A good pair of cleats is a must have for anybody that wants to start or is a pro, and that’s why we decided to test and review multiple pairs of boots for you guys. These studies are based on the latest models; we will update our charts as soon as something notable is launched. Doesn’t matter how you call these soccer boots, soccer cleats, football shoes, etc… the result is the same, you need a good pair of cleats to pay well and feel good doing this.
For sure, you had that one pair that looked fabulous, and you was mad about them but each and every time you played in them you had to change them or had huge blisters. Or another scenario, you have that old pair that barely stays intact, and you are afraid that if you take them on you will make a fool out of yourself.
Because of these two scenarios we have selected some soccer shoes that are great, you will also find some dirty little facts about them, because nothing is perfect. Let’s look at some of the best shoes that you can get today:
Best boots to own in 2016
7Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 FG
Comfort is key, as we all know it, the better the shoe fits, the longer you can play, but you need excellent traction and with their EnergySling technology, you will have a better chance of accelerating than your opponent. The new design features added security with a much-needed lace hole on the side for firmer grip.
With a weight of just 8.2oz and size characteristics that make them feel smaller than they are, you will have no problem striking the ball at your fullest potential.
Traction is critical, so Adidas made a few key changes here from their last model, but you will still find similar soleplate and studs as the original. Triangular studs offer balance and decent grip as they do not penetrate ground the same as conical ones. Here we have the EnergySling that provided added support on the forefoot, thus making the boot much more responsive.
Striking comes naturally in these boots as they are solid, thus providing a stiffer more rugged feel. As the laces were moved on the outside of the boot, you will have more grip; the rubber used of the EnergySling also provides added grip when striking anywhere around the forefoot area.
As we will touch on later, the trend for soccer boot is to get lighter, but this leaves you without protection, good thing that Adidas wants you covered with a hard plastic mesh that stretches from the mid-foot back on the upper and the tongue.
Conclusion: This boot is no that popular so you might not see too many on the pitch (can be bad or not), but you get protection and a great responsive boot that we are firmly recommend having.
6Nike Magista Obra Firm Ground Cleats
Nike made a habit of introducing new cleats in critical time periods, even though this model is older, we had to include it in our top, as you will later see, this model has a newly revised alternative, but since the price is right why not take a look at a few key features for this model.
It uses the Flyknit technology that Nike introduced a while ago, borrowed from their running shoes this creates extra comfort for your feet and make the lightweight, with just 7.2oz! You probably never knew comfort until you try these on, you will see a pattern of extra comfort in this line from Nike.
As you can probably tell these boots are not made out of leather, but the synthetic materials used are very durable. The fit is exemplary, as the upper part adjusts after a few wears, they are tights with just enough room for a bit of slack. The laces let you tighten the boot as much as you desire.
Because Flyknit is both new and the material is thin, you might be concerned about feel the ball too much or another payer’s studs. We can’t provide feedback for the latter, but the ball control is excellent with these, as the material soaks part of the impact when striking or play long passes.
If you are a playmaker or somebody that want to keep the ball close, this is the boot for you as it offers exemplary ball control, but if you are a winger and need momentum to run and pass, you might find yourself with the ball under your feet. This may differ depending on play style and preferences. Given the fact that you have a little cushion and the ability to feel the ball, some players out there might appreciate this boot.
5 Nike Hypervenom Phinish II
Wonderful things happen when makers listen to customer feedback and try to make their dreams come true, this is what happened to the Hypervenom II as they fully upgraded this boot. The upper feels so much better with Nike Skin 2.0 taking it back to their roots.
Take care with this boots because this is not a box out-game on type of shoe, it will destroy you, no you need to break the leather first with some light jogging sessions, light games and some magic (click here). The ankle section is particularly tight and stiff as this is designed to mold to your feet.
With time, this new alliteration of Hypervenom boots became more rigid, as fans requested, thus making this one of the most trending soccer cleats right now. Because of the lace position, this boot has, probably, the best surface to connect with the ball, so if you play in a position that requires striking force and efficacy, you should do the smart think and consider these boots. Not to mention that the honeycomb surface makes it stick to the ball when dribbling.
As Flywire was introduced, durability is not a concern anymore, the wire have a structural role, thus making the boot stiffer and harder. The soleplate remained unchanged, so Nike considers this a good thing, with all of these improvements, if the pattern had been inappropriate, they would have done something about it.
Yes, the traction is there with six conical studs spread on the outside and one blade for lateral movement you will have no problems with this one. Well suited for both FG and AG, the new studs have a lower profile compared to other boots on the market, giving you the ability to cut and chop on a dime, releasing from the surface at speed.
