Top Best Soccer Cleats In 2021 (In-Depth Buying Guide)


Soccer is a wildly popular sport game played globally by more than 265 million people. Before you head out on the pitch, you need to be kitted out with the best soccer cleats for you. Good thing, we’ve rounded up the 18 best soccer cleats to buy in 2021.

A top-notch pair of soccer cleats is must-have gear for all soccer players, no matter their playing position, age, or skill level. They’re designed to enhance arch support, improve performance, and absorb hard-impact shocks. It’s the set of cleats screwed into the outsole that renders great traction and keeps you on your toes painlessly regardless of the condition of the field.

Some players prefer more rigid & supportive cleats, while others go for styles that offer optimum flexibility and stability. Material construction, texture, cleat shape, cut, lace design, and cleat fit are some of the design elements you need to take into consideration before making a purchase decision. You may wish to take a gander at our comprehensive buying guide to help you find the best pair of soccer cleats so you can channel your inner Messi or Ronaldo.


What We Cover In This Article

The Best Soccer Cleats for Men/Boys

The competition in men’s soccer cleats arena is cut-throat, with giant footwear brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma battling it out year-in-year-out for the top spot. That, of course, works out in favor of the consumer as you’ll have hundreds of awesome options at your disposal. Here are the top soccer cleats for men and boys to buy in 2021:

1. Adidas Men’s Copa 19.4 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

adidas Men's Copa 19.4 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe, Solar Yellow/Black/Solar Yellow, 10.5...

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • High-quality soccer cleats made from 100% leather and synthetic for firm ground (FG)
  • Has synthetic sole and stitched upper for impressive traction and durability
  • Unisex product in men’s sizing and regular fit; women should size down one to one-and-a-half sizes.


Adidas has clearly snagged a dominant position in the men’s soccer shoe market, and the Copa 19.4 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe might just be their best creation so far. This is the kind of cleat that ticks all the right boxes for the pro player. First off, the splendid soccer boots sport premium kangaroo leather upper and a mouth-watering list of performance-centric features.

This firm ground shoe is made for the tactful forward, the goal-scorer. It takes a fresh twist on the classic Copa Mundial with a synthetic heel collar that offers a supportive yet comfortable fit around the ankle. Flip the cleat over and you’ll find a synthetic outsole with a well-balanced traction system and patented stud design that delivers maximum torsion and effortless rotation on the pitch.

The anatomical structure of the cleat goes well with seamless k-leather construction and mono-tongue design for a sock-like feel and fit. Professional soccer players have nothing but praise for the OrthoLite liner that provides excellent cushioning and stability, complemented by the smart, adaptive design for an all-around shoe ready-made for razor-accurate shots and passes.

Another stand-out feature is the stitched upper for added durability. Players also love the stylish appeal – these cleats are available in six fabulous color schemes, from classic black and white to yellow sun and reds/greens. Note that this actually a unisex pair of the best soccer cleats in men’s sizing, so women should pick one size down.


2. Nike Men’s Football Shoes

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Academy NJR Neymar Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • Comfortable lining wraps your foot with a second-skin fit for a snug fit;
  • Textured for touch
  • The Nike AerowTrac zone in the forefoot provides traction on natural and artificial grass surfaces.


The Nike Men’s Football Shoes (Style#: AT7960-006) has quickly become a fan favorite. This pair is one of the best men’s soccer cleats out there thanks to nifty features like second-skin fit. The allure behind these soccer shoes is that they allow a dramatically snug fit that conforms to just about any foot structure. At the same time, it allows you to get a good feel for the ball so you can make accurate passes and strikes.

The simple lacing design is enough to contain your feet. Players who have worn these shoes love their comfortable lining that wraps your foot nicely and cozily. Also, the outside of the upper material is textured for touch, meaning that you will control and balance the ball better on the pitch.

These cleats feel extra comfy right out of the box. But what makes them stand out from the back is Nike’s revolutionary Nike AerowTrac zone in the forefoot area, which enables this model to work equally well on both artificial grass and natural grass fields. It offers a unique playing experience that’s certainly worth considering. The price, however, is a bit above the average, especially in the higher sizes.


3. Diadora Kids’ Cattura MD Jr Soccer Shoes

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Diadora Kid's Cattura MD JR Soccer Cleats (9 Toddler, Neon Pink/Neon Yellow/White)

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • Upper: Soft, polyurethane upper with a padded, brushed nylon ankle collar lining.
  • Insole: Fixed cotton and shock-absorbing EVA foam. Outsole: Molded rubber outsole provides 14 studs to reduce pressure points on the young player’s feet. Studs placed slightly wider apart in the heel area to improve stability.
  • Great fitting shoes starting with your older toddler sizes up to your bigger kids.


When it comes to adult sporting gear, Diadora doesn’t come close to the ranks of Adidas, Nike, and Puma. This mid-tier brand, however, is a clear leader in the kids’ department, and most of their efforts and innovations are geared towards this category. The Cattura MD Jr Soccer Shoes is their best-selling model, and among the very best soccer cleats for boys of different ages.

