The Best Soccer Cleats for 2022: Shoe GOALS!

Best Soccer Cleats


Soccer is the world's most popular sport. Its popularity in the U.S. has also grown significantly in recent years and now there are soccer seasons played all year round. There is a lot that goes into training for the sport: recovery from hard practices, making sure you're maintaining your off-season fitness, gearing up for a new season. But one of the most important components is your cleats.

Having the right cleats can make a world of difference in your play. In this article, we've pulled together our picks for the best soccer cleats, based on our research and experience, to help you streamline the buying process. We’ve also outlined some of the key factors that you should consider when shopping for cleats to help you judge for yourself.

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The Soccer Cleats - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall - Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 Elite FG

Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 Elite FG

SPECS

  • Material: Vaporposite+, Flyknit
  • Width: Medium
  • Playing surface: Firm ground
  • User: Men's and women's sizing

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The best cleat is one that finds the balance between support, comfort, and performance. The Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly will give you that balance, and more.

This cleat is made of a mesh material for breathability mixed with Nike's Vaporposite+, which is designed to grip the ball. There is also a Flyknit wrap at the ankle, which acts as a built-in compression for extra support.

What We Like

  • Material gives you maximum ball control
  • Built-in ankle support
  • Studs are a tri-star shape which gives you traction when you're making cuts or sudden direction changes
  • Soccer-specific ¾ Zoom Air unit for extra spring and support

What We Don't Like

  • Medium width won't fit snugly on narrow feet
  • Mesh design may not be durable for some playstyles
  • The Nike air units cannot be replaced if punctured

BUY: Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 Elite FG

Best Firm Ground Cleats - adidas Predator Edge.1

adidas Predator Edge.1

SPECS

  • Material: adidas PRIMEKNIT and Zone Skin rubber
  • Width: Standard
  • Playing surface: Firm ground
  • User: Men's and women's sizing

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Firm ground cleats provide great traction with studs to cut into the grass or turf while also giving you ample support to prevent injury. The adidas Predator Edge has a two-piece collar and a full lace closure to keep your cleat snug throughout the match. Plus, the studs on the Predator Edge are specifically shaped to transfer force to the front of your foot so you can stay explosive.

A unique feature of the Predator Edge are the Zone Skin control zones. Zone Skin has ribbed sections to give you enhanced ball control on an otherwise soft cleat.

What We Like

  • 2-piece collar for extra support
  • Studs shaped to transfer force to the front of your foot
  • Zone Skin control zones for ball control

What We Don't Like

  • Limited color options
  • No tongue under the laces could be uncomfortable for some

BUY: adidas Predator Edge.1

Best Soccer Cleats for Turf - Nike Mercurial Zoom Vapor 15 Pro Turf

Nike Mercurial Zoom Vapor 15 Pro Turf

SPECS

  • Material: Flyknit upper, rubber soles
  • Width: Medium
  • Playing surface: Turf
  • User: Men's and women's sizing

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Turf cleats serve a different purpose than firm ground cleats. They don't need studs to dig for traction and because of this, they have some flexibility on structure as well. The Mercurial Zoom Vapor shares a lot of the same design features of the Mercurial Zoom Superfly, but the differences are what make it stand out.

The Zoom Vapor is a minimalist design that is made mostly from Flyknit, which is a soft mesh material. The inside of the shoe has a soft lining to make sure it stays snug and the rubber soles and studs are designed for traction on shorter artificial grasses.

What We Like

  • Minimalist design
  • Internal lining to keep the shoe snug
  • Soccer-specific Air Zoom unit adds support through pressurized air

What We Don't Like

  • The small toe box on a medium-width shoe can cause fit problems
  • The Nike air units cannot be replaced if punctured

BUY: Nike Mercurial Zoom Vapor 15 Pro Turf

Best Indoor Soccer Shoe - adidas Copa Nationale Shoes

adidas Samba Classic

SPECS

  • Material: Synthetic leather upper, suede overlay, EVA insole, gum rubber outsole
  • Width: Standard
  • Playing surface: Indoor
  • User: Men's sizing only

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The adidas Copa Nationale Shoes is one of the most recognizable soccer shoes in the world. You have probably seen this design used for other types of shoes, but sometimes you just can't beat the original. Indoor soccer shoes need to be durable and resistant to scraping on hard surfaces.

The Copa Nationale Shoes is made from synthetic leather for strength and has a suede overlay to protect it from abrasions. The rubber outsole won't leave marks but will still give you the traction you need to make plays indoors.

