What’s The Best Football Cleat in 2020? High Agility & Speed

Do you know that 15 out of every 10,000 athletes suffer one form of foot and ankle injury at every athletic exposure? That is some alarming statistics and it increases the risk of playing football without the right football cleats. This is more concerning because football is what you would call a “rough” and “dangerous” sports with high injury rates.

Although there are literally millions of football cleats in the market, it’s still a herculean task to find not just an original pair, but also the right fit. So, in this article, we’ll be helping you to overcome this challenge by presenting you with a list of the best football cleats you can find in the market. Are you ready to ride?

Our Top 10 Football Cleat Recommendations

PRODUCT

PRODUCT DETAILS

Nike Alpha Shark Football Cleats

Best Football Cleat for Wide Receiver

  • Easy to find the right fit, comfortable and yet snug at the same time
  • Offers a wide range of sizes; can be used by youth athletes as well as adult players
  • Sold at a very pocket-friendly price

Adidas Freak X Carbon Mid Football Cleats

Best Football Cleat for Running Back

  • Great ventilation; offers better breathability and comfortable fit
  • Provides excellent fit and comfort
  • Made with lightweight material but durable enough for rigorous play
  • Available in two color options: white and black
  • Contains flywire cables
  • Boasts of comfortable traction plate
  • Quite suitable for some other sports like soccer

Adidas Adizero 8.0

Best Football Cleat for Speed

  • Made with impeccable, pliable, and flexible materials
  • Has a thinner toe box for a snug and comfortable fit
  • Easy to wear thanks to the stretchable mesh and synthetic materials

Nike Mens Alpha Shark Football Cleats

Best Football Cleat for Wide Feet

  • Easy to find the right fit
  • Offers a comfortable fit and snug
  • Offers a wide range of sizes; can be used by youth athletes
  • Sold at a very pocket-friendly price
  • Available in different color options
  • Great for various sports activities

Under Armour Hammer Mid RM Junior

Best Football Cleat for Youth

  • Great for youth athletes who play on grass or synthetic surfaces 
  • Provides ample ventilation thanks to its ultra-breathable material 
  • Low maintenance in comparison to other cleat types 
  • Offers a very comfortable fit
  • Remarkable lace design that remains light after knotted

1. Nike Alpha Shark Football Cleats

A good pair of cleats offer a feeling of control and security while on the field but not a lot of people know how important this is. Having great lockdown may not be the top priority for some football players, but a pair of cleats without it can screw up the entire game. Lockdown for a pair of cleats means that you feel more connected to your footwear. 

In our opinion, the Nike Alpha Shark Football Cleat is one of the most renowned in terms of lockdown and aggressive traction. The TPU outsole and 12-cleat configuration provide impressive traction while Nike’s Dynamic Fit System provides support and unbeatable lockdown. But its features do not stop there. The Nike Alpha Shark Football Cleat delivers in terms of comfortability, especially on its underfoot. In short, this pair of cleats covers all the basics. 

PROS

  • Easy to find the right fit, comfortable and yet snug at the same time
  • Offers a wide range of sizes; can be used by youth athletes as well as adult players
  • Sold at a very pocket-friendly price

CONS

  • The durability isn’t as great as other options
  • Might be too narrow for some users

If you’re looking for an affordable yet reliable low-cut pair of cleats, then you can’t go wrong with the Nike Alpha Shark Football Cleats. This pair is recommended for practice or training but they are also sturdy enough for games and competitions. 

2. Adidas Freak X Carbon Mid Football Cleats

Adidas had speed and power in mind when they designed the Freak X Carbon. This cleat is actually available in low-cut, mid-cut, and high-cut. Apart from the cut of the cleats, there isn’t much of a difference. But for this list, we would be focusing on the mid-cut Freak X Carbon. 

The Adidas Freak X Carbon Mid Football Cleats is mostly made with traditional materials, but it also has a bit of mesh on the top as well as the tongue for more breathability. On the outside, the Freak X also has iron skin which is great for users who want a pair that’s well-protected. Despite being slightly lighter in weight, the iron skin really adds to the durability of the cleat. 

PROS

  • Provides excellent fit, has zero space similar to the classics
  • Has plenty of cushioning for comfort
  • Simple lace design that stays tight during the game

CONS

  • The added cushion and the material adds to the weight
  • Takes a bit more time to break-in due to the type of materials

But what we loved most about this cleat was its razor frame feature which provides superior traction like no other cleat on the market today. The frame also has conical sprint studs located at the top of the forefoot. They are meant to not only add traction but they are also for going forward with both speed and power. 