They feature a softer PU upper with a brushed and well-padded nylon collar lining for the ankle area. The pair offers a great fit thanks to a cotton insole lined with shock-absorbent EVA foam cushions.

Underfoot, these soccer cleats class it up with a 14-stud configuration and molded rubber outsole design that will take the pressure off of your youngster’s feet. Another notable feature underfoot is the widely-separated studs that guarantee excellent stability and balance on soft ground grass fields.

The little ones love bright colors and these cleats come in more than four color options, including Columbian blue, neon yellow, bright red, and timeless black. Perfect for your young Messi to choose their favorite.


4. PUMA Men’s Future 5.4 FG/AG Sneaker


  • Fabric and synthetic upper with lace-up enclosure type
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch


And the ball is in Puma’s possession! The Future 5.4 FG/AG Sneaker is the cleat that’s giving the likes of Adidas and Nike a run for their money, and for good reason. Whereas most brands have gone laceless as their biggest selling point, Puma has chosen to go back to the roots by focusing on the lacing as their marketing strategy. And they’re winning!

Well, what could be more hassle-free than to customize the fit of your own soccer cleats? Thanks to Puma’s NetFit lacing system, you can tailor the fit of your shoes with enhanced tension and mesh-like lace holes.

The rubber outsole construction means this pair can be used both indoors and outdoors. As an AG/FG option, you will have lots of freedom to play on natural grass or artificial grounds. The molded sole features unique studs for added traction and stability on a variety of pitch surfaces. Even more awesome, there are several fantastic colorways available in this line-up, giving players some wonderful blue, black, and yellow patterns to choose from.


5. Nike Men’s Phantom Vision Academy Dynamic Fit MG

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Nike Men's Footbal Shoes, Multicolour Black Black Volt 007, US:5

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am
$50.00 $79.99


  • Foot-hugging sleeve and Ghost Lace system provide excellent fit while Dynamic Fit collar adds comfortable support.
  • Lightweight insole cushions against impacts.
  • The multi-ground cleat plate ensures traction on short-grass and artificial surfaces.


This pair of Nike Phantom Vision Academy Dynamic Fit Multi-Ground Soccer cleats has a ton going for it, aside from wallet-friendly price tag. If you are a versatile player who loves to turn quickly and use sprinting to your advantage, then you will absolutely flip over the combo of agility and traction these Phantom Vision Academy soccer shoes deliver.

These soccer cleats are very sturdy and provide comfortable support through its Dynamic Fit heel collar. Many players have credited this collar design for generating plenty of dynamic propulsion that allows them to react, turn, and move quickly. We love the sleek black styles, though you can also pick from racer blue and vault yellow.

As well as encouraging fast-paced gameplay, these boots are designed to fit like comfortable gloves. They produce an incredible dose of support and traction, even on uneven or harder surfaces. All up, you can count on these baddies to give great grip while being supportive and cushioned underfoot for a flexible and comfortable fit.

If you’re a touch-and-go kind of player, you’ll appreciate the seamless, one-piece upper construction with Ghost Lace system that keeps your feet locked in. The low-profile, synthetic design is sure to wrap around your foot for that second-skin-like feel.


6. Adidas Performance Men’s Samba Classic Indoor Soccer Shoe

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

adidas Men's Samba Classic Soccer Shoe,Black/Running Black,7.5 M US

& Free shipping
Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • Classic soccer shoe with EVA insole and full-grain synthetic leather upper featuring three-stripes branding for lightweight and durability
  • Removable sock liners and a suede overlay for abrasion resistance and upper protection
  • Non-marking, durable gum-rubber outsole


Here’s the thing that most beginners might not know: if you’re planning to play soccer indoors, you don’t need FG style outsole because stud-fitted cleats are designed to provide better grip and a bit of extra traction on soft and grass grounds. So, if you’re on the market for the best soccer cleats for indoor play, the Samba Classic Indoor Soccer Shoe won’t disappoint.

This is the only indoor model featuring a full-grain leather upper. In fact, it boasts synthetic leather trim that helps improve stability while the EVA foam insole keeps it delightfully light. Parents who are shopping for boys should check out the Samba Junior Classic. You can expect exquisite quality and the best comfort you can imagine from an indoor style cleat.

These are great-looking two-color soccer cleats with several styles available. The mesh lining inside is sure to keep your feet dry and cool throughout the game or practice. Bonus tip: if you’re in between sizes, go one size up for a looser fit, or one size down for a tighter fit.


7. Adidas Kids’ Predator 20.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

adidas Kids' Predator 20.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe, Core Black/White/Core Black, 13K

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • Cleat Dimensions: Shaft measures approximately 0-6″ from the arch; Heel measures approximately 0-3″; Platform measures approximately 0-3 inches, and Boot opening measures approximately 6-12″ around
  • 100% synthetics upper and rubber sole – regular fit
  • Laceless boots for taking charge on firm ground.


