7 Best Football Cleats in 2023

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Athletic brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour release numerous football cleats making it quite a challenge to choose the right one for you.

We have tested over 20 pairs to help you narrow down the choice. Low-top or high-top, cheaper or premium, we have selected our top picks in various categories so that you can choose what works best for your game.

In the guide section below, you will also find some helpful tips on choosing between laces, straps, and slip-ons, as well as molded vs. detachable cleats. You will also understand the difference between football and soccer cleats.

How we test football Cleats

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.

Best football Cleats overall

What makes it the best?

The Nike Alpha Menace Pro 3 may be a takedown model, but it's proof that a high-performing football cleat doesn't really have to be expensive. It delivers performance chops that matter to a wide range of players, making it one of the most versatile models on the shelves. Beginners and players with more fluid roles in the game get to benefit the most from this football cleat.


  • A versatile performer
  • Amazing traction
  • Great wraparound comfort
  • Superb foot containment and stability
  • Dependably springy
  • Feels lighter than it really is
  • Quite easy to put on
  • Fairly affordable


  • Not for wide footers
  • Polarizing looks
Full review of Nike Alpha Menace Pro 3

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Any color
White/White/White/Black (CT6649100)
Black/Black/Black (CT6649001)
Blue (CT6649101)
White/College Navy/Black (CT6649108)
Black (CT6649007)
Blue (CT6649400)
White/White/Black (CT6649105)

Best high football Cleats

What makes it the best?

The Adidas Adizero Primeknit adds sock-like goodness to the ever-popular Adizero football cleat. It delivers all of that good stuff you expect from a top-tier boot including comfort, support, grip, and lightness. Players don't mind paying the extra to get it all in one shoe. This model is also considered as very good-looking with its clean silhouette and appealing colorways.


  • Excellent overall performance
  • Fits true-to-size
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Sharp-looking style
  • Upper gives a premium feel
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable ankle support
  • Durable


  • Sells out fast
Full review of Adidas Adizero Primeknit

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Any color
Black (GW7994)
Footwear White/Navy Blue (GZ0426)

Best Adidas football Cleats

What makes it the best?

The Adidas Adizero 8.0 is one of the lightest football cleats on the market today. According to owners, these low-top cleats from Adidas feel light and are easy to run in. These football cleats are also comfortable and provide excellent support when sprinting down the field. Skill players looking for a light, comfortable, and supportive cleat should definitely consider grabbing a pair of these low-tops from the Three Stripes.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to wear
  • Easy to break-in
  • Fits perfectly
  • Reliable heel lockdown
  • Comfortable to wear


  • Slightly narrow
  • Slightly non-durable
Full review of Adidas Adizero 8.0

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Any color
Multi (F35077)
Collegiate Royal/White/Bright Royal (F36588)
White/Power Red/Active Red (D97028)
Black (EE4631)
Blue (G27955)
Cloud White/Collegiate Purple/Chalk (F35186)
Green (F35180)
Black (BB7704)
Orange (EE7452)

Best mid football Cleats

What makes it the best?

Football players just can't get enough of the newest addition to Nike's Vapor Line: the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360. Athletes who bought this shoe have nothing but praise for it as it helps them perform excellently on the field.


  • Great traction
  • Superb comfort
  • Fits true to size
  • Sufficient lockdown
  • Trendy and stylish look
  • Light
  • Perfect for quarterback positions
  • Ideal for quick cuts
  • Nice bounce


  • Noticeable wear after a few months
  • Requires break-in period
  • Thin insoles
  • Heavy
Full review of Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360

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Any color
Black/Volt/White (DQ3670071)
Black White Dark Smoke Grey (DQ3670001)
White/Metallic Silver/Wolf Grey (DQ3670102)
White/Navy/Black (DV0778001)
Black/Team Orange-white (DV0778004)
White Black Pure Platinum (DQ3670100)
Black/White/Dark Smoke Grey (DQ3670041)
Black Metallic Gold (DQ3558071)
More colors

Best low football Cleats

What makes it the best?

When it comes to the overall experience, the Adidas Adizero Scorch is able to hold its own even when compared to more expensive cleats for football. Several players are happy with how light and fast they feel when they wear it. This football shoe is such a pleasure to use on the gridiron even game officials are wearing it. It's not an exaggeration to say that you get more than what you pay for when you get this Adidas football cleat.


  • Overall comfort
  • Better-than-expected quality
  • Lightweight feel
  • Reliable grip
  • Nice foot containment
  • Affordable
  • Streamlined look


  • Break-in is needed
  • Tricky fit
Full review of Adidas Adizero Scorch

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Any color
Core Black-night Metallic (EH1318)
Black/White/Black (GW5071)
Red (FW4085)

Best value

What makes it the best?

The Nike Alpha Menace 3 Shark is an affordable gift that just keeps on giving. Aside from being a great football cleat, this shoe also lends itself to other sports. It's not a surprise that it is a top choice among younger players. More experienced players should stop sleeping on this.


  • Good traction on turf
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Well-made and supportive upper
  • True-to-size fit
  • Versatile usage
  • Affordable
  • Stylish look


  • Not durable base
  • Mostly used by kids
Full review of Nike Alpha Menace 3 Shark

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Any color
Black/White (CV0582109)
Black/White (CV0584001)
White/Game Royal/Black (CV0582101)
White/University Red/Black (CV0582103)
White/Black (CV0582100)

Comparison of the 7 best football Cleats

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Users rating
Best price
# of colorways

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.

low top.png Mid top.png high top.png

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.

Lace up.png

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.


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

Slip on.png

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.





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. 


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.

Football cleat.png Soccer cleat.png

Football Cleats

Soccer Cleats



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.