Top 10 Best Football Cleats for 2018 & Buyer’s Guide

Top 10 Best Football Cleats for 2018 & Buyer’s Guide

best football cleatsThe cleats you choose can make or break performance in the field. You will want your cleats to match your style, support your position, and offer lockdown traction while being comfortable and lightweight.

That’s why we are here. Which cleats should you choose? With all the considerations to go through like field conditions, agility, league regulations, and design, we want to give the best recommendations for the cleats we know are worth your feet.

Best Football Cleats 2018

NameRecommended ForConstruction MaterialsMolded or DetachableCutGaming TechnologiesPrice
Under Armor Men’s UA Highlight MCRunning backs
Cornerbacks
Guards
Synthetic leatherMoldedHigh-cut• UA ClutchFit
• 4D footbed
• 3D tongue
• UA Plasma X plate
Check Price
Nike Alpha Pro 2All positionsSynthetic leather (NIKESKIN)MoldedMid-cut• Flywire tech
• ¾ length wedge phylon midsole
• Molded plastic studs and rubber outsole
Check Price
Nike Men’s Alpha Shark 2All positions except wide receiversSynthetic leather (NIKESKIN)MoldedMid-Cut• ¾ height collar
• TPU outsole
• Dynamic Fit System
Check Price
Nike Lunarbeast EliteLinemen, defensive ends, and linebackersSynthetic leather (NIKESKIN)MoldedHigh-Cut• Flywire cables
• Full-length midsole
• TPU sole
Check Price
Under Armor C1N MCQuarterbacksReinforced chrome syntheticMoldedHigh-Cut• Molded cleats
• CompFit ankle
• 4D footbed
• 3D breathable tongue
Check Price
Reebok Men’s NFL Full Blitz Kfs II HCornerbacks, quarterbacks, linemen, and running backsSynthetic leather upperMoldedLow-cut• KFS technology
• PlayDry Moisture wicking lining
Check Price
Under Armor Men’s Highlight Select D Football CleatsRunning backs, quarterbacks, and cornerbacksSynthetic leatherDetachableHigh-cut• CompFit ankle
• Superfoam insole
• Secondary cleats
• Spike plate
Check Price
Adidas Men’s Adizero 5-Star 7.0CornerbacksSprintsking single-layer synthetic upperMoldedLow-cut• Sprintskin
• Sprintstuds
• Anatomical lace structure
• Speed Spat seam plate
Check Price
Adidas Men’s Freak X CarbonWide receiversTechfit upperMoldedLow-cut• Quickframe TPU upper
• Anatomical lacing system
• Cushioned midsole and collar
Check Price
Under Armor Men’s Crusher MoldedAll positionsSynthetic leatherMoldedLow-cut• Rubber molded cleats
• Die-cut Eva footbed
Check Price

1. Under Armour Men’s UA Highlight MC Football Cleats: Best for Ankle Support

Every pro athlete and more so running backs know the importance of flexibility and support in their cleats. If you are going to pass with power and accuracy, your cleats will have to play the part.

And that’s what Under Armour Highlight MC is all about. Known for their high-cut cleats, this particular brand will keep your ankles protected without restricting your range of motion.

Design Features

You have seen Eddy Lacy adorning this cleat, and that’s for a good reason. Under Armour Highlight, MC gives an incredible feel thanks to its UA ClutchFit. It allows the cleat to fit like a glove. By keeping your feet grounded, they make it easy to block without the chances of being thrown off your position.

We imagine you are a big guy that’s why you need all the support and comfort you need. These kicks have a lightweight form complemented by 4D foam footbed. It reduces cleat pressure which in turn provides optimal comfort. It even throws in a 3D molded tongue that offers extra protection from other players stepping on your feet.

What’s more, this cleat explores a UA Plasma X plate. It gives your foot the full range of motion and at the same time provides full traction. It is a good pick for playing on turf because the studs are small rubber nubs.