What We Like

  • Synthetic leather is lightweight but strong  
  • Classic aesthetic
  • Budget-friendly

What We Don't Like

  • Only 4 colors are available
  • No wide option available

BUY: adidas Copa Nationale Shoes

Best Soccer Cleats for Defenders - Under Armour Clone Magnetico Pro FG

Under Armour Clone Magnetico Pro FG

SPECS

  • Material: UA Clone Tech
  • Width: Standard
  • Playing surface: Firm ground
  • User: Unisex sizing

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Defenders on the soccer field find themselves in close contact situations often while trying to win control of the ball. In these situations, you'll need to make sure you have a cleat that supports you and protects you from injury without sacrificing your mobility.

The Under Armour Clone Magnetico is an innovative tech that stretches and retracts with the movement of your foot while staying snug and supportive. The collar is a single piece that is connected directly to the upper so you won't have any weak points in the support.

What We Like

  • Clone Tech is flexible but keeps the shoe fitting like a glove
  • Conical studs are shaped to transfer tension
  • Tight collar is slightly higher than standard for extra support

What We Don't Like

  • Soleplate is soft but not very durable according to some reviews
  • The cleat is longer than normal

BUY: Under Armour Clone Magnetico Pro FG

Best Soccer Cleats for Midfielders - Puma Ultra 1.4 FG/AG

Puma Ultra 1.4 FG

SPECS

  • Material: ULTRACut and MATRYXEVO carbon yarn upper, SpeedUnit outsole
  • Width: Standard
  • Playing surface: Multi
  • User: Men's

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There is a lot to like about the Puma Ultra 1.4: the studs are designed to work well on both firm ground and artificial turf, they are a standard width so they have a snug fit, and they are aesthetically pleasing. What really makes the Ultra 1.4 stand out are the materials.

MATRYXEVO is a carb yarn that Puma uses together with the ULTRACut stencil material. Not only are the materials used in these cleats incredibly strong, but they've been designed to retain their flexibility as well. The coating on this cleat is Puma's GripControl Pro, which gives you significant ball control—great for attacking midfielders who handle the ball in the middle of the action.

What We Like

  • GripControl Pro coating
  • Very strong materials
  •  Aesthetically pleasing

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in men's sizes 
  • Has no shell protecting your foot if you're stepped on by other players

BUY: Puma Ultra 1.4 FG/AG

Best Nike Soccer Cleats - Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Elite FG

Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Elite FG

SPECS

  • Material: Kangaroo leather
  • Width: Medium
  • Playing surface: Firm ground
  • User: Men's and women's sizing

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The Nike Tiempo Legend is built for speed. Kangaroo leather is extremely lightweight and durable, but it is also thin so you'll feel like your foot is striking the ball. The inside of the cleat is structured by Nike's proprietary nylon tech, which gives your foot a lot of support despite the light weight of the cleat.

The Tiempo Legend also has nine studs on the front half of the cleat, which will give you plenty of traction to make cuts, sudden stops, and to maintain body control.

What We Like

  • Kangaroo leather
  • More studs than competitors to give you more body control
  • Strong support structure to keep your foot locked down

What We Don't Like

  • Mesh tongue instead of Flyknit
  • Medium width is snug and can't accommodate wider feet

BUY: Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Elite FG

Best adidas Soccer Cleats - adidas Copa Mundial Shoes

adidas Copa Mundial Shoes

SPECS

  • Material: Kangaroo leather, foam midsole
  • Width: Standard
  • Playing surface: Firm ground
  • User: Men's and women's sizing

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Adidas Copa Mundial is a minimalist cleat that has a classic design. The forefoot is made of kangaroo leather and the inside is lined with nylon. The tongue is cloth on one side and soft leather on the other and it is designed to cover the lace knot after you tie it.

The key feature of the Copa Mundial is the touch. The materials are thin and light so the barrier between the ball and your foot is minimal. If touch is important to you, these cleats get the job done.

What We Like

  • Classic aesthetic
  • Great touch
  • Soft, comfortable leather

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy weight and runs big
  • Shoes come unlaced and can take some time to lace up

BUY: adidas Copa Mundial Shoes

Best Soccer Cleats for Wide Feet - New Balance Tekela v3+ Pro FG

New Balance Tekela v3+ Pro FG

SPECS

  • Material: HypoKnit, Nylon
  • Width: Standard, Wide
  • Playing surface: Firm ground
  • User: Men's and women's sizing

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New Balance makes an effort to design most of their soccer cleats in both standard and wide width options. The Tekela v3+ has both, but the material is made to stretch in strategic places to give your foot more mobility even despite the snug fit.

There is no tongue on this cleat and the knit structure runs up the ankle slightly higher than a typical collar to keep your foot locked in.

