Top 10 Best Football Cleats for 2020 & Buyer’s Guide

Top 10 Best Football Cleats for 2020 & Buyer’s Guide

Football cleats have some serious science that goes into making them and they come in a surprising number of forms and styles. So much so today, it can be confusing.

So, the question quickly becomes:

What football cleat is best for me?

Well, the answer varies. But in general, the position you play and your personal preferences will decide what cleat will work for you.

To help in your search, we have scoured hundreds of products and done the research for you to distill all the choices down to the 10 best football cleats.


The best of the pick for quarterbacks is the adidas Men’s Adizero 8.0 Sk. This cleat is stylish and provides the combination of stability and speed needed for the position.

For the big guys on the line, consider Nike Force Savage Elite 2 Td. It takes cues from wrestling shoes for ankle support, and the sole bottom is heavily textured, in addition to the cleats, to let you dig in when battling in the trenches.

Speedsters like big play running backs and wide receivers will appreciate the Under Armour Men’s Spotlight Lux Mc. It provides good traction for the required quick cuts and sudden stops.

Finally, for the versatile workhorses playing linebacker, tight end, or fullback, look to the Under Armour Men’s Hammer D. You have the ability to swap cleat lengths and the stability and comfort built into this shoe is perfect for these hard hitting positions.

Summary of the Football Cleats on Our List:

Under Armour Men's Spotlight Franchise Rm6.5 - 16Black, White, Red, BlueMoldedMidLinebacker,
Tight Ends
Check Price
Under Armour Men's Highlight Select7 - 16
(some in wide)
Black/WhiteRemovableHighLinemenCheck Price
Nike Force Savage Elite 2 Td Mens Ah3999-1007 - 11.5WhiteMoldedHighLinemenCheck Price
Nike Force Savage Pro 2 Mens Ah4000-1007 - 13, 18WhiteMoldedMidFullbacks,
Tight Ends,

Check Price
adidas Men's Adizero 8.06.5 - 18VariousMoldedLow
(w/ sock)
Wide ReceiversCheck Price
adidas Men's Freak Mid Md7 - 13BlackMoldedMidFullbacks,
Tight Ends,

Check Price
Under Armour Men's Nitro Low Mc6.5 - 16VariousMoldedLowBacksCheck Price
adidas Men's Adizero 8.0 Sk7 - 18VariousMoldedLow w/ sockQuarterbackCheck Price
Under Armour Men's Spotlight Lux Mc Football Shoe8 - 15VariousMoldedLow w/ sockBacks,
Check Price
Under Armour Men's Hammer D8 - 16White and White/BlackRemovableMidLinebackers,
Fullback, and Tight Ends,
some Linemen
Check Price

10 Best Football Cleats of 2020

1. Under Armour Men’s Spotlight Franchise Rm – “Best Buy Mid-Height”

Sizes: 6.5 – 16︱Cleats: Molded︱Cut: Mid

This Under Armour cleat is a mid-cut top that offers a blend of speed and support. It is also lightweight.

So, this cleat works well for linebackers, tight ends, and fullbacks. They are designed to handle the occasional clashes on the line while still being able to sprint and cut when needed.

With this cleat, you also get a full-length EVA midsole, which provides underfoot cushion & comfort. For those with flat feet, this may help with comfort.

The selection of colors is not large, but there are some to pick. Offered at a reasonable price, you get a solid cleat.

One thing to note, these come in a standard D width, so if you have very wide feet these may not be best for you.


  • Affordable
  • Full length insole cushion
  • Plenty of cleats for grip


  • Limited color selection
  • Not for wide feet


2. Under Armour Men’s Highlight Select – “Best for Wide Feet”

Sizes: 7 – 16︱Cleats: Removable︱Cut: High

Linemen have tremendous forces put on their knees and ankles. A high-cut shoe provides more support to the ankle, thus they are often preferred by them.

This Under Armour cleat provides a unique high top, and removable cleats. Most find ½ inch cleats work on firm, dry grass or artificial turf, and ¾ or 1 inch works best on wet grass or soft ground.

