As a lifetime fan of football, I have played and coached at very high levels of the game. I got to a stage where I had coaches, physios and trainers for all aspects of my game. This was at college level and one of things I always paid close attention to is the type of gear available.
Obviously, a lot of focus is always on protective gear, including padding and helmets. But one thing that can stop a player in their tracks is bad footwear.
I lost count how many different pairs of running shoes and football cleats I’ve gone through. It’s a hugely important thing to get right, as you want to avoid any kind of foot pain.
Blisters are bad, but you can get some very painful strain injuries as well as sprains. This can happen when the cleats are too tight or too lose. And even if they seem to fit perfectly, they can still cause problems if they are poorly designed or made.
As I’m still involved in football coaching and deal with a lot injured football players as a physio, I still encounter players that don’t make the right investment in their shoes. So I decided to do some careful research and testing to see which ones currently on the market are most recommendable.
Our Top 10 Best Football Cleats Recommendations
All of these have been carefully selected to cover different price ranges and styles. They also cover different types of cleats covering metal and rubber. But the most important thing is that they are designed in a way that will support your foot to help you avoid injuries.
| #1 - Nike Men’s Vapor Shark 2 || Lightweight And Comfortable||5.0 stars out of 5|
| #2 - adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon || Sleek And Stylish||4.5 stars out of 5|
| #3 - Nike Men’s Alpha Field General Elite Camo || Beautiful Cleats||4.0 stars out of 5|
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top 10 Best Football Cleats Recommendations
- 1.1 1. Nike Men’s Vapor Shark 2: Lightweight And Comfortable
- 1.2 2. adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon: Sleek And Stylish
- 1.3 3. Nike Men’s Alpha Field General Elite Camo: Beautiful Cleats
- 1.4 4. Under Armour Men’s Highlight RM: Highly Supportive
- 1.5 5. Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 3: Lightweight And Flexible
- 1.6 6. adidas Men’s Corner Blitz Detachable Cleat: Durable And Dependable
- 1.7 7. Under Armour Men’s Nitro Low Mc: Breathable And Comfortable
- 1.8 8. Nike Men’s Alpha Pro 2 3/4 TD Football Cleats: Versatile Cleats
- 1.9 9. Under Armour Men’s C1N MC: Very Unique Design
- 1.10 10. adidas Adizero 5Star 7.0 Mid Cleat: Great Fit And Overall Support
- 2 What Features You Need To Focus On
- 3 Common Foot Injuries To Avoid
- 4 Conclusion
1. Nike Men’s Vapor Shark 2: Lightweight And Comfortable
A shoe that functions as well as it looks, these Nike Vapor Shark shoes have features that we love. With a unique Nike fast flex technology, they allow you to maintain the mobility that you need for your game.
The Phylon midsole is responsive and cushioned enough that you can stay comfortable and protected while playing. Because of their lightweight design, they are easy to play in and don’t get uncomfortable.
Available in several different colors, there are plenty of options for you to choose from for your football outfit. Made from synthetic materials, they are a durable pair of shoes that you can depend on throughout your football season.
- They are a great pair for artificial turf, which is becoming more common.
- They provide good support in the ankle area, without being too high, which is important for keeping your ankles safe during your games.
- They provide great cushioning in the midsole area, making it easy to wear them for many hours.
- They are lightweight and easy to play in, you’ll barely notice them on your feet.
- They are an attractive and stylish option, which makes them perfect for the fashion conscious football player.
- They are a bit narrow, so they may not work well for those with wide feet.
- Not the most breathable, so you may end up with sweaty feet at the end of a game.
2. adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon: Sleek And Stylish
If you play during warmer months, you want a pair of cleats that will allow your feet to breathe. Fortunately, this great-looking option has a breathable mesh upper that allows your feet to stay cool. The reinforced overlays ensure that the shoe stays durable and whole during your games.
Made from synthetic and textile, these shoes hold up to a lot of use, so you don’t have to worry about getting a new pair any time soon. The sole is also made from synthetic materials. The Ironskin design ensures that the shoes stay sleek even after many games, thanks to the abrasion protection they provide.
The tongue and heel cushion pads make sure that they’re not only a comfortable pair of cleats, but that your foot is also locked in, making them easy to play in. The Razorframe resists pressure and the Sprintstuds in the forefoot and heel allow you to get the traction that you need for your football game.
- These cleats have a highly attractive design, so you can be sure that you’ll look great on the field.
- The high-top design allows for optimal ankle protection, which is very important for football players.
- These cleats have great cushioning, so you can play comfortably in them.