Kids’ Predator line-up has been a huge hit among boys with every release, and the Adidas 20.3 has already earned raving reviews from the little ones. Your boy will love these FG style shoes as they are super comfortable. They are laceless, which means breaking in is an easy-peasy affair and they will enjoy having a great feel for the ball to make accurate shots.

These shoes are lightweight, flexible, and available at a great price point to boot. They’re definitely sturdy and stylish, featuring synthetics upper for better stability and durability. The rubber sole makes it even more durable, so it can last your kiddo the whole busy season.

Overall, we think this is an excellent option for boys with multiple sizes for just about any child. Definitely some of the best soccer cleats for boys, they’re durable, affordable, and extra-comfy.


8. DREAM PAIRS Men’s Cleats Football Soccer Shoes

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

DREAM PAIRS Men's Cleats Football Soccer Shoes

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • Lightweight, soft and comfortable design
  • Cushioned insole for added comfort and rubber molded cleats with Rotational Traction configuration
  • Premium DP combination upper offers comfort & maximum durability


If you can’t seem to put your finger on where you saw or heard about Dream Pairs, you are not alone. This is a fairly low-key apparel company that most people don’t know a great deal about. You could say they’re more of a generic than a mainstream brand. Even if that’s the case, their latest cleat models are all the rage right now.

If price is your top concern, then DREAM PAIRS Men’s Cleats Football Soccer Shoes should be your top choice. They offer the best bang for the bucks on this list. These cleats feature a premium DP combination upper that provides maximum durability and comfort at the same time.

These shoes are more advanced underfoot with rubber cleats molded into the outsole with Rotational Traction configuration for utmost grip on the pitch. Inside, you’ll find well-padded and cushioned insoles for a better fit and extra comfort throughout the play. You can’t argue with the unbelievably low price point.


The Best Soccer Cleats for Women/Girls


1. Adidas Originals Women’s Nemeziz 18.4 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

adidas Originals Women's Nemeziz 18.4 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • It has a synthetic sole for increased flexibility and durability
  • Responsive touch for razor-accurate ball control and stability
  • Shaft measures approximately “low-top” from arch


Adidas built the Nemeziz 18.4 FG to fit comfortably right from the outset; you don’t have to worry about stiffness and breaking in these beauties. The pre-cut laceless design allows for ongoing fit while the shoe also expands to your foot’s structure for more comfort and stability.

They sport supportive and extra-soft synthetic upper to lock in your foot as you maneuver with fast getaways, quick turns, and sprint across the pitch in pursuit of the ball. With textured upper, these shoes deliver responsive touch for amazingly-accurate ball control.

When you flip each cleat, you’ll find a well-configured stud system that provides your feet with lots of traction. This way, the scoring or defending queen can move briskly without risking a slip, slide, or a major fall. It’s the all-around sturdy design that makes this pair our favorite for the best women’s soccer cleats.


2. Nike Kids’ Mercurial Superfly 7 Academy FG Soccer Cleats

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Nike Jr. Mercurial Superfly 7 Academy MG Kids' Multi-Ground Soccer Cleat (1,...

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • FINESSED FOR SPEED: Building on the forefoot plate innovation of the 6, the Nike Jr. Mercurial Superfly 7 Academy MG Cleat adds a versatile multi-ground plate that provides traction on natural- and artificial-grass surfaces
  • Second-Skin Fit A comfortable lining and Dynamic Fit collar work together and wrap your foot to feel like a second skin. They’re also textured from heel to toe to give you the touch you need for creativity at high speeds.
  • Packed with Features: Aside from Nike Aerotrak zone in the forefoot, the cleats feature Sockliner for lightweight cushioning and higher plate overlap on the toe for durability


Definitely pricey, the Mercurial Superfly 7 Academy FG is hands down one of the best soccer cleats you can get for your little girl. They’ve got a lot going for them on top of the marvelous girl-friendly colors. First of all, the upper of these shoes is made of textured Nike Flyknit. The 3D speed-rib texture generates patches on the upper zone that are pimpled or nipped to provide great touch for more ball control.

Talking of material construction, these jewels boast thicker fabrics in the right sections for stronger grip and a more tangible feel. This way, your soccer princess can curve the ball and unleash powerful volleys at will. They’re super comfortable and cushioned in the right places.

Other stand-out features include the forefoot’s Aerotrak zone and the Dynamic Fit collar that allows for more ankle freedom and snug fit. The pair performs equally well on artificial and natural grass.


3. Adidas Women’s Goletto VI FG W Soccer Shoe

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

adidas Women's Goletto VI FG W Soccer Shoe, white/energy blue/easy coral, 6...

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • Superior Construction: Lightweight, durable synthetic leather upper for all-game comfort, rubber sole, and lace enclosure
  • Flexible ground outsole for maximum traction on firm ground (dry natural grass)
  • 6-Stud Cleat Configuration: Add speed to your game in these women’s soccer cleats primed to play fast; made for stability and speed on firm ground.