The 7 cleats on the bottom of this shoe is less than some competitors. And many find you need to take care to tighten the cleats well, or they can fall off unexpectedly.

But the price is reasonable to get a good pair of cleats for any offensive or defensive linemen.


  • Removable cleats can be swapped
  • Affordable
  • Wide sizes offered


  • Cleats need to be tightened regularly
  • Number of cleats is only 7

3. Nike Force Savage Elite 2 Td Mens Ah3999-100 – “Best for Linemen”

Sizes: 7 – 11.5︱Cleats: Molded︱Cut: High

The Nike Force Savage Elite 2 Td cleat provides limited ankle flexibility and plenty of stability that linemen need.

We are talking the serious linemen here, like centers, guards, tackles, anyone who puts their hand down on the ground and digs in. The players that are not as concerned with speed or cutting.

Based on a wrestling shoe, this cleat uses three velcro straps to snug it on your foot and provide maximum stability. But it also allows for quick starts and physical strength required to play on the line.

The cleat pattern is aggressive and is designed to work on all surfaces. But expect the best performance on firm, dry grass and artificial turf.

These shoes are not cheap, but you do get what you pay for. The protection and comfort built into these cleats make them hard to beat when it comes to performance.


  • Good ankle support
  • Velcro fasteners
  • Aggressive cleat pattern


  • Expensive
  • Not for speed or quick stops or cuts

4. Nike Force Savage Pro 2 Mens Ah4000-100 – “Best for Hard Hitting, Mobile Players”

Sizes: 7 – 13, 18︱Cleats: Molded︱Cut: Mid

Nike markets this cleat for “the line.” But they are unique. The shoe has a bit more flexibility than most linemen’s cleats, and these shoes are best for guards or tackles that pull, sprint, and cut to make mobile blocks.

But the Savage Pro 2 also fits well for fullbacks, tight ends, and linebackers that dig in and battle in the trenches often. For example, middle linebackers will like this cleat.

This shoe is a lace-up, with a large velcro strap on its mid-high top. This contributes to the unique stability and speed. Plus, a 14 cleat pattern provides good grip, which is helped by additional texture on the bottom sole.

To facilitate even more comfort and stability, this cleat has ample ankle padding. There is a lot going for this cleat, but it only comes in white.


  • Unique balance of stability and flexibility
  • Velcro ankle strap
  • Ankle padding
  • 14 cleat pattern


  • Expensive
  • Only comes in white

5. adidas Men’s Adizero 8.0 – “Best for Speedsters”

Sizes: 6.5 – 18︱Cleats: Molded︱Cut: Low (w/ sock)

Wide receivers need speed and the ability to cut on a dime. To do this, you need a cleat that provides great traction, and lets you move freely.

A low cut shoe like the Adizero 8.0 is made for wide receivers. But it would also work for those big play running backs that need the same speed and cutting ability.

Another feature you find in this shoe, it comes with the increasingly popular built-in top sock. It adds a little more stability for your ankle, without much of a reduction in flexibility.

For those who like color choices, this shoe does give you a choice. The sizes offered are also numerous, however, you will not find wide sizes.


  • Many colors and styles
  • Tongue and heel pull straps
  • Top collar “sock”
  • 11 cleat pattern


  • Hard to get on and off
  • Sizes run a tad small

6. adidas Men’s Freak Mid Md – “Best Workhorse Cleat”

Sizes: 8 – 15︱Cleats: Molded︱Cut: Low

This adidas cleat is a workhorse for the linebackers, tight ends, and fullbacks out there. The positions that need speed, good cutting ability, and strength, all at the same time.

Providing all these characteristics together can be very demanding for a cleat, but this mid-height Freak Mid shoe brings a good balance without breaking the bank.

The size range offered is a bit less than some competing products. Plus, they lack wide versions and these run a little narrow in the toe box.

But this cleat provides good traction using a 17 perimeter cleat pattern along with secondary, smaller teeth.


