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Black is one of the most preferred colors for a soccer cleat. It only does not denote strong features, but it also represents a pure, no-nonsense cleat personality. It signifies various meanings, and interestingly, several infamous connotations have been affixed to the bold color, even in the soccer world.
Soccer cleats have gone through a whirlwind of revolution when it comes to the usage of colors. Soccer shoes are claimed to have been black from the 1930’s until the 70’s. From the 1970’s onwards, soccer cleats have never been just single-colored. Getting to know soccer cleats in its purest and oldest palette will give us an idea on how this mysterious hue made an impact on the soccer world.
Notable black soccer cleats by brand
Below is a list of black soccer cleats or cleat collections coming from recognized international brands including Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Under Armour, Umbro, Mizuno, and Diadora. Some of the cleats in the list are limited or special edition cleats.
Nike black soccer shoes
- Nike Pitch Dark Pack - This unique blackout rendition was originally distributed in 2016 headlined by three of Nike’s lineup: Nike Mercurial, Tiempo, and Hypervenom. It featured a jet black colorway with a highlight of electric bolt colors in the trademark Swoosh. A year after, the color range was upgraded to a more subtle white Swoosh, with the addition of the Nike Magista lineup.
- Nike Stealth Pack - Nike launched the Stealth Pack in 2014 featuring the blackout cleats from all four lines of the Nike cleats. The white outlined Swoosh and the colored edges of the shoes are the two main focal points of the color range.
The collared cleats Nike Magista Obra and Mercurial Superfly IV are accentuated with the “Hyperpunch” hue while the low-cut cleats Tiempo Legend V and Nike Hypervenom Phantom III has Volt heel liners.
- Nike Tech Craft Pack - Released in August of 2017, the Tech Craft Pack advertised three of the Nike low-top cleats, Magista Opus II, Hypervenom Phantom III and Mercurial Vapor XI. The black soccer cleats are elegantly wrapped in leather, almost identical to the Tiempo line. The upper construction of the cleats showcases the fusion of Flyknit and leather.
The range was eventually made available in all cleated and SoccerX versions.
- Nike Flyknit Ultra Play Ice - The Ultra Play Ice is a limited edition Gamma Blue -Black Mercurial Superfly V cleat. The Italian flag is designed in the heel in honor of the Montebelluna facility where Flyknit was first developed. To represent the “Ice” vibe, the soleplate and the Swoosh outline reflect a soothing blue chrome.
- Nike Flyknit Ultra Play Fire - A black Flyknit upper with a university red plate makes up the blueprint of the Ultra Play Fire color pack. The black soccer cleat was built with the same inspiration as the Ultra Play Ice which is to commemorate the first facility that created the revolutionary FlyKnit. The firm ground cleat was originally headlined by the Brazilian forward Neymar Jr.
- Nike Flyknit Ultra Laser Orange - The very first Mercurial Vapor cleat with a Flyknit upper was publicized in the Ultra Laser Orange limited edition pack. Only 1500 pairs were made available worldwide. Similar to the other Ultra kits, the firm ground cleat has a dominantly black upper and Swoosh outline.
- Nike Flyknit Ultra Stealth - The Mercurial Superfly V cleat was genuinely turned into a blackout soccer cleat in this no-nonsense color pack. The all black cleat is fashioned with a Flyknit upper with a central lacing system. A black outlined Swoosh is almost camouflaged to the black lateral side and complements the metallic-silver hyper-reactive Plate.
- Nike Academy Pack - The simple black layout of the Academy pack is literally built for the players of the elite Nike Academy. Building from that inspiration, the designers created a model suited for all soccer players of any level. It is composed of four Nike firm ground cleats, each one coming from the four major lineups. The soccer cleats are stained with a straightforward black accented with a subtle volt in the transparent studs.
- Nike 10R Paris - To commemorate Ronaldinho's historic soccer achievements, the 10R Paris cleat was created as a part of the 10R City collection. The indoor cleat showcases a black quilted leather upper mapped with symbols personally meaningful for the Brazilian soccerer. Among those figurative designs is the red, orange and yellow stitching in the heel which represents family, music, and joy.
Adidas black soccer cleats
- Adidas Cold-Blooded Pack - The Adidas Copa 18.1 of the Cold Blooded pack is the only soccer cleat in the lineup stained in a notably black hue. Pigments of black and red make up the heel area while the signature white Adidas stripes contrast the dark upper on the lateral side.
Instead of the classic leather stitching, an internal skeleton structure forms the textured lines on the forefoot. The heel and tongue, on the other hand, is made of Knit material.