Lastly, this cleat uses V56 technology to limit foot hyperextension. Seeing that it is recommended for turf, Under Armour ensures you will never jam the big toe. In that case, you will never be out of the game.

Snags

You might be wondering, is there any snag to this top-rated cleat? Well, if you want the flexibility of changing the studs to suit the field condition especially in wet weather, this is not the cleat for you. The studs are not removable; thus you cannot change their length.

Pros

  • It’s lightweight and flexible
  • 4D footbed and 3D tongue mold to the foot
  • Good for turf fields
  • Helps to prevent foot hyperextension
  • Minimal to none cleat pressure

Cons

  • Not ideal for grass fields

Verdict: If you are looking for comfort, support, and stability, Under Armour Highlight MC may be just the right pick for you. We find it particularly unique in that besides being a high-cut cleat, it is lightweight and comfortable. More so, it has a durable construction that can withstand the pressure of training and competing.


2. Nike Alpha Pro 2: Best Nike Football Cleats

Featuring a mid-cut design, it is quite a breath of fresh air when you have no idea which cleats to get for your position. We are going to state here that this cleat is for skilled players. This is because you need control and it lets you feel the ground with your toes so you will want to be aware of your every move.

Design Features

Nike Men’s Alpha Pro 2 uses synthetic leather or what they like to call NIKESKIN for the uppers. It includes a solid construction and stitching that does not have any mesh at all. You may feel like it’s not going to be breathable, but most players report not feeling hot even with thick socks.

The cleat has their unique Flywire Tech which provides foot lockdown. It contributes to the comfort of this cleat since even though it is generally heavier than other football cleats; it feels very responsive. It allows for speed as well as agility making it suitable for running backs, quarterbacks, cornerbacks, as well as wide receivers.

We like the versatility of this cleat since it has molded plastic studs that can be used on grass and turf. The experience is better when the weather is dry since the studs are not removable.

When it comes to the cushioning, this cleat has ¾ length wedge Phylon midsole. It allows the forefoot and back of the foot to be planted in the shoe while the toes are narrowed to provide grounding while keeping you from overstretching the toes. The molded rubber outsole also comes in handy to conform to your feet. As such, no break-in period is needed with the Alpha Pro 2.

Snags

As good as it is for all positions, Alpha Pro 2 is not ideal for players with wide feet. It has a narrow toe area. It will squash your toes, and since it uses synthetic leather, it means it does not stretch.

Pros

  • Comes in many different colors
  • NIKESKIN is breathable without any mesh
  • Fits all positions
  • Provides a responsive feel
  • Supports the ankle
  • Great traction on turf and grass

Cons

  • It has a narrow fit

Verdict: Nike Alpha Pro 2 is what we would call ridiculously good. It expresses versatility, flexibility, and responsiveness only found in the best. It is ready for every position providing the comfort and the speed you need to master your skill.


3. Nike Men’s Alpha Shark 2 Football Cleat: Best for Wide Feet

Finding the best football cleats for wide feet can be a challenge. Thankfully, Nike has their wide feet design in the Alpha Shark 2. Now your desire for speed is fulfilled in this cleat as it showcases a unique cleat configuration.

Design Features

With a Dynamic Fit System, this cleat provides the lockdown you need for power and accuracy. It can play in all positions owing to its lightweight upper. The synthetic leather upper is not only breathable, but it is durable. You can expect to play a few competitive games but not a few full seasons. Fortunately, they are not all pricey so getting new pair should not be a problem.

The 3/4 –height collar provides ankle support to improve maneuverability such that you can cut across the field with ease. It allows quick lateral movement without the risk of twisting your ankle. It has a TPU outsole with a 12-cleat configuration. The material keeps it water resistant, so it can play even when the weather is wet, or the sun is scorching, and the temperatures become unbearable.

