If you’re a running back player, then you need to know that the fate of your team lies in your hands and the speed of your feet. If you can’t break defenses while running fast enough to the end zones, then your team should be ready to mourn over countless defeats. 
Although you’ve got to work out and practice more often, one critical factor that can affect your speed in the field is the type of cleats you wear. Frankly, if you wear a discomforting pair, your performance will certainly call you out for it.
And so, in this article, we’ll be showing you the ten best football cleats for running backs that you have to keep in your shoe closet. Are you ready? Let’s run!
Best Football Cleats for Running Backs
1. ADIDAS MEN’S FREAK X CARBON MID FOOTBALL CLEAT
That’s what the Adidas Freak X Carbon Football Cleat can do. A great part of its incredible heel and ankle support is it maximizes your strength to deal with your opponents on the field. It’s also an advantage as it gives you a good grip, which is key to preventing you from slipping backward while wrestling on the field.
You can also get additional support from the heel cup of the cleat, which is a great advantage when pushing. The Freak X Carbon also increases your stability, thanks to the extended collar. A high degree of stability is what you get every time you need to make quick steps forward. With the carbon footplate of this cleat, it’s easy to make quick stops and turns.
Another useful feature of the Adidas Freak X Carbon Football Cleat is its durability. It is durable enough to last at least one season. It’s a lightweight cleat with the right reinforcement to optimize your traction zones. This is good if you need to maximize your multidirectional speed.
The Adidas Freak X Carbon Football Cleat is one of the nicest designed cleats by Adidas. The anatomically shaped EVA insole makes you feel as comfortable as possible.
2. UNDER ARMOUR MEN’S SPEEDFORM MC FOOTBALL CLEAT
If you’re interested in purchasing Under Armour running back cleats, you will surely appreciate the Speedform Men’s Football Cleat in its production line.
We’re sure that with the 100% synthetic material used to manufacture this Under Armour cleat, it will further improve the performance of all football players. One of the reasons for this cleat’s consistent great reviews is its ability to provide users with a high level of comfort.
It is mainly due to the cleat’s upper part, which molds your feet perfectly. Users can ensured they can perform well in the field without any possible distraction such as the cleat coming too loose.
The Under Armour Men’s Speedform MC Football cleat also has a seamless, well-formed heel cup that can further enhance comfortability while wearing it. It’s made in such a way that it looks like a natural extension of your own feet.
Another impressive benefit of the Under Armour football molded cleats is that it provides a locked-in structure and support. That’s all thanks to the external Pebax heel clamp.
3. NIKE MEN’S ALPHA MENACE PRO MID FOOTBALL CLEAT
Number one on our list is the Nike Men’s Alpha Menace Pro Mid Football Cleat. It’s one of today’s most original, versatile and innovative running back cleats.
We find this cleat impressive because of the synthetic and knitted materials used in its manufacturing. This combination is known for making cleats comfortable and durable.
Because its upper part is made from a single layer mesh material, the Nike Men’s Alpha Menace Pro Mid Football Cleat is one of the most sustainable and breathable football cleats available today.
This cleat also works effectively for those who compete in jumping situations and medium distances. The lightweight design allows for good performance without compromising overall speed and performance.
The comfort level of the Nike Men’s Alpha Menace Pro Mid Football Cleat is also high. It’s because of its low profile cushioning as well as its guaranteed breathability and good fit. With the EVA mid-foot integrated into the frame, we are also sure that it can provide additional support through its grip. Thus, in terms of grip and traction, this football cleat perform equally well.
With its maximum comfortability and additional support of grip and traction, the Nike Men’s Alpha Menace Pro Mid Football Cleat is perfect for running backs and experienced players.
4. NIKE MEN’S LUNARBEAST PRO TD FOOTBALL CLEAT
When it comes to support, coverage, and comfort, the Nike Lunarbeast Pro TD does not disappoint. That’s because it can safely guide your ankle through its half-height collar, giving you the support and coverage you need without making you feel uneasy.
Speaking of comfort, you can feel even more comfortable thanks to the flexible and responsive cushioning in the cleat. It gives a firm and secure fit while remaining maximum comfortability.
Another impressive thing is that the Nike Lunarbeast Pro TD boasts a good grip once used on the football field. It can also hold up in different environments and conditions.
The Nike Men’s Lunarbeast Pro TD Football Cleat is designed to make your footballing experience as memorable and enjoyable as possible. It’s beautiful, durable, and also quick to break-in.
5. NIKE VAPOR SHARK 2 MEN’S FOOTBALL CLEAT
It’s because this cleat is not only sturdy but is also lightweight to promote agility. It’s available in many styles and bright, vibrant colors like red and blue, which we think is a big plus for those who want a nice and unique-looking cleat. This option allows you to match your cleat and jersey.
Another thing about the Nike Vapor Shark 2 Men’s Football Cleat is it’s made with breathable material to provide maximum support, security, and comfortability. No matter how strong the impact, you can trust that it will support and protect you well.
The Nike Vapor Shark 2 Men’s Football Cleat is made of synthetic materials that makes it lightweight. We are also happy to inform you that its spikes have an incredible grip on artificial turf and natural grass. Thanks to the unique, fast, and flexible technology of the brand, it’s easy to move around with this cleats.
6. NIKE MEN’S ALPHA STRIKE 2 THREE-QUARTER FOOTBALL CLEAT
We also noticed the ability of the Nike Alpha Strike 2 three-quarter football cleat to provide you with flexible comfort. It’s lightweight yet durable due to the synthetic leather material used for its exterior. Because of this, any running back who wants to change direction can do it quickly and with ease.
In terms of traction, the Nike Alpha Strike 2 cleats will also not disappoint its wearer. It’s because it has a TPU sole with a dozen stud.
The Nike Alpha Strike 2 three-quarter football cleat has a soft, well-designed inner lining. So really, no matter what position you have on the field, this pair can give you the comfort you need. Plus, it is also one of the best football cleats today that are quite affordable. The Nike Alpha Strike 2 surely is a great investment.
7. NIKE MEN’S VAPOR UNTOUCHABLE PRO 2 FOOTBALL CLEAT
The Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 2 prides itself on fly-wire cables in its mid-foot interior, which is beneficial if you want a smooth, sock-like fit. The geometry of this cleat is also innovative to optimize traction for quick accelerations and cuts.
We also confirmed that the Vapor Untouchable Pro 2, thanks to its unique and patented attachment, increases the wearer’s speed with each step. It’s made of sturdy materials such as a carbon fiber plate that provides maximum support while running to the end zone.
The materials used to manufacture the Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 2 are also breathable. This ensures that your feet are well ventilated at all times even if they have a secure, glove-like fit. It can also reduce the risk of your feet becoming tired because they are well supported.
The Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 2 football cleats has been designed to provide running backs full speed. It’s made for fast footballers who want to further enhance their performance on the field.
8. NIKE MEN’S ALPHA FIELD GENERAL ELITE CAMO FOOTBALL CLEAT
This cleat is manufactured in a way that it’s strong enough to tackle all the obstacles and challenges in the field. This means that you will find this cleat reliable whether it involves running the ball or dropping it back. The flexibility of this pair of cleats is undeniable.
We think the Nike Men’s Alpha Field General Elite Camo Football Cleat’s structured top is a big plus as players can feel stable on the field. It also has aggressive traction, which is crucial in cases when you need to make some quick transitions. You will be pleased with its dynamic fit caused by the bridge of the upper hatches.
Once you wear the Nike Men’s Alpha Field General Elite Camo Football Cleat, you won’t feel any resistance. This is key to increasing your performance and winning the game. We also noticed that this pair is versatile by meeting its specific needs and requirements of almost all football players.
9. NIKE FORCE LUNARBEAST ELITE TD MEN FOOTBALL CLEAT
The Nike Lunarbeast Elite TD Men’s Football Cleat is also one of the protective gears that will continue to receive great reviews from running backs. This is one of the great choices, especially if you’re looking forward to spending a bit more on a pair of quality football cleats. This cleat was specifically designed for linemen, running backs and other defensive positions.
The combination of an extended strap and collar in this football cleat makes it effective in locking down the foot. That way, you can demonstrate your ability to provide adequate support each time you intend to wrestle your opponent. With its unique and exclusive Flywire exterior material, you can also run with improved stability.
The full-length midsole used in this cleat is good, as it is also combined with elastic flexibility and a soft cushion. Plus, the NIKESKIN used on this cleat ensures a firm, secure fit, and support around your feet.
The Nike Lunarbeast Elite TD Men’s Football Cleat is available in a variety of styles and colors. Note, however, that the price may vary depending on the size and style chosen.
10. NIKE VAPOR CARBON ELITE TD MEN’S FOOTBALL CLEAT
If you are after great performance plus a cool design, we think the Nike Vapor Carbon Elite TD Football Cleat is one of the best in the market. It’s obvious to notice that this is one of those cleats that has exceptional designs and appearance.
It’s available in a wide range of colors and sizes. This will never make it hard for you to find a color and size that perfectly suits your preference. It is also made of synthetic materials, and its sole is made of a carbon fiber plate.
