A soccer player’s cleats are one of the essential pieces of equipment that can determine how they play. Of course, there is no substitution for talent and hard work, but the truth is that cleats can definitely affect performance in various ways.
One shoe isn’t going to be the best option for every player, which is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do the research, so you don’t have to!
Top 5 Soccer Cleats For 2018
Here is a quick overview of the best soccer cleats for 2018!
|Nike Mercurial Superfly||Men's||Lightweight, contoured nylon plate, unique stud configuration, integrated ribbing in upper, works well in wet or dry conditions, perforated and contoured sockliner, anti-skid top cloth|
|Puma Evospeed Sl||Men's||Dual density nylon outsole, Speedtrack spine for midfoot stability, minimalistic heel counter, injected traction studs|
|Adidas F50 Adizero Messi||Men's||Hybridtouch upper, durable, flexible, breathable, pre-molded sockliner, AgION liquid technology, prevents odors from bacteria, unique design|
|Nike Tiempo Legacy||Women's||Good price, soft PU leather, waterproof design, good air ventilation, durable plastic cleats, very flexible|
|Nike Bravata||Kid's||Great price, rubber sole, durable synthetic upper, soft touch, micro-textured upper, asymmetrical lacing system|
Now that you’ve read a bit about each model, it’s time to scroll down further and take an in-depth look at each of the products!
Mercurial Superfly – Best Overall Product
As some of the best soccer cleats of 2017, the Nike Mercurial Superfly cleats are one of the brand’s finest products to date.
Let’s not ignore the style that goes with them.
The dark body works perfectly with the contrasting decals (colors and styles somewhat vary so choose accordingly) stylishly placed along the flanks. The sleek, smooth design gives a very modern feel to the shoe, as well as overall functionality.
If you’re a seasoned soccer player or have literally ever played before, then you’ll know the importance of having ankle stability. With that being said, there are many boots out there that simply don’t provide enough support to this area; however, these do.
The extra ankle support that comes from the elastic ankle guard is something else and provides a solid fit. Not only do they work to prevent injury and instability, but also help you keep control of yourself and the ball better. Sure, you could purchase some shin guards with them included, but it’s nice to know that these won’t slide around or anything while you’re playing.
As some of the best soccer boots for shooting, Nike has incorporated lightweight contoured nylon plates, along with a revolutionary stud configuration and integrated ribbing in the upper to create a boot for the modern, high-speed game.
The stud configuration was actually created with the help of computer modeling to accomplish the perfect balance of traction, torque, and comfort. If you play in both wet and dry conditions, you’ll love the contoured, perforated sockliner, which gives low-profile cushioning and helps with traction inside the shoe.
If we’re to get technical, know that the Mercurial’s live up to many high standards that players should always have. Nike has a wonderful guarantee which protects you from any manufactural errors or mistakes, so you can rest assured you’ll be receiving a high-quality product.
We did notice that the first few uses, they kind of hurt our heels, but after they were adequately broken in, all was good and just as comfortable as the rest of the boot.
What We Liked
- Lightweight, solid construction
- Great design; fashionable
- Revolutionary stud configuration for traction, torque, and comfort
- Integrated ribbing in upper for better ball handling
What We Didn’t Like
- Hurt our heels the first few uses, until adequately broken in
Puma evoSPEED Sl – Most Lightweight Product
The Puma evoSPEED SL is sure to catch your eye, but there is so much more than just the style.
The pink color scheme is sure to catch the attention of others, and if you don’t mind wearing it, then go for it! However, there are other colorways that definitely look just as good, if not better, depending on your own personal tastes. The Puma designers seem to always know what they’re doing.
The almost-see-through textile upper is somewhat unique, and while it does provide a lot of ventilation and airflow, they also don’t provide much protection.
The SpeedFrame which is typically found with the traditional evoSPEEDs has been kind of stripped down to create an extremely minimalistic design. With that being said, they’re definitely not the most durable boot out there.
Now, onto the upside of the design:
When controlling the ball, the ball feels honestly much closer than it ever has before, with other cleats. To be honest, it almost felt like wearing some type of plastic sock with studs added to the bottoms. The frame holds the upper together, which does give it a bit more stability.
The all-new stud design also takes quite a bit of weight off of the older design, and also takes the traditionally-thick SpeedTrack bar, and converts it into two separate bars to accomplish the same task.
The stud pattern is great if you like ultra-thin/light cleats, and also makes sure you don’t slip around when making sharp cuts and turns.
In terms of comfort, this is one of the best football boots ever designed.
The SL is very comfortable with both relaxed sessions and actual matches, mainly due to the very thin textile upper; I think we’d be hard-pressed to find a thinner, closer-feeling boot. The soleplate is also comfortable and completely lacks stud pressure.
