The Best Football Cleats (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Football Cleats Review GuideFinding the right cleat for gameplay is can be an overwhelming task. Luckily, there are plenty of cleats at many different prices points. Below are three of the best cleats offered in cheap, mid-range and expensive price points.

Don’t be fooled by prices, though—some of the best cleats are not always some of the most expensive. Find out what makes a superior cleat and the type of technology available at all price points with this buyers guide.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Football Cleats of 2016


What are the different types of football cleats?

Cheap Cleats – Different types of gameplay require a variety of footwear needs, so not every cleat needs to cost a fortune. This is why there are plenty of cheap cleats available for gameplay that might not require full ankle coverage or extended safety benefits.

Even when opting for a pair of cleats that are less expensive, players should still look for ones that can offer traction, comfort and safety. Though safety is generally the most important factor, a cleat that can offer solid traction and comfort will also provide the right elements for a cleat that offers plenty of support for the player.

Intermediate – There’s often little difference between a mid-range cleat and a high-end cleat (other than fancy tech). This is why many players opt for a cleat that is both affordable but offers plenty of features that are also offered by the more expensive brands.

A mid-range cleat should provide plenty of support, exceptional comfort, great traction and a few safety features. The main difference between the mid-range and the cheap cleat is that the mid-range cleat should have better technology and a few additional safety features. Mid-range cleats are great for both serious and friendly gameplay.

High End – Cleats that go above and beyond your expectations. Many high-end cleats offer all of the best technology and the best materials. They often form to your foot and can be tailored to each athlete’s preferences. They should provide the best traction and superior comfort. Most of all, the tech should help keep the player’s entire body safe—not just the ankle and foot areas.

The safety features should surpass the safety offered by the general comfort and traction features. This is a cleat that should become better throughout the season and not become weathered throughout the season.

What are the advantages of a good pair of football cleats?

A good pair of football cleats doesn’t need to be expensive, fancy or endorsed by a celebrity. They do need to provide plenty of traction on the field, comfort for the player and enough support to keep the body safe during gameplay.

A useful pair of cleats should offer all the basics and a little extra tech to keep the player performing above the rest.

Who are the contenders for best football cleats?

Adidas Performance Filthyquick MD Football Cleat – Though these cleats are the most inexpensive in the bunch, they still pack a powerful punch that boasts plenty of bells and whistles like detachable sprint cleat technology and a quickframe plate that helps reduce injuries throughout the season. They also provide superior comfort and are made with synthetic materials for a great fit.

Nike Alpha Pro Mid Football Cleats – One of the best mid-range cleats on the market, the Alpha Pro is sweet and simple. The only mid football cleats on this list, they are great for games that don’t require excessive ankle support. Though they aren’t necessarily “high end” cleats, they still offer plenty of traction. The Flywire technology keeps feet on the ground and bodies perfectly balanced.

Under Armour Men’s UA Highlight MC Football Cleats – The most expensive and elite cleats in this list, the Under Armour cleats have the most cutting-edge technology and offer one of the best fits and all-over body protection. They offer a fit that feels like a second skin to most players that is both comfortable and aids in traction on the field. In addition to the functional benefits, this cleat is also available in a large variety of trendy colors.

Considerations for Choosing the Best Football Cleats

The best football cleats aren’t always accompanied by a high price tag. In fact, some of the best cleats offer technology and support that is inexpensive yet cutting edge. When you’re out on the field the two factors that are the most important to any football player are performance and safety.

Functional cleats can offer both through optimal traction on the field, all-over comfort and stability, protection for the entire body (not just the feet) and superior technology and materials to back up the product.

Traction on the Field
Why purchase the best football cleats if you’re still going to slide around the field? The best cleats offer superior traction that keeps your feet in place and your balance in check. Cleats that work with the foot and the body’s natural motion will stay in place better than an inferior cleat or even a plain sneaker or shoe. The overall fit of the cleat and the quality of the materials used will greatly impact field traction and ensuring feet stay where they are supposed to and the body stays in motion—not on the ground.