One thing that makes the Nike Vapor Carbon Elite TD Football Cleat unique is that its top is designed to stabilize your feet because of the Zero Space technology used.
You will surely like the quarter panels as it offers the right combination of comfort and excellent support with every use. It can be one of the awesome cleats to serve your purpose as a running back, mainly because speed is critical to your success on the pitch.
Another reason why the Nike Vapor Carbon Elite TD Football Cleat is so popular is its lightweight design that promotes ease of use. It even performs well in lawns!
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For When Buying a Football Cleat for Running Back
There are several options available in the market, but not all of them will suit your needs and preference. Therefore, we have lined up a short buying guide in the hopes that you find the right pair. The factors listed below are what you need to consider to ensure that you will get utmost satisfaction and protection from your choice of cleat. They include the following:
#1 FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE PARTS OF THE CLEATS
You can’t make a good buying decision until you’ve familiarized yourself with the main parts of a cleat. These include the upper, insole, midsole, heel counter, and outsole/soleplate, among others. 
The top of the cleat is often made of synthetic or leather and serves as an outer layer. It is designed for longevity to increase the likelihood that you will resist regular use and abuse. You will notice that the top of the cleat has straps and laces.
It is also the part responsible for locking the cleat to give it a secure and comfortable fit. The good thing about the modern tops used in football cleats today is that they are advanced and powerful due to their lightweight strength and added breathability.
The insole is a detachable pad that is carefully positioned in the cleat. Its purpose is to cushion the effect of vibrations that travel each time you’re in motion. Since it’s detachable, it can be removed and cleaned at your own convenience. You need a considerably soft, yet thick padding in order to give you maximum protection.
Just like the insole, the primary purpose of the midsole is to cushion your feet. Apart from the vibrations you would experience during motion, there are protrusions from the soleplate, which can make your feet greatly inconvenienced. This is where the midsole comes in.
Depending on the brand of the cleats, midsoles are made with various technologies. They are very important to mitigate the harmful effects of running on your feet, ankles, and heels when you are on the field.
Major brands such as Nike and Under Armour use Proton inserts, EVA foam coatings, and Phylon wedges in their midsole. These materials are preferred because they can offer you unequivocal support and protection in a variety of conditions.
OUTSOLE OR SOLEPLATE
The outsole or soleplate is the base of the cleat. It has spikes that offer the player sufficient traction on the field. You will notice that this part is configured in different ways to ensure that players can improve their ability, acceleration and stopping power.
The spikes underneath the soleplate can get damaged with use. So this part requires as much care as possible, especially when it comes to its cleaning.
The most visible parts of a cleat can either be made of synthetic material or leather. You need to ensure the cleat is well-built and durable because it offers a level of protection against hits from opponents. Many running backs prefer leather material because of its commendable breathability.
The fact that leather is breathable can help your feet feel comfortable during the game. Also, leather is known for its flexibility. This makes it an excellent choice in terms of functionality and comfort. The point, however, is that it is more expensive than synthetic material.
If you are looking for a cheaper option, you can opt for a synthetic material. Bear in mind, however, that it does not have the durability and breathability that leather offers.
Cleats come in different sizes and you should look out for the one that best suits you. Even if a cleat meets your other requirements, you should not settle for any cleat until you’re convinced about the size.
It should be noted that cleat sizes are generally similar to normal shoe sizes. The only difference is in the customization, as it varies by manufacturer and brand. For this reason, you should not immediately assume that the size of a particular cleat matches that of your other shoes.
Avoid cleats that are too loose or too tight as this will only affect your performance. More so, cleats that aren’t your perfect size exposes you to risks of injuries. Very tight ones can give you blisters at your heels. Loose ones can impede your traction.
One way to make sure you have the right fit is to test multiple pairs physically before you purchase. If you want to shop online, using a sizing application is a great help to get the right fit. Another advice is to try out the different brands worn by your teammates or friends. This is useful to get the right specifications.
The weight of a cleat is determined by the thickness of the material used to make it, especially the soleplate. Some cleats can be too heavy to a fault, that’t why you should evaluate the cleat properly before buying.
This is important because exceedingly heavy cleats will certainly affect your performance and exercise. Heavy cleats can be likened to running with tons of lead shots tied to your legs. You can imagine how that feels, right?
You will know right away that you are getting the best cleats when they are light and can maintain the stiffness of your main body. Also, remember that running back, as a skill position, is all about speed.
Strength is not so important here, as the emphasis is on how fast you play the game. That means you will never want to be held down by a heavy cleat that will make you perform slowly on the field. As such, you should not rush into making a decision until you’ve found the perfect one.