So, what’s it like on the wallet?
Well, this is where things get a bit difficult. If you have the money to spend on a high-quality boot that just isn’t as durable as others, then this may be worth it for you.
However, many won’t be able to justify the longevity of this boot for the price.
What We Liked
- Ultra-thin, very close upper
- Very lightweight design
- Comfortable upper and soleplate
- Great ventilation and airflow
What We Didn’t Like
- Not very durable construction
- On the expensive side for a boot that doesn’t last very long
Adidas F50 Adizero – Editor’s Favorite
The Adidas F50 Adizero is one of the best soccer cleats under 150 dollars, on the market today.
So, how is it in terms of comfort?
The upper is made from a single piece of HybridTouch synthetic, which means no annoying seams to irritate or rub against your feet.
The laces run straight down the middle, however, there are some graphics and texturing on the upper’s outer appearance. However, none of them really affect the performance or fit of the cleats.
The HybridTouch material is still very thin, and feels more intuitive with its flexibility, making it ultra-comfy.
It seems to be quite snug-fitting and gives that almost bare feeling when on the pitch. So these soccer cleats are good for those with narrow feets.
This pair comes with one set of insoles. This set is just like the “comfort” insoles, but honestly much more high-quality. The insole is fully-removable and comes with a faux-suede lining, made from thicker/denser foam than before.
The interior of the upper of these cleats features very thin, faux suede, meaning that the shoe overall remains thin. The heel has a smooth, synthetic liner, which is a bit slick but will minimize after an hour or so.
The new soleplate is really something to take note of and is much more comfortable than what we found in prior models.
How’s the traction?
Well, this model features a unique firm ground stud pattern, which has great multi-directional traction. For example, when placing weight on your toes, you actually still feel very close to the ground and sturdy, rather than off-balance like with others out there.
In contrast with the Mercurial, despite being so lightweight and thin, it’s actually quite sturdy. They hold up well over time, and can definitely last at least an entire season, if not even more.
It’s important to remember that this boot was designed to only be used on solid, natural grass-playing surfaces only. If used on artificial grass or turf, it will definitely have a negative effect on the durability of these boots.
What We Liked
- Extremely lightweight
- Quite durable, with solid construction
- Unique firm ground stud pattern
- Very comfortable, flexible, tight design
What We Didn’t Like
- Not ideal for those with very wide feet
- Not recommended for soft ground/turf
Nike Tiempo Legacy – Best Women’s Product
One of the best soccer boots for strikers we found for women is the Nike Tiempo Legacy. Comfort is important in any sport, and that’s a huge reason why we rated the Tiempo Legacy so high.
The fit and overall shape is easily the most distinguishable feature of the boot in comparison with the prior models. It features the x1.1 last, which comes originally from the Hypervenom Phantom. This gives the Legacy a unique fit when compared to any others on the market today.
It focuses an intuitive, natural fit: A bit wider in the forefoot and a bit more narrow in the toe box.
Now, we will say, that right when you put them on, you’re going to notice a bit of awkwardness in terms of comfort. However, it will loosen up a bit and allow the leather to form to the shape of your foot. In fact, we found in just an hour or so, they started to get really comfortable.
This boot accommodates a variety of foot, as long as you don’t have really wide feet. Keep in mind that the Legacy does fit half a size small, so remember to go up half a size when ordering! This change in size is generally just because of the change in the shape.
The calfskin leather upper feels soft and flexible and moves to the shape of your foot. It’s also very durable and holds up with most other high-end leather models currently on the market.
The Hypershield liner is a thin, honeycomb mesh. Not only is it very soft and comfortable, but the fact that it is so thin means that it adds minimal bulk, and still feels very thin.
In addition, they’ve added a memory foam insert through the middle of the tongue to help prevent any chafing and add to the comfort level. The heel is also padded, but with synthetic leather, increasing comfort further, and locking the heel in place.
The insole is completely removable and made from high-quality foam.
The weight isn’t quite as light as the previous products we have on our list, however, it is still lightweight, weighing in at just 8.8 ounces. You’d have a difficult finding a traditionally-styled boot like this one, that is as lightweight as the Legacy.
The traction is also a bit different and features almost the same classic Tiempo stud pattern. You still have the four-bladed studs under the heel and the four conical studs on both lateral and medial forefoot sides. However, there are now two-bladed, support studs in the middle of the forefoot.
In addition, they’ve added a tiny, bladed stud right at the tip of the toe. While it is very tiny, it actually does make a difference in grip when you get to start off on a sprint.
The soleplate in this top soccer cleat of 2018, is very thin and flexible and made of TPU, which moves right along the natural bend of your foot.
Overall, we loved the high level of maneuverability and stability that the Legacy provides. You’ll feel plenty of grip with sharp turns and when pushing off for a sprint because of this.
What We Liked
- Unique, innovative stud design for great stability and traction
- Soleplate is very flexible and comfortable
- Memory foam, padded heel is comfortable
- Not a bad price
What We Didn’t Like
- Can be a bit tight for those with wider feet
Nike Bravata – Best Kid’s Product
The Nike Bravata is no doubt one of the best soccer cleats of 2018. While kids may not be playing on the same level of many adults, their quality of the boot is still very important.
Given the fact that many times, children don’t speak out when something is uncomfortable, or they may assume that that’s just how the boot is supposed to feel.
Your little one can dribble down the field with ease with this model, which features sleek, comfortable microtextured synthetic leather uppers for supreme ball grip and control.
The asymmetrical lacing system expands the ball-control area, making it easier for them to run the ball, pass, and shoot. The die-cut EVA sock liners provide low-profile cushioning which helps reduce stud pressure, making it easier to stay comfortable.
The outsoles feature TPU plates and conical and chevron studs for supreme traction on firm, natural grass surfaces. We do not recommend you use these boots on turf or fake grass
What We Liked
- Great traction with both conical and chevron studs
- Microtextured synthetic leather uppers for great ball grip
- TPU plates for sturdiness
What We Didn’t Like
- Not recommended for turf
Best Soccer Cleats – Buyer’s Guide
No matter what your playing level is, know that buying the best soccer cleats are going to help how you play, in terms of comfort, a feeling of closeness, grip, durability, and much more.
Moving swiftly and confidently on the field will not only ensure you’re less fatigued but will also improve your game in many ways. You’ll be able to intercept faster, last longer on the field due to extra protection, and can even improve shooting accuracy.
If you have questions, simply read through the buying guide below, which will surely help you out.
Wearing uncomfortable shoes is never acceptable, and shouldn’t even be considered on a soccer field. The overall fit of your boots is one of the most important aspects of your game. If you aren’t comfortable, you’re definitely not going to be performing at the level you’re capable of.
If blisters are an issue, make sure to look for things like extra padding, the size that fits your foot in terms of both width and length, and so on.
A collar goes hand-in-hand with the fit, however, it focuses a bit more on the ankle aspect: how much rotation and bending you’ll have. Loose collars mean you’ll be able to rotate your ankle fast to change direction, but it’s also more dangerous as far as the risk of injury goes.
This is a feature often overlooked by more novice players, as they don’t pay much attention to the individual design or think it has an effect on their game.
Cleat design technology has changed quite a bit over recent years, and have changed shapes to include cylinders, chevrons, triangles, and more!
These will vary depending on the position they’re made for. Striker cleats will typically have more on the forefoot, and an even spread will be designed more for a defender, who often goes every direction.
The upper is highly important, mainly because this is what will wrap around the majority of your foot, and is the part that will take the most hits on the field. Passing, shooting, colliding with other feet – all of that comes from the upper (most of the time).
Look for a durable, comfortable upper. Some players prefer very thin uppers, as it gives a more barefoot feel, allowing them for better ball control. However, these typically do not last as long and can leave a bit of a sting when shooting.
Uppers made of leather may be thicker and a bit heavier, but they will usually last much longer, and will protect the foot a bit more. It all depends on your preference.
As previously mentioned, you’re going to want to also think about the position you play when making a decision.
If you’re a striker, you’re going to need to be fast, which means a durable upper, somewhat flexible, and lightweight. Choose a stud design that has a front-balanced conical stud configuration.
If you’re a defender, you need excellent maneuverability and a fast kick-off. Choose something with evenly-balanced conical studs, a tight collar to protect your ankles, and a snug fit. We highly recommend the Mercurial Superfly for defenders.
If you’re a keeper, you need a solid pair of boots with a strong upper made of a leather/synthetic textile mesh blend. Front toe padding will be really important, as well as good traction for a quick push off.
No matter which shoe you pick, know that this list is full of great options. We personally loved each one of them, for different reasons. However, our personal favorite was the Adidas F50 Messi Adizero.
The style is unbeatable, and extremely fashionable with the Battle Pack/Argentina fusion going on. Aside from that, the upper is very durable and well-constructed, however, still very lightweight. It’s flexible just enough, and nice and comfortable.
The stud configuration allows for good balance and a quick push-off, which is great for just about any position. The insole is very comfortable, made with thick, dense foam, so you can play for hours without any discomfort.
So, which of these soccer cleats are you going to choose?