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High top soccer cleats in history
A flashback to the history of soccer will prove to us that high top soccer cleats are not a 21st-century trend. The original soccer cleats that were invented were all made to have ankle support. High top soccer cleats have been prevalent as early as the 1500’s.
Here are some snippets in history that tell us the story of collared cleats:
- The original soccer cleat was claimed to have been invented in the 1500’s. It was created by the shoemaker, Cornelius Johnson. King Henry VIII was the first one to wear it. The pair was described to be ankle high and was made of heavy leather.
- In the 1800’s when soccer was popular in Britain, the first cleats with steel toe cap, metal, and laces were created. Several years after, the first ever cleat made specifically for soccer was made. Both shoes were designed with ankle-high support.
- In the late 19th century, there was a high demand for competitive soccer cleats. It was then the start of the one of the most significant evolution in soccer cleat construction. A shift from a cleat-style shoe to slipper-type began.
- From the 1940s to 1960s, the demand for ankle-high styled cleats declined. In this era, many were more concerned with comfort and performance rather than protection. By the end of the 1960s, most of the cleats were constructed with lower-top.
- Fast forward to the 21st century, high-top cleats have once again emerged and are now prevalent even in the most current models. The technology has dramatically improved the ankle support. Several manufacturers including the soccerwear behemoths, Adidas, Nike, and Puma have produced high top soccer cleats that are built for comfort and performance.
Notable technologies used in Nike and Adidas high top soccer cleats
As of 2017, only Nike and Adidas offer high top soccer cleats. Puma, on the other hand, provides mid top and low top soccer cleats. Soccer cleats brands such as Asics, Diadora, Lotto and New Balance feature low top soccer cleats. Under Armour offers high top soccer cleats engineered only for American soccer.
Nike high top soccer shoes
Dynamic Fit is a collar built from a stretchable sock-like material. The concept sprung from the Nike design team’s goal to build a lock down element in a high top soccer cleat. They wanted to develop a technology that would work harmoniously with Flyknit to enhance the barefoot feel. The innovation is engineered to create a glove-like sensation, securing the foot from the ankles to the toes without any disruption.
With the Dynamic Fit, the lower leg, the foot, and the ankle are meant to synchronize to produce natural movements. Feedback from prototypes revealed that the collar made players more confident and cognizant of their physical interaction with the ball and the ground.
Contrary to the usual cleat extensions, Dynamic Fit is not mainly built for ankle support. The revolutionary sock-like collar serves to lock in the foot securely to avoid those unwanted slippages internally. Additionally, it was developed to heighten the next-to-skin touch for the ball.
Dynamic Fit collar variations based on collections
The Dynamic Fit collar is showcased in more than one collection. All are made from the same stretchable material but are anatomically shaped to produce different sensations and functions. Below is the list of the Dynamic Fit variations and its corresponding feel to the feet:
The collar installed in the Magista Obra II Elite DF cleat is uniquely contoured to conform to the shape of the ankle bone. Around the ankles, it has a thicker and more stable construction than any other parts of the collar. The area can be easily distinguished with its contrasting color inspired by the idea of heat maps. The design is meant to offer more comfort in the said portion compared to other DF types.
The Achilles tendon area is structured to be lowered, forming a V formation from the rear view. It is shaped that way to prevent the possibility of blister formation as the skin in the said area is exposed and is not rubbing into the DF fabric.
The same collar is found in the following Magista soccer shoes: Obra SG-Pro Anti Clog Traction, MagistaX Proximo II Turf and Indoor, and Obra II AG-Pro.
The Dynamic Fit found in Nike Magista Obra 2 DF Academy is an extension that offers a sock-like fit. It is not as stretchy as the other collars in the Magista series but is meant to provide stability as the ankle pivots. The Nike Hypervenom Phantom 3 DF Academy and Mercurial Victory VI are some the soccer shoes designed with the said collar.
The Dynamic Fit seen in Hypervenom Phantom is distinctly patterned to look as if the collar’s medial side is longer than the lateral side. Its angular opening produces a glove-like fit in the lower leg for secured lock down. The sides have ragged knitted ridges that can expand like a rubber band to slip the cleat on comfortably. It also doubles as a lockdown element, giving the foot more room for stretching while in motion.
