Best Soccer Cleats
Buying a pair of soccer cleats is another one of those decisions we face when it comes to finding a happy medium between aesthetic, function, and price. Like almost any other high-performance sporting attire, purchasing a pair of cleats is going to cost you a substantial amount of money. Therefore, you need to go into this purchase armed with all of the pertinent information needed for your gear to perform its best and do so for a long period of time.
Things like sizing, outsoles, and upper material can all factor into your decision on which shoe is the best for you. It can't be stressed enough that you will need to actually try your shoes on, walk in them, kick in them, feel how they move, and how they hug your foot. The type of shoe one player likes won't necessarily be the one you will want, so do your homework before you drop that hard-earned cash. Feel free to refer to our soccer cleat buyer’s guide below for all of the essentials you should keep in mind when it's time to buy.
Best Men's Soccer Cleats:
The game of soccer is centered almost solely your foot which is why you're going to need an excellent pair of shoes if you're going to succeed on the pitch. Shopping for soccer cleats has many variables and we're here to make the decision easier on you.
We've found five of the best men’s soccer cleats available chosen along variety of criteria. Keeping that in mind, we first looked at the materials that were used in the making of these shoes, particularly the upper which is the area that surrounds the top of the foot. Most of our picks are made of synthetics, which are lighter and react quicker under all types of weather conditions. If you're looking for a leather upper, don’t worry, we have those here as well. Some users prefer real leather to synthetic due to leather uppers being easier to break in and have a different feel versus synthetics.
We also considered the types of outsole which is the actual cleat under the shoe. These picks are all firm ground cleats, which means they are best suited for natural playing surfaces that might get wet but not too muddy. This is the best all-around cleat type to select because they provide excellent traction and offer the most versatility on natural playing surfaces.
Sizing is another thing to keep in mind, since just because your cross-trainers or running shoes are a US10, it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to need your cleats in the same size. These picks are all pretty much true to fit, but again, not every foot is the same. Some shoes run narrow others are a little wider. So it's really up to you to try out a few different pairs and see which ones fit best.
Keep in mind though, buying a pair of soccer cleats is going to come down to how they fit and feel on YOUR foot, no one else's. So we can only give you the choices we feel you should check out first based on our criteria; in the end however, you're the one who has to make the ultimate decision.
Adidas newest cleat has been designed in conjunction with Leo Messi himself to exploit the many talents of the advanced player. A mixture of high-quality materials and forward-thinking technology, the Messi 15.2 takes Adidas to the next level of innovation. It might not help you play just like Messi, but if you simply won't accept anything less than the best soccer cleat on the market at the moment, then these are for you. Read Full Review
Nike always seems to be re-inventing the wheel when it comes to their soccer cleats and the company's Mercurial Vapor X continues that rich tradition of innovation and quality. Built for a snug fit to provide maximum touch, control, and versatility, the Vapor X is the next step in the evolution of the soccer cleat. It's lightweight and dynamic enough for you to reach that extra gear when the game is on the line. Read Full Review
Diadora's shoe is among the lightest on our list and employs a synthetic microfiber upper designed for speed and flexibility. The DD-NA3 affords plenty of natural touch and enough padding for effective dribbling, passing, and shooting with an insole made from fabric and bi-density shock-absorbing EVA elastomer and a versatile outsole that responds well to just about any playing surface. The shoe has a tighter fit at first but eases up through a relatively short break-in period. Read Full Review
Puma's newest version of the evoPOWER shoe continues to prove to be a dominant cleat on the market for the way it acts a natural extension of the foot, adapting to the natural shape and motion of the appendage while providing plenty of natural comfort and performance. It's flexible enough to make it feel like you're wearing nothing at all with a conformed fit made possible by way of special foam padding exclusive to Puma. This cushion also provides a powerful strike zone for the foot for enhanced shooting capability. Read Full Review
With Mizuno starting to increase their presence in the US market, they're creating shoes that can compete with the big boys and doing a pretty darn good job of it. The Morelia Neo MD doesn't have the overly narrow fit of a Nike shoe and keeps things minimal without excessive use of unnecessary materials and bric-a-brac. It's a streamlined shoe that conforms well to the foot and designed for speed. But it’s also more than a little high maintenance when it comes to durability. Though if you're going to spend this much on a shoe, you'll want to take good care of it anyway, wouldn't you? Read Full Review
Best Women's Soccer Cleats:
Buying a pair of women's soccer cleats isn't much different than purchasing a pair of men's cleats. Most major manufacturers create shoe designs for use by both sexes with the only real difference being the sizing range for each gender. When selecting a pair, you’ll want a comfortable, fitted pair appropriate to the playing surface and game conditions. It’s important to remember fit and comfort are two separate elements to your choice of footwear. The fit of the shoe involves size and how much room within the shoe allowing you to move and perform at your best. The comfort of your shoe refers to how it feels during play like when you’re handling the ball or running down the field.