4Puma evoSPEED SL-S II
You now have the possibility to wear the same boots as Antoine Griezmann (Euro 2016 Golden Boot Winner), not only do these soccer boots look beautiful but they are super light, compared to others in the same class.
The nylon is soft to the touch making ball contact perfect; they are also extremely comfortable. Because they are laser cut, the SPEEDFRAME optimizes the way your feet touch the ground stabilizing you and proving support for forward acceleration and quicker turns. For optimal fit and additional comfort, Pumacreated and external minimalist heel counter.
These new SL-S II excel in the outsole, the SPEEDTRACK spine provides an excellent balance between stability in the midfoot and flexibility in the forefoot, thus enhancing speed and agility. Weight is an issue, so they accepted the challenge and made this boot at just 5.2oz, the outsole is made out of a mix of bladed and canonical studs for better traction and acceleration.
3Mizuno Basara 101 MIJ
Mizuno came back with their second generation soccer boots, the Basara 101 MIJ; these are hand crafted for the players that prefer quality over quantity; they need to provide as the price is premium. The brand is new on the US market, and they are here to stay, letțs take a look at a few key pointers.
The leather is soft; the premium quality is visible from the first second you see them. The MIJ name comes from „Made in Japan”, the Japanese are rounded for making quality products and the Mizuno is one of them, the making process takes over 24 hours compared to 20 minutes that the average market has.
These shoes are very tight, we recommend a stretch period so that a few light warm ups will do the trick, we did a guide on how to stretch your soccer cleats. The white shape is made of K-Leather, so it is very soft and adds some class to the boot, as this is a performance model, it is quite light.
The leather is the perfect material of a boot, and the Mizuno made an art out of it, you will not find anything on the market better than his. The boot molds to your foot, and the shock absorption is perfect on this pair.
The soleplate employs the D-Flex Groove technology that makes it flex when changing directions; it is a strange feeling at first, but you see the difference immediately! Most boots on the market are made to flex just on the middle, not this one; it flexes all over so you have traction all the time even in tight corners so nobody will be able to keep up.
This boot is designed for FG but you can easily make it an AG boot as the suds are not conical they carry lots of traction on artificial grass too.
2Adidas Messi16+ PUREAGILITY
If you need to stay fresh and have the coolest pair of cleats, then the Adidas Messi16+ PUREAGILITY are a must for you. They were created around Messi and his style, sure, you can’t play like him, but these boots might give you a small boost in the right direction.
Because these boots follow the same pattern as the older releases, will not fit all players as they are quite narrow.
The upper has a knitted honey comb design that loosens with time, so if they are too tight they might break a bit, thus molding around your feet bringing much comfort and joy into your game. You might want to reserve some time to break in the boots, we suggest over 5 sessions just to be sure, with time you will have the possibility to play a full tie game with them.
Because the boots have no laces, Adidas employed quite a few design tricks to give you the same feeling when striking the ball, you can clearly see a V shape on the front, that is made using 2 underlying fabrics stitched together. Clever angling and you get the same surface as a lace, because the upper most layer slider on, yes is complicated but it works!
These are agility and performance oriented boots, the honeycomb design makes the perfect surface for fast movement as it provides excellent ball contact, when you need to change direction quickly. You can strike with your full power as the fabric will absorb most of the shock, so striking and long passes will be a breeze in these bad boys!
If you can’t figure how you would tighten the boot once you get it on, because this design employed 2 fabric layers, Adidas decided to hide the laces, it could have failed but the trick works great! The problem might come when one of your laces breaks and you need to put a new one, patience is key in this case as you can clearly access the first 3 loops, lower needs time.
The collar employs and new tricks from their arsenal, the TechFit is used to make a tight fit locking your feet in place. With a better and higher ankle guard protecting you Achilles tendon the heel contours are very comfortable either way.
The SprintFrame soleplate is the new addition to the Messi line of soccer shoes, the X and Ace silo structure provide extra support when you want to do some fast direction changes, the studs follow a triangular matrix with 7 up front and 4 in the back. They went from FG/AG to just FG support, but if the turf pitch is new you will not have a problem with these boots.
If you play on older AG pitches, the chrome soleplate might get chipped, the same warning is visible on the box.
1Diadora Brasil Italy OG
When it comes to soccer anything made in Italy can be considered top notch, the new Diadora Brasil boots deserve a place of their own, quality leather upper and an old school look make them my favorite pair to play with. These cost more than most other boots, but the quality must be there, right?