3. Adidas Adizero 8.0 Football Cleats: Best Football Cleat for Speed

The Adidas Adizero 8.0 is perhaps one of the most talked-about pair of cleats of the year. It’s the newest addition to the Adizero series and it is rumored to have all the most amazing features so far among all the other cleats in the series.

The star of the show is Adizero 8.0’s mesh material. If you think that the Adizero 7.0 was super soft, the mesh on the 8.0 is even more pliable and moldable than that. This impressive mesh material gives the Adizero 8.0 a way better fit than most cleats. Plus, it also adds to the overall comfortability of the shoe.

The next attractive feature on this pair is its toe box. While some may love the wider toe box on the 7.0, some players may find that the extra room makes them feel that their cleats were too big on them. The thinner, more durable toe box on the 8.0, however, may be narrow but it gives off a more secure feeling than wider options. If you are a big fan of the wider feature, then purchasing one size or half a size up will solve the problem.

PROS

  • Made with impeccable mesh material; pliable and flexible
  • Has a thinner toe box for a snug and comfortable fit
  • Easy to wear thanks to the stretchable synthetic mesh

CONS

  • Users with wider feet may be required to get a size up
  • A bit on the expensive side


Another great thing about the Adizero 8.0 are the heels. The 8.0 features the traditional heel which is said to have better ankle support than the modified version on the 7.0. Lastly, this pair of cleats are a dream to wear because of its synthetic mesh. The flexible material allows users to easily put their cleats on without much trouble.

4. Nike Alpha Shark: Best Football Cleats for Wide Feet

On the top of our chart of best football cleats is the Nike Alpha Shark Football Cleats. One of the reasons that makes this product quite popular is that it offers a feeling of control and security while on the field, but not a lot of people know how important this is. 

Having great lockdown may not be the top priority for some football players, but wearing cleats without it can screw up the entire game. Lockdown for cleats means that you feel more connected to your footwear. 

In view of this, we consider the Nike Alpha Shark Football Cleat to be one of the best football cleats as long as lockdown and aggressive traction is concerned. The TPU outsole and 12-cleat configuration provide impressive traction while Nike’s Dynamic Fit System provides support and unbeatable lockdown.

But its features do not stop there. The Nike Alpha Shark Football Cleat delivers in terms of comfortability, especially on its underfoot. In short, this cleat covers all the basics. 

PROS

  • Easy to find the right fit
  • Offers a comfortable fit and snug
  • Offers a wide range of sizes; can be used by youth athletes as well as adult players
  • Sold at a very pocket-friendly price
  • Available in different color options
  • Great for various other sports activities​

CONS

  • The durability isn’t as great as other options
  • Might be too narrow for some users 

If you’re looking for affordable yet reliable low-cut cleats, then you can’t go wrong with this football cleats. This cleat is recommended for practice or training but they are also sturdy enough for games and competitions. 

5. Under Armour Hammer Mid RM Junior: Best Youth Football Cleats

Also on our list of the best football cleats is the Under Armour Hammer Mid RM Junior Football Cleats. It’s a cleat that seems to be made for younger athletes. It features a rubber molded outsole which is perfect for young trainees who play mostly on grass or synthetic surfaces. But don’t be fooled because although they are made with rubber outsoles, these cleats are durable enough for playful competitions and games. 

The Under Armour Hammer Mid RM is engineered with mesh and synthetic materials for its upper, making them more durable than most junior football cleats. We love how its material is also moisture-wicking and breathable, offering you comfort and lower maintenance. 

PROS

  • Great for youth athletes who play on grass or synthetic surfaces 
  • Provides ample ventilation thanks to its ultra-breathable material 
  • Low maintenance in comparison to other cleat types 
  • Offers a very comfortable fit
  • Remarkable lace design that remains light after knotted

CONS

  • Cannot be used on all types of surfaces 
  • Getting the right fit may be tricky  
  • Durability is weaker than other options

Speaking of comfort, its interiors are also sufficiently padded. And together with its die-cut foot head, the Hammer Mid RM is also shock-absorbent, making it one of the most protective shoes available on the market today. 