- They stay sleek looking for a long time, thanks to the materials used and the abrasion resistant feature.
- They offer great quality for a fair price, if you’re on a bit of a budget.
- The sizing runs small, so make sure to check out measurements before you purchase your pair.
- They are quite stiff at first, so make sure you wear them in carefully.
3. Nike Men’s Alpha Field General Elite Camo: Beautiful Cleats
If I didn’t love these shoes for their great features, I’d love them for their cool design. Their camo look makes them unique and sleek and will definitely help you stand out on the field.
Besides their cool look, they have some great features that you’ll love. The synthetic materials allow for durability and the Phylon wedge in the heel area is thick, which adds to your comfort and also provides the responsiveness that you want in your football cleats.
With crosshatch webbing on the upper, these cleats offer a dynamic fit for any player. They are structured enough for you to depend on them for the game and the support that you need, yet they also offer a certain flexibility that allows you to move comfortably for the transitions that football requires.
- They provide great traction on grass, even in wet conditions.
- They look amazing, so if you are all about looks, you’ll adore this pair of cleats.
- They provide comfort in the heel area, if you have any feet issues.
- They offer the support you want while also being flexible enough to keep up with fast footwork in your game.
- They are relatively inexpensive and offer good quality.
- They aren’t so easy to quickly get on, so you will want to consider this if you’re all about being able to get your shoes on quickly.
- There is an odd ridge in the back of the shoe, which can irritate the back of your foot, and requires careful breaking in.
4. Under Armour Men’s Highlight RM: Highly Supportive
If you need maximum ankle protected, you’ll love the design of these cleats. The high-top shoe allows you to be able to make adjustments so that it provides you with the support you need during your game. The external TPU ankle cage takes your ankle protection to a whole new level.
The synthetic upper and textile collar keeps these shoes durable for months to come. As supportive and protective as they are, they still provide players with a lightweight feel, making it easy to wear them for many hours.
Eyerow cut-outs allow you to put your shoes on quickly, and while they are supportive, they are still flexible enough for fast transitioning in your game. Available in many different colors, it’s easy to pick the option you love. With a mesh tongue, you’ll be able to get the breathability you need in this type of shoe.
- These cleats offer great support for your ankles during your games, which is always a plus.
- They are inexpensive yet offer good quality, making them a good deal.
- They offer a good width, ideal for people who can’t wear very narrow shoes.
- They provide ventilation through the mesh tongue, to help cool your feet.
- They provide the durability that you need, so you can depend on them for many months to come.
- The high-top design may not be everyone’s preferred style for football.
- They may feel too constrictive for some people, so consider your style before purchasing.
5. Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 3: Lightweight And Flexible
This sleek shoe is what cleat fashion dreams are made of. With a smooth design that offers as much class as it is does comfort, it’s a lightweight shoe that promises comfort and functionality.
The upper is made from mesh and synthetic materials that allow for optimal flexibility and breathability. The one-piece construction with a sock-like fit ensures that you get the support you need without sacrificing mobility. With a carbon fiber plate, you can depend on these shoes for the traction needed in all types of conditions.
Their tongue-less design with a sock liner around the ankle ensures optimal ankle support, so you can play comfortably and don’t have to worry about ankle sprains. The cleats on the bottom of the shoe ensure great traction, so you can depend on them for any football game.
- They are a great looking pair of shoes, making them ideal for the fashion conscious player.
- They provide great ankle support, which is always important to avoid injury.
- The one-piece construction allows you to get the supportive fit you need while allowing flexibility.
- They offer great traction, helping you with fast paced footwork.
- They provide a great fit and are true to size, so you don’t have to stress about sizing issues.
- They get dirty easily, so you’ll want to consider this before purchase.
- They are quite pricey, so if you’re shopping on a budget, another option may be better for you.
6. adidas Men’s Corner Blitz Detachable Cleat: Durable And Dependable
A solid pair of cleats, made from 100% synthetic leather with a rubber sole, they are durable and dependable for months of playing. What is really cool about this pair of shoes is that the TPU cleat outsole is detachable, so you can use them for any kind of field conditions.
The EVA foam is compression-molded and allows for a lightweight cushioning that doesn’t sacrifice the smooth feel of these shoes, but makes them comfortable to play in. An adiPRENE insert ensures that you can get the perfect propulsion during the game.
To ensure that you always have the support you need through the multiple transitions that football demands of you, the forefoot strap allows your foot to be tightly secured—no matter what.
- They are a great looking pair of cleats, for the fashion conscious.
- The detachable cleat means that you can wear these shoes for different types of ground conditions.
- They have ideal cushioning that allows for comfort, but is also lightweight enough so that the shoes don’t feel clunky.
- They offer great performance and support for transitioning in your game.
- They offer a lot of great features for a fair price.
- They have limited color options which could affect your decision.
- They may be a bit too narrow for some people, so if you have wide feet, another option may be best.
7. Under Armour Men’s Nitro Low Mc: Breathable And Comfortable
A reasonably priced shoe, these Nitro cleats offer good quality for the beginner player. The sole and upper are made from synthetic materials. With an open-holed mesh tongue construction, you’ll get the breathability you need for comfortable wear.
With a molded toe cap, you can be sure that your feet will be protected during the entire game. This feature also helps to keep the shoes durable and complete for months to come. They are available in many different colors, making it easy to choose a pair that you love. For those who must have heel support, the TPU heel clip is just what you’ve been looking for. The die-cut EVA sock liner helps the shoe to fit comfortably and makes it more durable.
- They are lightweight, so you can wear them comfortably throughout your game.
- They have great toe protection, making them both supportive and durable.
- They are available in many different colors, so you can wear your favorite option.
- The unique construction allows for breathable wear, to help keep your feet cool.
- They are easy to put on and take off, which is always convenient.
- The sizing runs small, so make sure to check out measurements before you order.
- They take some time to break in, so make sure to take this into account when buying.
8. Nike Men’s Alpha Pro 2 3/4 TD Football Cleats: Versatile Cleats
An affordable option for the player who is just starting out and wants to get a shoe that is dependable yet decently priced. They promise great ankle support and have a Phylon midsole that allows for responsive cushioning.
Because it’s important to get a good fit for the support required in football, the Flywire technology is extremely helpful for support of your midfoot. The durable Pebax plate has 12-b9-level cleats for great traction, whether you’re playing on grass or artificial turf.
If you want a pair that promise durability, these Alpha Pros are made with a synthetic upper that stays strong throughout months of use.
- They offer great traction and can be used on artificial turf or grass, making them quite versatile.
- Great value for money.
- They have good ankle support, so you can avoid ankle sprains in your game.
- They offer great durability, thanks to the materials used, so you can depend on them for a while to come.
- The responsive cushioning helps to avoid premature tiring.
- The sizing is a bit small, so be careful when choosing your size.
- They don’t break in as quickly as other options, so you’ll need to be patient.
9. Under Armour Men’s C1N MC: Very Unique Design
If you like to stand out and do things differently, you’ll love these cleats. They are anything but boring with their loud and unique design. Gold and purple aren’t everyone’s favorite colors, but if you don’t care about doing things the way everyone else does, then these could be the shoes you’ve been dreaming of.
If you need shoes that promise ankle support, you’ll appreciate the high-top design of these ones. With pull tabs, they are easy to put on and take off. With a unique 4-D foam foot bed, they are form-fitting, so you don’t have to worry about your feet slipping in your shoe.
With a unique carbon fiber design, the shoes lock in your heels, so you can get the perfect stability you need in your football cleats.
- They promise support and protection for your ankle and heel, making them a reliable pair.
- They have an extremely unique design, so you can be sure that you’ll stand out– in a good way.
- The pull tabs make it easy to put them on and take off, so even though they have a high-top design, you won’t need to “fight” with them.
- They are form-fitting, so you can be sure that you’ll get the support that you need in your cleats.
- The cleats provide good traction for various types of turfs.
- They run small, so take this into account when buying your pair.
- They aren’t as durable as some other options, so you’ll want to consider this.
10. adidas Adizero 5Star 7.0 Mid Cleat: Great Fit And Overall Support
The compression-molded EVA lining ensures that you get cushioning in this shoe, without sacrificing the lightweight feel that you want. The heel cup locks your foot in place, so you don’t have to worry about slippage (which can lead to injury).
Because no one has time to fight with their shoes when it’s time to play, you’ll love how easy it is to put these on with the heel tabs. The knitted collar eliminates the struggle that can be associated with shoes with tongues. It also helps to lock down your ankle, providing the support you need for a safe and fun game. The EVA insert ensures that your feet stay cool thanks to the breathability that it provides.
If you want to adjust the fit, you can easily use the lace structure to get the perfectly comfortable fit you need.
- They have a unique Sprintskin upper which provides good support.
- Seam tape is placed perfectly so that you get great flex yet reliable lockdown in the upper area of the shoe.
- Offers decent cushioning, so you can stay comfortable on long training days.
- They look great and stylish, making them ideal for those who love style along with functionality.
- They have a great design that allows for breathability while still promising durability.
- They get dirty very easily, so you may want to invest in some type of protective spray.
- If you’re not used to this type of design, they may be challenging to put on, but thankfully the heel tabs help a lot.
What Features You Need To Focus On
If you’re looking for a shoe that will make a difference in your football games, these above-mentioned cleats are the best options for price and quality. But, before you choose one, make sure that you’re getting the features that you really want. The features below are important to consider before making your decision.
Because of the foot transitions and the demands on your feet in football, you want a shoe that offers you amazing support. It also depends on what kind of issues that you may have in your feet.
Some cleats have great support in the heel area, so if you find that you have issues and pain there, they could be the best option for you. Also, when looking for shoes with support, make sure that they have some type of cushioning, as this will help to protect your feet from impact and also make sure that they stay feeling comfortable throughout your game.
Don’t forget how important ankle support is, especially if you have weak ankles. It’s one of the weak areas in many players, so consider if your potential pair of shoes will keep you safe.
There are different cleat designs. Some have a tongue and lace structure while others fit like a “sock.” Many people like shoes designed with some type of form-fitting sock liner design as it provides extra ankle support and also eliminates the struggle with laces. Who wants to have to tie their shoes during an important part of their game? Which kind of design do you think you like?
Check out the cleats before deciding, as some options are only able to be used on certain types of turf, due to the traction provided. Not every shoe is going to be dependable for playing on the grass and not every pair is going to provide you with the grip you need playing on artificial turf.
Because many football shoes are made with a form-fitting design, they may feel a bit claustrophobic and warm for some. If you have this issue and can’t stand sweat during your games, make sure to look for designs that offer breathability. It helps that many don’t have tongues, as tongues can often cause your shoe to feel too warm.
While most shoes will promise you a great fit, sometimes you want to be able to adjust your shoe. Look for designs that have some type of possibility for adjusting the fit. Whether you buy a pair with laces or an option with straps, you want to be able to always have the best fit to ensure that your feet stay protected and locked-down.
Common Foot Injuries To Avoid
Because football is a game full of impact, foot transitions, and opposing players, it can be easy to get injured. In fact, my feet have seen a lot of trouble over the years due to football. I remember one time when I was younger and I was gifted a brand new pair of football cleats.
You should have seen my face; I was so happy with the gift. Unfortunately, the next day I put them on for my football game with some guys from the neighborhood.
They were big guys with hard kicks and as one went to kick a goal, I happily stopped it. Unfortunately, his kick was extremely powerful and my shoes did not provide me with the ankle support I needed. My ankle doubled over and I immediately fell to the ground in pain.
I ended up spraining my ankle very seriously and I couldn’t walk for a week and a half. I ended up not being able to play for two months.
I’ve also encountered a lot of strain injures to joints and ligaments in my feet. More often than not, this was the result from old or crappy footwear.
These are a couple of personal examples on how people can get injured by not paying attention to the shoes they are wearing for the game. Some common injuries in football are:
- Ankle sprains: As I mentioned above, the shoes I was wearing played a part in me getting a really bad ankle sprains. Ankle sprains are very common injuries in football, so this is a reason why paying attention to ankle support is important when shopping for your footwear.
- Plantar fasciitis: Heel pain is common for a lot of people who play active sports that require foot work and transitioning (it’s also common in runners), so if you’ve noticed a lot of heel pain recently while playing, look for a pair of shoes that protect your heel area.
- Blisters: While not necessarily serious, they can be very painful and annoying. Blisters tend to happen with new shoes or also with shoes that don’t provide you with the best fit, so it’s important to pay close attention to fit when shopping for your new pair of cleats.
If you’re serious about playing football regularly, it’s important to take the time to find the right option for you. Protecting your feet is very important, because if you get injured seriously, it could mean that you have to stop playing your favorite sport and in some cases, much worse things.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive football cleats to have a good pair, as my list above shows. I’ve picked some of the best options for reasonable prices, so you can find a pair that you can afford, without having to break the bank.
Did you see a pair that you loved? I personally like stylish shoes that offer great functionality and you’ll see a few on my list of top ten recommendations for football shoes. Look for the pair that you’ll be able to depend on, both in terms of durability and features.
Wearing the right fit and pair of cleats will ensure that your feet stay safe, that you can play with them for a long time, and will ensure that you can keep up with football for as long as you want.
It can take a while to get the right ones, but when you do it will make a huge difference.