- Adidas Magnetic Storm Pack - The cleat palette is a touch of matte black upper and iridescent stripes in three of the popular cleats of Adidas including the Nemeziz 17+ 360 Agility, Ace 17+ Purecontrol, and X17+ Purespeed. The core black silhouette is a limited edition that was made public in 2017.
- Adidas Skystalker Pack - The Adidas Predator 18+ FG debuted in the Skystalker layout in black, red and gold metallic colors. The colorway is reminiscent of the iconic Predator cleats which initially came out in 1994. The Adidas Copa 18 and X17+ Purespeed cleats are the other two cleats that were launched in the same colorway but is presented in white and metallic gold upper, respectively.
- Adidas Enlightened Pack - This glow-in-the-dark limited edition was made public in 2013. It was featured in the Predator LZ, F50 Adizero FG and the Adipure 11 Pro cleats. The reflective white stripes in a black upper are the main highlights of the colorway.
- Adidas Instinct Black pack - The black soccer cleat colorway is inspired by an 18th-century knight armor. Intricate Middle Ages pattern is embossed in the heel area while the tongue is wrapped in a shiny gloss to mimic the armor reflection. The Predator cleat was launched in this colorway in 2015.
- Adidas Checkered Black Pack - Three of the Adidas cleats are the main models of this silhouette, released in 2017 namely the Ace 17+ Purecontrol, X16 and Copa 17.1. The black soccer cleats are patterned with a subtle checkered print in the upper. For the Copa cleat, a subtle hint of checkered and red print is placed in the heel area for a more traditional look.
- Adidas Dark Space Pack - This colorway features cleats from the Ace and X series in a pitch black tone and reflective branding. The Dark Space Pack was issued in 2016 as a limited edition choice. The black soccer cleats initially advertised in this colorway is the Ace 16+ Purecontrol and X 16+ Purechaos.
Puma black soccer cleats
For Puma, less is more. Unlike the Adidas and Nike, Puma present their soccer cleats in straightforward color options. They offer black soccer cleats across all their lineups and cleat types, usually paired with the following accent colors: Silver, Fiery Coral, Bronze, White, Yellow, Red, and Gold.
Puma soccer cleats such as the Invicto Fresh, One 17.1 FG, EvoSpeed 4.5 Graphic FG and One 17.4 FG were all made available in different color options including black while some cleats such as the EvoPower 3.3 Turf and One Chrome Firm Ground can only be purchased in certain color options excluding black.
Puma has released limited edition black soccer cleats as well. Here is the list of some of their unique cleats:
- Super Atom Limited Edition - To commemorate Puma’s 65th anniversary and the groundbreaking invention of the first ever screw-in stud, the “Super Atom” was released as a limited edition cleat. The upper is designed in classic black leather with a high top silhouette. The blueprint is almost identical to the original cleat with slight touches of modern features.
- Puma King SL Classico Limited Edition - The black King SL Classico cleat was launched in 2014 to mark Puma’s 65th year as an industry. Dubbed as “SL” which means super lightweight, the speed cleat impressively weighed 6.02oz in a leather upper.
- King Maradona Super - The King Maradona Super cleat was a comeback cleat in honor of the iconic Diego Maradona and his “goal of the century” which happened in 1986. The black soccer cleat is styled with the trademark white formstrip and a printed portrait of the Argentine soccerer on the tongue.
- Puma King Lux - This cleat is the most limited cleat ever released by Puma as only 99 pairs were made available. The King Lux is a black soccer cleat made from leather launched in 2013. It is by far the most expensive Puma cleat due to the 24-carat gold flakes in the heel. It is priced at $450 a pair with a matching premium leather cleat bag.
New Balance black soccer cleats
- New Balance Visaro 2.0 Pro FG - The New Balance Visaro 2.0 Pro firm ground cleat is advertised in an Energy Lime edition but is also available as a black soccer cleat. The only contrast element on the shoe is the white “N” branding of New Balance found on the lateral side. Its moccasin leather construction in black exudes a quintessential heritage vibe.
- New Balance MiUK One - Only 2000 pairs of the MiUK cleat were made available in 2016. This limited edition leather cleat which means “Made in the UK”, was the first cleat manufactured in the New Balance facility in Flimby. The black soccer cleat features a “Made in England” logo and flap tongue. A cleat bag containing a cleat polish and brush is also included in this exclusive package.
- New Balance Furon Black Java - The Black Java is a mixture of black and orange in the original New Balance Furon. Professional soccerers Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo headlined the color way in 2015. The branding and half of the soleplate are colored in Impulse orange while the rest of the cleat is in black.