6. Nike Vapor Untouchable 3 Elite: Best Nike Football Cleats

The Nike Vapor Untouchable 3 Elite was designed specifically with skill players in mind. Quarterbacks, safeties, and running backs will benefit from the Untouchable 3’s speed and durability. In our opinion, one of the most impressionable features of this cleat is its FlyKnit material. 

Nike has been developing its knit technology for a couple of years now, but nothing comes close to its newest FlyKnit technology. Some say that although it is thinner than previous knits, it is 7x stronger than the previous Vapor Untouchables.

Interestingly, this cleat was not meant to be a high-cut. But the designers took advantage of the special knit to give players that extra ankle support without compromising the flexibility and maneuverability. 

On the inside, the Nike brand ensured that this cleat has perhaps the thickest padding available today. It’s soft, comfortable, and allows zero space for a more snug fit. The padding also supports a better ankle lockdown, making you feel more secure and connected to your shoe. 

PROS

  • Has excellent knit quality for comfort and flexibility 
  • Special high-cut design that does not interfere with maneuverability  
  • Allows zero space, easy to find the perfect fit
  • Available in different color options It has highly durable traction plate

CONS

  • The lighter color options get dirty easily

All this may sound amazing already but our favorite part is still the traction plate. It’s pretty lightweight and offers impeccable traction. 

#7 Adidas Performance Filthyspeed Low Football Cleats

Our list of the best football cleats won’t be complete without the Adidas Performance Filthyspeed. It may be an old model, but that just proves its amazing track record as a awesome football shoe. This cleat is simple, straightforward, and practical – perfect for those who are looking for a no-frills pair of cleats. 

It has everything a training athlete would want from strong traction plate to comfortability, and the upper is made of a durable synthetic material to the secure closure for a better fit. On the inside, it has ample padding for comfort and protection from impact.

The soft breathable material is also another plus, especially for those who want a bit of ventilation in their cleat. And lastly, it has a reliable and durable outsole that will give players the stability they need while in the game. What’s more is that it’s ideal for a number of other sports activities besides soccer.

PROS

  • Sports a stylish design while also providing a great fit
  • Has excellent traction and built for speed 
  • Comfortable to wear and snugged at all the right places 

CONS

  • Does not last very long compared to other cleats 
  • Sizes tend to run small, especially for users with wider feet 

Overall, this masterpiece from the Adidas brand may not be at the top of the ranks. But it is a longtime favorite and a great option for those who are just starting out, and for those who are looking for a great cleats of practice.

8. Reebok NFL Burner SPD III Low M3: Most Affordable Football Cleats

Also on our list is this magnificient cleats from the Reebok brand. The Reebok NFL Burner SPD III may not be so popular, but we believe it’s certainly one of the best football cleats. If you haven’t heard about this cleat then you are missing out on an otherwise good quality pair of molded cleats that will make you feel more relaxed.

As you may already know, cleats with molded styles aren’t very versatile due to their permanently-attached studs. When one breaks, you’d have to replace the whole thing. But what if they were durable enough to withstand the intense and rigorous play? The Reebok NFL Burner SPD may be all about speed but it’s mostly about durability as well. 

This 100% synthetic cleat isn’t just affordable and low-maintenance, they are highly supportive, comfortable, and best of all, lightweight. The NFL Burner SPD III is perfect for players that need to cover the field. 

PROS

  • Moisture-wicking and offers plenty of ventilation 
  • Very light and sturdy, great for dynamic movements on the field 
  • Comes at a very affordable price 

CONS

  • Lacks traction 

Additionally, the material on these cleats is also moisture-wicking with Play Dry lining on its color and tongue. This allows excellent breathability, making it one of the most highly recommended options for breathability as well. 

9. Under Armour Highlight MC: Best High Cut Football Cleats 

At first glance, the Under Armour Highlight MC Football Cleats may remind you of boxing footwear. It has a simple yet impressionable appearance, but that’s not all it has to offer. What captivated us the most are the technologies used to develop these cleats. Under Armour utilized 3 of their latest technologies on these cleats, making them one of the highly recommended cleats a footballer can own. 

The first notable thing about the Highlight MC is the unique cut on its upper which makes a great addition to this high-cut cleat. This allows a true custom fit for the user while also offering more support for the ankle. Speaking of ankle support, the Under Armour Highlight MC was also developed with the Clutch Fit technology. The unique style of the cleat provides ample flexibility and maneuverability for you, which is also one of the reasons they are very popular. 

