Defenders in soccer need a specific type of cleat on the pitch every single match. Getting the right cleats to match play style can make a huge difference, and the top brands know this very well.
What are the best soccer cleats for defenders out there right now? Even if they are not solely made for defenders, this is definitely worth looking into before spending a lot of money on cleats.
1. Adidas Predator 19.2
Known as one of the most stable and supportive soccer cleats from Adidas right now, the Predator 19.2 is perfect for defenders who want to stay locked in on the pitch every single match.
These cleats have a pretty adaptive fit, and players at different positions have been able to have quite a bit of success throughout time. The 19.2 might not be the most premium model, but it is great for all skill levels looking to up their game a bit.
The collar that rides up a bit is looked at as a huge positive, especially for defenders. They can get the protection they need in the lockdown feel that they are hoping for in a very comfortable package. The rest of the cleat locks down well also, cutting down on the chances of a person ever having to make adjustments during a match.
Most are going to love the prime mesh and Controlskin used on the textile upper. It might not be that soft leather that some cleats bring to the table, but it is certainly a good option that feels right.
- Very comfortable, locked-down fit
- Upper helps with control
- Very grippy
- Not everyone loves the hightop feel of the collar
- Lacks the premium materials of more expensive options
2. Nike Tiempo Legend 7
A legendary shoe in the soccer world, the Nike Tiempo Legend has not really changed all that much. Players still get that old-school feel, and there have been some changes to bring the weight down to a more competitive level.
It is still not the lightest soccer cleat option on the market, but defenders do not seem to mind too much. As long as it provides comfortability and that extra touch when controlling the ball, they are more than fine.
The outer of the Nike Tiempo Legend is what always gravitates players towards this option at first. There is that soft premium kangaroo leather all around the shoe that some soccer players can’t play without. Defenders might not need the same type of touch as strikers, but it is certainly a great option to opt for.
This is also a very stable shoe for defenders who want to make sure that they have proper footing at all times. There is a hyperstability plate at the bottom of each cleat, and it has some of the best traction any company offers.
- Premium kangaroo leather
- Outstanding traction
- Holds up in all weather conditions
- A little bit of a narrow fit
- Heel area is a bit vulnerable to tearing
3. Nike Hypervenom Phinish
A very low cut you that has been around for a while is the Nike Hypervenom Phinish. Although it is out of production right now, plenty of people still love what it brings to the table. For defenders, it is a sturdy shoe that keeps the foot locked in and pretty well protected with synthetic, leather-like materials.
Players do not get the same type of comfort as natural leather with these shoes, but there is added durability with synthetic materials. That can come in handy in the case of some defenders, as they want to make sure their foot is protected at all times. There can be many injury risks when defenders are laying themselves out there, which is why it is important to go in that direction.
With a variety of colors out there, the only challenging part is hunting these down since they are starting to dwindle. They are not sold through Nike any longer, as plenty of other websites feature them as a solid option that will not break the bank.
- Low-cut with a low to the ground field
- Many different colors
- Good protection
- Nike does not sell them on the website any longer
- Not as comfortable as genuine leather
4. Puma King Platinum
The new released PUMA King Platinum is a return of the classic PUMA King. In a much lighter version, the PUMA King Platinum have adapted to the modern way of playing soccer.
Like the previous versions, it’s one of the most comfortable cleats out there right now. While many other “defender” soccer cleats are more on the heavy side, this one feels very light and fits extremely well.
When it comes to comfort and overall playability, it’s hard to compete with the Puma King Platinum. However, as you can imagine, these cleats comes at a pretty hefty price.
- Narrow fit
5. Adidas Copa Mundial
Some version of the Adidas Copa Mundial has been around for decades. With that trademark kangaroo leather on the upper, Adidas tries to make a few upgrades each year without taking away from the overall feel. Once again, the newest release is a bestseller, and defenders really seem to like what it brings to the table.
If there is one knock on these cleats, it is that they are a little heavier than others. For defenders, the weight of cleats might not matter as much overall. That is good news for players who do not want to feel like they are really struggling to move around and perform consistently.
Overall, the old-school look might not be for all players out there. However, there is something to be said for going with a dependable option that has served many players in history.
- Kangaroo leather
- Classic look and fit that is largely untouched
- Slightly heavy
- Limited color options
6. Puma EvoSpeed
Puma designed this cleat to be one of the lightest, fastest cleats on the market right now. Defenders need to find creative ways to keep up with the opposition, and going with this lightweight option might be the way to go.
The upper on the cleats are one of the thinnest out there, which provides excellent touch on the ball. Not all defenders are going to like this level of thinness, but it helps keep the weight down.
Added stability in the sole is also great for players who might feel like they do not always have the right amount of support when making changes in direction. The soleplate has been redone, and the cleat layout offers the best in changing direction.
One thing to keep in mind is that these cleats are meant for match play only. They do not have the best durability, so most end up training in something else to get ready for their match. This is pretty tough to justify since the price is high, but defenders looking for ultimate speed from Puma will definitely find it with these cleats.
- Very lightweight
- Thin upper
- Excellent stability
- Might be too thin for some defenders
- Not built for everyday workouts
7. New Balance Furon
It is probably a bit surprising for some to see a New Balance cleat make a soccer list. The company has been very aggressive in developing new options for different types of players, which might be one of the best for defenders.
While it is billed more as an all-around soccer cleat, defenders can really benefit from this option because of the speed and acceleration that it provides. Faster defenders will want that little bit of lighter weight, while still having a good amount of support and protection so that they are not getting beat up and down on the pitch.
New Balance knew going in that when they got into the soccer business, they needed to play catch-up. They spent a lot of time researching what works for cleats and what does not, and they focused a lot on overall mobility.
Everything from the weight of the cleat to the positioning of the studs is done to make sure that each step is efficient. They may not look like the flashiest pair of cleats at first glance, but they have a lot of technical aspects included.
- Slightly different cleat positioning for efficient sprints
- Comfortable for players with wider feet
- Materials could be better
- Not the most trusted brand just yet
At the end of the day, most soccer players need to feel like they are able to constantly move around on their feet as much as possible.
Defenders might offer something more on the durable and protective side than pure speed, but there is a reason why they still must be lightweight. In order to keep up with tougher offenses than ever before, defenders need to always be at the top of the game.
Most of these cleats listed in the article above are also worn at other positions. There is nothing wrong with that, but defenders can really appreciate what these options bring to the table. It fits the playing style of many defenders out there, which is why they will always be recommended.
For the best soccer cleats on other positions, check out one of these posts: