11 Best Soccer Cleats

To have success on the pitch, people need to have the right type of soccer cleats available to them at all times. Some of that comes down to picking the right soccer cleats for the right kind of playing surface, and it also comes down to budget and what a person ultimately likes from an aesthetic perspective.

What are the best soccer cleats out right now? As one might expect, a lot of them come from the most trusted names in the industry. Nike and Adidas dominate, but there are a few others from competing brands worthy of mention.

Unlike many other posts online where the author has zero clue what they are talking about and has never worn the shoes in question, we have used all the shoes recommended below.

Before going into the review, here is a sneak peak at our recommendations and their overall ratings.

RankSoccer CleatOur Rating
1Nike Mercurial Vapor XI8.6/10
2Nike Phantom VSN DF8.6/10
3Nike Mercurial Superfly 68.5/10
4Adidas Performance Copa Mundial8.5/10
5Adidas Nemeziz Messi8.4/10
6Adidas X 17.28.4/10
7 Adidas X 19.28.4/10
8Adidas Predator 19.38.3/10
9Adidas Performance Ace 16.38.3/10
10Under Armour Low MC Nitro8.2/10
11Puma Future 18.48.1/10

1. Nike Mercurial Vapor XI

For those who can afford it, the Nike Mercurial Vapor line is certainly worth checking out. They have been around for a while, as this is now the 11th iteration, and they come in a bunch of different styles for people to enjoy.

Everything about this cleat is pretty premium, as people get a chance to cut around the field and do everything they want to in their own unique way. Designed with Cristiano Ronaldo in mind, these are very lightweight, thin, and somehow durable.

The only real negative is that the fit can be a little tricky for ordering online. Keep in mind that they run a little bit narrow, and everything should be just fine. They do start to mold to a person’s foot as time goes on, which is good news for people who might not like the fit right away.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Best materials possible for performance
  • Outstanding durability

Cons

  • Fit is a little bit narrow
  • Expensive

2. Nike Phantom VSN DF

The Nike Phantom soccer cleats line is available for just about any type of player out there. Many younger players will use this as their first cleat ever, but it is good enough for adults as well. Being able to handle many different types of surfaces helps, and it is usually at the right price point that people will be fine making a purchase.

One of the great things about the Phantom is that it will fit a variety of foot shapes. It is designed to mold to a person’s foot instead of making a person adapt to the shoe itself. That is done by a nice mesh inner that will adjust as time goes on. A person’s foot feels very lightweight and breathable inside, with lining designed specifically to handle any overheating issues.

From a touch perspective while playing soccer, it is nice to have something like this that helps remove the lacing system from getting in the way. Instead of being right there on the top of the shoe, it is protected underneath the casing a bit so that people are not running any risk.

Available in a few different colors, they are definitely a quality option that will not break the bank and should be considered on the shortlist for any soccer player out there.

Pros

  • Fit is adaptable as time goes on
  • Great value for money
  • Foot keeps cool even in warm weather conditions

Cons

  • Can feel a little stiff at first

3. Nike Mercurial Superfly 6

The Nike Mercurial Superfly 6 is the final option to make this list from the swoosh brand. It is a little on the expensive side, but it is another performance-oriented shoe that allows people to really take their game to another level. With many key features that make people very satisfied with their purchase, it is a true stand-out in so many different ways.

First things first, it has a very dynamic fit overall that people will be happy with. It all starts in the collar, as a person will get a very secure comfort in the ankle area. It goes all the way through to the toes, ensuring that a person is never slipping around and not having the surest of footing.

Since these are built for different surfaces, players do not have to spend as much money on getting specific cleats for different matches. This saves money a bit, and allows people to focus on breaking in and getting used to one particular pair.

All around, this might be the most comfortable fitting shoe that a person can find that is good for soccer. The upper is made of synthetic materials that provide a consistent ball when kicking around, but it protects a person’s foot and keeps them comfortable inside as well.

There is even a good amount of cushioning in the midsole so that a person feels like they are comfortable and have enough energy to withstand even the longest of matches.

Pros

  • Dynamic fit works as it should
  • Very comfortable inside the shoe all around
  • Works on multiple surfaces

Cons

  • Durability is not the greatest
  • Not everyone is a fan of the higher collars

4. Adidas Performance Copa Mundial

At first glance, the shoes look like something that companies could have put out years ago. Adidas’ whole goal is to call back to the more traditional days of the game, but with improved performance that makes them great for the modern game.

The Copa Mundial has been around since the 1970s. People love the feel, and the full-grain leather upper is still a choice of many because of the way it forms to a person’s play and foot overall.

Even those who have never used a cleat like this before should give them a try if possible. Because of all the improvements, there is considerable comfort inside the shoe, and the full-grain leather does not weigh a person down as much as one might think.

It will not be lightest shoe in the world, but it does feel a little bit different with a leather option compared to synthetic materials. Most people walk away more than a little satisfied.

