Soccer cleats, can make the difference between performing extraordinary or poorly. While we can’t all play like Messi or Ronaldo, we can still try to reach their level. And on the road to success, you need all the help you can get. That’s why you need to have the most best soccer cleats on your feet.

Although some players wear colorful soccer cleats as a fashion statement, that shouldn’t distract from their capability to improve one’s performance. And these shoes aren’t only meant for soccer either, they can also be seen in sports like lacrosse, American football, and a number of other field sports.

What To Look For In Soccer Cleats?

So who to pick? You should look for ones that feel lightweight on your feet and have very strong studs. Firm studs will enable you to run across the field without risking serious ankle injuries.

When you’re watching a game, you see that the best players on the field look comfortable every single moment. Therefore, if you want your performance to stay at a high level, you need to find the cleats that suit your needs and feel comfortable on your feet at all times.

In order to help you have a top performance every time you hit the field, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best soccer cleats in 2018.

18 Best Soccer Cleats

1. Nike Men’s Mercurial Victory IV Cleats

Nike’s Victory line has been a staple cleat for players on a budget, for as long as they’ve been around. Just visit your local club’s practice, and you’ll probably see more than one young player wearing them. Possibly the biggest selling point of Mercurial Victory IV is the colors and attractive visual cues taken from the Vapor IX.

Right out of the box, you’ll notice that the colorway on these cleats is fresh and that it looks durable. The Victory IV is great for all weather conditions – it won’t even feel slippery in the rain. The upper texture will give you more grip and allow you to control the ball easier. They weight around 8.4 OZ, which is pretty good compared to other shoes in the same price range.

The texture may keep your feet a bit warm, but it more than makes up for it with ball control it provides. While the shoes are true to size, due to the quality of the upper, we recommend you go up half a size. They also don’t require too much time to break in and start feeling perfectly comfortable. In fact, you’ll be able to wear them to a practice or a game after a day or two.

2. Adidas Performance Men’s X 15.2 Soccer Cleats

If you need something more economical, picking the mid-tier Adidas X 15.2 is a good way to go. The shoes look similar to the top of the line X 15.2 model. As a matter of fact, you need to take a deep look at the shoes to differentiate the two. But there is even better news – performance-wise, they also feel close to their top-tier cousin.

What’s more, they’ve received a ton of praise from players who usually wear only the top of the line cleats.

The X 15.2 is lined with extremely soft material that simply oozes comfort. You can wear these cleats even without socks, and you’ll still feel completely ready for a 90-minute soccer match. We’re not actually saying you should wear them without socks, we’re simply trying to illustrate how soft the material inside the shoe is.

Some people may have been critical of Adidas in the past few years when it comes to performance, however, this model will probably change a lot of people’s minds. The company has seemingly taken a new direction, with a focus on revolutionizing the cleats market. This model in particular, features a nice mix of top-shelf materials, which will give you some much-needed comfort for a relatively low price.

3. Nike Men’s Magista Orden

Most people weren’t really interested in a third-tier shoe before Nike released the Magista Orden. Just by looking at it, you’ll see that it closely resembles the Tiempo Legacy and evoPOWER 2s, the cream of the crop when it comes to second-tier cleats. It features the NikeSkin technology seen on high-level cleats and the top-quality Kanga-Lite leather upper.

Released just a few years ago, the shoe has already managed to become a favorite among mid-tier soccer players. It weighs around 8 OZ, which is rather incredible, considering that unlike other models in the series, the Orden’s upper is made entirely out of Thermo Polyurethane. With its shape and weight, it’s perfect an all-around playmaker at club level.

The textured finish around the foot will enhance your ball-control ability, while the TPU outsole – along with the conical stud pattern – will add stability and durability underfoot. The Magista Orden may a bit more expensive than the comparable Trequartista shoe, however, it’s still a perfect choice for your average Sunday league player.

4. Adidas Performance Men’s Ace 16.3 Budget Soccer Cleats

The Ace 16.3 version might be a bit cheaper than the X 16.2 one, but that doesn’t mean it’s inferior. It uses the same material as the X 16.2 and provides the same level of comfort and helps you avoid blisters and burns when you run. The upper molds create a flat top that makes it easier to kick some shooters you wouldn’t be able with an arched top.

