Are you thinking that one pair of football cleats is the same as the next?
If so, you’d be wrong!
But selecting the best football cleats may be the most individual piece of gear out of them all. As there are many more styles and options depending on your preference or even which position you play.
Lets take a look at our top recommendations and read our buyers guide to help you pick the best cleats for you.
Our Top Picks
8 Best Football Cleats Reviewed
1. Under Armour Men’s UA Highlight MC Football Cleats – Best for Linemen & Quarterbacks
Cleats have definitely been undergoing a renaissance during the last few years. You’re not just looking at shoes with spikes on the bottom – you’re looking at specialized tools that help athletes to compete at the highest level. There are few examples of the positive changes a good pair of cleats can make on a football player’s game than the UA Highlight MC Football Cleats from Under Armour. These cleats are so much more than shoes, and they’ll absolutely impact the performance of any player on the field.
There’s a lot to love with these cleats. Perhaps the best feature is the addition of the ClutchFit upper-wraps. An added layer of support that goes a bit farther up your leg, these wraps help to add stability to the player’s stance and protect the ankle. This, in turn, helps to ensure that there are fewer turned ankles on the field and that the player can move with relative freedom. When combined with the 4D footbed, players get a pair of cleats that not only conform to their feet but protect them from slippage when they are on the field.
There are a ton of other little touches that really make these cleats stand out. From the padded tongue to the lightweight design, it’s hard not to look at these cleats as the next evolution in football gear. If you’re looking for cleats that will give you an edge on game day, you really can’t go wrong with these.
2. Adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon Football Shoe – Best for Linemen
When you’re looking at athletic wear, it’s usually a good idea to start with Adidas. Though the company might not have the fanciest gear and it’s certainly not the most prevalent in popular culture, it’s nonetheless one of the most dependable brands out there. This is doubly true with footwear, an area in which Adidas has long quietly excelled when compared to its peers. If you’re looking for an excellent pair of football cleats, you definitely owe it to yourself to start your journey by checking out the Freak X Carbon Mid Football Shoe.
Reliable is probably the best word to describe these shoes. While they don’t have a lot of the features that you’d find in the cutting-edge cleats on the market, they’re the kind of old-school football cleats that have served players well for generations. Yes, there are a handful of great little additions like a synthetic sole that do help with performance, but what you’re really getting here is a reliably useful pair of cleats that aren’t going to cause you problems when you are on the field. Sometimes it’s nice to have cleats that just do their job well.
The good news is that these shoes are very well made. They’re not going to come apart during a game and you should expect to use them for multiple seasons. While you will certainly need to keep them clean, you won’t have to worry about much moisture leakage. These are good, old-school cleats that will always get the job done.
3. Adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon Mid Football Shoe – Best for Wide Receiver
Adidas’ approach to the Freak X Carbon line is fairly interesting. On one hand, you definitely get everything that you’d expect from Adidas – solid engineering and a nice, if somewhat boring, sense of design. When you move up to the mid, though, you start to get a shoe that looks like it belongs to a different company. It takes everything that you’d want in an Adidas shoe and starts to bring in the kinds of new developments that will really impact your game.
The big development for this cleat is the addition of SPRINTSKIN. This substance allows the shoe to provide a great deal of support to the player while still reducing the overall weight of the shoe. This means that you’ll not only be able to move a little faster on the field but also that you won’t have to give up your stability just because you want to keep the weight of the shoe down. Needless to say, this makes this shoe one of the best on the market for players who want to outmaneuver their opponents.
In addition to the new features, there’s still the kind of solid engineering that you’ve probably come to expect from Adidas. A heel cup locks the foot in place, while the overall design of the shoe stands up to life on the field. If you’re looking to ensure your ability to play without worrying about whether your shoes will impact your game, this is the shoe to wear.
4. NIKE Men’s Lunarbeast Elite Football Cleat
There are few shoes on the market that are better named that Nike’s Lunarbest Elite Football Cleat. Your first glance is going to show you a shoe that absolutely looks like it belongs in outer space, based both on the aesthetics of the shoe and the overall design. This is also undeniably the kind of shoe that’s meant to help a player dominate, though, with a host of features that really make the cleat out of this world.
If you’re wondering about the unique look of the shoe, that’s down to the new NIKESKIN technology. Which provides a solid balance between support and weight, and allows players to move faster without losing their footing. It’s not going to magically reduce your time in a hundred-yard sprint, but it will make your feet a little lighter without sending you skidding out on the grass. The NIKESKIN tech is joined by Flywire technology, which helps to keep the foot more stable and will help players to avoid ankle injuries on the field.
As amazing as this cleat is, it’s really the aesthetics that stand out. There are not a lot of other cleats on the market that are this flashy and even those don’t come close to sharing the same kind of space-age look. If you’re in the market for a cleat that’s going to make you stand out both in terms of performance and looks, you’ll definitely want to look at this cleat.
5. NIKE Men’s Force Savage Pro Football Cleats
Nike is one of the most dominant names in sports gear, so it only makes sense that they make fantastic cleats. In fact, Nike’s one of those few brands that you can generally trust sight unseen to make a good cleat, especially given how much it has upped its game over the last few years. The Force Savage line is a good example of what Nike can do when it really puts some effort in, combining not only some excellent technology but also a really unique shoe design.
It’s not a secret that Nike’s put in a lot of work lately to make its cleats look a lot cooler. While this is a dedicated football cleat that you’re not going to be able to wear off the field, you’re going to be sorely tempted to do so. This is one of the best-looking cleats that Nike has ever made, with a unique set of colors that will make you stand out on the field. If your only concern was aesthetics, you’d want to this shoe.
The good news is that the shoe is much more than just its looks. The Force Savage line is all about stability, with a number of features that keep you mobile while still providing traction. If you want to make sure that you can maneuver on the field no matter what the conditions are like, Nike’s Force Savage shoe will be the right choice for you.
6. Nike Alpha Menace
As you might expect, Nike’s Alpha Menace design is actually pretty aggressive. It’s the type of shoe that you’d probably expect to see on the field, albeit one that’s a little better designed than what you’re probably thinking of when you think of an aggressive cleat. Nike’s once again managed to combine a really interesting aesthetic with some great functionality, both of which come together to make one of the best football cleats on the market.
It feels like most of this cleat’s design revolves around protection. There are a handful of great features – including the phylon heel – which works together to keep your feet as safe as possible when you are on the field. It’s nice to see a shoe that actually focuses on impact, especially when foot injuries are so prevalent. The shoe also goes a long way to ensure comfort with its breathable design and even puts a lot of thought into how the player’s feet will move by providing excellent traction despite the conditions of the field.
In addition to being a very well-designed cleat, this is actually also a great-looking shoe. The body of the shoe looks like something you’d wear off the field, while the spikes themselves are suitably aggressive for a good football look. This is a great fit for anyone who wants to get the most out of a cleat both in terms of usability and in terms of aesthetics.
7. NIKE Men’s Vapor Shark 2 Football Cleat – Best for Running Backs
The Vapor Shark 2 from NIKE is a very interesting shoe. On one hand, it’s definitely one of the most sneaker-like cleats that Nike makes today, with a design that really wouldn’t look out of place if your wore it inside. On the other hand, the cleat definitely has some neat technological tricks inside that will help you to up your game. If you’re looking for a cleat that does its job well without looking like a bulky piece of sports-wear, this is probably the cleat for you.
This design seems to be all about mobility. It makes use of very strategic placement for its spikes, allowing players to get a better grip on the turf without sacrificing movement speed. This means less falling down and a lot more traction, with the end goal of allowing the player to be faster and more precise at the same time. The shoe is also very comfortable, with a good interior that helps to protect the player’s foot without making the shoe too bulky. This is definitely a shoe for football players who want a little extra speed.
In addition to being a very well-designed cleat, it also looks great. The sneaker-like design will make it easier to take on and off, but it will also help players to look good on the field. While looks aren’t the biggest selling point when it comes to buying cleats, it’s nice to know that you have options.
8. NIKE Men’s Field General Pro TD Football Cleats
One of the big problems with cleats is comfort. Today’s cleats are made to do a lot of things, but it never feels like comfort is one of the main design points. Sure, there are plenty of padded shoes or breathable shoes, but relatively few shoes that seem to make comfort the main selling point. The Men’s Field General Pro from Nike seems to be one of the few cleats on the market that focuses on comfort above everything else.
If you’ve looked at other cleats, you’ve probably seen at least a few different comfort-first features. The Field General Pro has them all, from the breathable design to a cushioned sock liner. There’s even a Phylon wedge insole that provides extra support for your foot included with this cleat. This is absolutely one of the best cleats you’re going to find if you’re tired of having your feet hurt every time you play a game.
There’s more to this shoe than comfort, though. There’s also some solid design basics that will help the average player to improve his game. The cleat has a great spike pattern, one that will help you to stay upright longer even when you’re using fairly advanced footwork. There’s even extra traction at the toes, ensuring that you’ll have an easier time moving from a dead stop. If you’re looking for a mix of comfort and utility, this is the cleat for you.
Football Cleats Buyers Guide
If you’re going to participate in playing football, you’re going to require specific equipment in order to play well and stay safe during your games. Football cleats are a key component of that equipment. But, before you lace up your cleats and head out on the football field, there are some things you should know about your footwear, to ensure you’re getting the best pair for you.
What Do Cleats Do?
Football players wear cleats for a number of reasons. The most predominant reason is that they are standard equipment to have when playing the game. Aside from this requirement, football cleats will help a player from slipping and gives them a better grip when stopping, turning and starting.
Are Soccer and Football Cleats the Same?
If you’re really stuck and have no other options, soccer cleats can be worn to play football. But, these two types of sports shoes are not the same and are designed for each specific sport. The actual cleats on football cleats are longer than those on soccer cleats, because they’re designed to help catch the turf as you’re maneuvering.
What are Football Cleats Made From?
Cleats can either be molded or detachable. Replacement detachable cleats can be made from either plastic, rubber or metal-tipped. Molded cleats provide greater traction across a variety of surfaces and are molded permanently to the shoe.
What Fit Should They Have?
Poorly fitted cleats can do more harm than good, causing blisters or injuries. The fit should be snug in the heel, with room for toes to move. There should be about a 1/2″ space between the tip of the cleat and your longest toe.
Sizing generally runs the same as shoe sizes but, of course, variances can happen by brand. People also typically have one foot that’s bigger than the other, so cleats should be fitted to the larger foot. Cleats are going to stretch out more than other shoes, so that should be kept in mind when choosing the proper size.
You will want to keep cost in mind when choosing your footwear, but you don’t want to sacrifice comfort. Remember that these should fit comfortably if you’re expecting to play in them for an entire season. But, also keep in mind that you don’t want to break the bank on a pair of cleats that you’ll be replacing every season. You’ll need to find the balance between cost and comfort.
Know Your Playing Surface
Different types of cleats are designed for play on different types of playing surfaces. If you know what type of surface you’ll be playing on, look for cleats designed for that. If you’re unsure or will be playing on different surfaces, a more versatile shoe is what you’re looking for.
Molded and Rubber Bottom Cleat: Best for different playing surfaces
Screw-in cleat: Great for rain traction but can hurt the soles of your feet
What’s Your Position?
The position you’re playing can play a big role in determining the type of cleat that’s best designed for you. Lightweight cleats are great for speed and agility, while defensive positions will require something sturdier with more support.
Cleats Aren’t Sneakers
Although this should be an obvious point, keep it in mind when you’re trying on cleats. They’re not going to fit the same as other sneakers you may own. You’ll also want to try them on with any lower body football equipment you’ll be wearing with the cleats, to ensure they fit well with your other required equipment on. Heavy socks, orthodics or sports braces should all be kept in mind and tried on with any cleats.
Get the necessary equipment you’ll need to stay safe on the field and play to your full potential. Properly fitting cleats are an important component in playing your best game possible.
Last update on 2019-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. cfbmatrix.com is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.