The right equipment is essential to peak performance. The models, types, material and technologies of soccer cleats can be overwhelming for those people who don’t understand the shoe jargon.
The best cleats for you may differ from teammates so while they may have good suggestions, do your own research from among the top performers. We know that this process is time consuming, so we have done the research in order to help you find the the best soccer cleats for you.
What Is A Soccer Cleat?
Your best soccer cleat will be a shoe designed to work with and protect your foot under varying outdoor field conditions. The correct traction and stability provided by the cleat will improve play and minimise injuries.
There are four styles of cleats, sometimes called studs, for outdoor soccer shoes and one for indoor play. Most cleats are made of plastic or rubber and some are metal tipped. The cleats of a soccer shoe may be fixed and molded or they may be removable.
- Firm Ground Cleats (FG) are not detachable. The twelve medium length studs add traction and speed on most outdoor playing surfaces. The fixed rubber studs designed for firm ground play are arranged in either a circular or blade formation over the whole surface of the sole:
- Bladed studs contribute to traction and speed. They are designed to dig into the ground. However, cone studs offer more flexibility.
- Cone shaped studs create stability with firm ground contact points. The studs have rounded bottoms that allow player flexibility on the move. The player has a quick release from ground contact which helps prevent injuries. Fixed cone studs rubber and arranged in a circular or blade formation.
- Hard Ground Cleats (HG) will have shorter circular studs in groups of four distributed across the sole with four near the toe, four between the ball and arch and four in the heel area.
The twelve studs evenly distribute the player’s weight for better hard ground play. Hard ground surfaces are found in climates with little to no rainfall or periodic drought areas.
- Soft Ground Cleats (SG) are longer for better grip and traction on wet, slippery and muddy fields. The length is adjustable between ½ and ⅗ inches long to achieve the best traction for field conditions. The studs, spread wide across the sole, avoid mud clumping.
Generally, the studs are distributed with four under the heel and four under the ball of the foot. Most cleats are made of plastic or rubber and some are metal tipped. However, metal tipped, which work well for traction on muddy fields are banned from some leagues.
- Artificial Turf Cleats (AG) have very short studs or often none at all. These soccer shoes are worn on any indoor surface and offer stability. Even with no studs, the shoes will still have a kicking surface that distinguishes them as soccer performance shoes as opposed to casual athletic shoes.
Having the right cleat for the playing surface is important to safety and performance regardless of the level of play. Short cleats on soft wet ground result in falls for the player. Long cleats will send you sliding across hard ground. Firm ground cleats are sometimes used as multi-purpose soccer shoes but they will not perform as well in hard or soft ground competition.
Parents, if your child can’t seem to stay on his or her feet during those early Saturday morning games on grass wet with dew, it could be due to short cleats meant for hard ground or indoor turf play.
How to Choose the Best Soccer Cleats
Choose the correct stud length and pattern for the playing surface you will play on:
- Again, firm ground cleats are the most versatile for the majority of climate conditions.
- Unlike firm ground cleats, hard ground cleats and soft ground cleats should never be worn on firm or soft pitches.
- Turf cleats are not meant for surfaces other than turf.
Look for the right shoe according to the position you play:
- When you play forward in soccer you want a clear strike zone on the upper part of your shoe and you want a lightweight shoe. That gives you the advantage you need to slam the ball in.
- Keepers need a shoe with a large strike zone but traction is of supreme importance because you are moving side to side. You need cleats that will dig in and release for those quick lateral moves.
- Above all, make sure the soccer shoes you buy are comfortable. If you were buying running shoes you would choose comfort and support above all and you would buy the best quality you could afford. The same and more is true for soccer shoes because you are running for over an hour combined with many pivots and kicks.
- Check the fit of the shoe heel. It needs to be cushioned and snug so there is no friction caused by slight up and down slipping.
- League players will want a durable shoe in leather or synthetic materials. Synthetic materials can be an excellent choice because they are made soft and supple as well as moisture resistant.
