10 Best Soccer Cleats For Men in 2022

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10 Best Soccer Cleats For Men in 2022

Soccer requires a lot of aggression, speed, and brute force. Because of this, it is seen as a largely masculine sport. As a result, many soccer cleats are designed primarily for men.

Brands like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour never cease to try to outdo each other with every soccer cleat that they release. Which one to get? 

To make decision-making a lot easier, we assessed almost 250 pairs of soccer cleats for men. Our top picks are presented in this article.

How we test soccer cleats

Maintaining our objectivity when making our top picks is important. Hence, we do the following:

  • Base our comments and eventual assessments only on actual usage in real soccer games
  • Buy the soccer cleats using our own funds to avoid gratitude-induced bias
  • Get the opinions of other testers

Aside from the qualitative reports, we also calculate and present a weighted rating called the CoreScore for each shoe. The score is based on the reviews coming from soccer players of varying backgrounds, levels of expertise, and playing styles.

Best soccer cleats overall for men

Adidas Predator Freak+
Adidas Predator Freak+
£129
Top pick

Corescore

93
Superb!
4.7 / 5 from 84 users
90 / 100 from 5 experts

Pros

  • Reliable traction
  • Pain-free rides
  • Secure containment
  • Good materials
  • Lightness

Cons

  • Hard to put on
  • Break-in needed

Verdict

The Predator Freak+ from Adidas is well-received by soccer players. Though there were no mention of any particular feature that stood out, the shoe as a whole gets the job done so well, and it's all that matters. Indeed, the whole is not equal to the sum of its parts.
See our full review and facts
Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 Elite FG
Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 Elite FG
£196
Also great

Corescore

87
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 121 users
91 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Reliably grippy: The sole plate and stud configuration work together to give what one expert describes as a "very solid (traction) package."
  • Nice forefoot texture: The engineered mesh on the forefoot provides a "matte feel," which of course enhances ball control.
  • Nice fit: A good number of soccer players report that these cleats hug their feet just right. Wide-footers still have to make size adjustments, though.
  • Light: Though this is a tiny bit heavier than the previous version, the Superfly 8 Elite feels so light that many soccer players enjoy wearing it on the pitch. 
  • Stylish: Several players can't help but point out the aesthetic appeal of these mid-top cleats from Nike.
  • Stable and supportive: The upper material is said be "more aligned with the movement of the foot," resulting in a good lockdown.

Cons

  • Needs break-in: This Nike soccer cleat needs some time to unleash its true fit and performance potential.
  • Less comfortable: Compared to the Flyknit in the Superfly 7, the Vaporposite material is less pliable. Because of this, players are prone to blisters.
  • Less protection: The upper is thinner, so it cannot provide as much protection as the Flyknit used in the previous versions.
  • Duplicate: Wearers and experts alike are bummed that the Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 Elite FG is just a collared and ridiculously more expensive version of the Mercurial Vapor 14.
  • Gimmicky: This soccer cleat has features, especially the Speed Wings in the rear portion, that do not really have functional significance; they are there for show. 

Verdict

The Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 Elite FG is NOT a bad shoe at all, we just have to be clear on that. It just follows a considerably well-reviewed Superfly 7, and not all attempts at improvement translated to a significant performance uptick. Still, it's a good shoe and buying it won't be a bad move.
See our full review and facts

Best indoor soccer cleats for men

Nike React Gato
Nike React Gato
Top pick

Corescore

80
Good!
4.8 / 5 from 39 users
N/A

Pros

  • Most reviews of the Nike React Gato indicate that the pair is comfortable to wear. 
  • A handful of commenters say that this indoor model provides good cushioning. 
  • The React cushioning system used for this model has been praised by several wearers. 
  • The soccer cleat feels broken in when you first wear it. 
  • The Nike Touch 360 technology integrated into the shoe’s construction delivers good traction. 
  • A couple of users indicate that this Nike cleat is durable. 
  • The shoe’s Flyknit upper delivers a good touch on the ball.

Cons

  • There are some users who felt that there should be more colorway options.

Verdict

The Nike React Gato was a much-anticipated pair especially by avid fans of the Gato line. More than just a comeback cleat, the pair also makes soccer cleat history as it push for innovation. The pair features three technologies: Nike Touch 360, Nike Flyknit, and Nike React. This resulted in a comfortable cleat that delivers good traction and ball control, especially for the indoor game.
See our full review and facts
Adidas Super Sala
Adidas Super Sala
Also great

Corescore

83
Great!
4.2 / 5 from 1,212 users
91 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Great fit
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Stylish look
  • High-quality materials
  • Cool colorways
  • Grips indoor floors
  • Good for walking or running
  • Great ball touch
  • Excellent clean strikes

Cons

  • Requires break-in period

Verdict

Comfort, style, and decent traction - it seems that the Adidas Super Sala has it all. The combination of materials used for the upper delivers a soft, breathable feel as it takes care of ball touch and control. The traction and grip provided by this indoor shoe are praised by players. Also, patrons just rave about the colorways that this pair is available in. Overall, if you’re looking for a shoe that brings good value for money, this pair is worth considering.
See our full review and facts

Best Adidas soccer cleats for men

Adidas Copa Sense+ FG
Adidas Copa Sense+ FG
£140
Top pick

Corescore

82
Good!
4.3 / 5 from 92 users
84 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Comfort: This soccer cleat is made of top-quality materials such as K-leather. As long as it's properly broken in, it feels great on foot.
  • Extra support: The material itself is already very supportive; but there is extra padding around the heel that reinforces that already great containment.
  • Pronounced touch: The feel of the upper is a lot better than most soccer cleats, so kicks and shots are more precise.
  • Excellent fit: This shoe wraps around the foot quite nicely. In fact, soccer players report that the Adidas Copa Sense+ fits like a glove.
  • Sleek look: Many players are happy with how streamlined and aesthetically appealing this Adidas soccer cleat is.