Also featured in the construction of these cleats is the Under Armour’s V56 technology which helps prevent hyperextension to on the toe. The interior on these cleats is also worth mentioning as it has 3D Molded Insole Interior technology. This means that the interior is supposed to mold to your feet, making them as comfortable as possible while you move.

In addition to this, the plasma X traction plate is supposed to mimic your natural foot motion for improved traction.  

PROS

  • Offers the best fit possible on a cleat 
  • Developed with the latest cleat technologies 
  • Extra durable; prevents rip or tear 
  • It has a formidable traction plate
  • Awesome lace design that remains tight for as long as you need

CONS

  • Padding and choice of material adds to the weight 
  • Lacks ventilation, the material is not breathable

In short, no other cleat can offer this much room for personalization. Now you don’t have to get used to a pair of cleats – the cleat is molded according to your foot and your habits.

Our list of the best football cleats won’t be complete without the Adidas Performance Filthyspeed. It may be an old model, but that just proves its amazing track record as a awesome football shoe. This cleat is simple, straightforward, and practical – perfect for those who are looking for a no-frills pair of cleats. 

It has everything a training athlete would want from strong traction plate to comfortability, and the upper is made of a durable synthetic material to the secure closure for a better fit. On the inside, it has ample padding for comfort and protection from impact.

The soft breathable material is also another plus, especially for those who want a bit of ventilation in their cleat. And lastly, it has a reliable and durable outsole that will give players the stability they need while in the game. What’s more is that it’s ideal for a number of other sports activities besides soccer.

PROS

  • Sports a stylish design while also providing a great fit
  • Has excellent traction and built for speed 
  • Comfortable to wear and snugged at all the right places 

CONS

  • Does not last very long compared to other cleats
  • Sizes tend to run small, especially for users with wider feet

Overall, this masterpiece from the Adidas brand may not be at the top of the ranks. But it is a longtime favorite and a great option for those who are just starting out, and for those who are looking for a great cleats of practice. 

Buying Guide – What You Should Consider Before Buying Football Cleats

Now we are done with the reviews of the best football cleats in the market, we want to show you some of the things that informed our decision, and what you should look out for as you make a choice.

#1. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE PARTS OF A CLEAT

There are three major parts of cleats. They are the upper, midsole, and outsole. The three of them synergizes to give you the comfort and protection you deserve from cleats. Familiarizing yourself with them will help you know what to look out for the next time you go out to buy cleats.

  • The Upper, as you’d have guessed, is the top part of the cleat. It’s where the laces are tied together, allowing the shoe to give a snug and safe fit. Uppers are typically made out of leather or synthetic leather, and they are meant to withstand the wear and tear of playing football. 
  • The Midsole, on the other hand, is often referred to as the footbed. It’s the cushion of your foot and heel and it is meant to reduce the impact of playing football. Not to mention, the cushions also provide comfort during play or practice. 
  • The Outsole is what many would identify as the tip of the shoe. The outsole is perhaps the most important part of the shoe as it provides traction and stability. Outsoles also come in a variety of spike options that may help you out with your cutting skills and acceleration.

#2. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE CLEAT STYLES

There are three different types of cleat styles, which are Molded, Detachable, and Turf. These styles of cleats are categorized according to the studs or nubs, just as we’ll explain further. 

  • Molded cleats have permanently attached studs which means the whole shoes should be replaced is these fittings get damaged. These cleats are not very versatile because they can only be used on one type of surface. The length of their studs cannot be changed either. However, among all cleat types, they require the least amount of maintenance and they are also the most affordable. 
  • Detachable cleats, on the other hand, are perhaps the most expensive option for cleats. Nonetheless, they offer plenty of features that football players might find useful. In short, they do all that molded cleats cannot. They can be used in almost any kind of field, the stud can be changed just as the length can be adjusted. However, this also means that maintenance is a lot higher than keeping a pair of the former. If you’re looking for something in between, then perhaps the last type of cleats is the option for you.
  • Turf cleats tend to have small rubber nubs on its soles, and they are made particularly for providing more traction. Although they do not offer the same versatility as detachable cleats, they can be used on both firm ground and artificial turf surfaces. Some people regard this type of cleats to be the best type of cleats for training as well. 

#3. FIND OUT WHAT YOU NEED

You need a football cleat that will give you the comfort you need to play in your designated position on the field. Because your position differs from that of other, your preference and the cut of the cleats should also be personal. 

High-cut cleats, for example, are best for linebackers, guards, and centers. These cleats provide the most support but having more material to the cleat also adds to its weight at the same time. 

