They say that good shoes will take you to good places and it’s no different even on the football field. Winning the game and becoming a skilled football player starts with dedication and regular practice. Knowing that football is a dangerous sport, footballers need to be careful about choosing the right gear.
According to the data gathered by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Injury Surveillance System (ISS), the rate of foot and ankle injuries was 15 per 10,000 athletic exposures.
To save yourself from foot and ankle injuries while playing football, you need a pair of football cleats that aren’t just comfortable but durable and reliable as well. However, it isn’t easy finding the best football cleats due to the tons of footwear in the market. Many would even argue what best is!
Instead of going after the impossible tasks of searching for the best products, we’ve looked through the web, from forums to blogs, and YouTube to find gears used by actual football players. Our picks from the best brands eventually formed the basis of these reviews.
Our Top 10 Football Cleat Recommendations
1. Adidas Freak X Carbon Mid: Best Football Cleat for Wide Receivers
Adidas undoubtedly make some of the best football cleats in the world. They certainly 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 cleats that are well-protected. Despite being slightly lighter in weight, the iron skin really adds to the durability of the cleat.
But what we loved most about this cleat is that the manufacturers featured a razor frame 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.
2. Nike Men's Alpha Menace Pro Mid: Best Football Cleat for Running Back
Are you looking for a practical, no-frills type of football cleats? Then the popular Nike Alpha Pro cleats might interest you. Although this cleat is of an older model, there are plenty of reasons many still find it to be the go-to cleat for training or practice.
This Nike football cleats is a star when it comes to ankle support and agility. Quarterbacks and linebackers will benefit from its snug fit and durable outsole for traction. While running backs will appreciate its construction for agility and speed, and they will certainly feel more secured.
What we loved most about these cleats is its combination of mesh and synthetic materials. They make the cleats breathable yet durable enough to withstand the rigors on the field. When it comes to getting the right fit, Nike’s Flywire technology guarantees a locked-down fit incomparable to other cleats within the Alpha Menace Pro’s price range.
The Flywire cables will wrap around your feet, giving you unequivocal comfort, and to ensure you don’t slip. Other notable areas of these cleats are its TPU traction plate.
Despite the outstanding features in its construction, the cleat is still lightweight and high durable. The collar on the Nike Alpha Pro also provides a comfortable and secured sock-like fit.
3. Adidas Adizero 8.0: Best Football Cleats for Speed
The Adidas Adizero 8.0 is perhaps one of the most talked-about cleat of the year. It’s the newest addition to the Adizero series and certainly one of the best football cleats in the market today. More so, 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 the material it’s made of. If you think that the Adizero 7.0 was super soft, the mesh on the 8.0 is even more pliable, moldable, and flexible than that. This impressive material gives the Adizero 8.0 a way better fit than most cleats. Plus, it also adds to the overall comfortability of the shoe without letting go of good angle support.
The next attractive feature on this cleat is its toebox. While some may love the wider toebox 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 toebox 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.
Another great thing about the popular cleats from the Adidas brand 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 cleat are a dream to wear because of its mesh and synthetic materials combination.
The flexible material allows users to easily put their cleats on without much trouble. Not to mention the durable traction plate it offers.
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.
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.
- 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
- The durability isn’t as great as other options
- Might be too narrow for some users
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. 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.
- 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
- Padding and choice of material adds to the weight
- Lacks ventilation, the material is not breathable
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.
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.
- 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
- Cannot be used on all types of surfaces
- Getting the right fit may be tricky
- Durability is weaker than other options
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.
All this may sound amazing already but our favorite part is still the traction plate. It’s pretty lightweight and offers impeccable traction.
- 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
- The lighter color options get dirty easily
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.
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.
- 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
- Does not last very long compared to other cleats
- Sizes tend to run small, especially for users with wider feet
The Nike Lunarbeast Pro TD is another old model with a proven track record. It’s one of the best cleats from the Nike brand. We would recommend this cleat for younger athletes who are working their way to the top through rigorous training and competitions.
The padded ankles may not be the best in terms of flexibility and maneuverability. But it does add to ankle support and comfort. The Nike Lunarbeast Pro TD also features a convenient strap that not only keeps the cleat snug and fit, but it also prevents the laces from getting untied too often which is a great addition for youth athletes.
- Features a convenient strap to prevent laces from getting untied
- Has a wide strap for extra midfoot stability
- Great for younger athletes
- Good for other sports activities besides football
- A bit too narrow for players with wider feet
- Stretches out too widely when used for more rigorous plays
- The heel is a bit stiff and not shock-absorbent
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. 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.
- Moisture-wicking and offers plenty of ventilation
- Very light and sturdy, great for dynamic movements on the field
- Comes at a very affordable price
- Lacks traction
What You Should Consider Before Buying Football Cleats
#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 cognisanze 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.
#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:
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.
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.
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.