We selected these best women's soccer cleats along specific criteria, the first being the materials used their manufacturing. These soccer cleats use lightweight synthetic materials along the upper portion of the shoe which can handle all types of weather conditions and the break-in periods aren't too terribly long before the shoe is feeling just right. The shoes on this list are also built for firm ground use, equipped with molded studs and blades that provide total traction, stability, and acceleration response to keep you moving along the field with confidence and security. We also selected these shoes because they are designed to protect the foot with full support to prevent from injury. That said, check out our list below and see which of these soccer cleats is right for you and your game.
A shoe designed for speed, Nikes’ Mercurial Veloce offers comfort, flexibility and lateral traction with little break-in time needed. This uniquely-textured soccer cleat affords excellent touch control on the ball for a synthetic upper like this set while being offered at an affordable price. Read Full Review
There's no question that Adidas has long been one of the premiere brands for soccer gear and their X15 line of cleats continues that legacy. Built for both men and women, the X15 welcomes you to the next level with top-notch performance and durability through it's combination of materials and technological development for on-field response. Simply put, these cleats are a winner. Read Full Review
Puma's evoSPEED 4.4 FG shoe features a sleek profile designed to be quick and flexible. The stud configuration of the outsole uses two different shapes to afford you all speed and agility you need for fast, reactive movement on the field. The evoSPEED provides the right amount of support and protection while remaining one of the lightest on our list, coming in even lighter than the previous models. Read Full Review
Everything about Nike’s Hypervenom is engineered around the need for urgency on the field. It's been built for multi-directional traction and greater movement response, whether planting on the ground or interacting with the ball in any fashion. Nike has made the upper nice and thin for improved touch and the shoes simple flexibility reacts well to the natural motion of your feet. Read Full Review
Under Armour rounds out the list with their Flash FG cleat. It's a pretty basic shoe with all of the pre-requisite features and necessities but, despite the name, does it all without much in the way of flash or panache. This pick is a great beginner shoe for women and girls just getting a feel for the game and don't want to invest a ton of money into their footwear just yet. Read Full Review
Best Youth Soccer Cleats:
Buying the right soccer cleats for your child can be a challenging situation. On one hand, you want a high-quality shoe to bring out the best in your future all-star but then consider they'll likely outgrow the shoe in a year meaning more money spent on shoes. A child who is just learning the sport probably doesn't need a pair of expensive cleats while the older child who excels at his or her position on the team may warrant more of an investment. There are shoes for every age and skill level on our list to help parents learn more about the options which best accommodate their child's experience level. Soccer cleats are supposed to fit tight and snug around the foot, and the toes should never touch the tip of the shoe so leave a little wiggle room to prevent blisters and impacted toes. If the shoes too big it can adversely affect the way your child runs and plays. Have your child try on a few pairs of shoes while wearing the same socks they would expect to wear in a game. This will give them a true sense of what the shoes will feel like on game day.
Choosing the best youth soccer cleats for this list, we considered each shoe along certain criteria. First, we looked at the materials that were used in the production of each selection. All of these shoes use lightweight synthetic leather which offers improved touch and control on the ball, and responds well in just about any type of weather conditions whether wet or dry. We also looked at the way these shoes perform on the field, making sure each pick was designed to offer good injury protection while offering enough airflow to keep feet cool as well as cushioning and soft liners so small feet won't ache after wearing them for extended periods. Additionally, we considered each shoes cleat configuration and materials used in the sole plate so they're able to provide adequate traction and speed. These shoes are all firm ground cleats which use molded studs and provide versatile movement on natural surfaces.
When you're ready to buy a pair, consider these best picks for youth soccer cleats we’ve listed below. You can rest assured that each one is well-suited to give kids the confidence and support to perform at their very best on the field.
Nikes Merucrial Victory V combines the cool looks and performance kids want with affordability that parents will love. A dimpled upper texture offers enhanced ball control with stubby cleat studs perfect for young players. The Victory V offers similar performance technologies and design found in adult soccer cleats at three times the price.
Read Full Review
The Italian sports brand Lotto offers an excellent youth cleat at an affordable price point. Designed for younger players who are just starting out in the sport, Lotto makes their Zhero Gravity line in a youth version that provides enough protection, comfort, and traction to give younger players all the confidence they need to perform their best on the field. Read Full Review
Weighing in at less than 7 ounces, the Absolion model of the Predator line will make any young player feel more confident on the field. This lightweight youth soccer cleat offers excellent grip traction on the outside and cushioned comfort inside with increased heel support and excellent shock absorption. Read Full Review
Puma's evoPOWER 4.2 kid’s cleat is designed with a durable synthetic upper keeping the foot well protected yet comfortable enough for long hours of play. A quilted area near the front of the shoe provides an extra layer of support while the bladed cleat configuration offers total traction control and maneuverability on firm ground surfaces and short grass. Read Full Review
Under Armour rounds out the list with the Flash, a basic and affordable pair of cleats perfectly suited for kids who have just been introduced to soccer. These soccer cleats offer everything a child needs to play the game safely including a soft synthetic upper, extra cushioning for comfortable support, and a cleat configuration made for quick moves and fast acceleration. Read Full Review
Soccer Cleats Buyer's Guide
Plain and simple, the most important piece of gear for a soccer player is the shoe. Goalies have their gloves, but if you're on the pitch in any other position then all you need is a great pair of shoes. They keep your feet in the game with a combination of materials to give you plenty of grip on the run and protection in those scrums for the ball.