For the bold striker, midfielder, and attacking defender, Goletto VI FG W are rated among the best women’s soccer cleats right now, and it’s easy to see why. With a brand name you can take to the brand, these cleats are lightweight yet durable and built for fast play.

These brightly-colored women’s shoes are designed for optimum traction thanks to its 6-study cleat system. You’ll love how they are agile on firm natural grass ground. The feminine pink-colored studs will add some oomph to your style and help you stand out on the pitch. They’re true to size and fit comfortably.


4. Diadora Women’s Capitano TF Turf Soccer Shoes

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Diadora Women's Capitano TF Turf Soccer Shoes (5 Wide, Columbia Blue/Black)

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • Outsole: Multi-studded anti-abrasion rubber outside provides superior traction on turf and hard natural surfaces
  • Upper: Soft, polyurethane synthetic upper. Insole: Fixed cotton and shock-absorbing EVA foam.
  • Great quality, well-priced soccer turf shoe; plus, wide fit for women who need a wider shoe


Women players rave about the Diadora Capitano TF Turf’s “durable, anti-abrasion outsole”, “stretchy upper”, and “wide & comfortable fit”. But these are just only a few fantastic features that these shoes the best women’s soccer cleats for artificial turf and firm ground alike.

If most shoes you try on tend to be a bit too snug or have a tight fit for your feet, then this pair from Diadora might be your best shot. Most customers appreciate that they don’t cram their toes and feel nice and comfortable when you’re lacing them up.

Overall, these are top-notch quality cleats with PU synthetic upper, shock-absorbing EVA foam insoles, and multi-studded rubber outsoles. Everything from the top to the underfoot makes for a splendid feel that enables you to focus on the ball and sprint unfettered.


5. Under Armour Women’s Glyde RM

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Under Armour Women's Glyde RM Softball Shoe, Black (002)/Cerise, 7

Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • Superb Features: Durable synthetic upper & lightweight textile toe provide sneaker-like comfort; Padded ankle collar & tongue construction for increased comfort, and durable overlay on toe cap for added protection
  • Full-length EVA midsole provides ultimate cushion, shock absorption & cleat dispersion
  • Rubber molded cleats provide aggressive traction on all surfaces with a lightweight, comfortable feel


Under Armour is an apparel brand that’s already well-known by women players. Originally designed for softball players, the Under Armour Women’s Glyde Rm has taken the world of soccer by storm. They combine durable fashion with a rugged traction system that guarantees stability, great grip, and touch like no other option.

They have a synthetic upper coupled with textile toe cap design so they’ll wrap around your foot for sneaker-like feel and comfort. The ankle and heel collar area has been generously padded for added comfort. The toe cap’s durable overlay hug your toes for easy maneuvering.


6. LEOCI Women’s Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

LEOCI Men's Women's Firm Ground Soccer Cleats Outdoor/Indoor Boys Girls Professional Futsal...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: January 25, 2023 8:05 am


  • Comfort and high performance – Superior material provides consistent ball control in both wet and dry conditions
  • High performance molded design with cushioning for great in-shoe comfort and fit at all times.
  • Flexible outsole for high-speed control and stability on firm ground (dry natural grass), artificial grass (long-bladed synthetic fiber) and hard ground


When you’re competing or practicing for the full 90 minutes of play, you’ll need to feel some supportive protection underfoot, particularly in the arch area. This beautiful pair from LEOCI offers flexibility and support you need to control the ball at high speeds.

The upper construction uses synthetic material and the superior outsole material offers consistent stability and easy maneuvering on a variety of pitch surfaces, from artificial turf to firm natural grass ground.

Players love the soft, honeycomb textured design on the outsoles, which keep your feet cool and dry while providing underfoot protection. The whole collar is cushioned to protect your ankles and heels from chafing and irritation.


7. DREAM PAIRS Girls Soccer Cleats


  • Durable synthetic upper is textured for better ball handling while the lace-up design ensures a snug fit; outsole design amplifies rotation and traction on flat indoor surfaces.
  • High-top socks can protect your child’s ankle well.
  • Lightweight, soft and comfortable design for your kids


Dream Pairs has a reputation for producing some of the best soccer cleats for kids and toddlers, and this pair is their highlight product. Your kiddo will feel like Messi or Ronaldo thanks to their comfort, soft, and lightweight design. They won’t weigh down their little feet.

Budding soccer stars love bright colors, and these clears are available in 8+ options, making it easy for your princess to pick her favorite. Aside from the drop-gorgeous appearance, these soccer shoes will provide your daughter with a whole lot of comfort and support.

The synthetic upper provides the necessary protection and support while the sock line wraps around her ankle for a glove-like fit. Best of all, these beauties feature a molded rubber sole that gives lots of grip on different ground surfaces. They’ll do equally well in dry ground and wet conditions.


Buying Guide for the Best Soccer Cleats

For an untrained eye, soccer cleats may all look the same, however, when you take them out for a spin, you’ll discover that each pair fits and performs very differently. After all, they come in hundreds of different styles. True, wearing a top-quality pair won’t necessarily make you a better soccer player, but it can increase your safety and confidence as well as help you hone tricks and skills on the pitch.

Not all soccer players are cut from the same cloth. Some players require soccer cleats that give more support and are firmer, while others prefer a versatile style that allows for flexible and quick-paced play. In either case, the cleats must be well-configured and lightweight while providing consistent traction and stability on a variety of pitch surfaces.

But there’s a myriad of design elements to look at before buying the best soccer cleats. From the size and fit to material texture, cut, cleat type, and more, picking the right pair is not going to be an easy walk in the park. Sure, the market may be packed with big-name brands like Adidas, Nike, New Balance, and Puma, all the same what’s best for your playing style, position, and skill level will eventually be the right choice.

Not sure what to get? Keep reading to discover the key considerations, tried-and-true tips, and rule-of-thumb advice on how to find the right pair of soccer cleats for the pitch type you play on often, your foot shape, budget, playing style, and more.

8 Tips on How to Pick the Best Soccer Cleats This Year

(1) Pitch Surface

The studs on the outsoles of soccer boots should match the pitch surface where you practice or compete frequently. The majority of soccer pitches, particularly in public fields or at schools, have natural grass that can get a bit muddy during the rainy season. Artificial grass or turf, while less common, are now used by most leagues.

There’s also the question of indoor versus outdoor pitches. Generally, indoor soccer fields call for softer cleats that won’t mar the flooring or cause damage to the smooth turf. Soccer cleats meant for outdoor fields are usually optimized for artificial turf, soft ground, or hard ground.

Hybrid models sit somewhere in between and tend to work on a wider variety of field surfaces. Put in other words, these multipurpose cleats are built to provide enough stability and traction without marring or leaving marks on delicate flooring. As such, they’ve got an array of features that allow for use on both indoor and outdoor surfaces.

Keeping that in mind, if you want to drill down your options quickly, consider the type of field surface you’ll play on most often:

a) Muddy, Grass Pitches

Many beginners, intermediates, kids, and recreational players will most likely play on a grassy or muddy pitch. These grassy fields are typically soft, so much so in some cases that your soccer boots can sink into the ground. The gameplay is usually slow, high-impact tackles are rare, and falls are frequent.

Because of this, the player will require soccer cleats with longer studs, preferably ones fitted with aluminum tips. The longer the cleats, the more traction they generate, and the deeper they go into the field, which helps provide better grip and stability on the soft, muddy surface. One other thing to note is that soccer cleats specifically designed for play on soft grassy pitches bear the SG (Soft Ground) label.

A snug, comfortable fit, and well-padded midsoles are some design elements that improve the safety and performance of the best SG soccer cleats.

b) Firm-Ground Pitches

If you play soccer on firm ground, you’ll want a pair of the best soccer cleats for the tough surface. Like those for natural grass, cleats made for these firm pitches are typically labeled FG (Firm Ground). What makes them different from the rest?

FG soccer boots usually have removable round cleats meant to offer superior traction and stability, particularly on fields with rough, uneven surfaces. If the ground is too hard, you may want to invest in models with shock-absorbent midsoles and supportive insoles.

c) Hard-Ground Pitches

Accordingly, soccer cleats made for use on a pitch with a hard surface are normally labeled HG (Hard Ground). Some HG cleats are meant for tough natural dry grass, indoor pitches, and other hard, dry surfaces. They often sport canonical-shaped studs that will provide greater control and balance on an otherwise tricky pitch.

The best HG soccer cleats can be used comfortably and safely on firm ground fields, as well. Likewise, shock-absorbing midsoles, sturdy uppers, and supportive insoles are perfect for those who compete and practice on hard indoor surfaces and hard ground.

d) Artificial Turf

Players who play on pitches with artificial grass will find short-stud cleats to be more their style. That’s because artificial turf and ground are comparative shallower than muddy, grass pitches, or natural grass. You won’t miss cleats of this style on the marketplace as they are labeled AG, short for Artificial Ground, or Artificial Grass.

Cleats for artificial grass are the latest contraptions to enter the soccer scene, and they are in high demand as winter leagues have become quite popular. In fact, a large number of players are now playing on artificial turf pitches.

It’s a no-brainer that AG cleats are not supposed to have metal tips on their studs; the toughest you can go is plastic studs and outsole. The last thing you want is for your 80-dollar cleats to cause $10,000-worth of damage on the artificial turf. While some FG cleats can work perfectly on artificial grass, you shouldn’t use AG cleats on firm ground or natural grass pitches.

e) Multiple Pitches

What if you’re looking for a multi-purpose pair of the best soccer cleats to use on multiple pitches? Do you plan to play in several leagues that use different field types? If this sounds like your situation (which is fairly common in the world of soccer), you’re better off checking out hybrid-style soccer cleats.

As the name suggests, these all-rounder cleats are made for use on a variety of field types. They’re rightly labeled MG (for Multi-Ground). The concern with hybrid sporting equipment is that they never excel in one particular area, so you’ll be left with cleats that won’t deliver optimum results on any specific field surface.

