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Tiempo Legend vs Copa Pure

Ian Ebbs

Ever since it went out in 1994, the Tiempo has been spearheading Nike’s attempt to modernise leather football boots. And its current Tiempo Legend form fully made its mark on this role starting with the popular Tiempo Legend IV in 2011. The adidas Copa, on the other hand, still maintains the OG 1979 alongside a modern version that the brand began to release yearly in 2017. We now have the Tiempo Legend on its 9th generation and the modern Copa for 2023 named as the Copa Pure.

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So Tiempo Legend 9 vs Copa Pure, a leather boot battle that will be raged inside the minds of players and enthusiasts whenever they go pass store shelves or pull up the Nike and adidas websites on their screen. As you have this going through your thoughts in deciding which leather boot to have, Football Boots UK will act as the VAR here. We’ll show you the different angles of the good and not-so-good from each side so you can referee and make the correct call on this particular play. Take note: it’s going to be a close one for sure, as they are good football boots to begin with!

Tiempo Legend 9 vs Copa Pure

You might need to go back to this very section once you have gone through the whole page and reviewed all points of comparison between the two boots. Once you have selected which one to go with, you can select the image of the boot below so you can immediately have a pair delivered to you….

Tiempo Legend 9 Elite – Nike’s most premium leather boot offering; it’s flagship heritage boot as opposed to the Premier ones

PURE+ – One of the two adidas top-end models for the brand’s modern leather silo; laceless and with knit

PURE.1 – Arguably presents a better one-to-one comparison with the Tiempo because of its laced construction

K-leather vs Cow Leather

What better way to start than going straight to the core DNA of each boot: the leather. Nike’s Tiempo boasts having K-leather, arguably the best among the different types of the said material. The adidas Copa Pure opts instead for cow leather. Does that mean that the Tiempo edges out the Pure at the onset?

Not necessarily. In fact, one might say that the leather on the latter is softer than that of the former! The Copa Pure gives as an important lesson not just for football boots but anything regarding leather: the source and type might not necessarily matter provided that the material goes through a high-quality treatment process.

With that said, the Copa Pure’s quilted leather feels thinner and has that speed boot, barefoot-like sensation (kind of reminds us of the Puma King Platinum, not to be confused with the King Platinum 21). It’s also worth noting that the leather amount is less than what you can find in the Tiempo. That is because of the Copa Pure features the Fusionskin technology where the leather forefoot is fused seamlessly with a knitted (for the laceless) or textile-meshed (laced) midfoot.  Overall, this makes the Pure much more modern and technology-driven than its direct competitor.

That is why for those who are looking forward to the traditional leather experience, the Tiempo Legend 9 will most probably be the pick as it feels more padded and has more consistency across the upper. It also helps that memory foam inserts are strategically placed to further dampen the ball touch, all while avoiding taking much of the classic leather feel.

One-piece vs Standard Tongue Construction

Before we go on to the laces, let’s just mention that the Copa Pure has the ‘+’ laceless variant, which obviously makes it a class of its own in being leather and laceless at the same time. There’s just no contest here; go ahead and pick the Copa Pure+ up right now.

The more apt to compare with the Tiempo Legend 9 is the Copa Pure.1 as both feature a central lacing system. The difference between the two is that the former has an integrated knitted tongue, creating a one-piece effect to the upper, while the latter has a regular tongue construction. This does affect the ease of entry between the two boots, and has implications to the general fit and feel of the said silos (which we’ll talk about later).

Because the knitted tongue has limited stretch, the Tiempo Legend 9 is less easy to put on than your regular-tongued football boots. It stands in complete contrast with the Copa Pure, a boot you can effortlessly open up  further precisely because of the freedom provided by the standard tongue setup.

Copa vs Tiempo On-Feet Experience

In relation to the previous point, the Tiempo Legend perhaps has that added security to its lockdown because of how that one-piece tongue holds everything in place, whereas the Copa Pure has more adjustability to the fit and laces.

With that said, boots both offer that custom moulded fit given that they are high-quality leather boots, more so once the leather naturally stretches. Both are lightweight, with the Tiempo coming slightly lighter because of the soleplate (more on this in a bit). Comfort is also not an issue and you can expect that the Tiempo and the Copa to carry less weight in wet conditions because of the advancement in leather treatment these days. The boots are leaning towards wider foot types, and again the Tiempo also does a bit more at this point because of its extra volume out-of-the-box. Lengthwise, go for true-to-size regardless of which boot you pick.

Soleplate and Stud Configuration

Perhaps the small weight increase of the Copa Pure can be attributed to the Torsionframe outsole. It’s the same exact tooling you can find in earlier generations of the adidas Nemeziz that gives the Copa a denser, more solid footing. While the Torsionframe is a nice underfoot profile for the Copa, the bulkier feel runs in contrast with the thinner sensation and the more functional flex of the Tiempo’s Hyperstability.

The outsoles try to balance rotation and traction in their respective ways. Hyperstability mixes its stud configuration with blades and conicals, whereas Torsion frame incorporates these half-conical studs that puts traction and rotation into one. It might be because of the separation of the blades from the conicals, but the bite of the Hyperstability feels a bit more aggressive.

Tiempo versus Copa Conclusion

As there is no significant quality difference between the Tiempo and the Copa in terms of material, fit and feel, we understand it would still be quite difficult to choose after all has been said and done. It all boils down to personal preferences, and that can help you finally decide once you cross-reference those with the summary points below

✔️ Go for Tiempo if you…
  • Want more leather
  • Prefer the traditional, padded sensation of heritage boots
  • Likes to have additional traction
  • More flex on the soleplate
✔️ Choose the Pure because…
  • Of the innovative fusion of leather and knit/textile mesh
  • Fits and feels like a speed boot
  • Has a laceless option
  • Torsionframe outsole feels more solid and stable underfoot

Author

Ian Ebbs

Founder of FootballBoots.co.uk back in 2010, Ian went on to create and host their YouTube channel which now has 1.5million subscribers and over 300 million views, he also hosts their podcast which you can find on Spotify. Taking his over fifteen year experience in the football industry, Ian wrote the book: How To Choose Your Boots (find it on Amazon) where he looks to help footballers of all levels find their perfect pair.