6 Best Football Cleats Reviewed for Traction, Grip, Turning & More


Best High-cut
Under Armour Men's UA Highlight MC Football Cleats

Under Armour Highlight MC 

  • Superior flexibility
  • Powerful support
  • Lightweight
Best Low-cut
Nike Men's Alpha Shark Football Cleats

Nike Alpha Shark

  • Dynamic Fit
  • Great traction
  • Ankle support
Best For Kids
Under Armour Youth Hammer Mid Molded Football Cleats

Under Armour Hammer Mid Molded 

  • Lightweight
  • Maximum support
  • Die-cut EVA

When it comes to playing football, the gear is crucial to your performance. You can’t expect to get the ball into the end zone with a mediocre pair of cleats. With all the available choices on the market, it can be difficult to determine what the best options are.

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you find the best football cleats for your game. Don’t sacrifice your game to a low-quality pair of cleats any longer. Invest in the best so you can play at the top level.


Comparison Table - Best Football Cleats


Image 
Product Name
High/Mid/Low
Colour Options
Amazon Rating
View Product
Under Armour Men's UA Highlight MC Football Cleats

Under Armour Men's UA Highlight MC​

High

10 options

Adidas Men's Performance Turf Hog LX Low Football Cleat

Adidas Men's Performance Turf Hog LX

Low

Black/Titanium/Black, Black/White/Black, Black/White

Nike Men's Vapor Shark 2 Football Cleat

Nike Men's Vapor 

Shark 2

Low

33 options

Adidas Performance Men's Filthyspeed Mid Football Cleat

Adidas Performance Filthyspeed

Mid

Red/White, Black/Platinum, Blue/Black, Black/White

Adidas Performance Men's Turf Hog LX Mid Football Cleat

Adidas Performance Turf Hog LX

Mid

Black/White, Black/White/Silver

Nike Vapor Carbon Elite TD Men's Football Cleats

Nike Vapor Carbon Elite TD Cleats

Low

55 options

Nike Men's Alpha Shark Football Cleats

Nike Men's Alpha Shark Cleats

Low

5 options

Nike Men's Field General Pro TD Football Lacrosse Cleats

Nike Men's Field General Pro TD

Mid

7 options

Under Armour Boys' UA Highlight RM Jr

Under Armour UA Highlight RM Jr.

High

Black/White, Black/Team Royal, Black/Classic Green 

Nike Kids Vapor Shark 2 BG Football Cleat

Nike Kids Vapor Shark 2 BG ​

Low

8 options


Differences Between Cleats for Adults and Cleats for Youths/Kids


One of the main differences you’ll find between cleats for adults and cleats for kids is the price tag. 

Most styles of youth football cleats are going to be priced anywhere between $35 to $100. In comparison, adult football cleats generally seem to range from $60 to $200. That’s a big price difference.

Obviously part of the price discrepancy is due to the extra materials that are needed in a larger cleat size. There’s another reason for the varying pricing as well.

Durability! Keep this in mind; your children are going to get a pair of football cleats at the beginning of one season and then what happens? That’s right! They outgrow them before next season. That means each year, you’re buying brand new football cleats for them.

Adults can purchase a pair of football cleats and they could last for years if properly taken care of. For that reason, youth football cleats don’t need to be made as strong as a pair of adult football cleats. You’re going to find some reinforcements and additional quality standards in many adult options.

I’m not suggesting that youth football cleats aren’t made of high-quality materials, but I’m recommending that you choose your pair carefully.


Considerations for Buying Quality Football Cleats


When preparing to purchase a new pair of football cleats, there are several features to look for.

Ankle Support

There are two main varieties of cleats that offer varying support for the ankle. A mid-cut cleat is going to support the ankle without restricting movement. They’re generally available in a variety of different heights. A low-cut cleat is lightweight and can be worn by skill position players. Without an extended top on these cleats, you receive maximum maneuverability but less ankle support.


Durability

Durability tends to go hand in hand with the cost. Most often, the more you spend on a pair of football cleats, the longer they tend to last. An affordable cleat offers lightweight performance and is ideal for a youth or some college players. They will typically feature synthetic uppers, few advanced technologies and a basically configured outsole.

Higher end football cleats are geared more toward the professional player. These will deliver pro-level speed, performance and maneuvering. They tend to be made from high-quality leather and synthetic uppers. In addition, you can expect to find comfortable ankle support and innovative cushioning systems.


Materials

Football cleats can be made from a variety of materials. Some of the more common are:

  • Pebax – thermoplastic elastomer which is resistant to impact, flex, fatigue and weather.
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) - lightweight, water-resistant material made to be used in extreme temperatures.
  • PORON® Urethane - breathable material that keeps water and perspiration away from your feet.
  • Polyurethane (PU) - durable material which offers the elasticity similar to rubber.
  • Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) - flexible but still durable material resistant to cracks from stress or age.

Cleats Designed for Speed (Wide receivers/running backs)

When you need speed, only the best football cleats for speed are going to work. Search for a pair that offers lightweight materials and capability. In addition, look for mesh or synthetic skins that create a breathable, light upper to keep your feet cool and dry.

You must choose a pair of cleats based on the position you play if you want the best performance. The best football kicking cleats are going to be made differently to the best football cleats for cornerbacks.

You also wouldn’t want a shoe designed for a kicker if you’re looking for the best football cleats for fullbacks.


Foot Type

When shopping for football cleats, you need to take your foot type into consideration. They should have a tight fit, but you don’t want them to be too tight.  When you have wide feet, it can be difficult to find the balance of tight fit without causing more pain. Thankfully, there are cleats specifically for wider feet.

In addition, players with flat feet might need to invest in orthotic insoles to provide the comfortable fit needed. Pay attention to the anatomic arch support of the cleats before making a purchase. This is especially important if you suffer from plantar fasciitis.


Outsole

You can choose from one of two outsole designs. The hard molded bottom cleat features hard plastic molding spikes. These grip the field for superior traction. They are best on firm ground or astroturf. Many youth leagues and high school teams use these because they are less expensive.

The detachable stud cleats are longer and more powerful spikes that provide amazing traction. They can be removed or changed based on your preference or condition. They tend to be used by professional or college players. The additional features mean that they are also more expensive than the molded football cleat.


Best Looking High-Quality Brands


There are many brands of football cleats you could choose from, but here are my three favorites.

Nike

Whether you’re preparing for practice or the big game, Nike’s football cleats always deliver a premium performance meant for any athlete. They offer gripping traction, lightweight support and a locked-down fit to help you have the best game possible.

Many of the styles feature Hyperfuse construction which is made from three different layers of materials. These are fused together to increase durability, stability and breathability. They offer a nice selection of styles available for both men and youth. Find that style that works for you and then pair the colors to your team’s colors for a superior uniform appeal.

Adidas

Get ready for a great season with cleat technology offered by Adidas. These cleats wrap around your foot to provide remarkable support.  The responsive midsoles and footbeds offer comfort through the entire game.

You can find a wide range of colors and styles for men and kids. It is easy to find a pair that will match your team’s uniform. With more than 60,000 people employed in over 160 countries, you know they make a high-quality product.

Under Armour

You’ve picked up high-quality pads, helmet and compression wear, so it makes sense that you want the best in football cleats as well. Under Armour provides critical traction, support and stability. In addition, they have superior padding and breathability to make the entire game comfortable.

You’ll find a wide range of colors and styles available for both adult and youth. Some of their popular lines include Under Armour Highlight MC Cleats, Under Armour Highlight LUX RM Football Cleats and Under Armour Renegade Football Cleats.


Price Guide


You could spend a lot of money purchasing a pair of football cleats if you want. The price is going to widely vary based on the materials, brand and style of cleat you’re looking for.

A high-quality pair of youth football cleats can run anywhere from $35 to $100. Considering they will probably only wear them for one season before outgrowing them, you may not want to spend more than that.

Adult football cleats are made with a different target consumer in mind. They offer features for people with wide feet, plantar fasciitis and other ailments that most youths aren’t concerned with. Because of that, you could easily spend $200 on a pair of football cleats. If they’re properly cared for, they can last for many years to come so it is still a good investment.


6 Best Football Cleats For Both Adults & Youths


Here are our picks for the best football cleats on the market. We have found that the top brands spend more time and money developing their shoe ranges and this is why they dominate our list below.

1. Under Armour Men's UA Highlight MC Football Cleats

Under Armour Men's UA Highlight MC Football Cleats

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

85%
 Chance of Success

When you need the best football cleats for ankle support, you want to check out the Under Armour brand. The UA ClutchFit upper wraps your foot in a material that feels like a second skin. This means you receive additional support and superior feel.

The lightweight material innovation forms to your foot. In return, your joints and muscles will feel better, even after a long game. The molded 4D Foam conforms to your foot’s shape which eliminates all slippage. Finally, the 3D molded MPZ tongue conforms to your foot to provide even more protection.

These cleats will be helpful for football, lacrosse, and other sports. And judging by other users opinions, they won't let you down!

Pros

  • UA ClutchFit upper
  • Lightweight
  • Offers ankle support
  • Molded 4D Foam
  • 3D molded MPZ tongue

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Fit can be small

2. Adidas Men's Performance Turf Hog LX Low Football Cleat

Adidas Men's Performance Turf Hog LX Low Football Cleat

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

74%
 Chance of Success

Sometimes you just need a little extra room in your football cleats. This pair of Adidas cleats is the best football cleats for wide feet. The breathable coated leather and textile upper provide a snug fit that doesn’t cut off circulation. In addition, this cleat offers no-tie elastic laces to provide for step-in comfort.