Parents of young soccer players often recycle the shoes from older players down to younger. It saves a lot of money since children’s feet quickly outgrow shoes. We’re not saying don’t do it but use common sense if you do. Make sure the shoes were worn one season and that they are a high quality brand starting out. You don’t want a $12.00 pair of soccer cleats second hand.
Best Soccer Cleats for Men 2020 Reviews
There are short reviews of each of the10 top best soccer cleats for Men 2020 that will help you discover what is best for you:
Adidas Performance Men’s Ace 16.4 FXG Soccer Shoe
Adidas recommends this shoe for use on firm ground, artificial grass and hard ground. Experience high speed control and flexibility in a lightweight shoe at a moderate price. The upper molds to your foot giving more control of the broad strike range on the shoe. These shoes, made from synthetics, provide comfort and durability in an array of colors.
Casual Soccer players appreciate this shoes versatility. Most purchasers found the traction, stability and maneuverability was more than acceptable on firm and hard ground. Some used the same shoe for indoor play on artificial surfaces with no complaints.
Customers who purchased and wore Adidas Performance Men’s Ace 16.4 FXG Soccer shoe are pleased with the quality, looks and performance of the the shoe. It does run small so some recommended you buy up a half size.
Some find Adidas shoes run narrow so those with wide feet felt the outsole did not stabilize well enough. Those with wide or thick feet may want to consider a different style. However, for most purchasers of this shoe, just buying a ½ size larger solved their problem.
Overall, this bright colored shoe with the traditional 3 stripes and comfy waffle design received consistently high reviews in style, fit and performance. Adidas Performance Men’s Ace 16.4 FXG soccer shoe provides superior value for the dollar.
Adidas Performance Men’s World Cup Soccer Cleat
Old school design is still a bestseller after twenty years. An extended tongue flips over to cover the laces just like those your favorite professional wore. The World Cup classic is tops among Adidas high quality soccer shoes.
World class professional quality Men’s World Cup Soccer cleat is ideal for all pitches. The removable studs screw in and out so you can adjust the length for play on any surface from the softest to the hardest. Replacement studs are compatible in all lengths. Give yourself the edge by always having the ideal studs on hand to play your best game. It’s so easy to just screw them in and out as needed.
Adidas uses lightweight kangaroo leather upper for a durable striking area and foot hugging comfort. The TPU plate is lightweight and durable for long lasting play that won’t sap your stamina.
Active soccer players love these shoes for several reasons. Most players find there is no breaking in time. With wear, the shoe will mold to your foot and be even more comfortable. However, they are comfortable and ready for play right out of the box.
Because the shoes are so durable they will last for several years, even with heavy play. That makes Adidas Performance Men’s World Cup Soccer Cleat a bargain at any price but these are moderately priced. They look good with any uniform and because they are true classics, they never go out of style.
Nike Men’s Mercurial Victory V FG Soccer Cleat
For traction on firm ground, Nike Men’s Mercurial Victory V Fg Soccer cleat is your shoe. The shoe is highly rated because the TPU outsole is full length so expect traction even with quick directional changes. Their fit is comfortable yet provides full foot support in fast paced unpredictable play.
The stud pattern is ideal and the studs are long for safe play in wet and muddy conditions. The shoe is made of lightweight synthetic materials, minimising leg, knee and foot fatigue during play.
Nike Men’s Mercurial Victory V Fg soccer cleat is stylish and comes in a broad range of bright colors. Women often prefer men’s soccer shoes for a good fit and this shoe is one of their more popular choices.
While some found the shoe true to size, most required up to a full size larger for comfortable fit. The shoe sizes seem to run long and narrow. Others acknowledged that while they love the shoe, they require a breaking in period.
Even with the minor drawbacks, the majority of soccer players found this shoe to be durable and an exceptional performer.They particularly appreciate the stability of the shoe in firm to soft pitch conditions to help prevent injuries. After all, the soccer shoe is part of a player’s safety equipment, so expect it to protect your ankles and knees.
Adidas Performance Men’s Ace 16.2 PrimeMesh FG/AG Soccer Shoe
The synthetic boot with a rubber sole fits like a sock with the benefit of added ankle support. Built wide for stability and performance the Adidas Performance Men’s Ace 16.2 Primemesh FG/AG soccer shoe has a stud design that gives the player an edge in ball control on firm ground and artificial turf. These cleats will take you through Spring and Fall Soccer and then indoors for winter play.