Pros

  • Has the classic look and feel of an older Adidas cleat
  • Minimal breaking in
  • Full-grain leather is preferred by many

Cons

  • A little heavy
  • Not everyone is a fan of the classic style

5. Adidas Nemeziz Messi

Named of the greatest soccer player of all time, the Adidas Nemeziz Messi is one to keep on the shortlist for anyone looking for a new pair of cleats. They are designed for players who have superb skills and can cut around the pitch as much as possible. Many people have had success wearing these cleats, and it is easy to see why they have become so popular.

When first trying them on, it is very easy to get a very secure lockdown with a good amount of ankle stability. Adidas uses a Dual Lock collar, which ensures that a person is staying where they want to be.

When playing the sport, the cleat has a very responsive touch so that people have the best type of ball control possible. It is very easy to get the ball to go where a person wants to, and players never become frustrated that the shoe is holding them back.

The cleats feel very lightweight on foot, helping those who might feel some fatigue when they are running around. Even in somewhat sloppy conditions, where mud or grass might stick to the shoes, they will not slow a person down as much as one might think.

All in all, they are such a quality cleat that even people who are not necessarily a fan of Messi will give them a try because of how they perform.

Pros

  • Very lightweight on the field
  • Soft and comfortable from the very beginning
  • Messi branding for those who are a fan

Cons

  • Durability
  • Limited color choices

6. Adidas X 17.2

Players looking for something pretty affordable and readily available should give the Adidas X 17.2 a look. These firm ground cleats are very versatile, as they have some of the best grip a person can find out there. Even in bad weather conditions, they will work just fine, which is good news for people who can’t really purchase a bunch of different cleats for different surfaces.

Even though there are more technologically advanced cleats out there, Adidas does an excellent job of ensuring that there is decent enough technology in these cleats. The techfit compression upper is extremely lightweight while also being very supportive.

As supportive as it is, it will not suffocate a person’s foot by any means. It does an excellent job of keeping the foot in place, but not to the point that a person feels like they can’t move around at all.

These cleats are designed for speed, and people are going to feel pretty fast-moving around. It also helps that they are pretty much good right out of the box, as it can be annoying to break in certain cleats before hitting the pitch.

They stay speedy by shedding a lot of water, mud, and anything else accumulated on the cleats. All in all, they are without question worth the pretty affordable price.

Pros

  • Minimal break-in time
  • Stay lightweight even in bad conditions
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not the best technology used on the cleat throughout

7. Adidas X 19.2

The Adidas X 19.2 is a great cleat option for those who want a good amount of technology built-in. Adidas uses a lot of their cutting-edge options to provide support performance for players of all skill levels. It is meant to be very lightweight and comfortable for fast-moving players, but all players can benefit from all that it brings to the table.

The first thing people noticed when they put the cleat on for the first time is that it has that familiar shape that locks the foot in for proper stability and support. It is very tough to move around to feel like a person wants to if they do not have a cleat that fits exactly as it should.

There are so many people out there who have purchased cleats that just do not fit as they should, and it hurts a performance every time they go out there. As long as the person gets the right size, the Adidas X 18.2 will not provide this type of challenge.

Overall, this feels like one of the lighter shoes out there. It is a very minimalistic look as well, which is something that a lot of players loved before.

Even though it is lightweight, do not think of it as something that will not hold up over time. In fact, it is pretty durable, as the arrowhead front studs make sure that it holds up on many different types of surfaces. Yes, it is designed for firm ground play, but it can do well in other conditions if needed.

If Adidas could offer a few more colors in this cleat, it would be close to perfect. All people love what it brings to the table, and it is definitely a great option that will not necessarily break the bank.

Pros

  • Very affordable price for the technology
  • One of the lightest cleats around
  • Surprisingly durable

Cons

  • Limited color schemes
  • Could really benefit from hidden laces

8. Adidas Predator 19.3

The Adidas Predator line has been around for a while, and the 19.3 is one of the best options overall right now. It is the newest evolution of this cleat, and they continue to make improvements that allow people to really take their game to the next level.

What a person realizes right away is that they can get superb breathability when using this cleat. It might not seem like that was the case right away, but the shoe is designed to ensure that a person ever feels like they are overheated.

It is also one of the most comfortable cleats out there, as the prime mesh upper does a great job of keeping a person cool and collected during their entire match.

On the bottom, the rubber studs provide all of the traction a person needs. There is also plenty of cushioning in the midsole, so players will not feel like they are exhausted when they are running up and down the field.

One interesting feature is the lace-up adjustability so that people get the most secure fit necessary. Not all Adidas shoes off of this, and it is definitely worth the extra money people spend to get exactly that.

Maybe these cleats are not for everyone, but they are certainly one of the premium options out there that Adidas stands behind firmly. People who take the game seriously and want a true performer out there will do what they can to get this ready to go.

It is undoubtedly a cleat that makes the shortlist for a lot of different people out there, and no one should underestimate what it brings to the table.