(2) Soccer Cleat Construction

The material construction of each component will affect nearly every performance aspect of the cleat. Beginners and recreational players often prefer soccer cleats with uppers (the topmost area of the boot) made from synthetic materials thanks to their low price points.

The pros and more advanced players, on the other hand, often go for cleats with top-quality uppers made from high-grade materials like genuine leather. Similarly, sturdily-constructed midsoles that absorb the most shock and supportive insoles are perfect for players who typically compete and practice on indoor fields or hard ground.

Cleat bands are recommended for newbies and children players. These sock-liner style bands are designed to slide over the lacing to keep the laces tied and tightly in place during intensive play. They also serve as guides for kids and learners who are still learning where to kick the ball for maximum power, balance, and control.

The best soccer cleats use high-quality material to construct each component for optimal durability, performance, and safety:

Upper – The soccer cleats’ uppers can feature a variety of materials, and in some cases, two or more can be incorporated into the construction. Genuine leather is the go-to option for most top-tier brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, and New Balance. However, a few low-end models use synthetic leather which, in a lot of cases, won’t last as long as the real thing.

Whether the upper is made from synthetic or genuine leather, it’s usually utilized alone or paired with a certain percentage of synthetic fabrics and materials such as mesh, nylon, and polyurethane (PU). The best soccer cleats oftentimes boast synthetic leather uppers and they can be found on the entire pricing spectrum.

Synthetic leather uppers offer the same level of protection against moisture and elements, but they are usually lighter, more comfortable, and more flexible than the real leather.

Cheaper models usually have uppers made with plastic blends with a few leather details dotting the construction design. While these affordable options will get the job done, they’re a little inflexible, will break down easily, and won’t be as comfortable as leather models.

Outsole – Also known as the soleplate, this is the outermost layer of the shoe’s underfoot sole and is generally where the studs are attached to. In the early days, studs were actually screwed past the outsole and into the soccer boot. Today, however, studs are molded as an integral part of the outsole design for added durability and to provide more comfort and greater grip.

The outsole itself is mostly molded from TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), a versatile and malleable plastic material that improves both comfort and flexibility. At the same time, most manufacturers appreciate TPU for its hard-wearing attributes, which means it’s durable and incredibly resistant to staining, abrasion, and moisture damage.

The design, shape, and structure of the studs on the outsole will make a huge difference, especially the way they are configured or attached to the soleplate. Some stud configurations allow for explosive push-offs and sudden stops, while other styles allow for excellent traction to enable the player to find their footing and make precise shots, turns, and clearances.

Lacing Design – Even though most players don’t place more attention on it, the lacing design is one of the most important construction elements for max performance and tractive comfort. Essentially, the laces stretch nearly the entire arch. The lacing typically starts from the ankle line and goes all the way up to the point at which the forefoot meets the toe cap.

The lacing design often varies from model to model. While the laces go straight up the arch in the majority of models, they usually wind down at a certain angle in others. What’s the best lacing style? It almost always comes down to personal preference, but some pros go for off-center laces since they result in a more ball-handling surface area across mid-upper and the toe region.

Collar – This is the opening of a soccer cleat. The most popular cleat collars feature the traditional low-cut design that comes at just below the ankle. Nonetheless, there’s a growing number of unique cleat styles that sport high-cut and mid-cut collars, particularly those made popular by the Portuguese ace forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

The biggest draw of higher-cut collars is that the player enjoys a sock-like feel. Cleats that have high-cut collars are usually softer and more comfortable, while low-cut designs are firmer and more durable. This is a trade-off that you need to think long and hard about before buying the best soccer cleats for you.

(3) The Player’s Playing Position

The best soccer cleats for defenders may not have the right features for a striker who is supposed to be quick on their feet. You could say the opposite is also true.

What to Look for in the Best Soccer Cleats for Defenders

What do Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, and Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels have in common? That’s right – they’re all world-class defenders in their respective soccer clubs! Players who play in defensive positions have their work cut out. They have to break their opponent’s play and build a defensive fortress in the backline while fronting stray balls in the midfield.

  • The best soccer cleats for defenders are designed for maximum ball control and hard tackles, so they can take charge in the backline’s front. As well as sturdy construction, the cleats should provide more give and supportive protection for the feet, especially during lateral motion.
  • Cleats that offer all-round performance and consistency are great for defending. Remember defenders are playmakers on the pitch too, alongside the midfielders.
  • A subtle balance between performance and weight produces a superbly versatile cleat that will meet the most needs of defenders who want to go long to find balls and play-make. Adidas has a reputation for acing this design element.
  • High-cut collars are invaluable for high-paced defenders who want to sprint at high speeds past strikers like Messi. These cleats offer sock-like fit and keep the player’s feet locked tightly in place, increasing the agility of their footing.
  • Superior traction is non-negotiable when it comes to the best soccer cleats for defenders. This helps ensure stability and allows the player to plant their feet in the ground to turn quickly and control the ball more accurately.