It has a synthetic interior, which locks down your foot and prevents the feet from sliding around during a game. Your foot will be locked down inside the Ace 16.3, and you’ll be able to play safely from start to finish. The FG Chaos stud configuration allows you to have a good grip on the surface and accelerate faster, whether it’s artificial or not.

This is a serious shoe for serious players. However, if you’re looking for something colorful, the Ace 16.3 has got your back. It comes in two distinctive color combinations that allow players to express themselves as they play the game. Last but not least, most people rank the Ace 16.3 among the top soccer cleats out there due to their agility and lightness that allow quick responses and full sprinting abilities.

5. Nike Men’s Tiempo Legend VII

Now, let’s get back to Nike. The Tiempo Legend VII may be lightweight, but make no mistake, the shoe is pretty strong and can endure a lot. This is not the only shoe that falls into the “light-but-enduring” category, so what makes it so special you might ask yourself. Well, it’s made of kangaroo leather, which gives it a lot of flexibility and even more longevity. That’s the main reason why we’ve put the Tiempo Legend on our list.

While the upper is made of leather, the sole is made of polyurethane, a rather bendable material that gives the player the freedom to make quick, strategic moves when needed. For that reason, the Tiempo is well suited for both offensive and defensive player alike. The Flyknit-constructed heel also allows the foot to breathe a little, so you won’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable in these shoes even after a few hours of practice.

The shoe has a small collar that cups your ankle and gives it the right support. The interior of the shoe is also covered with premium leather that provides a cushioned touch. Instead of regular laces, the shoe has the Flywire system that will lock down your foot and prevent ankle sprains and other injuries. The style wasn’t really the main concern of shoe’s designers, however, the color combination is a sleek combination of blue, light green, and black.

If you’re not from the US but you still want to order a pair, we should warn you that Tiempo’s sizes are given according to American measurements. Therefore, you should make sure to check what your actual foot size is before you make an order. And don’t worry, you’ll be covered by Nike’s guarantee in case your order arrives with any faults. But chances are, everything will go smoothly.

6. Adidas Performance Men’s Ace 17.2

As we said before, Adidas is making major leaps with their lower-tier cleats. In the past, this field was dominated by Nike, and while they still have the grip on the market, Adidas is quickly closing in. With the recent release of Ace 17.2, Adidas has shown that they are paying more and more attention to their more affordable cleats.

These will allow you to deliver powerful performance during practice or during games. They are designed with extremely soft, close-fitting uppers that offer stability. The specially designed outsoles allow you to move explosively on natural and artificial surfaces, while the Aquatech collar bands provide great ankle support with a sock-like compression fit. In short, if you’re looking for something secure and cost-effective at the same time, this is one of the best soccer shoes for you.

The lacing system allows for you to have one of the better fits on the market. The texture on the forefoot will give you full control of the ball, plus, the area where the tongue is provides a perfect fit. Although this is certainly not the best shoe on the market, it will still give you the level of comfort and touch you’re looking for.

7. Nike Men’s Hypervenom Phatal

If you’re used to wearing top-tier models, you’ll definitely be surprised with the second-tier Hypervenom Phatal. It has the soleplate and the shape of the top-tier Phantom, and when you put it on your feet, it certainly feels like one of the best out there. Basically, the shoe has the look and feel you’d expect from a far more expensive model.

The biggest difference between Phatal and Phantom is the upper part of the shoe. Phatal has an extremely-thin, dual-layer synthetic material top. It’s one of the thinnest uppers that Nike manufactures. And this material provides that lightweight feel that allows you to run at full speed with no problems. The material feels good when you touch the ball, although it feels a bit unnatural against your foot. That’s the biggest complaint people have, however, there are some benefits that make for it.

What’s more, the thin material lets you feel every bit of the soccer ball when striking and the smooth finish gives you just enough grip. The Hypervenom Phatal has an off-centered lacing system that allows you to secure it without any discomfort. All in all, if you’re looking for a responsive striking experience, you’ll definitely be happy with Hypervenom Phatal.