Cons

  • Blisters: It's quite unfortunate that the materials that make up the upper of the Adidas Copa Sense+ cause discomfort and even blisters, at least initially.
  • Not wide-footer friendly: This soccer cleat is only for those who have slightly narrow to normal feet; wide-footers should look for something else.
  • Durability issues: Materials started splitting or peeling off after just a few wears; totally unacceptable for an expensive cleat.
  • Break-in: Several players report that many features of this soccer cleat only get better over time.

Verdict

The Adidas Copa Sense+ works as a soccer cleat, as long as it's broken in pretty well. Because the break-in period can bring some pain, it is totally understandble if some players decide to turn their backs on this one. Fortunately, things do get better. Patience and perseverance are virtues indeed.
See our full review and facts
Adidas X Speedflow.1 FG
Adidas X Speedflow.1 FG
£180
Also great

Corescore

86
Great!
4.2 / 5 from 90 users
97 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Comfortable padding
  • Natural touch
  • Glove-like fit
  • Light
  • Easy to break in

Cons

  • Durability issues
  • Expensive

Verdict

The Adidas X Speedflow.1 FG is pretty much like the more premium X Speedflow+ in terms of performance and reception. Adidas appears to have made a good move replacing the successful X Ghosted with this new series. Players just love this soccer cleat and can't stop raving about how comfortable and fun it is.
See our full review and facts

Best Nike soccer cleats for men

Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Elite FG
Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Elite FG
£205
Top pick

Corescore

83
Great!
4.6 / 5 from 11 users
91 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Good ball touch
  • Nice traction
  • Conforming leather upper
  • Comfort that's immediately felt
  • Sturdy and protective materials
  • Supportive fit
  • Characteristic Tiempo feel
  • Light
  • Modern aesthetics

Cons

  • Hard to put on
  • Stud pressure

Verdict

Given all the good things that have been said about it, there is no doubt now that the Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Elite FG is a good pick. It's conservative enough to not disappoint Nike Tiempo fans, but daring enough to attract skeptical new buyers/wearers. It's quite pricey, but it surely compensates for it with great performance.
See our full review and facts
Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite FG
Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite FG
£166
£180
Also great

Corescore

87
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 99 users
91 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Good traction: A "very solid (traction) package," this is how an expert characterizes the grip provided by the Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite FG.
  • Reliable ball feel: Because it has engineered mesh on the upper, this soccer cleat has the right texture for effective ball handling.
  • Great fit: Those with slightly narrow to normal feet find that this soccer shoe fits them just right.
  • Light feel: The Vapor 14 is a little heavier than last year's version, but it still feels so light and this is all that matters for many soccer players.
  • Support and stability: The upper material has a closer fit that it conforms to the foot well and moves with it, ensuring dependable foot containment. 
  • Stylish: Several players point out that these mid-top cleats from Nike look streamlined and are aesthetically appealing.

Cons

  • Break-in time: Soccer players are annoyed that they still have to experience blisters before the Vapor 14 softens up and starts to perform better.
  • Less protective upper: The Vaporposite is thinner than the last version's material, so it cannot provide that much protection against trauma.
  • Useless add-ons: This low-top soccer cleat has features like the Speed Wings that appear to be only overhyped embellishments.
  • Copied design: Soccer athletes accuse Nike of being lazy because the Mercurial Superfly 8 and the Mercurial Vapor 14 are practically just the same shoe; the vapor 14 is just missing the Superfly 8's Flyknit collar.

Verdict

Indeed, it's difficult to follow a shoe that's well received because topping the new standard will be quite a feat. This is definitely the case with the Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite FG; but make no mistake, this is still a high-performing shoe that's going to be worth the money you pay for it.
See our full review and facts

Best value soccer cleats for men

Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 Academy MG
Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 Academy MG
Top pick

Corescore

79
Good!
4.2 / 5 from 291 users
N/A

Pros

  • Comfortable for playing football
  • Good ball control
  • Excellent support
  • Stability
  • Secure fit
  • Durable 
  • Stylish look

Cons

  • Requires break-in period
  • Hard to put on

Verdict

Just because a soccer cleat is priced more affordably doesn't really mean that it's inferior in terms of quality and performance. The Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 Academy MG is proof of this. It offers all that a soccer player would want in a cleat, so you would really think you get more than what you pay for when you get it.
See our full review and facts
Nike Phantom GT Academy MG
Nike Phantom GT Academy MG
Also great

Corescore

79
Good!
4.0 / 5 from 287 users
86 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Aggressive traction
  • Comfortable fit
  • Light
  • Stylish streamlined appearance

Cons

  • Rigid upper materials
  • Excess material in the forefoot
  • Not for wide feet
See our full review and facts