in a synthetic setup. While it does not necessarily mean a one-to-one copy of leather, it is very leather like in terms of pliability and in the way that it dampens and softens the ball touch.
On the surface, both uppers have their natural tactile texturing that add a bit of hold on the ball when dragging or dribbling it. The grip is obviously not Predator-like or GX-sticky, but at least they prevent the ball from being too slick against the Nike boots they represent.
Zoom Air vs Hyperstability
If you’re still not sure whether to go to the Nike Mercurial or the Nike Tiempo at this point, perhaps their soleplates can be the deciding factor. The Mercurial features one of Nike’s prominent technologies with the Zoom Air cushion, and what it does is it provides that softening effect to your step and lessens the impact and burden to your foot as it trudges against the pitch. It’s not necessarily cushiony or offer that bouncy energy-return as marketed, but it does have some type of a shock absorption property to make each step comfortable.
Go for the Tiempo and its Hyperstability soleplate instead if you want a simple outsole construction with above-average functional flexibility. The stud configuration is mostly made up of conicals that make it easy for you to twist and pivot. The conicals make the Tiempo the more adaptable one with regard to AG playability. Because of the aggressiveness of the Mercurial’s Tristars in terms of traction might be too much and too clingy for artificial pitches.
Stars and Positions
You would normally see the Mercurial among forwards. Because they are the ones who usually use speed and pace and cut-in towards goal, they greatly benefit from the aggressive traction of the Tri-stars, not to mention the comfort benefit of the Air Zoom cushion. They also need that secure, strapped-in fit and feel and a secure lockdown since they more or less do majority of the running up and down the pitch. Cristiano Ronaldo remains a draw for the Nike Mercurial, but the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Darwin Nunez are starting to make names for the Superfly and Vapor lines.
On the other hand, the Tiempos are usually a presence at the back. With today’s emphasis on possession football and building play from the back, the Tiempo helps a player from the first third to twist and pivot in angling up their pass. Virgil Van Dijk is a household name for the Tiempo these days but he is also joined by the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Jamal Musiala.