8. Adidas Performance Men’s X 16.2

Right out of the gate, we have to talk about the look of these cleats. On the first view, they certainly look different than others on our list. This is due to the “Techfit” collar that protrudes from the top of the shoe. This lining makes the shoe fit almost like a pair of socks. Furthermore, the collar reduces the movement of the shoe when you’re running, thus, allowing you to use more energy during a match.

The upper is made of a special synthetic material called “Primemesh” that is designed to give players a better feel for the ball. Of course, this means you’ll have more ball-control when you’re running the field. The Primemesh covers the entire surface of the X 16.2, however, it’s more prominent in the front section that it is in the rear and on the sides.

In an effort to give players even more control of the ball, the designers covered the lace holes. This increases your foot’s strike zone when you’re kicking the ball with the front part of the foot. The rubber sole provides enough traction to feel completely comfortable while you’re playing. Plus, the sole is great for playing on both soft, artificial grass surfaces and real grass ones as well.

9. Nike Men’s Hypervenom Phatal II

On the other hand, if you’re looking something that will feel secure on your foot, you should look at the second generation of the Phantom. It has a glass nylon soleplate, which includes a split-toe design that’s almost unnoticeable. Even though the shoe is a little bit stiff out of the box, you’ll hardly notice the stiffness only after a few hours on the soccer field.

Speaking of security, this model features Nike’s famed Flywire system, which gives the shoe a tighter grip on the foot. This prevents your shoe from slipping during a game. The most noticeable difference between the first-gen and second-gen model is the material used on the upper. The material is actually even thinner than the one found the Phatal I. So with Phatal II, you can expect a bit more comfort and closer touch on the soccer ball.

If you’re trying to find a shoe with a quality DF collar for a low price, this is possibly the cheapest option. The collar won’t overheat your foot during the hot summer months, however, it will keep your foot warm during the winter. There are some subtle design changes, and the shoe works well during the colder months, however, it’s still pretty similar to the first-gen model. Our recommendation is to go out there and try both models for yourself before you make a decision.

10. Nike Men’s Magista Orden

Most people weren’t really interested in a third-tier shoe before Nike released the Magista Orden. Just by looking at it, you’ll see that it closely resembles the Tiempo Legacy and evoPOWER 2s, the cream of the crop when it comes to second-tier cleats. It features the NikeSkin technology seen on high-level cleats and the top-quality Kanga-Lite leather upper.

Released just a few years ago, the shoe has already managed to become a favorite among mid-tier soccer players. It weighs around 8 OZ, which is rather incredible, considering that unlike other models in the series, the Orden’s upper is made entirely out of Thermo Polyurethane. With its shape and weight, it’s perfect an all-around playmaker at club level.

The textured finish around the foot will enhance your ball-control ability, while the TPU outsole – along with the conical stud pattern – will add stability and durability underfoot. The Magista Orden may a bit more expensive than the comparable Trequartista shoe, however, it’s still a perfect choice for your average Sunday league player.

11. Nike Mercurial Vapor IX

Back when the ninth installment of the Mercurial Vapor was first announced, the Internet went into a frenzy. Now, when the hype is over, we can still see that these shoes definitely lived up to the hype. The most noticeable difference between the VIII and IX is the dimpled synthetic upper, which has a golf-ball-like feel to it. On the VIII, we were treated to a suede finish that, although cool-looking, scuffed very easily.

Now, the Mercurial line is a bit more expensive than others on the list. No one wants to spend big buck on a new shoe and end up feeling disappointed. Luckily, the company has taken these cleats in the right direction and produced a winning package. The upper will give you a soft, almost elastic touch. It may have a slightly padded feel to it, however, it doesn’t take away from the natural feel players want while dribbling.

At 6.6 OZ it’s one of the lightest Vapor models to date so it will feel perfectly on your foot. The Vapor IX is true to size, but it will also give you some additional room for your feet to breathe on the sides. So if sizing has proven the downfall in your relationship with this particular line of cleats, the ninth entry might be worth considering.

12. Adidas Predator 18.2

The Predator 18.2 is another great product to come out of the Adidas factories in the last few years and it definitely ranks among the best  out there. The upper is made of a synthetic leather that provides a comfy and a secure feel when handling the ball. With this shoe, you’ll feel more comfortable on your feel and consequently, you’ll be able to maximize your dribbling abilities.