Not to mention, the cleats can withstand high impact and offer aggressive traction more so when playing on turf. The Phylon midsole is highly responsive to cushion your feet from impact. It is just the right cleat for offensive line players as it will help you stand your ground and push your way to the clear.

Drawbacks

It’s important to note that you have to order a size higher since Nike’s sizing chart has not converted their wide sizes correctly. Also, they may not offer the agility needed by wide receivers because of the additional collar which can restrict your strides when you want to sprint across the field.

Pros

  • Durable TPU outsole
  • lightweight and comfortable upper
  • Responsive midsole
  • Extended collar offers additional ankle support
  • Studs are ideal for dry grass and turf

Cons

  • Nike could do better in sizing

Verdict: For cleats that are inexpensive and can provide durable use, Nike Alpha Shark 2 has nailed the critical specs. This cleat is lightweight, durable, and supportive. It grounds you and protects your toes and at the same time offers traction in most field conditions.


4. Nike Lunarbeast Elite Men’s Football Cleat: Best for Linemen

Nike Lunabeast Elite combines all the best aspects of a high-cut cleat to bring the best cleat for linemen, defensive ends, and linebackers.

Design Features

The high-cut collar is perhaps the best aspect of this cleat. It protects the ankle while maintaininh an excellent range of motion to give you the versatility you need. It comes with Flywire cables for midfoot stabilization. It ensures you do not roll the ankle or push your toes too much to the front. This means a sure footing which also prevents the foot from rolling to the side.

It also has NIKESKIN in its upper. Apart from providing durability, it offers the support you need in kicks that will not stretch after a few wears. The midsole cushioning is found from end to end so your arch will always have a foundation. It reflects on your footwork meaning you will always make the cut in the defensive line.

Its traction is over the top as it uses different styles of studs all molded to the TPU sole. Like its Shark 2 cousin, it can withstand extreme temperatures while maintaining a high level of traction. Now you can play on grass and turf without worrying about losing your balance when on a snowy field.

Snags

These kicks are a bit hard to get on. We wish they were more flexible so your fingers will not hurt from trying to get them over the ankle. Their solid form may reduce mobility even among linemen.

Pros

  • Locked-down stability from flywire cables
  • Durable and lightweight NIKESKIN construction
  • Excellent ankle support from the high-cut collar
  • Sizing is correct to a high degree
  • Can withstand extreme weather conditions

Cons

  • Narrow fit around the ankle

Verdict: This cleat is admirable for its versatility. It fits a good range of players but mostly fits in the best football cleats for linemen category owing to the high-cut design. It is made from quality materials making it ideal if you are on a budget and don’t want to go over many pairs in one season.


5. Under Armour C1N MC: Best for Quarterbacks

Quarter Backs will fall for the Under Armour C1N MC. If you have sensitive ankles, the ankle strap will help wrap your foot into the cleat. It is a removable strap, so if you don’t like it, you don’t have to wear it.

Design Features

This cleat is one of the most sought for performance. It boasts a construction from chrome synthetic that is reinforced for support. You will like the comfort it gives your feet from the first time you step in it. The 4D molded footbed follows the curves of your feet to not only provide arch support but to also ground you at all times.

The traction design involves round studs at the top to provide stability on grass and turf.  At the bottom, we have structured studs that offer multi-direction stability. It will not feel like a Nike, but it helps you feel the ground so you can get in touch with your speed.

We do like that it has a form of breathability through its 3D tongue. Since it has an ankle strap, we find that it is not that adequate for breathability. If you are playing in hot weather, you may not like how hot it can get in these cleats. But you will be thankful when it’s cold because that means additional warmth to keep your feet exploding with speed.

Snags

We find the laces a bit short such that you have to remove them from the upper holes. After some time, it’s going to be a nuisance as the end frays and it becomes difficult to put them back in. We wish Under Armour could make longer laces.

Pros

  • Form-fitting ankle sleeve
  • Responsive footbed conforms to the foot
  • Built for speed
  • Full-length Micro G foam cushions
  • Pebax cleat plate for stability

Cons

  • It runs a little bit slow which is not favorable for players with wide feet.

Verdict: Under Armour, C1N MC has done a decent job in the construction of this cleat. From the reinforced upper to the ankle sleeve that provides a snug fit, you will enjoy playing in this cleat. The footbed and carbon fiber wings all come together to create the ultimate cleat for Quarter Backs.


6. Reebok Men’s NFL Full Blitz Kfs II H: Best Running Back Cleats 

Reebok is not a new name in the Sports industry. We always love their attention to detail as they have done with the Reebok’s NFL Full Blitz Kfs II H.

Design Features

From cornerbacks to running backs, and Quarter Backs, we are sure the versatility of this cleat is pleasing for your needs. We start with the synthetic leather upper that is durable and breathable. It is well-stitched to enhance its longevity so it can last a full season and withstand the pressure of training.

This cleat has a breathable tongue and collar. Air is let in to prevent your feet from soaking wet in your sweat. It has a moisture wicking lining that also helps to prevent sweat accumulation. This means you won’t be sliding back and forth. The last thing is reminding yourself which cleats you wore instead of concentrating on the game.

Its KFS technology comes in to allow responsiveness in that the cleat will follow your foot’s natural movements. The cleat is flexible. You can run naturally, accelerate faster, and turn quickly without having any inhibitions. And you will look good doing it thanks to the Reebok overlays.

Snags

The cleat is available in only two colors, and both have lots of white in them. The problem is that white is easy to stain and on Reebok, it is hard to get back the spark once it’s gone. It takes a lot to maintain this cleat, so if you are not up to it, it may not be for you.

Pros

  • KFS technology offers incredible flexibility
  • Synthetic leather upper improves longevity
  • Breathable tongue, collar, and moisture wicking lining
  • Medium traction for turf

Cons

  • They are heavier than other cleats

Verdict: If you go through a lot of cleats in a season, you may want to consider Reebok Men’s NFL Full Blitz Kfs II H. It has superb stitching and the quality of their synthetic leather is outstanding. It beats more expensive cleats because of breathability and natural movement flexibility. It is hard to pass on this brand.


7. Under Armour Men’s Highlight Select D Football Cleats: Best Detachable

Get customized traction with the Under Armour Highlight Select D. It comes with detachable cleats and secondary cleats so that you can play in all weather conditions.

Design Features

In the high-cut category, Under Amor dominates the top with their thoughtful designs. This cleat puts value in your support, stability, and comfort.  It has a lightweight fit due to the synthetic leather upper, so no you are not going to make weight compromises.

It is good for games and practice, and it’s going to last for a while.

You get a snug fit from a CompFit ankle. It is crucial in your speed since it maintains stability like we have come to expect in Under Armour cleats. The SuperFoam Insole is built to be responsive with high rebound for additional shock absorption. It improves comfort so you can tackle running backs and defend the game with optimum strength.

With the secondary cleats, you get explosive speeds as it gets you to spring and cut laterally to pass the ball to your wide receiver. The cleat does not need breaking in. It is available in wide sizes that actually fit to size.

Snags

This cleat is heavier than most high-cut cleats. Keep this in mind more so if you are a quarterback looking for the lightest high-cut cleat because this one isn’t it.

Pros

  • Sizes fit correctly
  • Snug CompFit ankle
  • Spike plate with detachable studs
  • Comes with secondary cleats
  • High-rebound SuperFoam insole

Cons

  • Difficult to put on because of the narrow top

Verdict: There is much to love about the Under Armour Highlight Select D. It is the cleat of choice for different weather conditions. It provides a snug fit that is comfortable when wearing over extended periods. It fits practice and competitive stress making it durable and reliable.