Pros

  • Primemesh upper helps a lot with breathability
  • Very comfortable midsole
  • Lace-up adjustability always gives people a secure fit

Cons

  • A little expensive
  • Durability

9. Adidas Performance Ace 16.3

Buying a cleat from a trusted brand does not necessarily mean a person has to spend a fortune. The Adidas Performance Ace 16.3 soccer cleat is definitely one of those budget choices for those who want quality, but wants to save as much money as possible.

Sure, experts might not recommend these for the highest end of soccer players, but those who are casually playing or just learning the game will love what they bring to the table. These are firm ground soccer cleats that are pretty stable, and comfortable enough so that people do not feel like they are struggling to move around on the pitch.

There is a little bit of technology in these cleats, including the Primemesh upper. With this Primemesh, people not only feel comfortable, but they feel like they are in control when they are kicking the ball around and moving it from different areas.

Wearing in a new pair of cleats can also be a bit of a challenge for some people, but that is not the case at all with these. Give them a try and see what they bring to the table.

Pros

  • Very affordable pricing
  • Secure fit
  • Comfort

Cons

  • Durability

10. Under Armour Low MC Nitro

Under Armour does not have nearly the history of many other soccer companies out there, but they have put together a pretty good option for people who are on a tight budget. The Under Armour Low MC Nitro is one of the best options out there right now for people who are just getting into the game and want something that brings some decent quality to the table.

The first thing people will notice when they put on these cleats is that they offer a decent amount of support. It will not be the best of the best, but there is a support cage all around the shoe that keeps the foot locked in and ready to go.

There is also a good amount of breathability, especially with the built-in mesh tongue. It is not the most crazy technology available, but it is certainly a way to get around without making the shoe ultra expensive.

Pros

  • Perfect for people on a tight budget
  • Available in many different colors
  • Provides a good amount of support

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Takes time to break-in

11. Puma Future 18.4

Puma has a fair share of quality cleats out there for people to try, but this might be the most well-rounded of them all for people who want something that performs well. These firm ground options are very lightweight and comfortable, and they can even work on artificial turf occasionally. They are meant to be very durable, even though they are lightweight.

Puma has used what they call their EvoPOWER design that helps with energy transfer when kicking the ball. With this type of design, a person can prevent any type of injury from occurring when they are playing the game.

This is not the top-end model from Puma, but one that fits most types of players who want the best bang for the buck.

Pros

  • Designed for all levels
  • Durable
  • Secure fit

Cons

  • Will not have that top-end feel that some are looking for
  • Color choices are a bit hit or miss

What To Look For When Shopping For Soccer Cleats

There are a few basics that every person needs to keep in mind when they are shopping for soccer cleats. This is the only way to find exactly what is needed, while not wasting any money. Not all cleats are created equally, so finding the best fit for each individual makes sense.

Surface

Soccer is played on grass, artificial turf, or hard courts (indoor). Even within those three types of surfaces are more specifics like dry or wet grass, long or thin turf, and how hard the hard court is. Look for a sole that can handle the type of surface a person is playing on at all times.

  • SG=Grass
  • FG=Artifical Turf

More serious soccer players are going to have at least a few different cleats for different surfaces. It is inevitable that the more a person plays, the more they will switch around and play on other surfaces. If a shoe seems like an excellent deal, make sure to double-check what it is designed for before purchasing.

Fit

One of the trickiest things to handle online is shopping for soccer cleats. That is because sizing is very important, as a person wants to have the best touch possible when handling the ball. They also want to make sure that when they are running around, the foot is not slipping.

Soccer cleats can be high cut, mid-cut, or low cut, which is more of a matter of personal preference. Take advantage of any shoe guarantees out there, as most companies will give shoppers 30 days to try them on and see if they like them.

Upper Material

The major types of upper material for soccer cleats include leather, knit, and synthetic materials. A lot of companies are leaning towards knit and synthetic these days, as leather looks a bit like an old-school option.

Part of the reason is that leather can be expensive, and it might not be the most durable. However, some still swear by leather because of the comfort and the way it molds to a person’s foot.

If possible, try a few different cleats before making a decision. Most of the time, people will have a pretty good idea of what they want to shop for. If that is not possible, try the cleats that fit under budget the most, and see how those end up fitting.

Position

Most players are going to favor speed over everything else when shopping for soccer cleats by position. The only field players who might lean more towards control rather than speed are midfielders. This will add a little bit more protection, and it will not slow a player down much at all.

Goalkeepers are slightly different, as they are running up and down the field all game long. This is why it is better to go for comfort cleats with great lockdown for superb lateral movement. Goalkeepers are making a lot of quick movements when they need to, and comfort needs to be on point for that to happen


For your convenience, here are all the soccer cleats I recommended above.

Connor Smith

I'm Connor, the guy behind SoccerPrime. I'm a former NCAA Div 1 college player that retired at the age of 21 due to injuries - which led me into a new career as a soccer coach.

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