Adidas’ trademark “Predator” technology is active in five different zones, which allow players to keep control of the soccer ball in almost any circumstance, with a great touch for shooting at the goals. But the upper isn’t the only good aspect of this shoe. The “Traxion” technology used for the outsole will also give you a good grip on the ball and make your feet feel cozy on the firm ground.

The TUP-injected layers in the outsole are specifically designed to stabilize your movement, so you’ll be able to perform even the most complicated moves and dribbles with ease. You have a stretchy collar that expands to your foot and ensures a firm, supportive fit. While you may need to get some extra pair of socks – since the material is so lightweight and thin – the shoe works great in all weather conditions.

When it comes to design, this is a perfect shoe for players who like more vibrant, lively colors. The white core is stylishly complemented by the sea coral color of the collar. This flashy shoe right here is perfect for lightweight, quick movement and it comes with a pretty affordable price tag. If you decide to go with the Adidas Predator 18.2, you’ll definitely get a bang for your buck.

13. Nike Mercurial Vapor X

The release of Vapor X was essentially eclipsed by the release of another model on our list – the Mercurial Superfly – but due to their quality and good word-of-mouth, they’ve managed to become yet another best-seller for Nike. For the tenth installment, the Shoos wanted to create something a bit different. This has less to do with the visual appearance and materials and more to do with small modifications that make this shoe a little more comfortable and efficient.

When it comes to color and design, the Vapor Xs rank among the best on the market. You instantly notice the lack of tongue that adds a fresh new dynamic. Combine that with the lightly-textured upper, and you get one of the best looking shoes in the last few years. But the design is not the only positive aspect of the Vapor X – the shoe is also extremely comfortable.

You’ll be able to break them in in just an hour or so. The shoe’s soleplate has a fantastic bend through the forefront, and the upper is moldable from basically the first wear. Also, the textured outer coating will give you an additional level of grip. Whether you’re shooting along the strike zone or simply controlling the ball along your instep, the texture has the same feel throughout. This a big benefit for forwards that like to defenders head-on.

14. Adidas Adizero 5-Star 7.0

This Adidas model is a little more expensive than rest of the shoes on our list but the shoe is packed with enough tech to put a space station to shame, so it’s safe to say that Adizero is well worth the investment. The upper is made of Primeknit – a mix of synthetic and textile in one material – and the technology guarantees flexibility, durability, and most importantly, breathability.

Speaking of comfort, the shoe has a pre-molded sock along its length, which will give you a lot of comfort while you’re playing or practicing. This is one of the rare shoes still manufactured in the United States, which promises high quality. In addition, if you’re a US citizen, you’ll be supporting the local workers and manufacturers by buying this particular cleat. But that’s not the main reason why you should own the Adidas Adizero.

The inside linings are soaked with EVA-linings for lightweight cushioning. This prevents your shoe from becoming a bacteria habitat. Basically, if you own a pair of Adizeros, you’ll never have to worry about athlete’s foot ever again. The color of the shoe is a mix of black and grey, with a little bit of yellow added in to break up the monotony and give it a more exciting look.

So who is this shoe for? Well, if you want a flexible and a firm shoe bounded into one, you’re definitely going to love the Adizero.

Even if you’re not a huge Adidas fan, this model might change your mind. The odor-protection linings are fantastic for athletes of any kind. No matter how much you try, some shoes simply end up smelling. This, however, will never occur with the Adizero. Just try them on, and you’ll see that they smell fresh even after a long game.

15. Nike Mercurial Vapor XI NJR

After moving from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar got a brand new signature shoe – the Vapor XI. Of course, this is one of the soccer cleats for all the Neymar fans out there, because they actually contain a short timeline of his career. As a matter of fact, we’ll go as far as saying that these are some of the most detailed shoes you’ll find today.

The designers went into great detail in commemorating Neymar’s special moments in time. For instance, five starts on the side highlight his success with Brazil’s national team. The dotted figures on the shoe mimic maps of Brazil and Barcelona respectively. However, the neat design isn’t the only thing the Vapor XI has going for it, after all, the series is known for its quality.