8. Adidas Men’s Adizero 5-Star 7.0: Best for Cornerbacks

Adidas Men’s Adizero 5-Star 7.0 is considered a revolutionary cleat that sets the pace of speed in football. With a Sprintskin upper, it is inspired by the speed of light no wonder cornerbacks love it.

Design

This cleat features a single layer of synthetic Sprintskin to create the most lightweight kicks. Being on the defense, you spend most of your time defending wide receivers that’s why you cannot give up support for speed. As such, the cleat has a sprint frame plate for stability. It keeps your feet well planted such that you can make all the lateral movements and be able to stand your ground at the same time.

The full-length midsole provides shock absorption and impact-resistance so that you can land safely when you sprint. Your arch is always in touch with the cleat, and you will love the cushioned collar as it prevents the ankle from rolling.

It has excellent traction from its Sprintstuds build around a rotational traction zone. It will play perfectly on turf since it is not too aggressive. It has a soft feel such that it does not dig into the artificial turf. As such, your speed is not reduced while it grips on turf at all times.

Snags

This cleat needs a break in period. It will fill tight the first few days. You will want to wear them a few times to practice instead of wearing them to a game when it is still new.

Pros

  • Reduced weight from single-layer Sprintskin
  • Low-cut for increased speed
  • Speed Spat seam tape for flexibility
  • Pressure free owing to anatomical lace structure
  • Soft, rubbery studs play well on turf

Cons

  • Needs time to get used to

Verdict: If you want to be the fastest player on the defense team, restrictions are the last thing you want. Adidas Men’s Adizero 5-Star 7.0 takes on a unique design in a Sprintskin upper that is super lightweight. It manages to keep you supported by having a seam plate. It is a remarkable cleat for cornerbacks.


9. Adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon: Best for Wide Receivers

Blazing speed is a skill you have to learn to be a good wide receiver, and so is an accurate eye. To top your performance, a good cleat has to be in the picture. Adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon is the cleat to pick for you.

Design Features

The upper of this cleat consists of TPU and textile elements. It is meant to be supportive and breathable for long training sessions. It is a techfit upper that provides sock-like comfort, flexibility, and responsiveness. We can see its usefulness in relaying a natural feel to the foot so you can run with explosive speed and get a sense of the ground at the same time.

The Dupont Kevlar reinforced plate that is extraordinarily strong offers additional stability. It protects you from sliding in the cleat and losing your balance when landing. With the IRONSKIN toe cap, it becomes easier to pass since your toes will not jam at the front. It saves you from hyperextension for an injury-free game.

You will like that the outsole is sturdy to withstand play on artificial turf as well as on grass. It provides balance from the back and front such that you can move laterally to maintain a high level of agility. It provides for quick changing of movements even in midair, and you can be sure to land softly.

Snags

This cleat runs a little small for quite a number of people. It is a recurring issue, so we find that you have to order a size bigger since it does not expand.

Pros

  • Adjustable anatomical lacing system
  • Duplar Kevlar reinforced plate for improved support
  • IRONSKIN toe cap is protective against being stepped on
  • Techfit upper is flexible and responsive

Cons

  • Comes in a smaller fit than actual size

Verdict:

Control and agility is what you get from Adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon. It is an excellent cleat for wide receivers since it is lightweight, breathable, stable, and well-cushioned. It protects your feet against impact and helps maintain your speed levels.


10. Under Armour Men’s Crusher Molded Football Cleats: Best for Flat Feet

Under Armour Men’s Crusher is designed to offer optimum comfort to players with flat feet. It balances the upper, midsole, and outsole, an optimizes them for flat feet and the capacity to play football like a pro.

Design

If you hear you have bad feet for football, it’s probably because they are flat. Sometimes a painful condition, you can counter it by having cleats that use a molded structure. With a die-cut EVA footbed, this cleat contours to your foot to offer optimum cushioning and support. It provides ample support to the arch and prevents the susceptibility to injury.

