Part One of this two-part product review addressed shorts and shirts. As we continue in Part Two, we look at cladding the extremities that put the "foot" in football...
During my youth soccer career, I ping-ponged back and forth between adidas and Diadora shoes (if I type "boots" at any point during this review, feel free to launch your boots at me...crap! Duck!). I'm not sure if Nike was never a consideration because they simply weren't making soccer shoes at that point, or if I was running into the problem, without consciously registering it, that kept me from wearing Nike's during college...
They're too narrow.
Even as I sit here, wearing my (relatively) new Nike Tiempo Mystic II's (yes, I'm wearing studs on carpet to type a blog post...), my poor dogs are feeling the squeeze. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, and all that. Sadly, the wide soles the German-Irish peasant stock that I sprang from don't seem to get along so well with Nike soccer footwear.
Which is a shame. Because for a relatively inexpensive set of shoes, they hold up pretty well in other categories. Under my admittedly modest abuse over the last few months, the leather and stitching seem to be wearing well. I like the hard cup on the heel as well. Though I haven't been clipped there as of yet, it feels like it'll offer solid protection. Grip on firm surfaces seems pretty decent, though the patches of bare, packed clay at the local park aren't terribly forgiving. And they're pretty light to boot (No, that wasn't the aforementioned verboten British usage, dear reader. Put the pitchforks and torches and "hang Christian Miles" banners down; puns are still allowed in this neck of the woods).
But still the narrowness problem persists. So much so that I sometimes feel as if the inside of my foot is hanging over the edge of the studs and threatening to take me down on solid surfaces, with all kinds of miserable consequences for my battered and aging ankles. Thankfully, I don't wear the shoes on solid surfaces much (the walk across linoleum to get to this desk and that hard, packed clay being notable exceptions), but the comfort issue makes me loathe to recommend Nike shoes to those, like myself, who suffer from wide feet.
That said, if you don't have such issues, and aren't caught up in the insanity of pink, purple, or orange day-glo footwear, I think you'll find the Nike Tiempo Mystic II's a solid option for relatively little green. And for those of you with more cash to burn and more colorful tastes? Feel free to explore what else FBF's friends over at SoccerPro.com have to offer in Nike soccer shoes.
Product(s) for this review were provided to FBF by SoccerPro.com.