And when it comes to performance, the cleat delivers everything you expect from a Vapor mode.

The upper part is made of Teijin microfiber, with Nike’s Speed Ribs on both sides. These ribs provide an additional cushion on the ball as you’re dribbling at full speed. The shoe was basically built for players that want lightweight cleats with solid traction that allow them to accelerate and decelerate quickly, without losing the control of the ball.

16. Nike Men’s Mercurial Superfly

This shoe right here has some serious specs and a makeup that is about as advanced as we’ve ever seen in a soccer cleat. Seeing how the Mercurial Superfly is the shoe of choice for Ronaldo, it’s not surprising that we’re all expecting to see them in this list, if not the best when we open the box. But from the look of things, it seems like the shoe has met all the expectations.

All materials used in the making of Mercurial Superfly interlock to create the efficient package possibly. The collar secures your foot to your ankle; the upper is made of a lightweight Flyknit material that allows you to run faster, and the horizontal-style ribs running across the shoe will give you additional definition on the ball. As the design team explains, they were planning to merger design with science to create the “fastest shoe in soccer.”

The shoes might be tight when you first put them on – it takes some effort to squeeze your foot in – but this just creates a secure fit from the collar through the whole foot. The material the shoe is made of works with the shape of your foot to fine-tune its true mold. That’s why the Mercurial Superfly is one of the most comfortable shoes released in the last few years.

17. Nike Men’s HypervenomX Proximo

Originally launched three years ago, the HypervenomX is the indoor court version of the Phantom II. It has basically the same features as the Phantom II, including the NikeSkin upper, Dynamic-Fit collar, and Flywire technology. However, this shoe right here has a flexible rubber sole.

This detail makes these shoes possibly the best soccer shoes for indoor use. The X in the shoe’s name is actually a nod to the number of players in a five-a-side indoor soccer match.

The collar featured on these shoes can also be seen on MagistaX and MercurialX silos. It was designed to lock your foot into the shoe for additional quickness and precise ball control. As we mentioned above, the upper is made of NikeSkin technology in an effort to provide you a snug fit for ultimate ball touch.  Also, the shoe has midfoot Flyknit cables that further lock down your foot and provide your ankle with the agility it needs.

The shoe uses a full-length Phylon midsole for lightweight support and cushioning. Another detail that might interest you is the off-centered lacing system that gives you a huge striking surface. You can find the HypervenomX in two versions – the Finale one and the Pro one that uses the low-cut design and comes at a more affordable price.

18. Nike Men’s Magista Obra

The last spot on our list is reserved for an older model well worth your time. As soon as Magista Obra was released, it managed to grasp the attention of soccer shoe fans all across the world. We’ve simply never seen such an imaginative shoe – it’s specifically designed to secure your foot providing a sock-like fit.

The knit upper and the mid-cut collar make the entire fit move in-sync with your foot. This was something that a number of top players requested, and Nike delivered. In addition to the unique look, the overall weight is only 7.2 OZ, which leaves the shoes in the lightweight category and adds more value to the overall package. And if you never wore them before, we can’t even explain how comfortable these shoes are to wear. If you want to know how the top players feel wearing the best, you’ll just have to buy a pair of Magista Obra and see for yourself.

When it comes to ball control, the texture design plays a large role, one that benefits central-styled players and playmakers that like to get on the ball. We have to say that this shoe won’t suit all player types – they don’t really suit strikers and wing players, because the Flyknit material may take away the natural style of those who look to go by defenders with the ball just off their step.

If you are looking for Brand Cleats, Checkout our lists here –

  1. Top 8 Nike Soccer Shoes
  2. Top 8 Adidas Soccer Shoes
  3. Top 12 Soccer Balls

And with that, our little guide is finally over. We’ve looked at some of the absolute best on the market, we’ve talked about some of the things you should pay special attention to, and discussed the needs of players in different positions. We hope we managed to point you in the right direction and helped you narrow your choice down. In the end, we hope you’ve enjoyed the article, and if you want to add something or ask any questions, make sure to leave a comment in the section below.

Adam has been a college coach for 10 years and is also a certified physician. Experience in sports equipment to help new enthusiasts to pick the right products for the money.


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