Under Armour black soccer cleats
- Under Armour Command Indoor - The Under Armour Command Indoor cleat is offered in both blackout and whiteout color options. Its black upper version is paired with a Vapor Green rubber outsole. It has a Kangaroo leather upper construction with quilted lateral and medial sides.
- Under Armour Clutchfit 3.0 3D - This black soccer cleat is built with a biomechanically tested 3D texture in the upper to enhance ball touch. It is meant to offer a barefoot sensation with its embossed geometrical flexes. The cleat is available in a non-3D version with the same colorway.
Mizuno black soccer cleats
- Mizuno Rebula - From the original to the third version of Mizuno Rebula, this firm ground cleat has always been publicized in a black colorway, usually as the base color. It is a cleat with a Kangaroo leather upper construction engineered for better ball control. Its first edition was launched in 2017.
- Mizuno Morelia II MIJ - The Mizuno Morelia II “Made in Japan” soccer cleat was released in a black-silver color edition in January 2018. The quality of the Kangaroo leather upper is almost identical to the first version of the Rebula. The cleat has been known for its lightweight quality, weighing 6.34 ounces.
Umbro black soccer cleats
- Umbro Calibra - Umbro’s first ever high top soccer cleat was headlined in a signature black colorway and was named “Calibra”. The ankle collar is made of neoprene while its upper construction is pure leather. Both the collar and the upper are black with a subtle hint of neon green in the studs and the Umbro branding.
- Umbro Speciali Eternal Pro Hard Ground - The Speciali Eternal Pro is a comeback of a heritage cleat that was worn by legendary soccer icons such as Pepe and Alan Shearer. It is featured in a dominantly black leather upper with white Umbro branding on the lateral side.
Diadora Black Soccer Cleats
- Diadora Brasil Italy OG - A remake of 1984 heritage cleat, Diadora Brasil OG exemplifies a traditional leather upper in a blackout palette. The black soccer cleat was made public in 2017 as one of Diadora’s Brasil collection which includes the iconic Diadora Brasil Classic.
Reasons why professional soccer players wear blackout soccer cleats
As the name suggests, a cleat is considered blackout if it is dominantly black, with almost no other color attached to it. It is done to intentionally conceal the cleat’s character including its brand and features. If your favorite player wears a blackout cleat, you have to know that it is more than just a fashion statement.
Why do some professional players wear Blackout soccer cleats? Here are some of the reasons that explain this intriguing tradition:
- They are testing a prototype soccer cleat.
If a famous professional player such as Messi or Neymar is sporting a blackout cleat in a practice session, this is most likely because they have been tasked to test a prototype cleat that is yet to be issued. In this way, big companies such as Nike and Adidas will be able to receive valuable feedback from the more experienced and successful pros.
In 2016, Messi was seen trying out a black soccer cleat in his training practice. It turns out, he was mysteriously testing out an Adidas prototype of Messi PureAgility Chaos. The cleat was described having traditional central laces and a textured upper.
Neymar was also spotted having black soccer cleats in one of his training sessions in 2017. There were speculations that the Brazilian forward was wearing the latest model for a low-cut Nike Mercurial cleats.
- They wear black soccer cleats as part of the contract.
If a professional player ends sponsorship with a cleat supplier, he should wear black soccer cleats as part of the contract guidelines. It signifies that the player may actually end up switching to a different company or putting offers on hold. There is also a possibility that the player has not received any deals just yet.
The cleats need to be concealed in a pitch black hue as the players no longer represent their previous sponsorship. A soccer cleat expert may be able to spot the cleat model and even the tech specs through pictures and close contact with the cleat, but the average consumers may remain clueless.
The Juventus forward Paulo Dybala became a trending topic in social media when he was captured wearing black soccer cleats fashioned with his signature logo on the heel. It happened when his contract with Nike got expired, and no current deals with other sponsors were on hand. Soon after that, he was signed up with Adidas and headlined the X17+ Purespeed FG.
The Spanish soccerer Sergio Ramos also had the same ordeal when he was seen sporting a spray painted black soccer cleats in 2016. His contract with Nike just ended, and he was struggling to find another sponsor because of his high wage demands. Later that year, he signed a two-million deal with the same company.
- Colored cleats are not fitting for new players.
A few years ago, wearing black soccer cleats became infamous when the Scottish soccer manager Sir Alex Ferguson took a stand against colored cleats. For him, Manchester junior players need to earn the right to strut those bright colored cleats on the pitch. He’d rather let them wear black soccer cleats or else get singled out.
The junior players were only allowed to wear black soccer cleats while they are still under contract with the club. A rookie player with a bright colored cleat was deemed to be a bad combination even for Queens Park Ranger Coach Marc Bircham. Just like Ferguson, he feels that colored cleats are not fitting for new players because it is just too “flashy” for them.