It has a lightweight feel which contributes to its comfort. You can play for extended periods without feeling pressure from the cleats. It has a rubber molded outsole and rubber cleats that work together to provide incredible traction. It can play on turf and grass because rubber can handle lots of abuse.

You will notice it is perfect for maintained and unmaintained fields as well as playing in bad weather. It is rugged to last a season, and because it molds to your feet, you will find it accustoms to your exact size time and time again. The improved comfort will also increase your performance levels.

Snags

You will need to go a size up because it runs narrow especially at the toe area. Even with a size higher, it still requires a break in period for the foot to get adjusted to the form-fitting design.

Pros

  • Die-cut EVA footbed
  • Rubber outsole and rubber cleats
  • Cushions the arch for improved comfort
  • It has a set of customized laces for matching to team colors

Cons

  • Requires time to break in

Verdict:

Under Armour proves they can also nail a good low cut football cleat with the Crusher Molded design. It provides conforming features that are important for flat feet. It is affordable and lasts a decent time. If you find it difficult to pick the right fit for flat feet, Under Armour Crusher has your back.


Best Cleats for Football: Buyers’ Guide

There are different cleat styles which can make it difficult to choose a pair. Here are the important factors to keep in mind.

Cut/Style

  • Low-Cut

These are the most lightweight cleats preferred for shaking tackles and running. You will find wide receivers, cornerbacks, and tight ends with these cleats since they provide the agility of cutting through players at full speed.

  • Mid-Cut

These cleats provide moderate ankle support but remain lightweight to provide speed when running through traffic. Quarterbacks, cornerbacks, linemen and running backs prefer this style of cleats.

  • High-Cut

This style has full ankle support for support and stability. They can be ¾ cut up to 5/8 cut to protect from rolled ankles. They have some additional bulk so they may be ideal for players that do not move a lot like centers, linebackers, and guards.

Molded vs. Detachable Cleats

Molded designs are permanently attached to the sole of the cleats. They provide different levels of traction according to their construction materials. Rubber and plastic molded cleats are ideal for playing on turf. They are usually less expensive too.

Detachable cleats, on the other hand, use interchangeable studs. They are mostly preferred for grass fields because of the changing conditions of the field according to the weather.

Construction Materials

  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)

This material is lightweight and water-resistant. It can withstand elements like extreme temperatures like winter weather. It is also impact and dent resistant.

  • PEBAX ®

This material is stable in extreme temperatures. It does not contract when it is too hot or too cold meaning you get to play when in harsh weather. It is also light to allow long hours of playing without fatigue.

  • Leather

Genuine leather is expensive and very durable. Cleats made of leather breathe well. You will be comfortable since it is also flexible to allow freedom of movement.

  • EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate)

This material makes footbeds. It is flexible to cushion the feet by molding to their curves. It is also water resistant and durable for long-term use.

  • Polyurethane (PU)

This material feels like rubber. It is common in football cleats, and it can make different parts including the upper and the outsole. It is flexible, and it can withstand harsh weather.

Size and Fit

It’s vital that your cleats fit properly. That is, if you have wide feet, ensure that the cleats are designed specifically for wide feet to prevent blisters. You will want to test the fit in the socks that you plan to play in. As such, you should have a little wiggle area for the toes to prevent the feeling of being squashed.

For youth players, it is just as vital to wear cleats that fit to size instead of growing into a pair since a larger size increases the risk of injury.

Accessories

Knowing how to maintain your football cleats is just as important. Consider shoe protection like oils and conditioners to protect and improve the durability of your cleats. You will also want to have extra studs if you are using detachable cleats. And do not forget extra shoelaces for when laces break in the middle of a game.

Wrapping Up

These are some of the Best American Football Cleats. These brands represent the top performers in the market. As you prepare for next season’s games, we hope you will find cleats that suit your position and skill level.

Disclaimer: DefinitePoint.com participates in some affiliate programs and we might get a commission on purchases made through our links, but that doesn't change the fact how we write our articles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *