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No stranger to history, the first ever collared cleat dates back to 1526 during King Henry the VII’s reign. While the pair did not survive the test of time, the cleats were described to be ankle-high and made out of leather.
As old things become new, it is inevitable to see soccer cleats sporting collars once again. While not as dramatic as the King’s cleat, soccer brands have managed to create their own modern version of the style.
Making its comeback, the first modern collared cleat was released in 2015 by the soccer giant, Nike. Incorporated into the Nike Magista Obra, the release brought a freshness to soccer cleat construction. The high-top soccer cleat brought with it a new fit and feel to players on the pitch. Since then, collared cleats have been on a steady rise with brands like Adidas, Puma, even Umbro creating their versions of the design.
While low-top cleats are here to stay, there have been variations of cleat collars available in the market including mid top soccer cleat models. While high top soccer cleats, also referred as ⅝ cut, creates a sock-like sensation and goes way above the ankle; mid top soccer cleats, on the other hand, provides a slightly looser fit with the collar usually stopping right before the ankle area.
Several brands including Adidas, Puma, and Umbro have their version of the mid top soccer cleats, but Nike has stuck to the high top and low top soccer cleat variations.
Difference between high top, mid top and low top soccer cleats
Mid top soccer cleats - Mid-top collars stop just above the ankle area which offers more support and protection compared to low-cut cleats.
High top soccer cleats - The collar is extended and sit higher than a mid top soccer cleat and are also referred to as the ⅝ cut.
Technologies used in mid top soccer cleats
There are several cleat technologies that have been incorporated into the creation of mid top soccer cleats. Adidas and Puma as the most notable ones. Here are some of the notable technologies incorporated into each brand’s mid top soccer cleats:
Primeknit - This material has been a familiar feature in most of Adidas’ soccer cleats. Created to provide a sock-like fit and one-piece construction, it complements the brand’s mid top soccer cleat models. This technology also provides a lightweight feel and stability to the shoe through its ‘fused-yarn’ technology. This technology boasts the ability to adapt to the flexibility and support needed for each wearer’s foot.
Techfit - A well-known Adidas technology, Techfit has been used in several of the brand’s products. While known to be applied in Adidas’ soccer cleats, this technology is also used in the brand’s clothing products. When implemented in soccer cleats, this innovation aims to create a lightweight feel and a good fit, all with zero wear in time.
This technology is mainly applied to Adidas’ X collection and can be found in the Adidas X 17.3 Firm ground cleats.
Evoknit - Puma’s answer to knit-inspired upper’s rise in popularity is Evoknit. This technology is not unique to soccer cleats as it is also incorporated into Puma running shoes and football apparel. This material boasts its ability to provide a naturally lightweight feel and flexibility without compromising support. The Puma mid top soccer cleat featuring this technology is the Puma Future 18.1.
Popular mid top soccer cleats
Adidas and Puma are the prominent soccer brands that offer a range of mid top soccer cleats. Here are some of their famous models:
Adidas Ace 16.1 Primeknit - As suggested by its name, the Adidas Ace 16.1 Primeknit features a 360-degree Primeknit upper which promotes control. This material also extends to the cleat’s mid cut collar which the brand referred to as their Primecut collar. The soccer cleat was released in 2016.
Adidas Laceless Ace 16+ Purecontrol - This laceless shoe comes with a compression knit upper which keeps the foot locked down. The mid top construction helps with this, as well. This cleat was released in several colorways including Solar Green/ Black and White/ Gold (Stellar Pack).
Adidas X 16+ Purechaos - The Adidas X 16+ Purechaos has a synthetic upper with a Non Stop Grip lining - a feature that promotes control by adding grip and friction to the ball. Although this cleat looks laceless, a surprising feature is that a lacing system has been placed under the top upper layer. Additionally, the ankle collar is made out of a Techfit material.
Puma One 17.1 - This mid top soccer cleat was released in 2017 and brings together the best features of the Evopower and Evospeed silos. It is also reminiscent of the Evotouch silo through its Evoknit collar. A calfskin leather has been used in the upper which is why the cleat is lightweight while promoting cleat control.
Puma One Future 18.1 Netfit - A fairly recent release, the Puma One Future 18.1 introduced a new lacing innovation. Netfit is a new lacing system that was used in the brand’s running shoes before grazing the upper of this mid top soccer cleat. Stemming from its name, Netfit makes use of the upper mesh’s holes by letting the laces through it, giving way to infinite combinations. This, in turn, provides a truly personalized experience. Of course, this cleat has a mid top collar which goes up until the ankle area locking down the foot.
Advantages and disadvantages of using mid top soccer cleats
Every soccer cleat brings a different fit and feel depending on the materials used, what collection it’s from and its cut. This is true for mid top soccer cleats; let’s take a closer look at what this cut brings to the table.
Wearing a mid top soccer cleat during play can prevent debris from entering the shoe. Because this specific cut locks down around the ankle area creating a tighter fit, it essentially seals the foot from outside elements like stone rubber pellets, especially from artificial grass.
Mid top soccer cleats tend to be more water-resistant. Contrary to popular belief, water does not seep in from the upper itself. It is absorbed from the gaps of the shoe usually from the sides or where the tongue is located. While it is important to note that no cleat is entirely waterproof, mid top soccer cleats are more water-resistant.
Because more materials are used in the construction of mid top soccer cleats, it can add to the cleat’s weight.
This type of cut has more contact surface mainly the heel and the ankle area. With this, there is a higher possibility for abrasion, blisters or discomfort - an important thing to take note, particularly when one’s planning to wear a mid top soccer cleat during a 2-hour long soccer session. Hence, it is best to break in the pair properly.
While each type of collar in soccer cleats brings its own set of advantages and disadvantages, what it comes down to in the end is personal preference. Some might prefer the feel of a low cut soccer cleat because it’s what they are used to, while some might feel more secure with the support and fit of the mid top or even high top models.
Frequently asked questions
Are mid top soccer cleats here to stay?
While we can’t give out a direct answer, what’s noticeable is that high top or mid top soccer cleats are more popular with the younger generation; this makes wearing this type of cut a norm. What we can be sure of is that as long as there is a demand for mid top soccer cleats, the soccer brands won’t be halting their production soon.
Which is the best collar: low top, mid top or high top?
Each type of collar brings its own set of benefits and downsides. While some wearers prefer the freedom that a low top collar brings, other players like the sock-like, secure feel of the mid top or high top collar. Needless to say, because collared soccer cleats are relatively new to the market, it takes time in getting used to its unique feel compared to the more traditional fit of a low-collared cleat. Although, in the end, what it comes down to is personal preference.