All-Over Comfort
Whether you’re playing in a grassy field or a muddy arena, your football cleats should be comfortable and feel like a second skin. The best cleats will mold to your feet, giving you the comfort and support you need to run, jump and tackle. The companies that use the best materials generally make the most comfortable cleats; however, inexpensive cleats can also provide superior comfort and handling ability on the field.

Full-Body Protection
It’s not only the helmets and pads that help protect players on the field. The right fit and the best materials won’t benefit any player if the joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles aren’t properly protected from the inevitable slips and falls. Even the best cleats can’t prevent a collision or mishap. Cleats that fit properly and prevent over extension can greatly impact the protection of the entire body while out on the field.

Materials and Technology
The biggest difference between a good cleat and a great cleat are the materials and technology that go into every product and design. Yet don’t be fooled by impressive sales copy—some of the best cleats can be made inexpensively and don’t cost a fortune. The materials and tech that go into each cleat can help improve performance, maintain stability, increase stamina and speed and even help to prevent injuries.

Traction on the Field

Adidas Performance Filthyquick MD Football Cleat

Adidas offers a forefoot overlay that allows the foot to stay naturally centered. This offers the player more accurate cuts and superior lateral movements.

Nike Alpha Pro Mid Football Cleats

Nike offers the best on-field traction with Flywire technology and a Pebax plate. The Pebax plate is full length and gives a propulsion that is lightweight. The adaptive traction in the forefoot gives amazing control and traction on the field. The Flywire technology keeps the foot on lockdown while the low cut gives both mobility and standard support.

Under Armour Men’s UA Highlight MC Football Cleats

The UA PlasmaX plate allows the foot to its own motion for superior stability and the best traction money can offer.

All-Over Comfort

Adidas Performance Filthyquick MD Football Cleat

The Adidas Performance offers a detachable sprintcleat stud that makes the cleat more lightweight and versatile. The insoles are made of a molded ethylene vinyl acetate, allowing the insole to conform to the natural shape of the foot, offering superior protection and additional on-field comfort. They also boast a high cut, which provides extra support around the ankle and lower shin. The protective upper also gives additional support. The rubber molded plate offers an even more comfortable fit. These cleats were also created for Von Miller, a linebacker for the Denver Broncos, specifically to increase statistics and shed blocks, so players hoping to improve these same numbers should be particularly interested in these cleats.

Nike Alpha Pro Mid Football Cleats

Since these cleats are made with a Phylon midsole at a 3/4 –length wedge, they are extremely comfortable. They also offer extra midfoot support and additional cushioning at this part of the sole. The low ankle cut offers more movement at the ankle as well as a more comfortable fit for friendly play.

Under Armour Men’s UA Highlight MC Football Cleats

The Under Armour offers the best comfort technology out of the bunch with an exclusive ClutchFit technology, offering a cleat that molds to the wearer’s ankle, giving the illusion the shoe is a second skin and a part of the wearer’s body. This technology also offers fantastic support and feels comfortable. The 3D tongue also molds to the wearer’s foot, offering an even more comfortable fit and superior all-body protection against injury.

Full-Body Protection

Adidas Performance Filthyquick MD Football Cleat
The technology in the Adidas Performance helps to increase protection throughout the body. The quickframe plate was actually invented from studying a variety of players and their movements on the field throughout one season. While most cleats use one breakpoint, the Adidas allows the player to gradually increase the forefoot flex. Since most injuries are sustained as a result of the one breakpoint, this technology offers more protection throughout gameplay.

Nike Alpha Pro Mid Football Cleats
The Nike cleat is the only one out of the bunch that does not offer full-body protection. Since these cleats are designed for less intense play, they offer an ankle cut that is optimal for friendly play and practice. Though the cut is great for better extension throughout the ankle, it does not offer the same type of full-body support the Adidas and Under Armour brands offer.

Under Armour Men’s UA Highlight MC Football Cleats
Offering the most full-body protection in the bunch, the Under Armour has superior technology, including a 3D molded tongue, 4D Foam and 356 technology. The molded tongue forms to the wearer’s foot, allowing extra protection around the ankle and shin. The 4D foam also molds to the wearer’s foot, keeping the sole locked into the cleat and offering a fit that is customized to each player. Since the 356 technology helps prevent over-extension, the player can feel safe with the knowledge that there will be less chance of injury throughout the season.

Materials and Technology

Adidas Performance Filthyquick MD Football Cleat
Adidas offers a few new pieces of technology to aid in comfort and safety, including the detachable sprintcleat stud and synthetic sole. The detachable sprintcleats offer better comfort, fit and weight for a budget cleat. While some debate that a leather shoe offers a superior fit, a synthetic sole can actually be better, as long as the material is of high quality since the synthetic soles can last longer and provide better protection against wear and tear.

Nike Alpha Pro Mid Football Cleats
Nike’s rubber sole is a fantastic material that can help aid in comfort and durability. The synthetic leather is also lightweight and durable. While Nike uses superior materials, they do not use any new technology to enhance this cleat.

Under Armour Men’s UA Highlight MC Football Cleats
Under Armour boasts the most technology out of all the cleats, which attributes to the higher price point. Included in the Under Armour cleat is the 3D molded tongue, the UA ClutchFit technology, the 4D foam, the 356 technology and the UA PlasmaX. The UA PlasmaX plate uses the natural mostion of the foot to give the best traction on the field and superior stability. The 356 technology and 3D molded tongue offer all-body protection.

The 356 tech can help to aid in the fight against over-extending the ankle while the 3D molded tongue conforms to the foot and ankle, offering the feel of a second skin that hugs the upper foot and lower shin. In addition to the 3D molded tongue, the 4D foam also molds to the foot, giving the player the most superior fit and amazing support. Both of these technologies also lend to the comfort of the cleat. The UA ClutchFit also gives the player a better, more comfortable fit, molding to the ankle and offering each wearer customized support.

Conclusion: Our Football Cleat Reviews Are In

Adidas Performance Filthyquick MD Football Cleat – Best Cheap Football Cleats

Adidas Performance Filthyquick MD Football CleatWith plenty of support, quality materials and synthetic leather that molds to each player’s foot, the Adidas Performance Filthyquick MD Football Cleats are a great low-budget option for any level of play. Since these cleats offer many features that the high-end cleats offer, like superior ankle support, detachable sprintcleats and a superior quickframe plate, this budget option rivals even some of the higher-end brands.

Pros:

Detachable sprintcleats, synthetic sole, molds to the shape of the player’s foot, solid technology.

Cons:

Players should order a couple sizes up as these cleats run small and have narrow soles.

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Nike Alpha Pro Mid Football Cleats – Best Football Cleats for the Money

Nike Alpha Pro Mid Football CleatsOne of the best cleats players can buy for their money, the Nike Alpha Pro Mid Football Cleats are great for friendly gameplay since they offer a mid-cut ankle. Players find these cleats extremely comfortable and well worth the price.

Pros:

Low-cut for friendly play, comfortable ankle, rubber sole and synthetic leather, extra mid-foot support and Flywire technology.

Cons:

No full-body protection during gameplay.

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Under Armour Men’s UA Highlight MC Football Cleats: Best Football Cleats Overall

Under Armour Men's UA Highlight MC Football CleatsAlthough these cleats are at a higher price point, most players find the higher price well worth the money. They come with plenty of tech built inside, including the 365 tech for overextension, 3D molded tongue and 4D foam. Since this cleat molds to each player’s foot, every wearer gets a superior fit that fits better with each wear.

Pros:

Superior ankle support, extremely comfortable, uses high-end technology, available in a variety of colors and has a foot-forming sole and tongue.

Cons:

Synthetic materials (if you prefer leather) and some players experience a narrow fit.

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Though these cleats are all offered at a variety of price points, the player should look for a cleat that has plenty of all-body protection to stay safe during gameplay, great traction to enhance the overall gameplay and a material that conforms to the foot and ankle so the fit becomes better with each use.

Though the Adidas and Nike brands offer plenty of tech and great enhancements, the best cleat by far is the Under Armour, which offers a superior fit and the best technology.