With the retro look comes k-leather upper, inside them a hydro-tech microfiber as a liner on the leather and tongue to keep your foot padded and dry the whole game. This is another handmade product that shows craftsmanship and dedication for quality and performance.
The soleplate holds it’s tradition, and some new players might have never seen this before as you have 12 fixed conical studs helping with stability and perfection. They work perfectly on both AG and FG as the studs are quite reliable offering traction on both variants.
You will have no problem at all taking them for the box right on the pitch; the flex won’t be that natural but with time they will stretch making them your weapon of choice. The fit is snug, and the super soft leather will mimic your foot with time.
Even if the price is higher than the average, you should consider them, because legacy, tradition and old school craftsmanship are well worth the extra bucks. The boots are solid, and you will have no problems with them, that unless you are a speed player, for this select another model.
The anatomy of a soccer boot
Let’s start by listing and analyzing all the parts that a football boot has; this will let us better understand why the price is important, what parts of the boot increase comfort and why performance is essential. Also, do you prefer a tighter fit or not? That is the key takeaway that we are hoping to provide.
The upper part
This includes everything above the insole/midsole of the boot
Everything lower than the insole/midsole part
This section of the boot can be added or changed at a later date.
The cushion built into the shoe
The backside of the shoe provides added support for the heel
The front portion of the shoe, also known as the strike zone. This part is critical for any soccer boot, if the technology used here differs from your position or play style, your shots will never hit the target. Make sure to read more about this here.
Studs or Cleats
The bottom of the shoe which is usually made out of cone shapes or blades that improve stability and traction (indoor soccer cleats don’t have them, read more here). The cleats can be molded, or some boots have detachable ones so that you can replace them whenever you want.
They are usually made out of plastic, rubber or even metal; the metal tipped ones are forbidden in some leagues, so you better check out the rules before buying.
Usually, you will find a mixed between blades and conical studs. Bladed studs are more comfortable, offer greater traction and speed, while the conical ones offer a quicker release and better stability as they offer more points of contact with the ground.
You should own a couple of cleats as the ground type plays a decisive role by avoiding injuries by providing the adequate level of traction.
What are the best soccer boots for a given position?
As we all have our play styles and different location preferences we need to know what the best choices are for us. Not all boots are made the same as you will see in this articles, as we each want to either play a given position or want more freedom to change it, will the soccer boot still be adequate? Some players like to defend, but when the opportunity arrives they want to be up top and go with the flow, will his boot help him score or not?
- Goalkeepers need traction and ability to move fast laterally; they also need to strike the ball or keep it while he gets a pass.
- Defensive, they need extra protection and a clear zone to pass the ball
- Midfielders they need to run the whole game, so a comfortable boot is essential, they also need to be in control
- Winder the lighter, the better, they also need traction to accelerate and/or change direction quickly
- Forwards they need a clear strike zone; the boot also needs to be comfortable while striking.
What are the best soccer cleats for different pitches?
OK, what type of ground is the most common in your league? Are you playing on a natural grass field or artificial turf? You wouldn’t want a pair of HG boots if you play on soft, wet, muddy pitches; you will become a skater as you will have close to 0 traction. Another example, you play on artificial turf all years round, yet you want to buy SG cleats, wrong choice!
If you don no know what is the most common pitch type in your league, or you play on mixed pitches all year round and want to invest in just one pair, get an FG pair and you should be okay as they are the most versatile of them all.
FG – Firm Ground boots are best suited to natural grass pitches when rain is not regular. As many pitches are making the jump for artificial grass surface, thus making these soccer boots one of the most versatile on the market.
SG – Soft Ground boots are perfect for places where it regularly rains, as they need a softer surface for the studs to penetrate it. Most of them have replaceable studs if you want a different configuration.
HG – Hard Ground boots are not that common anymore, they originally were designed for dry surfaces or places where the grass was worn out or just bare ground. They had low profile conical studs to create balance, can be used on the firm soil surface, with great success!
AT – Artificial turf soccer boots are designed for artificial grass pitches, and they have very low profile studs. The number is higher as the density needed to be increased and are made from rubber as they need to provide both balance and traction. If you need, a pair read our guide on how to select the best turf soccer shoes.
IN – Indoor shoes are specially crafted for hard and flat surfaces.
What are the best materials?
Every player has his choice when it comes to materials; some prefer the tight fit that natural leather provides while other prefer the consistent performance that synthetics uppers provide. Some companies offer a wide array of materials that are used to construct the boot, while others stick to a material that has proved itself as both durable and stylish (yeah I love my boots, all of them!). Take a look at some of the most popular major brands regularly use.