What We Like

  • Stretch points for mobility without sacrificing support
  • Overlaid with a web-like design for ball control and grip
  • Wide foot option

What We Don't Like

  • Heel shape may not work for some
  • Only comes in the bright orange color

BUY: New Balance Tekela v3+ Pro FG

Best Soccer Cleats for Flat Feet - Puma King Top FG Soccer Cleats

Puma King Top FG Soccer Cleats

SPECS

  • Material: Kangaroo leather
  • Width: Standard
  • Playing surface: Firm ground
  • User: Men's

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If you've got flat feet you've probably experienced the pain typical soccer cleats can cause. There are no cleats to specifically accommodate flat feet, but what we've found is the most comfortable cleat to minimize the discomfort.

The Puma King is very comfortable in this regard. As we've said with some other cleats, the kangaroo leather is light and soft, and the fold-over tongue gives your mid-foot security and support.

What We Like

  • Durable material with a classic look
  • Very soft touch
  • Fold over tongue for mid-foot support

What We Don't Like

  • Only comes in men's sizes
  • Stitching can come apart with use

BUY: Puma King Top FG Soccer Cleats

Best Budget Soccer Cleats - New Balance 442 V2 Academy FG

New Balance 442 V2 Academy FG

SPECS

  • Material: Synthetic upper, TPU plate
  • Width: Standard, wide
  • Playing surface: Firm ground
  • User: Men's and women's sizing

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A lot of the cleats on our list are top quality brands using the best materials and designs. But we know that not everyone is looking for this level of cleat so we wanted to find an option that was budget-friendly without sacrificing quality.

The New Balance 442 V2 Academy is that soccer cleat. It is made with synthetic materials rather than leather and TPU plates and studs rather than rubber. TPU is a hard but light plastic that will be durable for you as you play.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly
  • Minimalist design
  • Durable materials that are also lightweight

What We Don't Like

  • The TPU plate doesn't have the flexibility of rubber
  • Not as snug as other cleats

BUY: New Balance 442 V2 Academy FG

What To Consider When Buying Soccer Cleats


Fit

The main question for soccer cleats is how they should fit. Because soccer is played with your feet, you have to balance control of the ball with support and comfort. The best-fitting soccer cleats will have a snug fit that leaves little to no room between your foot and the ball.

You also don't want much room between your toes and the end of the cleat because as you're making a play for the ball or attempting a tackle, the extra room in the cleat could get caught on the ground, causing injuries.

Touch

Any cleat is a barrier between you and the ball and the further the distance, the greater the barrier. Obviously you can't play barefoot in a regulation game, so the key to finding the best cleat is finding one that has the thinnest barrier, while still protecting your foot.

Playing Surface

Part of soccer's global popularity is that you can play it on almost any surface. Officially, the three playing surfaces you are most likely to come across are firm ground, turf, and indoor surfaces.

  • Firm ground. Cleats for firm ground surfaces are typically designated with an FG, and they are made with studs that dig into the grass or turf so you can have traction.
  • Turf. You can use your firm ground cleats on most artificial turf surfaces, but cleats specifically designed for turf have smaller, more numerous studs because they don't need to dig in to give you traction.
  • Indoor. Indoor soccer shoes don't have studs. They are made from rubber that will provide traction on indoor surfaces like varnished gym floor, concrete, or other smooth surfaces. Sometimes you will find turf on indoor fields and in those cases it is safe to wear your turf cleats.

FAQs About Soccer Cleats


What type of soccer cleat is best?

The best type of soccer cleat is going to be the one that meets your needs. You need to consider the surface you'll be playing on, your style of play, and what kind of support you think you'll need to keep yourself from injuries.

What type of soccer cleats do the pros wear?

Professionals wear different brands depending on their sponsorship agreements. However, most professional players likely have multiple pairs of cleats depending on where their game is played and what surface they'll be playing on. They'll have a pair of cleats for turf and firm ground handy.

How long do soccer cleats last?

Your soccer cleats’ durability will depend on your style of play and the way you take care of them. If you're an aggressive player that is constantly getting your cleats stepped on or dragging your toes across the ground, you will likely have to buy new cleats more often.

Otherwise, make sure you only wear your cleats on the surfaces they're designed for so you don't ruin the studs and you should get a lot of use out of them.

Are soccer cleats worth it?

Soccer cleats come in a range of qualities and prices. If you're a serious player, then paying for expensive, high-quality cleats is going to be worth it for you. However, if you are a casual player, there are budget options available that will do the job. Ultimately, whether soccer cleats are worth it or not comes down to your preference.

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