If we make a list of important gears to use while playing football, then a pair of sturdy cleats should be on the top of the chart. Let’s be real; most of the accessories used by the players on a football ground are mainly for protection purposes rather performance (excluding the gloves maybe). On the other hand, football cleats are great for both as they:
- Offer a firm grip on the ground and prevent slipping.
- Ensure smooth walking/running on the pitch.
- Protect your feet from external conditions.
- Support ankles while running or walking.
Hence, it is crucial to use right footwear for your game to improve your overall performance. Fortunately, a lot of brands have introduced their range of football cleats with different features and price categories, making it difficult for the customers to buy the best one out of a wide variety.
When it comes to cleats, there are a lot of factors that a buyer needs to consider before making any purchasing decision, including type of studs, true to size fitting, shoe length, material of studs and of course personal preferences. Fret not! This guide is created to solve all your relevant problems by explaining the styles and types of football cleats in detail. Moreover, you can also find a bunch of great suggestions to choose from.
Detailed Analysis of Football Cleats
The basic design of all type of shoes is more or less similar. However, each part of a sporty footwear can impact your performance in a good or bad way. Here is a breakdown of different portions of football cleats and their role in your game.
Parts of cleats
The part is equipped with straps or laces generally.
Made of synthetic materials to withstand severe weather impact and conditions.
Ensure security and adjust the shoe according to the shape of feet.
Foam base covered with anti-slip material.
Cushioned with foam.
Added comfort and support. Absorb sweat and moisture inside the shoe.
The most important part that makes it different from other footwear. Studs are attached to the outsole.
Usually made of rubber or molded plastic.
Provide a strong grip on the ground, prevent slipping, help in smooth and fast running.
They are attached to the bottom of the shoe.
Silicon, metal, plastic or rubber is used for the making.
Improve acceleration, smooth stopping and cutting.
Present right at the point of the heel of your feet to uplift the part.
Usually the same material as the outsole or rigid plastic is used.
Prevent feet from getting tired, help in improving blood circulation in the toe area.
These parts are further categorized in different types, based on the kind of material used. Each one having some advantages and disadvantages. Have a look.
1. Bottom of Football Cleats
Before you pay for football cleats, make sure to check their bottoms where the spikes are present. These studs are meant to provide grip and traction on grass and turf fields.
You may find several kinds of cleat spikes and each of them feature a different use and feel. So, be careful with your selection.
Rubber Molded Cleats
This one is for beginners or learners. Rubber molded studs offer a comfortable feel to the feet and they are permanently fixed to the bottom. Moreover, this type is less expensive as compare to the other options in the category. Hence, young players can easily invest in a pair to practice until they are ready for professional football cleats.
Hard Molded Cleats
Here comes the most famous type of cleats for football. Quite similar to the rubber molded ones, hard studs are also permanently fixed to the outer sole. They aim to provide traction and comfort with a lightweight feel. Made of hard or rigid plastic, hard molded cleats can be used by anyone, regardless of the age or performance level of a player.
Turf Football Shoes
Turf shoes come equipped with tiny rubber studs on the bottom plate. They can be used on synthetic surfaces only. Hence, this type is ideal for coaching and training purposes better than running on the playground.
2. Top of Football Cleats
Next step is to pay attention to the top of the football cleats. Basically, the upper portion of a shoe can be cut in three main ways to support ankle on different levels. These styles are classified as high top football cleats, mid top football cleats and low top football cleats.
Youth footballers usually buy shoes that are comfortable and a perfect fit. However, advanced players need to pick the right style carefully to perform their best.
Low Top Football Cleats
They are lightweight and ensure that your ankle is free to move with speed. Low top cleats can work well for any position player, but this type is best for defensive backs and wide receivers because they need to move in multi-directions quickly. Apart from the good features, the only drawback low top cleats have is the risk of injuries due to less ankle protection.
High Top Football Cleats
High top cleats are quite opposite to low top ones. As the name suggests, their top is high, which means ankle length. The purpose of this type is to offer ankle protection and support, making them ideal for athletes who are more focused on blocking rather running. Moreover, these cleats are heavier comparatively and provide excellent stability.
Mid Top Football Cleats
This one comes between the high top and low top cleats. It promotes a better ankle support in comparison with the low top cleats, and the footwear is light on the feet as well, ensuring a smooth running experience. Mid top cleats work best for the skill players who need protection from hits, such as linebackers, running backs, quarterbacks and tight ends.
Key Features To Consider While Purchasing Football Cleats
As we all know that football cleats come in different shapes with varied features. However, there are a few factors which are important to consider while buying a pair of football cleats for yourself. For your ease, we have mentioned a few of them below:
1. Reliable Traction
No matter you wish to kick the extra point or just want to run a comeback route; your football cleats should have reliable traction along with field explosiveness and stopping precision.
2. Added Stability
Your feet can perform the best when they are stable and in upright position. If football cleats have both these qualities, then they will help you move around easily and chew through defenses.
3. The Right Shoe Material
The upper portion of the shoe is normal made from synthetic material or leather, and same is the case with football cleats. Both materials come in different qualities and they have varied advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you own leather cleats that are not good in quality; there are chances that the footwear will make your feet stink and leave stains on the skin. For a better or more natural option; you need to choose a brand that deals with calfskin or Kangaroo’s leather.
|Breathable||Don’t have breathability|
|Keep the feet comfortable.||Less comfortable in comparison|
|Durable||Won’t last long|
4. The Right Fit
Shoes are meant to fit properly in order to serve the purpose of comfort and smooth movement. Moreover, there are many drawbacks of ill-fitted cleats as well. For instance, you can fell off, end up with painful feet or this can also result in serious injury or stiff leg muscles, leaving you tired and sore.
