10 Best Football Cleats (Buyer's Guide)

Athletic brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour release numerous football cleats that it’s quite a challenge to look for the best cleat for you. In the next sections, we give you a rundown of the things you should consider to get the best football cleats.

 

How we come up with the top 10

Here at RunRepeat, we are able to get the ratings of around 16 experts and more than 2,000 users. Their scores and then weighted and averaged to get the corescore of all football cleat models in our database, which we then rank to come up with the top football cleats.

Popular football cleats aren't the better rated ones

62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100
High Popularity Low
10 best shoes
12 most popular shoes

3 quick steps to get the right football cleats

Choosing the right one out of the best ten football cleats is already a daunting task. You can make it easier by following the 3 quick steps below.

 

Consider your playing position

Playing positions in football are pretty distinct. They allow us to predict what movements a player most likely does during the game. Good football cleats correspond to the needs of the wearer’s playing position.

 

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Low-top football cleats are lightweight and allow maximum maneuverability.

Mid-top football cleats provide a mix of ankle support and mobility. 

High-top football cleats are bulkier and offer more support than mid-tops or low-tops.

Practically, low-tops and mid-tops don’t differ much. They work best for the following positions:

- Running backs

- Quarterbacks

- Wide receivers

- Defensive backs

- Other skill positions

High-tops work best for those who do lateral movements:

- Linemen

- Defenders 

 

Understand the anatomy of a football cleat

All the top football cleats have three major components, each with a unique contribution to how effective a cleat is.

Upper. The upper is typically made of leather or synthetic. Other materials that provide varying levels of support, durability, and comfort are also used. How securely attached the shoe is to the foot is determined by the upper’s lockdown system.

 

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Lace-Up — This is the most common type of closure system found in most football cleats. This type of lockdown system offers a fully-customizable fit.

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Strap — Some football cleats feature hook-and-loop straps to provide increased support and lockdown.

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Slip-On — Most premium football cleats feature a one-piece knit construction that provides a snug one-to-one fit.

 

Midsole. The midsole provides internal support and underfoot cushioning. This part is usually made of a type of foam.  

Outsole. Being the part that comes in contact with the playing surface, the outsole must provide the right amount of traction. Based on how the outsole is constructed, spikes on football cleats are either molded or detachable.

 

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Molded

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Detachable

Generally cheaper

More expensive

Provides enough traction on both natural and artificial grass surfaces

Affords flexibility given changing surfaces, playing style, and weather conditions

Usually used for practices and in actual games by high school and other younger players

Usually used in actual games by professional players and college athletes

 

In order to maximize the use of football cleats with  detachable spikes, you need to know how many spike variants are available and when to use them. 

 

Length

General Usage

½ inch

Dry start-of-the-season surfaces

⅜ inch

Normal surfaces that have been played on numerous times

¾ inch

Soft muddy surfaces

1 inch

Extreme surface conditions (too much moisture or even ice)

 

See to it that the cleats fit you well.

It’s obvious that you should get the right size to maximize a shoe’s potential. Here are a few tips that you can follow to get the best football cleats that fit you perfectly.

Take into account potential stretch. The upper is made of either leather or synthetic materials. Bear in mind that leather tends to stretch over time, so an initial tightness might be OK. 

Shop or at least measure your feet late in the afternoon. Our feet tend to swell throughout the day. Their size later in the afternoon is said to be the most accurate. Do measurements or actual shopping during this time.

Consider the thickness of your socks. A sock adds more bulk to your foot, and might affect how snugly the football cleat fits you. Try the cleat with the sock on to ensure optimal fit.

Learn how to gauge size online.  Brands fit differently. Whenever possible, stick to brands that fit you well when you shop online. If you must, use sizing tools provided by some online retailers to get the right size estimate.

 

Football cleats vs soccer cleats

In the UK and the rest of Europe, the word ‘football’ is used to refer to a sport that the United States calls ‘soccer.’ There’s also football in the US but it’s entirely different from Europe’s football, from the rules of the game down to the cleats that the players wear.

 

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Football Cleats

Soccer Cleats

heavier

lighter

come in 3 types: high, mid, and low

are usually just lows.

has a toe stud

has no toe stud

less responsive striking area

highly responsive striking area

 

Compared to soccer cleats, typical football cleats have the following characteristics:

Feel heavier. Football is a contact sport that involves players defending against or tackling each other. To keep them supported, their shoes need to be made of heavier and sturdier materials.

Have toes spikes. The extra stud near the big toe provides the additional traction needed by a football player as they block opponents or push against their tacklers. 

Come in low, mid, and high versions. Football has fourteen identified positions, and each has its own unique functions. Each type corresponds to specific needs of a group of football positions. Learn more about this as we discuss playing positions below.

Less responsive striking area. Though there are special positions that do it, kicking is not a common move among football players. Hence, their shoes are not engineered for it.

 

The best football Cleats in every category

Now, are you ready to buy football cleats?