One great feature about these is that the spikes are very low and modest, which is actually good for your feet. As the doctors from Family Foot and Leg Center point out:

... the risk for (heel pain) recurrence can be lowered by choosing well-constructed shoes with good support and restricting the use of spiked athletic shoes, especially on hard fields".


The EVA cushioned midsole offers some additional support, especially if you suffer from foot ailments. There are three different styles of shoes you can choose from; to customize to your personality. This Adidas cleat also features a multi-surface grip outsole to make traction easier than ever before.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Great for wide feet
  • No-tie elastic laces
  • Low-cost

Cons

  • Don’t offer enough color choices
  • Can run slightly small

3. Nike Vapor Carbon Elite TD Men's Football Cleats

Nike Vapor Carbon Elite TD Men's Football Cleats

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

72%
 Chance of Success

The Vapor is one of the best Nike football cleats available on the market currently. The lightweight synthetic leather upper is designed for performance and superior comfort, plus breathability and staying dry. The injected outsole offers a 2014 TD pattern for precise cutting and outstanding grip plus control.

It would be easy to suggest that this is also one of the best cleats for speed in football. As with most Nike cleats, the wide array of colors and styles makes it easy to match any uniform or stand out when needed. Express your own personal style however you wish.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • 2014 TD pattern for precise cutting
  • Amazing grip
  • Made for speed

Cons

  • Some people don’t like the attached tongue
  • Heel can feel loose for some with a narrow foot

4. Nike Men's Alpha Shark Football Cleats

Nike Men's Alpha Shark Football Cleats

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

78%
 Chance of Success

Nike understands when you need speed so they offered this best football cleat for running backs.  It offers a TPU outsole with a 12-cleat configuration and excellent traction. The dynamic fit system allows you to cinch up for an incredible lockdown.

The 3/4-height collar supports the ankle during lateral cuts while the forefoot cleats enhance traction on toe-off. This particular characteristic makes of these shoes a great option for football players since it is important that they protect their ankles as stated by the specialists from Family Foot & Leg Center:

Ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries in football. This usually happens when the ankle is twisted inwards. Taping and bracing can help reduce the risk of ankle sprains".


Unlike many other Nike choices, this cleat is only available in five styles, but there is still a nice selection to choose from.

Pros

  • TPU outsole with a 12-cleat configuration to provide excellent traction
  • Ankle support
  • Can be low cost depending on the style

Cons

  • Only a handful of colors available
  • Tend to run small

5. Nike Men's Field General Pro TD Football Lacrosse Cleats

Nike Men's Field General Pro TD Football Lacrosse Cleats

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

86%
 Chance of Success

This pair of Nike cleats are the best looking football cleats I’ve seen yet. They’re mean, tough and appear to be in charge on the field. Aside from the style, they also offer a durable mesh upper for lightweight breathability. The low-profile EVA foam sock liner enhances player comfort.

In addition, the ¾-length Phylon wedge midsole will allow for more cushioning during gameplay. The TPU plate with seven cleats offers durable traction you can rely on. Finally, the four supplemental TPU cleats enhance the traction at toe-off and during a lateral cut.

This is style and performance you can rely on, although it may take a little for them to loosen up. Many athletic shoes need time and usage in order to be comfortable, so that shouldn't be a reason for not giving them a shot!

Pros

  • Lightweight breathability
  • Unique style
  • Superior cushioning

Cons

  • Can be tight for wide feet
  • Some styles are pricey

Children


Under Armour Youth Hammer Mid Molded Football Cleats

Under Armour Youth Hammer Mid Molded Football Cleats

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

77%
 Chance of Success

This pair of Under Armour is a great choice for the best football cleats for linemen. That’s because of the synthetic upper which offers a clean, fast look while still providing support and comfort.

The die-cut EVA offers even more durability which is important in youth cleats.

These are a great option for anyone that likes playing football. It is essential that even kids wear the appropriate footwear for this since not doing it could be the cause of a severe injury. As stated by Dr. Victoria M. Foley from Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center:

Footwear appropriately designed for the sport is essential to prevent injury. A common bad habit among pickup players is wearing running shoes or skate shoes, even in a high-impact sport".


Moreover, the rubber molded outsole offers aggressive traction no matter what surface the kids are playing on. In addition, it has an overall lightweight and comfortable feel.

Pros

  • Stylish look
  • Lightweight
  • Great traction
  • Maximum support
  • Die-cut EVA

Cons

  • Only three colors
  • Runs a little small

Conclusion


Now that you’ve had a glimpse at all the best football cleats on the market, you’re ready to make a decision. Make sure you choose the kind which works best for your position and pick a style you love. With all the reputable brands available to you, there should be no trouble finding exactly what you need and want at a price you can feel good about.

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