The Primemesh overlay is functional and comfortable. These shoes need no break- in time and most purchasers find they fit as expected. Comfort and control is the goal for soccer players when trading their old cleats for new. It doesn’t hurt that the style and colors are eye-catching and they are manufactured to last. Check them out, you won’t see glue marks waiting to dissolve seams.
Some have complained the cleats are heavy but others claim the superior fit offsets a few ounces of weight. The shoe has a wide toe box so those with narrow feet may experience a less than snug fit but most purchasers welcome the comfort of extra toe space. There is no pinching of pinky toes or burning from constant friction as in a tight shoe.
No one shoe is right for everyone but the moderately priced Adidas Primemesh does have broad appeal among soccer players at all levels.
Adidas Performance Men’s Copa Mundial Soccer Shoe (FG/AG)
This is the way they used to make them. Rich, full grain leather upper is so soft and pliable it moves with your foot. The outsole has set the standard for comfort for over forty years. EVA foam insole cradles your foot without adding weight. The classic good looks and performance is perfect for firm ground and artificial turf play.
The Copa Mundial may be Adidas best selling soccer cleat of all time. The price is in the upper range but the quality, durability, comfort and performance more than justifies the higher price. These soccer shoes will not need replacing every season. For many veteran soccer players, the Copa Mundial is the only soccer shoe in their arsenal. They feel they have found the perfect shoe for them and look no further.
Most purchasers of Copa Mundial soccer shoes find them comfortable right out of the box. However, if they feel a little tight don’t despair. The shoes are made of kangaroo leather, which expands more than other leathers. The tightness will disappear as soon as your first game as the leather molds to your foot. Don’t worry about the kangaroos; they require culling from time to time the same as deer.
Serious soccer players attribute better ball control, grip and kick velocity to their favorite Copa Mundial shoes. Players with wide feet have found a reliable go-to soccer boot in Copa Mundial. The give in the leather makes a little extra room for wide feet and the toe box is deep enough for toe wiggling comfort.
Adidas Performance Men’s Messi 15.3 Soccer Cleat (FG /AG)
Messi 15.3 is Adidas’ contribution to the legacy of soccer great Lionel Messi. Faux leather uppers, called messiTouch, provides grip and stability as well as comfort. The focus of the shoe is more on stability and secure fit. Configuration of the studs range from round forefoot studs to bladed . The sole plate stud configuration adds kicking power to the outsole and awesome agility. A moderate priced soccer boot that is styled to attract attention.
Soccer players are pleased with the Adidas Performance Men’s Messi 15.3 soccer cleat because they are so light and comfortable some compare them to running barefoot. They like the large smooth striking surface. Order up a size because as is often the case the soccer shoes run small. Allow a few days of walking around time to break the shoes in before you wear them for soccer play. The soccer shoes are manufactured from synthetic materials which makes them easy to care for and a good selection for wet grass play.
You need to love the flamboyant colors; Semi Solar Slime/Solar Red/Black and Black/Shock Green/Solar Red. Lionel Messi wears Matte Metallic Ice blue but those are not available to everyone.The young men playing the game today love the style and comfort. Traditionalists may choose another style.
Adidas Performance Men’s Gloro 16.1 Soccer Shoe (FG)
Classic style merged with new comfort technology to create a soccer shoe for the serious player. The fine soft leather molds to your foot and the built in cushioning cradles your foot for the whole game time after time.
When you have soccer shoes that are comfortable and perform well, you dread the day you have to replace them. However, when you do, you will find the price is easy on your budget. The shoe runs true to size even for those with average to wide feet. Leather stretches a little so factor that in when you buy.
Adidas Performance Men’s Gioro 16.1 is an all around firm ground favorite. Your foot will feel stable within the shoe yet the flexible outsole provides excellent maneuverability. The shoe is lightweight and durable when used as intended on firm ground.