Kangaroo Leather – Also known as K-Leather this premium material was used only for premium releases where the companies tried and succeeded making this material into a thing of beauty. You can still find a few boots, but price and activists lobbying made it a thing of the past. If you want premium quality, soft skin, tight fit and durability and don’t mind the provenance, you should buy a pair. Their key features are: softer than calfskin, lighter than calfskin, non-waterproof, not as durable as regular leather. Be advised, these stretch more than regular.
Natural Leather shoes use calf or goat skin to make top level soccer cleats and are the preferred choice of all brands in their premium tire. Nothing compares to the unique feel these boots provide, the control on the ball and the durability is way off the charts.
Synthetic Leather – This is the new material where all brands, like Nike and Adidas, seem to be heading with their R&D (research and development) as they want to create something that has the strength and comfort of natural leather. As you probably know, all boots are waterproof, unlike natural leather, we can see this as a good point (you don’t get wet) and a bad one (your feet don’t get enough air). The ball control is the place where all of them strive to make it better, and they will do it pretty soon as new materials are being created all the time improving this.
Synthetic – These boots have a fit of their own if they are tight, get a pair up as they will not stretch, unlike natural leather. You can get these bad boys on from the first wear and start doing light training.
Mesh – this is currently trending right now as this technology was borrowed from running shoes making your soccer shoes lighter. There were issues where the material might get damped, but with new research making them waterproof it is probably the lightest material on the market.
Knit – The new kid on the block introduce by Adidas “Primeknit” and Nike’s “Flyknit”, it is a truly revolutionary product that provides a new type of ball touch. Once a protective layer is added to ensure durability as water made it take on some damage during games, it is a dream to wear them.
Durability is Key
The main takeaway from this is money talks, really, the more you pay for some of the best cleats for soccer, the better you will feel with them. The premium cleats are not as durable as the more affordable models; the durable can be extended by appropriately maintaining your soccer cleats, learn how.
Make sure to have at least two pairs as these soccer shoes are put under lots of stress during every match, quite often a pair will not last more than a season.
Soccer cleats must fit snug, especially the premium K-Leather, they shout fit as close to the end of the foot as possible, if your toes don’t touch, then you have the perfect combination of performance and comfort. Be sure to have a ¼ to ½ inch gap.
How much is too much?
Considering how much are you going to spend on the whole soccer equipment, your budget might be tight, have you thought how much are soccer cleats are going to set you back. Don’t worry we got your back, check out our list!
$150 and above – These are the ultimate boots level, these are perfect for any aspiring player as they have the opportunity to use the same soccer equipment as their idols. Pro players often use many boots in a season, so durability suffers, but the performance level is unmatchable so if you want to be a pro, be prepared to spend some money for the best soccer cleats!
$80 to $150 – This is the mid tire with lots of options to select from because all brands have top quality products in this price range. Performance is almost if not equal to the high tire with a bonus on durability; this is the perfect budget for any aspiring player.
$40 to $80 – the is the lowest tire when it comes to quality soccer boots, all companies maintain the same outline look to these tire boots, but when it comes to performance, we can’t say much about it. This is the perfect price range for new players that want to start enjoying this beautiful sport, don’t count much on technology as you will not find any at this price.
$10 to $40 – Let’s be honest, you can’t do anything good with shoes in this sector, you will most likely get hurt. If a boot is on sale at this price point, get it, otherwise, raise some money and get something decent!
You should keep your eyes open on sites like amazon.com as they have soccer cleats on sale quite often, and you will probably get a pair for cheap, a pair that is good. Most brands put their older models on sale as soon as the new ones come to market, which is the perfect time to buy or stock up on your soccer shoes!
Make it light!
A pattern emerged for the last couple of years; companies try to make their boots lighter and lighter. Because of this trend, durability suffers as to make something light you need to cut something from the equation, usually they have to lower the amount of material used as new materials are hard to make and develop. Some years ago, a good pair of shoes for soccer lasted two seasons, now, you are lucky if you can keep it for one. For something that lasts, select a pair made out of leather that weighs over 9oz!
So you set your mind on a pair of leather soccer cleats, right for you, now, before your first game wearing them you need to break the leather, there are a couple of tips for that, read our in-depth article about this!
We have to note that every foot is different and what we’ve tested might not have the same result on you, for that you need to try them on in a shop, or as Amazon offers returns, you can try them and then return any pair that doesn’t fit well.