#5 ABILITY TO PROVIDE ANKLE SUPPORT AND STABILITY
A good cleat should provide your ankles with sufficient protection against raging opponents while also allowing you to maintain optimum stability. As a running back, you need to quickly change directions or run through difficult positions.
In order to perform such quick movements without twisting your knees or ankles, it is important to look for a cleat that can stabilize your feet on the field.
Most running backs opt for mid-cut and high-cut cleats that will protect their ankles. The problem with high-cut cleat is that it will give you sufficient ankle support, but it’s often heavy in weight. But the goal here is to gain maximum satisfaction, which is why you should once more, ensure that your cleats are lightweight irrespective of the cut.
The comfort a cleat gives is the principal factor that determines whether you’ll eventually go for it or not. All the factors we’ve discussed thus far sums up to preach the message of comfort. Since your position requires you to be in control of the ball most of the time, you need a pair of cleats that will not give you even an iota of discomfort.
Inconvenience when using the cleat will affect your performance. Treat yourself to something to look forward to while making sure your cleats are as comfortable as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
There are noticeable differences in running backs and linemen cleats. These distinctions is basically because of the difference in the responsibilities that both role demands.
Linemen cleats provide users with impressive support for heels and ankles. They are important for tackling opponents. A running back cleat, on the other hand, is more of a well-rounded type. The main focus of this product is on excellent mobility. This is crucial to ensure that you can skip past your opponents. A good running back cleat also provides enough grip to protect the quarterback.
The durability of your cleats is dependent on how well you use and maintain it. However, most football cleats are built to last a long time, probably for years. Young players will probably outgrow their boots before they need a replacement.
Older children and players, however, also tend to put more miles in their cleats, which usually lasts about 1-2 seasons. For those with feet which have already stopped growing, especially for adults, it is advisable to get two pairs of football cleats so they can use both alternately and keep their longevity for more football seasons.
Yes, breaking your cleats is critical to improving your level of comfort and fit. This will give you less chance of getting home with cuts and blisters after using it for the first time during exercise and training.
The good news is that breaking-in cleats is easy. You only have to spend a few days in your garden and at home wearing it before using it in your actual workout or game.
For best results, you need the following essential accessories:
- Replacement laces – You need to have spare laces handy, so you have something to use if the one you’re wearing gets torn during your training or game.
- Protective Accessories – Accessories that can fully protect your cleat include shoe polish and oils. Make sure you have them in your gear bag so you can use them when needed. These types of protections can help extend the life of your cleat and enable them to adapt to various forms of severe abuse.
- Replacement Spikes – This accessory is especially important when using removable spikes. You need to have some replacement so you can use them if the one you are currently using is broken. You must also have other spike variations to be able to play under different conditions.
Some of the most popular brands include Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour. Adidas which has earned an excellent reputation not only in the American football cleat market but also in the soccer cleat industry. Most Adidas football cleats are renowned for their build quality, incredible ankle support, and comfort.
Nike, on the other hand, has been operating in this business longer than Adidas. The good thing about Nike is that it already has a reputation for providing stylish, comfortable, and innovative football cleats. The brand is usually more expensive than the others, but many believe the overall quality is worth the extra cost.
Lastly, although Under Armour is new in the industry, there are lots of positive feedback about the brand due to its quality products. The brand is known for the impressive style of its cleats plus the substantial stability and ankle support it offers especially while running.
Sports Unlimited, Riddell Speed Icon Football Helmet. Retrieved from https://www.sportsunlimitedinc.com/riddell-speed-icon-adult-football-helmet-with-facemask.html
Riddell Shop for Riddell Speed Classic Youth. Retrieved from http://www.riddell.com/riddell-revolution-speed-classic-helmet.html
Riddell Shop for Riddell SpeedFlex helmet. Retrieved from https://content.riddell.com/speedflex/
SB Nation, Why NFL players love the dark visor. Retrieved from https://www.sbnation.com/a/nfl-preview-2019/visors
- Comparison of Impact Performance between Youth and Varsity. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5798230/https://content.riddell.com/speedflex/
- This Year’s Best Football Gear: Cleats and Gloves Built for How You Play. Retrieved from http://blog.eastbay.com/sports/football/years-best-football-gear-position-position-breakdown/
- Football Cleats. Retrieved from https://shoes.lovetoknow.com/Football_Cleats
- Difference Between Lineman Cleats & Running Back Cleats. Retrieved from https://www.sportsrec.com/557404-difference-between-lineman-cleats-running-back-cleats.html
- Gridiron Guide: How to Buy the Right Football Cleats Retrieved from https://protips.dickssportinggoods.com/sports-and-activities/football/gridiron-guide-how-to-buy-the-right-football-cleats