Reasons why you should wear black soccer shoes
- Black soccer cleats are easy to maintain. Black soccer cleats are definitely easy to manage and maintain due to its dark hue that can conceal dirt in all types of playing surface. Even the soft muddy ground can camouflage the deceiving color. In comparison to white soccer cleats, the cleaning process for a black cleat is not as tedious.
- Black soccer cleats are symbolic. Wearing a black soccer cleat is a symbolic act of paying tribute to the legendary soccer players whose epic goals have made an impact in the soccer world. Most of these players wore black cleats while scoring victorious goals for their team and their country. For instance, the black Puma King Maradona Super was inspired by the epic goal of Diego Maradona who impressively got past six England players including the goalkeeper in pursuing his “goal of the century”. Another example of a black tribute cleat is the Nike 10R Paris which was co-designed by one of the icons in the modern soccer, Ronaldinho. It was launched just in time for his unexpected retirement in January 2018.
- Black is a popular color in all sorts of things. It can be considered as universal due to its superb blending quality. It is particularly true to black soccer cleats as well, because they can be matched to any jersey or sock color. If you are fashion-conscious, wearing black cleats would be the safest option to avoid any mismatch.
- Black soccer cleats never go out of style. Major design elements are usually hidden in dark chrome, and outdated features will barely get detected. Wearing one will not force players to fit in to the trend. With this, it can give players an additional benefit of saving money and not having to buy a new pair.
What is a DIY blackout cleat?
Contrastingly, wearing a black soccer cleat is a special privilege to an average consumer. Blackout cleats are rarely released,and if they are, only a few pairs will be made available.
Due to this, a lot of soccer players are enticed to “black out” their soccer cleats with some DIY (Do-It-Yourself) techniques. It is worth noting that any alteration to the cleat will demerit the warranty which is the downside to this creative trick.
Players or artists may transform cleats into black soccer cleats in several ways. Some opt to use ready-made cleat dyes while some prefer to use spray paint. Both methods will produce identical results, but cleat dye kits normally come with a preparer that can wash out stubborn plastic layers in the cleat that may interfere with the dye.
A packing or masking tape is often used to cover areas that do not need to be blacked out while a washout spray or a finisher liquid that prevents the dye from washing off.
With all these materials handy and a careful artistic hand, the bright colored cleat can be transformed to a stealth-like finish.
Frequently asked questions
Why is Cristiano Ronaldo not wearing black soccer cleats?
Cristiano Ronaldo never had any interest in black soccer cleats. He thinks that black looks “slow”. The Portuguese player wanted to feel “fast” while wearing his cleat.
It has also been proven through science that the color of a cleat may trigger certain brain activities for a player, according to Nike’s Vice President Max Blau in defense of Ronaldo’s aversion for black cleats. For Cristiano Ronaldo, wearing colored cleats other than black gives him more confidence.
Are Black soccer cleats expensive?
The color of the cleat is not necessarily an indicator of its value. As a general rule, the more technology a shoe has, the more valuable it becomes. As for black soccer cleats, it only becomes expensive if it is a special or limited edition cleat.
Are indoor and turf cleats available in blackout versions as well?
Yes, even indoor and turf cleats have blackout color options. It is worth noting that all-black renditions that do not have any accent color are rare to find in indoor and turf such as the blackout Ace Tango 17.3 Turf. The indoor cleats, for instance, usually have brown rubber outsoles that keep the shoe in two tones. Even the dominantly black Copa Tango 17.1 Turf has a touch of white with its Boost midsole.
Does Nike or Adidas offer black soccer cleats for women?
Yes. Both Nike and Adidas offer black soccer cleats for women.
For Nike, the Tiempo and Hypervenom in the Light Aqua pack are two of the cleats that has a dominantly black upper. Just in time for the European Championships, Nike released this black and light aqua colorway.
Furthermore, Nike offers black color options across all cleat types and models in their women’s pack.
Adidas Messi 15.2 FG and Nemeziz 17.3 FG are two of the Adidas women’s cleats that are available in a black colorway.
15 best black soccer cleats
- Nike Mercurial Superfly 7
- Adidas Predator 19.3 Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator 18.1 Firm Ground
- Adidas Samba Classic
- Adidas X 17+ Purespeed Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator 18+ Firm Ground
- Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator Tango 18.1 Trainers
- Adidas X Tango 18.3 Turf
- Adidas Copa 19.1 Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator 19.1 Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator 19.3 Turf
- Nike Phantom Vision Academy Dynamic Fit MG
- Nike Premier II Firm Ground
- Nike Phantom Vision Elite DF Firm Ground
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