  • Lots of cleats for traction
  • Stable for trench battles
  • Flexible enough to sprint and cut


  • Only one color, black
  • No wide sizes

7. Under Armour Men’s Nitro Low Mc – “Best Heel and Toe Protection”

Sizes: 6.5 – 16︱Cleats: Molded︱Cut: Low

The low cut of the Nitro Low Mc helps you make those quick cuts. And the 13 cleats on the bottom along with an aggressive outer bottom sole pattern grip the turf.

But the lace-up upper is also designed to provide stability for your foot when you plant your foot in the ground.

To let your foot breath, the tongue is made with a mesh cloth material. And to support and stabilize your heel, there is a built-in heel cup. This may also help if you are prone to heel pain.

In addition, the toe is a one piece molded “cap.” This protects your toes, while also bringing improved durability to the cleat.

The Nitro Low Mc is built for backs and offers a lot of features at an affordable price. But they lack wide sizes and run a bit narrow. For backs, this is usually not a problem, but keep it in mind.


  • Breathable mesh tongue
  • Built-in heel cup and toe cap
  • 13 cleat pattern


  • No wides sizes and they run narrow

8. adidas Men’s Adizero 8.0 Sk – “Best for Quarterbacks”

Sizes: 7 – 16︱Cleats: Molded︱Cut: Low w/ sock

The adidas Adizero 8.0 looks like a mid-top. But looks can be deceiving. This is really a low top shoe with a cloth “sock” built into it.

It provides stability and speed, but offers some support for the times when you have to take a big hit. Someone like, say, quarterbacks.

The upper is a lightweight, breathable fabric and it wraps up onto your ankle. These cleats also have heel and tongue pulls for easy on and off.

On the bottom, 11 cleats are long for grip, but less than what you find on linemen shoes. But then again, quarterbacks do not need to dig in push like a linemen.

You also have a choice of styles to pick from. These days, bringing some swag to your game is almost mandatory. You can be bold, or just add a little color with this shoe.

There are no wide sizes, but the sizes run true, which is more than you can say for many of the other cleats for sale out there.


  • Color and style choices
  • Built-in ankle sock/collar
  • 11 cleat pattern
  • Lightweight and breathable


  • No wide sizes

9. Under Armour Men’s Spotlight Lux Mc Football Shoe – “Best Mixed Cleat Design”

Sizes: 8 – 15︱Cleats: Molded︱Cut: Low w/ sock

If you want a cleat with lots of colors to pick from, and a shoe that is perfect for the wide receiver or big play running backs, then look at this Under Armour Spotlight Lux Mc set of spikes.

The cleats on the bottom are unique. They are a mix of styles and minimized, to allow quick cuts. Or as Under Armour calls it “improved braking & quick multi-directional movements.”

Plus, the foam insert provides comfort as well as the ability to absorb shock when you collide with the opposing players.

A well rounded shoe that comes in many colors, this is sure to catch more than a few sets of eyes. One thing to know, these do run small and you may want to order a size up if you buy online.


  • Mix of cleat shapes and styles
  • Good stopping and directional changes
  • Built-in sock collar
  • Lots of colors and designs


  • Heel padding is thin
  • Run a bit small

10. Under Armour Men’s Hammer D – “Best Mid with Removable Cleats”

Sizes: 8 – 16︱Cleats: Removable︱Cut: Mid

One of the best ways to get the most out of your cleats is to have the ability to swap out cleat sizes depending on turf conditions. With the Under Armour Hammer D cleats, you can.

The mid-height design is actually a bit more supportive than other mid-height cleats. So, this shoe is best for those who dig in more often. Like linebackers, tight ends, and fullbacks.

In fact, this shoe could be used by linemen who want a little more flexibility at the ankle. This cleat almost falls between the typical mid and high-top shoes.

Take note, this shoe only has 7 cleats. If you like more grab, this may not be your cleat.

The size selection is good, but there are no wide options. However, they took care to size the cleats correctly and you get the expected room for a given size.


  • Good ankle support
  • Swappable cleats for different turf conditions
  • Cushioned insole for comfort


  • Only white and black colors
  • No wide sizes
  • 7 cleat pattern


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.


  • 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.


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.

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