The Artificial Grass version of Hypervenom Phantom DF is installed with the same collar. Other cleats with the same extended collar are HyperVenomX Proximo II and Hypervenom Phatal III Elite DF.
The Nike Hypervenom Phantom 3 DF Academy carries the same Dynamic Fit collar found in Nike Magista Obra 2 DF Academy. It is a knitted collar that extends through the instep to mimic a sock-like response.
The extended collar found in Mercurial Superfly V features the original version of Dynamic Fit. From the side view, it is longer than any other Dynamic Fit variations. The construction is engineered to primarily produce a natural sensation from the lower leg by giving a snug and non-restricting fit. It provides a tightness that does not impede foot movements, brought by the elastic ridges in V-formation.
Mercurial Veloce III Firm Ground, MercurialX Proximo II Turf and Mercurial Superfly V AG-Pro high top soccer cleats from the Mercurial line up has the same kind of Dynamic Fit collar.
Adidas high top soccer cleats
Two of the several categories of Adidas soccer cleats are built with collars that are meant to offer a sock-like sensation. These high top soccer cleats are tailored to provide ankle and lower leg comfort and stability. Contrary to Nike’s collar style, the high top soccer cleats in Adidas are produced as a one-piece construction and is not a separate part of the ankle area.
Sockfit is Adidas stretchy collar that extends from the ankles to the toes. As what the name suggests, it is engineered to mimic the sensation from a sock, a foot-hugging feel. However, it has been innovated to a more durable version of an ordinary sock through its thicker but breathable texture.
A variation of Sockfit is seen in Predator 18.1 Firm Ground which features Primeknit. It is Adidas exclusive knitting technology that is digitally engineered to produce yarns that allow flexibility in the ankle area. Overall, it is a lightweight material that wraps the lower leg comfortably.
All soccer cleats in the Predator line-up are manufactured with Sockfit.
Frequently asked questions
How would I know if high top soccer cleats would work for me?
Choosing between low top and high top soccer cleats boils down to a matter of preference. It is not necessarily built to enhance a player’s performance but it works best if you feel comfortable wearing it.
Here are some of things you need to consider when deciding between a collared or a low top soccer cleat:
- One of the things you need to consider is if you prefer the look of the cleats with a high collar. You will feel more at ease if you personally like what are you are wearing.
- Secondly, a high top soccer cleat offers a distinct type of sensation when worn. You need to determine if you are more comfortable with a sock-like feel that covers a portion of your ankles or lower leg. A high collared cleat provides a seamless sensation due to its one-piece construction. It feels more of the cleat wrapping your foot as opposed to being strapped around.
- The breaking in process also helps to reach that comfort level you desire. It’s not just the footbed and the toe box that require breaking in. Getting used to a collar is also crucial.
- If you prefer more padding in the heel area, then a high top cleat may not be for you. High cut cleats are usually designed with firmer heel counters due to the installation of the collars.
What are the differences between low top, mid top, and high top soccer cleats?
The terms have been interchangeably used by many, but just like any other contrasting concepts, there is a thin line between the definitions of mid top and high top collars. It is due to the almost unnoticeable difference between the two. Mid-cut collars are said to offer coverage until the ankle level. High top soccer cleat, on the other hand, extends through the lower leg which makes it longer than the mid-top version.
For top sportswear brands such as Nike, a mid-cut collar variation does not exist. Cleats from Nike are categorized into either low top or high top soccer cleats. Adidas has high top soccer and mid-cut variations but does not necessarily label it as such. They simply describe it as a collar. The Predator 18.2 Firm Ground is a high top soccer cleat identified through its full ankle coverage while the likes of Adidas X 17+ Purespeed Firm Ground is a mid-cut cleat as it does not cover the ankles completely.
Low top cleats are easy to spot as they are the usual soccer cleats without any extensions or collars.
How to fix a loose Dynamic Fit collar?
If the Dynamic Fit has been overstretched and does not offer the same snug fit the way it was before, a unique technique can be used to avoid trashing your cleat away. The high top soccer cleat can still be worn and will fit as good as new with an improvised collar using these steps:
- Tie the excess portion of your laces around your ankles, wrapping the lower leg with the laces.