Mid-cut cleats, on the other hand, may still provide a bit of support but because of its lower fit, users will find it easier to maneuver during a game. Cornerbacks, mobile quarterbacks, and running backs may benefit the most with mid-cut cleats. 

Last but not least, low-cut cleats are best for players who need to be nimble on the field such as the tight ends, free safeties, and for someone playing as a wide receiver. Although these cleats provide the least amount of support among all cleat cuts, it is also the most lightweight option.

#4. GET THE RIGHT FIT

To find the right cleat fit, there are a few pointers you need to follow. The first step is to take a look at the material of the cleat. 

Cleats made out of real leather stretch over time, so it is best to anticipate how the cleat would fit when they eventually stretch. Meanwhile, synthetic leather cleats do not stretch so getting the exact size at the time of purchase is recommended. 

After checking the material of cleat, the next step is to try it on while taking cognizance of your playing position. Make sure that there is no more than a finger width of space in between the heel and the forefoot. 

The cleat should be comfortable yet snug, and it should not cause any pain or pressure when executing any dynamic movement. To check whether or not the cleats have the right fit, always remember to bring a pair of socks.

Try standing, walking, and running in the cleats to see how flexible and comfortable they are as you use them. If it’s not flexible enough, you may have to reconsider getting it.

#5. THE EASE OF GETTING ACCESSORIES

The ease of getting accessories depends on the brand and model of the cleats you bought. Although cleats don’t necessarily need additional accessories, you may be forced to buy new ones if yours get damaged. That’s why you need proper care and cleat maintenance may require them anyway.

Besides, coming in prepared is a good practice for all athletes. The last thing you’d want to happen is missing out just because your gear is broken and unfit for the game. 

Extra shoelaces, for example, may come in handy in case the one you’re using breaks. Replacements studs are great to have nearby especially if you have detachable football cleats. And last but not least, regular maintenance with the help of sole protection oils and conditioners, will help keep your cleats in their best form. 

FAQ

#1. ARE BASEBALL AND FOOTBALL CLEATS THE SAME?

No, baseball cleats and football cleats are not the same. Although both baseball and football cleats are made for the purpose of helping players get a firmer grip on the field, they are, in many ways, different from each other. These are the differences between them:

WEIGHT

Football cleats have different weights. While some are seemingly light, others can be quite heavy. On the average, football cleats tend to be heavier than baseball cleats.  Lighter cleats allow baseball players to benefit from lighter footwear as it allows them to run faster.

Football, on the other hand, requires cleats than can handle the rough nature of the sport. That said, the added support and heavy-duty materials make football cleats significantly heavier than baseball cleats. Depending on the nature of the field, heavy cleats may be just fine. But then, you need to ensure that the weight of the cleats won’t impede your movement in any way.

SPIKES

Another big difference between football and baseball cleats can be found by looking at the spikes. Baseball cleats tend to have metal spikes to accommodate various baseball pitches that may be difficult to achieve while wearing other types of shoes. Football cleats, on the other hand, do not have spikes made of metal. Instead, most football cleats have spikes made of plastic or rubber. It’s also good to note that baseball cleats may also have plastic spikes.

LENGTH

Lastly, football cleats have varying lengths while baseball cleats tend to come in a standard size. The different lengths of football cleats are made to support varying football positions as well as the surface of play.

ARE RUBBER FOOTBALL CLEATS GOOD?

Rubber football cleats are neither good nor bad, but they may be more appropriate for certain players and environments. Depending on their playing positions, rubber football cleats are recommended for youth athletes since most of their play occurs on grass or synthetic surfaces. Cleats with rubber bottoms are said to be the best for these types of playing fields. 

HOW ARE FOOTBALL CLEATS SUPPOSED TO FIT?

The best way to know if a pair of football cleats fits is to check its different features and materials it is made of. You should check the studs, and their length. Also ensure that your cleats don’t cause you any pain, discomfort, or pressure when you walk, run, or even stand.

Additionally, there should never be more than a finger width of space; your choice of cleats must have a snug fit on its forefoot and the heal must not lift as well

Adidas Freak X Carbon Mi

Our #1 Best Football Cleat for Wide Receivers

  • Provides excellent fit, has zero space similar to the classics​
  • Has plenty of cushioning for a comfortable fit​
  • Simple lace design that stays tight during the game ​
  • Available in different color options which include black and white​
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