The role of a goalkeeper on the pitch is different from any other position. There are many goalkeepers who are shopping for specific pairs of cleats so that they feel comfortable, while also executing at a high level.
What are the best cleats for goalkeepers on the market right now? Consider these seven as a great starting point.
1. Nike Mercurial Vapor Elite
Since Nike released their Mercurial Vapor Elite line, players at all positions have counted on the cleat for every single match. Available for all surfaces, goalkeepers love the fact that it is an excellent all-around option that will get the job done. Instead of dealing with a too stiff or frustrating overall shoe meant for only goalkeepers, the player feels like they are a field player.
Lightweight and responsive, the 14th model in this line is the best of the best. There is a minimal amount of materials used on the shoe, and the cushioning makes it very comfortable for goalkeepers when they are not in the heat of battle. A lot of standing around during a match means goalkeepers need to catch rest when they can.
One thing that a lot of goalkeepers really love about this cleat is the improved NikeGrip technology. There have been some complaints about the foot slipping around in hot weather conditions in the past, but they will not slip inside the shoe at all.
On the outside, the Nike AeroTrak helps with traction in any direction so that goalkeepers can make split-second decisions on the pitch.
- Very lightweight
- Improved traction
- Very comfortable
- Newest model is expensive
- Might not offer enough protection for all goalkeepers
2. Nike Mercurial Superfly
Goalkeepers tend to want something lightweight, yet provides a decent amount of protection when there are a lot of players going after the football. One pair of cleats that fit the description is the Nike Mercurial Superfly, as it is a super-light option that is comfortable and provides protection in the right areas.
With cushioning all around, and a collar that offers a close feel, many goalkeepers have gravitated towards this option.
Right out of the box, the shoes will be ready to perform at a high level. As time goes on, they get better and better as the soft leather upper begins to mold to a players foot.
Goalies who like to control the ball with their feet will love that they can do exactly that with ease. There is a reason why these cleats are used for more than just goalies, as field players adore them as well. Going back to the height of the shoe, quite a few soccer players love that little bit of extra ankle support and overall closeness to the foot.
The Nike Mercurial Superfly can help keep the foot a bit more secure so there are reduced chances of injury as time goes on. So many goalkeepers are trying to stay as healthy as possible when they are on the pitch, and a freak accident or two is nothing anyone wants to deal with.
- Extra ankle support works well
- Forefoot plate makes the new version more responsive
- Very secure fit
- One of the most expensive cleats on the market today
- Not as durable as many think
3. Adidas Copa Mundial
The Adidas Copa Mundial is pretty much designed for that old-school type of goalie who prefers excellent touch with their feet. Not only is the leather upper comfortable, but a goalkeeper can feel at ease when they are controlling the ball.
Of course, it never hurts for a goalkeeper to feel comfortable and confident throughout a match. The truth of the matter is that goalkeepers are standing around a lot of the time and not doing much. Being in a comfortable pair of shoes will keep players fairly engaged, so they are ready to go when the action comes near.
There are countless other leather options out there for goalkeepers, or any soccer position for that matter, to rely on. The good news is that this has the softest feel out of the box, and it only gets softer as time goes on. As long as goalkeepers have no problem wearing low-cut soccer cleats, this should definitely be on the shortlist.
- Foam pads in the heel area help with comfort
- High quality all around
- Classic feel and cut
- Tough to wear for wider feet
- Might feel too heavy for some
4. Puma Future Z
Some goalkeepers are sick and tired of constantly getting studs directly on their feet. It can lead to injury in certain scenarios, so protection is often the way to go.
The Puma Future offers some of the best protection one can get without weighing a person down at all. That protection not only helps against injury, but it can be very beneficial when it comes to really going for it on a kick.
As the name implies, there is a lot of new technology with the Puma Future. They have added durable material in all the right places so that all types of players can benefit. Goalkeepers have gravitated towards the shoe since its release, and it has the stability to last all match long.
Available in many different colors and different iterations as well, the top model will be for top-tier performers. At the same time, even the knockdown options of the Puma Future line is excellent for younger players and parents who want their children to be protected.
Many top goalies sponsored by Puma at the senior level opt for these cleats, and it takes just a little bit of a playtest to see why.
- Compression band helps with fit
- GripControl Pro enhances control and touch
- Great overall protection for the feet
- A little too low cut for some
- Stud configuration is not as good as other brands
5. Adidas Ace 17.3
Coming in a few different versions, the Adidas Ace 17.3 is another all-around soccer cleats that goalies really love. It performs well in high-level situations, and goalies wanting a little bit of extra touch on their passes and deflections will love what it brings to the table.
First, it is essential to look at comfort from the perspective of the goalie. These highly comfortable shoes will provide excellent support for goalies the entire match. Stability is enormous for a lot of goalies, and they will have every opportunity to keep their feet as protected as possible. Yes, even in the heat of scrambles in front of the net.
Players looking for brand new, top-of-the-line cleats will not find it with the Adidas Ace 17.3. However, that is good news for those who are shopping on a budget. They still get a premium option at a low price, even if they have to hunt around a little bit to find what they need.
They work well for all types of soccer players, but goalies really seem to like the silhouette more than most positions.
- Great enhanced touch in the toe area
- Increased ankle support
- High comfort level
- Tough to find in the right color and size at times
- Feels slightly cheap compared to newer releases
6. Adidas Predator 18.1
Goalkeepers have been really liking the Predator 18.1 since first hitting the market. Although it is still pretty high in price, it is not the most expensive cleat out there. However, players do not have to sacrifice anything when they are getting a very control-oriented cleat.
The fit is the first thing that a lot of goalkeepers will realize. Not only do they get the perfect amount of lockdown, but the collar that goes around the ankle adds some much-needed stability for certain types of players. All players can benefit from some ankle stability, but goalkeepers, in particular, put themselves at risk more often than not.
The grip on the upper of this cleat is a big reason why players at all positions are counting on the Adidas Predator 18.1. Its design as an all-around option stands out, even in a very competitive market.
- Ankle collar does the job well
- Grippy texture on the upper helps with ball control
- Great overall fit for all foot shapes
- Sometimes hard to find in popular sizes
- Not rugged enough for some goalkeepers
7. New Balance Furon V6+
New Balance continues to show the soccer world that they are here to stay with new innovative options to turn to.
This is a speed cleat first and foremost, but goalkeepers love that they get a good amount of padding and protection. As a brand known for very comfortable walking shoes, their cleats are also extremely comfortable for all types of players.
Standing around all match can tire some goalkeepers out if they do not have the proper footwear. Everything about these cleats is very plush, while still offering a lockdown feel players need to perform. There is no chance of slippage, and the stability goes up a notch with these compared to previous versions as well.
They might not be the most well-rounded soccer cleats just yet, but it certainly is one worth considering when trying a few out. Players have quickly realized that New Balance is heavily invested in soccer, and the technology they use in their cleats can match up with any other company out there.
- Comfortable fit all-around
- Does a great job of staying clean
- Very soft upper
- New Balance is still catching up a bit as a soccer company
- Studs wear down a little easily
Are Specific Goalkeeper Cleats Needed?
Cleats specifically for goalkeepers might not seem necessary until a player gets to a somewhat high level. With that said, there is more specialization than ever, and if the only focus is on becoming the best goalkeeper possible, it is worth investing.
At the end of the day, every player is going to be different. What might be a perfect option for some players might be a complete letdown for someone else.
Do not be afraid to try a few options and even return them if they do not fit just right. With so many options to consider, it will just take time before something stands out.
For your convenience, here are all the soccer cleats I recommended above.