These shoes are not made for wet muddy play. The upper of the shoe is smooth leather so you have a good feel on the ball. To achieve that smooth sensitive feel, reinforcement of the toe area is kept to a minimum. If you consistently play in wet muddy conditions, these shoes will not last long.
If you love the way these cleats perform on dry firm ground then you should have them. However, if you occasionally have to play in the rain It might be a good idea to have a second pair of soccer cleats made for soft ground you can grab for soggy weather play.
PUMA Mens evoPower 3.2 Firm Ground Soccer Cleat (FG)
Made from synthetics for lightweight flexibility and durability, Puma Men’s evoPower is a highly rated performer. Evo foam is a lightweight comfort padding that is so comfortable on the foot, little to no time is needed for breaking in. This low profile shoe fits like a second skin, as it should for stability and maneuverability without pain during play while you break them in.
Some claim Puma shoes are are the closest you can get to playing barefoot. The construction of the Gradual Stability Frame of the sole plate supports that perception. The forefoot of the plate flexes with the forefoot of your foot, like a sock would. However, it becomes more rigid as it works it’s way toward the heel, where the rigidity provides stabilization for the back part of the foot.
The shoelaces are offset on the PUMA Mens evoPower 3.2 and since the tongue is very thin a bit of memory foam is added under the tongue for comfort. Puma has thought of everything in this shoe. The shoe lining grips the sock so there is no sock movement during play to cause blisters.
The soccer shoe is billed as a power shoe and to insure the boot lives up to the name PUMA has designed in a large and smooth striking area. The lacing is offset to enlarge the strike area. To add extra power behind each kick, foam is applied to the strike area and then laminated over providing a boost to the large kick plate without adding bulk. Comfort and power abound in a shoe just over 7 ounces.
ASICS Men’s DS Light X-Fly Le Soccer Shoe (FG)
Asics has a long history of manufacturing shoes for athletes that are comfortable and these classic Asics Men’s DS Light X-Fly Le Soccer Shoe are an excellent example. However, it doesn’t stop with comfort and classic good looks. If you don’t like the foot wrapping design offered by many top brands, then Asics may be the shoe for you. They will feel a little looser on the foot but your foot will not slip around in shoe because of the suede lining inside the boot. The lining holds your foot in place.
What Asics has achieved is a lightweight boot with all the ball handling capabilities supplied by Kangaroo leather uppers and a flexible footplate that holds your foot steady and elevates the heel to provide superior stability. Meanwhile, creative stitching across the upper is designed to send more power to the ball. All of this in just over 7 ounces. It does come with a price. Asics Men’s DS LIght X-Fly Le Soccer Shoe can exceed the $200 range.
The Solyte polymer XFly plate is low profile with insole material that weighs 30% less than ordinary polyurethane resins. Yet the durability of the shoe is not compromised. These soccer shoes are made for firm ground playing but some have found the evenly distributed short cone cleats adapt well to turf as well.
Diadora Soccer Men’s Maracana RTX 12 Soccer Shoe (FG)
A whole package in a mid priced shoe. Comfort, traction, maneuverability and Italian style. Foot hugging kangaroo leather upper is water resistant to protect the shoe against those fields wet with dew. Twelve studs provide all the traction you need on firm ground. An EVA cushioned midsole offers lightweight comfort. Diadora Soccer shoes are a good looking shoe with a sleek design that needs no embellishments.
While the supple kangaroo leather upper provides excellent and predictable ball handling the rigid synthetic heel cup prevents your heel from sloshing about. Axeler technology gives the outsole lightweight ball propulsion and stability. An exclusive circular design of the tapered studs prevent injury by allowing for natural turning with less stud pressure on the foot.
The goal of Diadora Maracana RTX 12 FG soccer shoes is comfort. Removable foam insoles, soft ankle collar, anti-stretch lining and lightweight technology contribute to the comfort of the shoe. This is a good shoe for wide feet because the toe box is not narrow and the thin leather quickly molds to your foot.There is no better performance enhancer than comfort. If your feet are comfortable you will naturally run faster and kick better.
Some favorably compare the Diadora to higher priced soccer shoe brands. Their experience has convinced them they can have a high level of comfort and performance for under $100. Used as intended, most users find these cleats to be durable as well as comfortable, which makes the price range even more attractive.
Soccer Cleats Care and Maintenance
If you want your soccer shoes to last longer and look good, take care of them. In soccer, shoes take a beating unlike any other sport. If you despise breaking in new shoes mid season then protect them by following a simple maintenance program.
- The first step in protecting the durability of your shoes is make sure you get a proper fit. If the shoes are uncomfortable, they will wear out fast in the areas of discomfort.
- Mom was right when she yelled at you to untie your shoes before shoving your foot in. Those laces are there so you can easily slip your foot into the shoe without breaking down the important heel structure or causing side way stretch and dislodging the liner.
- Dirt is an abrasive that will wear out any shoe surface, leather or synthetic. After each use, remove the dirt and mud using a soft cloth and clear water. Mild detergent may not damage the shoe but you do not need it to remove dirt. Never submerse the shoes in water.because they will shrink and crack. A gentle cleaning with a damp cloth will remove dirt. If the shoe is caked with mud, remove as much as possible with a utensil before you clean with water.
- Allow the shoes to dry away from a direct heat source. Don’t put them in the dryer or in front of a heater. If the leather looks dull after drying, add a little mink oil to brighten them. Don’t overdo the oil because while it makes the leather supple it also weakens it.
- Store the shoes in a ventilated area. If odor is a problem use a good foot powder directly on your feet where the odor originates. Sprinkling the powder in the shoe does nothing to prevent odor.
A little patience and consistent cleaning will make your best soccer cleats last longer and save you money because replacement will be less frequent.
Are The Best Soccer Cleats The Most Expensive?
There is always the random exception but the answer is usually yes. The more expensive cleats tend to be more durable.
- The most expensive shoe is the one that does not fit comfortably because they will hinder your performance.
- Find the brand and style that gives you the most comfort, then consider how the shoes will be used. Do you play year around or just one season per year? How many hours a week do you spend practicing? Obviously, the more you use the shoes the more durable they need to be and that will likely be a more expensive shoe.
- When you buy soccer shoes, you are buying sports equipment meant to enhance your performance. However, that piece of equipment is also meant to provide protection from injury. Therefore, once you have your comfortable shoe find out all you can about the structural design of the shoe. The true value of a shoe may not be obvious to the eye.
- When playing the sport of soccer, shoes are the most important piece of equipment for safety and performance. Except for shin guards, they are the only piece of specialized personal equipment.an athlete requires.
- Compared to other sports, the cost of participation is quite low even when you buy the most expensive shoe. Do your research and then buy the best soccer cleat your budget will allow.
- Finally, the old adage is true; the cheapest shoe often turns out to be the most expensive because it needs replacing frequently, does not perform well and raises the risk of injury.
The best soccer cleats are shoes that fit comfortably, are appropriate for the pitch and are within your budget.
We have listed ten of the highest rated and most popular soccer cleats on the market. Some of the brands may not be familiar to you but those who have worn them believe they deserve consideration.
The highest rated cleats are, above all, comfortable. Yet, the most common customer complaint is the shoe they received was too tight or narrow. The best way to overcome the diversity in size among brands is to physically try on the soccer shoes in a sporting goods store. You will receive assistance from a knowledgeable sales assistant with experience in most shoe brands.
He or she will be able to advise you regarding the best size for you. Will the shoe stretch or should you buy a half size larger? Is the heel sloppy or snug? Does the insole align correctly with your foot? These questions are best answered in person. If you find the shoe you want for less money from an internet store, at least you will know first hand what you are buying.
The second most common complaint is lack of durability. We can only assume the shoe was used under normal playing conditions and given reasonable care. Why a shoe proved durable for the majority of wearers but not for one or two is a mystery. Proper shoe care is critical to durability but one concern that might explain some disappointment in durability is knock- off shoes.
Make sure you buy from a reliable well respected retailer. If the shoe price is too good to be true you may receive a junk shoe that only looks like the real deal. It will fall apart quickly and wearing it is an injury risk. You will find brands in our top ten have stood the test of time and are good performers.