- Start the lacing either from the back or front of the lower leg, whichever you prefer.
- Position the tie-in line with the Achilles to create that snug fit.
- Repeat steps 1-3.
- Form a secure knot with the laces.
- Fold the collar over the laces and adjust it according to your preferred fit.
How do I cut the Dynamic Fit collar in my Nike soccer shoe?
Amateur and professional players who have opted to cut out the Dynamic Fit collar from their Nike high top soccer cleats do it for reasons, such as discomfort and pain. They felt that the collar was too constricting for their lower leg and that it eventually caused them blisters. Some felt discomfort due to the loose ends due to overstretching.
Regardless of the reason, the procedure is not highly recommended as it will do more harm than good. Here are the reasons why you should not take that collar off from your high top soccer cleats:
- The reason for the discomfort one may feel may not necessarily be coming from the collar. At times, it can be mistaken as a discomfort element when other factors such as the heel counter or heel fit may be causing it. Cutting the collar off may not significantly increase the comfort of the cleat.
- If the collar was not cut thoroughly and resulted in uneven edges, the cut portion can’t be sewn back. The procedure may end being counterproductive, and one may end up trashing their high top soccer cleat away. More importantly, it will not be qualified for a possible replacement as per Nike’s return policy. Nike’s warranty team will not honor any durability complaint once a cleat has been deliberately altered such as cutting the collar off.
- The knitted rims of the cut portion are highly susceptible to even more damage due to its ripped stitches. Once those edges are cut, there is no way to seal it back to its original shape. Consequently, the knit will start to potentially fray from the heel to the upper area.
- The collar is built to promote a natural sensation of the high top soccer cleat being an extension to the foot. Without the collar, the extension below the laces will feel loose and unstable. Removing it defeats the purpose of secured lock down.
What is the Adidas Primeknit FS? Is it a high top soccer cleat?
The concept of Adidas Primeknit FS was launched in 2014. It is the world’s first-ever knitted cleat with a sock hybrid. The one-of-a-kind innovation features a sock extension that reaches up to the calf. By far, it has the highest collar ever to be placed on a soccer cleat. Up to this point, Primeknit FS still remains to be a concept and has not gone past the design stage. The idea was hyped during the release of Nike Magista series.
Are high top soccer cleats more expensive than low top ones?
Generally, high top soccer cleats are more expensive than their low top counterparts. This is the usual case with Nike cleats if both come from the same line-up. For example, Nike Mercurial Victory VI is $10 more than its low top version. However, in comparison to other low top cleats in a different series such as Nike Tiempo Legend VII, the Mercurial Victory VI Dynamic Fit is way cheaper. The collared series in Adidas namely the Predator and Ace have the same price range in comparison to other non-collared series such as Nemeziz.
Do other brands such as Diadora and Lotto offer high top soccer cleats?
Diadora and Lotto do not offer any high top soccer cleats currently. All of the cleats available in their line-ups are low-top soccer cleats.
Does Puma offer high top soccer cleats?
Currently, Puma offers mid top soccer cleats with their Puma One and Puma Future series. The rest of the Puma collections offer low top soccer cleats only.
Can I use high top rugby cleats in a soccer match?
Although some rugby cleats are designed to be high top, it is not highly recommended to wear these cleats in a soccer play. Some high top and mid top rugby cleats are engineered to have ankle straps and collars that can get in between the ball and the foot. More importantly, wearing a shoe not engineered for the sport may cause unwanted injuries.
15 best high soccer cleats
- Adidas Predator 19.3 Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator 18.1 Firm Ground
- Nike Mercurial Superfly VI Elite Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator 19+ Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator 18+ Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator 18.2 Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator 19.3 Laceless Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator Tango 18+ Trainers
- Adidas Predator Tango 18.3 Indoor
- Adidas Predator 19.1 Firm Ground
- Nike Mercurial Superfly VI Academy Multi-ground
- Adidas Predator 19.2 Firm Ground
- Adidas Predator Tango 19.3 Indoor
- Nike Phantom Vision Academy Dynamic Fit MG
- Nike Phantom Vision Elite DF Firm Ground
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