To prevent the issues, you need to follow the given steps:
- Try out the football cleats with the socks on or later in the day when your feet are swelled after the hectic schedule. On the other hand, if you will try on shoes in the morning for size check, it may be tight on you later, while playing, because the feet expand after standing and playing for longer hours.
- After putting the shoe on, ensure that your thumb is at least half an inch away from the end. However, your forefoot and heel should fit comfortably.
- Pay attention to the material used in the making of your shortlisted pair. If you are choosing a full leather upper; keep in mind that it will stretch. On the other hand, synthetic material doesn’t move.
- Walk around a few steps to ensure the comfort and flexibility of the cleats. In case of any discomfort or pressure; find a different pair.
- Don’t forget to buy an extra set of shoelaces on the safe side. Using a shoe with broken laces can cause tripping hazards.
- In case you are getting shoes with detachable studs; make sure to buy the correct/same size of replacement cleats so that it doesn’t make you uncomfortable.
To find the perfect pair of football cleats; it is always a better idea to try on a few models before choosing one. Remember that it is significant to have high-performance elements in the football shoes that goes well with your playing position.
Difference Between Soccer and Football Cleats
Now you might be wondering, isn’t football and soccer same thing? Why do you need different types of shoes for each of them? Well, football and soccer are quite similar to one another with difference of some rules and number of players. Therefore, football cleats are different from soccer shoes in terms of structure and design.
Have a look at the given chart below to get a better idea.
Type of Cleats
Lightweight to enhance speed.
Narrow, tight fitting
Thin and flexible.
No spike under the toe.
Midsole is not included
Heavier comparatively to offer support and protection.
Long, curved and wide.
Thick and protective.
More number of studs and an extra toe spike.
Usually high length to support ankle.
Top 3 Football Cleats To Buy
The choices are unlimited, but the key is to get yourself something durable, sturdy, long-lasting and worth the investment. We have created a list of top-selling, high quality football cleats that will surely help you in improving your performance. Read on to find out a brief description of each along with pros and cons.
This product made it to the top of the list for a reason. First of all, Nike is a well-known and world-famous brand for manufacturing high-quality products, especially their shoe range is remarkable. Nike Men’s Vapor Football cleats are yet another example. The footwear is designed to aid the athletes to run smoothly and speedily. Its top-notch outsole pushes the user forward like a carrier. Weighing only 11 oz., the lightweight of Nike Vapor Football cleats and its low-cut profile promote smooth and natural ankle movement. In addition, the comfort of this model is noteworthy; the user won’t even realize that he is wearing something on the feet. Although a bit pricey, but Nike Vapor Untouchable will last you much longer than a lot of cheap options prevailing in the market.
- Great ankle support
- Good traction
- True to size fitting
- Comfortable feel
- No break-in time is required
- It may cause sore heel and leg muscles after a long day at the playground.
Another recommendation from the same brand because why not! Nike Alpha Pro 2 is certainly one of the lightest shoes you may see in the marketplace because of the phylon foam and its utmost comfort. This feature is really helpful in enhancing speed during the game, which means you will always be one step ahead of your opponent from the very start to the final whistle. This model has great, responsive traction and a secure grip; all thanks to the professional-quality buckle with hook and closure present on it. Moreover, you can get this pair in a variety of colors, and each one of them has its own attraction. Besides, the size range is vast as well. For added ankle support, the high top Alpha Pro 2 are thoroughly padded from the inside to keep your feet comfortable and protective.
- Excellent traction and control.
- Great ankle support.
- Comfortable feel.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Suitable for both, turf and soil surfaces.
- May not be a good option for players with wider feet as it has a narrow front.
If you are looking for stylish football cleats that have all the important qualities of sport shoes in a good price, then Under Armor Nitro Mc Football Shoe will be your best buy. They are super lightweight with ultra-thin TPU upper. Besides comfort, your feet can breathe easily inside the sweaty environment due to its breathable design. The model features a SuperFoam insole for added comfort and optimal shock absorption. Moreover, the Blur Nitro Mc cleats enable aggressive perimeter traction so that the player can perform with speed and stability. The footwear is not only stylish, but it is available in a lot of colors, including white, green, orange, blue, red and purple.
- Soft and comfortable
- Perimeter traction
- Available in a variety of colors
ConsNot water resistant
|Nike Men's Vapor Untouchable Varsity 3 TD Football||Nike Men's Alpha Menace Pro 2 Mid Football Cleats||Under Armour Men's Blur Nitro Mc Football Shoe|
|Colors||White/ black/ anthracite||Variety of colors||Available in almost all basic colors|
|Sole||Synthetic, rubber||Phylon foam||SuperFoam insole, synthetic|
|Profile||Low cut with one-piece upper||High top upper||Low cut design|
|Key features||Lightweight, seamless upper locks, natural ankle movement||Great ankle support, soft cushioning, hook and loop closure for added stability.||Lightweight, breathable, comfortable|
All of the above-mentioned recommendations more or less lies in the same category in term of features and performance. However, Nike Alpha Menace is ankle length, while the other two are low cut. If you are a beginner footballer or wish to practice stability in the game then Nike Menace are highly suggested to buy.
The importance of football cleats in the game is undeniable. This is why, manufacturers are producing innovative designs with remarkable features every other day. However, it is a daunting task to choose the perfect pair of football cleats for yourself out of a wide range. It is always a great idea to look for the required features in the catalog of reputed brands. Moreover, it is important to choose according to your role/position in the game, whether you are appointed to block the play or your performance mainly involves running.
Besides speed and comfort; support and protection are other key features to look for in the best football cleats. The good news is that; you don’t have to compromise on the looks or performance because there are many options offering both qualities. So, which one of the recommended shoe model you would buy?