Many of the leading manufacturers enhance their shoes with exclusive technologies to help you play the game more effectively, but whether or not you feel like those elements actually contribute to the way you play the game is entirely up to you. While most of these cool sounding elements are marketing tools to get you to buy, there are certain fundamental components you must consider before you make your purchase. This guide is going to help you navigate through all of that confusion.
Men's and Women's Soccer Cleats
While the major manufacturers offer apparel lines built for the masculine and feminine foot separately, sizing, fit and comfort is important regardless of whether you're looking for a men's or women's shoe.
The rule of thumb to making sure you have the right fit for your shoe is to keep it snug on your foot. Toes shouldn't be jammed up against the front of it, there has to be a little bit of wiggle room. A little space between the heel of your foot and the back of the shoe is also important. If the shoe is too tight or too loose it's going to affect the way you play, and no amount of breaking a shoe in if it doesn't fit right the first time is going to help. Width is also a crucial component to sizing, everyone has different size feet and shoe manufacturers offer different shoes that cater to wider or slimmer feet.
Comfort and Fit
Fit concerns the size of the shoe and how much room you have for your foot inside of it. Is the shoe snug or does it afford a little bit of movement? Comfort is how the shoe feels on your foot when you're in the game. Do you have enough touch on the ball? How does it perform when you're running?
Youth Soccer Cleats
With kids' shoes the same issues of sizing, fit, and comfort are even more important because like adults, children need to be comfortable in their shoes. However, there's the additional consideration of growth. If you have a youngster who's especially passionate about the game, you don't want to have to buy new shoes every season just because your future All-Star's feet have grown.
Buying the right shoe is going to take a little bit of research so they can grow into the shoe future while making sure it still fits well enough in the present when they’re playing. A good option is to go with a leather upper which will stretch some as it breaks in, affording a little extra growing room to extend the use of the shoe.
Soccer Cleat Components
This is the portion of the shoe that covers the foot and makes contact with the ball during game play. The upper is usually made of a natural or synthetic leather material and each type of upper has distinct advantages that offer comfort, touch, and durability.
Not all materials are created equally of course, so you must determine what you're looking for the most in your upper. Fit, performance, strength, are all factors in selecting the right kind of upper and you have more than a few to choose from.
There are three types of leather material almost all soccer shoies are manufactured with including calf-skin, kangaroo and Pittards; all have varying degrees of softness, durability, and moisture retention. The Pittards leather material can only be found on Puma shoes but the others are used in most every brand. Break-in times and techniques will vary with each type of leather.
There are also synthetic leather choices designed to look, feel, and respond like leather but you lose a little bit where touch is concerned. The same goes for synthetic fabric or material which is usually much thinner and while it might not give you as much protection for your foot, these can be more comfortable to wear.
The outsole is the actual cleat; it refers to the bottom of the shoe making contact with the surface of the ground. As with uppers, there are plenty of styles from which to choose. Making this choice can be a little bit more straightforward knowing the type of surface area you plan to play on, mainly boils down to whether you’re playing an indoor or outdoor game.
Indoor shoes are pretty self-explanatory and you've narrowed the field down drastically with these types of shoes. Sure, there are still a wide variety of styles and brands to choose from, but you are dealing with a common rubber sole that is flat instead of a selection of cleated outsoles.
The cleated shoe is for the outdoor game. This is where things can get just a bit complicated as you're looking at four possible choices of sole-plate when choosing the right shoe. Soccer cleats come in firm, soft, and hard ground types of constructed studs.
- Firm ground studs are the most commonly purchased shoe and are designed for natural grass and dirt fields. The stud configuration is built for traction and control.
- Soft ground cleats are meant for routinely wet or soft soil surfaces and, because of the flexibility of many professional stadium surfaces, the superstars of the sport tend to prefer these types of shoes. There are often fewer studs and those are usually removable.
- Hard ground cleats are suited for artificial turf and hard-packed natural surfaces and these types of shoes will often have a large collection of shorter, round studs to enable comfortable movement on unforgiving terrain.
- Turf Shoes are usually made of a hard rubber sole-plate that resembles the closely spaced knob design of the hard cleat shoe. They're built for grip and versatility on hard or artificial surfaces and consumers will need to decide which of the shoes will fit their situation best. They are similar, but one will perform better than the other in specific instances.
Try Before You Buy
There's nothing worse than a pair of ill-fitting shoes on the pitch. The likelihood of trial and error through the mail could prove more of a headache than going to your local store and taking a test run in a few pairs first. Obviously, you're going to want to try on a few pairs of shoes and actually feel them on your feet and walk around in them first even if you’re planning on making a purchase online.