What to Look for in the Best Cleats for Midfielders

Midfielders are the workhorses of playmaking, starting from the front of their own backline to deep into their opponent’s half. These players are versatile because they can be a central midfielder, defending midfielder, or an attacking midfielder. All of these playing positions call for different skill sets and different cleat styles.

  • An attacking midfielder is perhaps the trickiest position to play in soccer. The best soccer cleats for such a challenging position are typically lightweight with lots of traction and a snug fit. That’s because these defenders are responsible for goal scoring, playmaking, and defense, all at the same time, so they need boots that allow for the utmost creative play.
  • Cleats that encourage a touch-and-feel style of play, along with great traction are a godsend for anyone in the midfield position.
  • A center midfielder requires a cleat that combines great traction, excellent touch, and allows for explosive speeds. Comfort and fit are two other elements that should pop into your mind when you’re shopping for the perfect pair of center midfielder’s cleats.
  • An all-around soccer cleat will serve a defensive midfielder better. After all, this is a position that needs work engines like N’golo Kante, Casemiro, and the retired Zinedine Zidane. These are aggressive players with a burning urge to score and defensive tenacity, creating impregnable defensive walls.
  • All things considered, a do-it-all soccer cleat that offers exceptional traction combined with maximum control will give the much-needed advantage play.

What to Look for in the Best Cleats for Attackers

When you think about soccer attacking forwards, Ronaldo and Messi are probably the two biggest names that come to mind, and with good reason. These attackers have a killer instinct and a keen eye for the goal even from the most unfeasible spots. What you don’t know is that having the best soccer cleats is half towards becoming the most lethal forward.

Look for the following features when shopping for great attacker’s soccer cleats:

  • Ball control is the most crucial element of a forward’s boot. The more handle you have on the ball, the best your chances of dogging ball-hungry defenders looking to break your play.
  • Shooting power and precision are indispensable, too. Let’s face it; strikers only have one chance to make a pass count, so you’ll need cleats that deliver powerful shots.
  • Center forwards (think Messi, Luis Suarez, Sadio Mane, and Neymar Jr.) are attackers who are supposed to create goal-scoring magic out of the smoke. That’s why presence is pretty important so they can step past the defender. In a nutshell, get a soccer cleat that exudes confidence.
  • Forwards also need cleats that allow them to make that crucial touch and shoot an unexpected volley into the goal.

What to Look for in the Best Cleats for Goalkeepers

For each player on the field, scoring the right pair of cleats is vital to make sure they’re performing at their best, and the goalkeeping position is no different. Soccer cleats suitable for goalkeepers focus on at least three criteria:

  •     Power – when should you kick long or short balls? A goalkeeper must know when to punt, strike long balls, and kick out from back passes. They’re gauging the power to put into their kicks, so power range is as good as any place to start when choosing the right soccer cleat for a goalkeeper.
  •     Traction – When they’re leaving the box for a 1-on-1 counter, clearing a back pass, or turning, quick footwork is going to be paramount for any goalkeeper. Any design flaws that affect traction will definitely result in goal-conceding mistakes.
  •     Comfort – The keeper stays on their feet more times than other players. That’s often accompanied by jumps, quick lateral moves, and bouncing. Wearing a pair of comfortable cleats will improve your chances of saving goals as a keeper.

(4) Cleat Stud Style

The shape, size, and material construction of the studs attached to the outsole must match the field type on which you use frequently. Worth mentioning again, indoor cleats should have low, round studs that won’t mar or damage the flooring. Studs on hybrid cleats should be designed to work on a variety of field surfaces.

Soccer-cleat studs are made primarily from rubber or dense plastic, although their eventual design will be influenced by the type of the field for which they’re designed to be used on. You’ll find some cleats that still use traditional aluminum studs; these should never be used on indoor, artificial grass, or other delicate floorings.

Most studs have a rectangular or canonical shape while some brands like Puma have started to experiment with a variety of other shapes. These are ideal for showboats who want to win admiration on the pitch. The bottom line is the length, configuration, and type of the cleat stud will depend largely on the field type. Be sure to check with your club, school or team to be 100% sure what’s accepted.

(5) Torsion

How easy is it to twist and turn on your cleats? At all levels of soccer and in all tournaments, you must be quick on your feet and able to turn on the spot should it be necessary. The best soccer cleats have a ton of torsion, allowing you to turn on a moment’s notice and not get stuck in the muddy ground or turf. Low-torsion cleats have a habit of getting caught in the ground, giving your opponents some edge on the pitch.

(6) Flexibility

Not many soccer cleats, especially those designed for women and kids, are made from 100% genuine leather as it’s not the most flexible material on offer.  Flexibility in a game of soccer is important due to all of the bending, bouncing, turning, twisting, and stretching your feet in the course of 90 mins. If your cleats are not flexible across the construction, then the game will take a toll on your feet.

(7) Soccer Cleat Prices

Soccer cleats do vary greatly in prices, but you can expect to pay from $30 to $200 for most men models. Kids’ cleats cost between $20 and $90. If you’re going for high-end models from the top-tier brands, you will end up coughing up more. They do offer better construction and premium quality, though.

