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No K-Leather: Next Gen Nike Tiempo to be Made with Synthetic Materials

Nike have announced that they will stop using k-leather in their football boots from this year onwards, with the Tiempo and Premier lines to be affected the most.

Nike and Puma to Stop Using K-Leather

Nike and Puma are to stop making football boots from kangaroo leather. K-leather has been used for years in the production of football boots thanks to several qualities that make it particularly well suited to the purpose. It's lightweight, durable and has more give than traditional cow leather, allowing for better fit and comfort. Although Nike now use synthetic materials in many of their models, their Tiempo Elite and Premier boots are still crafted from k-leather. That will all change this year, as Nike elaborated in a statement sent to footwearnews.com.

“The Tiempo Legend Elite will debut with a new Nike-only, proprietary synthetic upper. The upper has a new material that is a better performance solution and replaces the use of kangaroo leather. In addition, the Tiempo Premier, also set to launch this summer, will move away from the use of kangaroo leather. Nike divested of its only kangaroo leather supplier in 2021 and will stop making any product with kangaroo leather in 2023.” - Nike statement.

A couple of weeks before Nike's statement, Puma also announced that they will be phasing out the use of k-leather this year. Their new Puma King model uses a synthetic replaced called "K-Better". Puma say that K-Better is "a completely new, non-animal based upper material that contains at least 20% recycled material as a step toward a better future." It has also apparently outperformed the previous KING K-Leather in testing for touch, comfort, and durability.

Soccer Bible say that Nike's move may have been encouraged by a recent bill that was passed in the state of Oregon, where Nike is headquartered. The new bill prohibits the sale of any product containing kangaroo parts, so Nike would have faced legal problems down the line had they decided to move away from k-leather. The use of the material has also long been criticised by animal rights groups.

How do you feel about this change? Do you think synthetic materials can surpass kangaroo leather in terms of quality, comfort and performance? Comment below.