Low-end, basic cleats often feature synthetic uppers and outsoles; they will set you back between $30 and $50. For most players, the fit does not feel perfect compared to the expensive model. However, they’ll get the job done for newbies and casual players.

Mid-range cleats will cost you anywhere from $50 to $120. You’ll find a wide variety of decent-quality soccer cleats in this price range. They are very durable and lightweight cleats with sleek-looking design from an array of brands, from premium brands like Nike to lesser-known apparel makers.

High-end options are the best of the best soccer cleats that are the preserve of well-known brands, notably Puma, Adidas, New Balance, and Nike. If you are after performance and fit, don’t be surprised to spend more than $200. These pricey models are crafted for superior arch support, unmatched flexibility, and creativity. They usually sport leather uppers.

(8) Colors/Color Schemes

Back in the day, it used to be that soccer boots came in only traditional black. Yes, black cleats are still all the rage, but now you can get to choose from a plethora of colors. Vibrant color options are great for kids, while neutral hues are good for someone who doesn’t love dirty-looking gear.

In most cases, however, you will have to choose designs and colors that match your team’s uniform and style.


Soccer Cleats FAQs

1. Do soccer cleats make a difference on the pitch?

Absolutely. Soccer cleats are specifically designed for a particular playing position and pitch type to offer the right amount of traction, accuracy, flexibility, and control. They help you with grip on muddy or soft ground while protecting your feet from impact and hard tackles.

2. Why aren’t there many real leather soccer cleats?

In the past, the best material would be real leather as it was water-resistant and durable enough to stand up to the heavy beating from the elements and rigors of soccer matches in the past. That’s not to say leather cleats have been banished; Adidas Copa Mundial is a perfect example of boots that are still designed with 100% natural leather for the purists among soccer players and enthusiasts.

But there’s a good reason manufacturers decided to ditch pure leather cleats for models with synthetic leather uppers. While they’re water-proof, leather cleats are somewhat inflexible, hard to fit, and comparatively heavy. With all these downsides, you’ll be left in the dust by other players on the pitch.

That may help explain why most top soccer cleats today feature synthetic leather construction. Aside from being weather-resistant and slightly inexpensive, this material is lightweight, comfortable, and remarkably flexible. The choice for cleat makers was really an easy one!

3. How often should soccer cleats be replaced?

How long your soccer cleats will last does vary depending on its design, material construction, and sometimes the brand. More importantly, their lifespan will be affected by how often you play, and the level of care you give them.

A pair of genuine leather cleats will last you a season or, two at best, if you play a few times a week. However, if you play less often, you can expect them to last even longer. You should make a point of buying another pair at this point, or at the first sight of the upper coming apart.

Cleats that are worn out on one side of the outsole can lead to injury and affect your performance — they should be replaced immediately, too. Kids tend to outgrow shoes pretty quickly, so you should get them a new pair when they can’t fit anymore.

4. What’s the best way to care for soccer cleats?

Preserving the longevity of your cleats starts with proper wearing, storage, cleaning, and overall caring techniques. Here are some key tips that will help you take care of your pair better:

Don’t use the traditional hot-water technique to break in your cleats. The reasoning behind the so-called ‘shower technique’ is that hot water will loosen the leather causing it to stretch for a snug fit. While that may be true, the technique will end up ruining your boots. So, unless you’ve got a bottomless budget for replacing cleats every other week, you should refrain from this breaking-in method.

Banish drying out with a regular coat of polish. Apply some polish cream to leather cleats to keep them supple soft, remove cracks, and prevent them from drying out.

Keep leather cleats away from high heat. Once the final whistle has been blown, remove your cleats, clean them up properly, and store away from direct heat. That means they shouldn’t be kept in direct sunlight or close to a dryer, heating vent, furnace, etc.

Remove and clean them immediately after the game. Cleats are meant for use on the pitch, and not worn off the grass, turf, and other playing surfaces. Hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt can do a number on the studs and outsole. After each practice or game, remove mud, wipe off dirty spots, and clean the laces, plus scrub over all the stitching to remove dirt and grime trapped in those pesky nooks & crannies.

For a thorough clean-up, use warm (nearly hot) water and just about any clean rag. There’s no need to reach for soap or other harsh cleaning products as they can affect the cleat’s structural integrity and breathability.

Easier still, you can use Magic Eraser to get out tough smudges and scuff on synthetic or genuine leather. Just drench it in warm or nearly hot water and go to town cleaning the outsole, studs, and the uppers — pretty much every inch of the cleat!

Let them breathe! Soccer cleats can get smelly after every rigorous training session, game, and practice. Air them out to get rid of the odors and bacteria, making sure to avoid direct heat.


You Might Also Like:

Top 10 Best Soccer Shin Guards In 2021

8 of the Best Volleyball Knee Pads to Buy in 2021

7 of the best ping pong paddles that you need to buy in 2021