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Recommeded Soccer Cleats For Defenders

Defenders hold huge responsibilities as part of a soccer team. It is pretty easy for a striker to dose off for 30 seconds and miss a chance or two. But for a defender, one slip can mean conceding a goal and losing the game. With that in mind, we have put together a list of cleats that we recommend for defenders. In putting this list together, we took the following into consideration:

  • Comfort – Defenders need to have total confidence in the cleat they are wearing.
  • Responsiveness – Defenders have to be focused 100% of the time.
  • Support and Durability – Defenders must be ready to get stuck in on tackles.

Nike Total90 Laser III – (Read review)
One of the key reasons that the Nike Laser III is on the list is how it improves shot power and accuracy. As a defender, there are manyNike Total90 Laser III review times in a game when playing a long ball to the front man is necessary. When this happens, you want to be able play it right where the forward needs it, ensuring you relieve pressure on your defense. The Laser III is designed with 5 pods that lie along the strike zone to increase power. On the side, there are ‘fins’ that are designed to improve touch and control, also very important features. To summarize, these babies tick just about all the boxes needed for a defender!
Search for a pair of Nike T90 Laser III

Under Armour Dominate – (Read review)
The UA Dominate offer more protection than any other cleat on this list. This is due to the MPZ (Modular Protection Zone) that is designed to protect the metatarsal bone of the foot. Over the past few seasons, there have been some very famous metatarsal breaks. Back before the start of the 2006 World Cup, David Beckham famously came down with a break that left him unfit going into the tournament. I actually found the UA Dominate to be one of the more comfortable cleats available on the market. A lot of people were concerned with how UA were going to fair in the soccer cleat market, and apart from their color choices, I think they have become a player in the market. If you find yourself sliding in on tackles all over the pitch, these might be the right choice for you!
Search for a pair of UA Dominate

Adidas Predator X – (Read review)
The Predator X is a super comfortable cleat that offers another great options for players who want to play accurate long balls. The strike zone of the Predator X has an areaAdidas Predator X of raised silicon that is designed to improve shot power. Without being a bulky cleat, it also offers good protection and is definitely suitable for players who like to tackle hard, and I give them full marks for comfort. Adidas have also added a unique heal protector, that adds an extra piece of safety when players tackle you from behind. Any defender wearing these is sure to have confidence in their play!
Search for a pair of Adidas Predator X

Puma King XL – (Read review)
Enduring the test of time (over 40 years now), the Puma King range continues to satisfy all players of all positions on the pitch. But, in my opinion, itPuma King XL Italia Sideview has a lot more to offer defenders than any other position. First off, these are one of the most comfortable cleats on the market and break in very easily. They also have more of a rounder toe, and I have always thought this benefits defenders. You will see a lot of defensive players, including defensive mids, wearing these cleats at the top level. After wearing these for several weeks, I can tell you that they offer great support in the most challenging of games!
Search for a pair of Puma King Finale

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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57 comments

  1. i play right,left back as well as defensive midfield for my teams. The past year i purchased the nike mercurial vapor iv cactus colour cleats and they worked pretty well for me but they gave me nasty blisters and this year they are still bothering me. I want a pair of cleats similar to the vapors but with more comfort, any ideas?

  2. Milan,

    You should check out the Puma V1.10 since they are also extremely light. Another option is to wait a few weeks until the release of the Adidas Adizero, which will also offer limited weight!

  3. i actually considered purchasing both of these cleats before ! especially the adizero's, great website !

  4. i play left and center back and i am a huge fan of tiempos. I've noticed a lot of top defenders like puyol, pique, wearing them and i remember maldini also wore them. what do you think of them?

    • lol i got some nike tiempos yesterday and they r reeeally comfortable previously i had puma kings which r also great due to their thick leather and comfort

  5. Does this column apply to GKs too?

  6. Hey Jared,

    Yes this would apply to Goalkeepers also, although I would include the Uhlsport range into the mix also!

  7. as a centreback, and occasional centremid, id say the Adidas F50.9/F50i's are my preferred boots of choice, i was once a Nike fanatic until about a year ago -the Tiempo's are a great boot- until i lost my pair lol and had to borrow a pair of F50s from a teammate for the remainder of the season, since then haven't looked back, the new F50i's are wonderful as far as durability (very important), weight, control, and ball feel go, im sure a lot of high profile strikers and mids prefer them, but as a defender i definitely love them and would recommend you give them a try on at your local footy shop

  8. what shoes do you guys think i should get. I play both holding mid, and center back equally.

  9. I need a cleat that is good for a defender (left center back to be specific), and that is also sold in size 15…

    got any ideas?

  10. as the past year ive used nike mercurial vapor 4 and they worked out well but i want something that can help me move with the ball easier such as making a change in direction easier, do you think that the superfly 2 could help me in that catagory?

  11. I play center back or left back for a professional academy.Last year i bought the Nike CTR 360 and was very happy with them for the first 2 months.But i had to stop playing for 3 months due to injury + exams and after coming back to play i havent found the ctr;s as comfortable.

    Im looking at the Under Armour dominate Pro and the Lotto Zhero Leggenda Tre.

    First off as the grounds over here are firm at best I cant understand Underarmour's Boot differentiation.

    On http://www.prodirectsoccer.com they have listed Underarmour dominate pro for 200 pounds in the Soft Ground/Firm Ground category and there is another Dominate Pro for 100 pounds in the moulded stud category.

    Is moulded stud for indoor soccer?

  12. well i play right defense & wondeing which cleats to buy. i bought tiempos & those worked good but im thinking of getting vapors but they say it doesnt work good for defenders

  13. What about the powercat? ive seen vidic and dunne using em'

  14. i'm 15, i usually play sweeper (behind defense) and my speed is a key factor for me. Traction is also a must since any small slips can lead to a break away or goal against. I'm thinking of the Nike talaria's (for lightweight speed), copa mundials (for the amazing comfort), adipure trx fg (for comfort), reebok valde(for power,and comfort, its made from kangaroo leather also). The adipure's are lightweight alos and made of kangaroo leather but i've heard that they don't last long. The reebok's, well i've never worn reebok's before so i'm not sure how they'll be. the talaria's will make me faster, but it does not seem like the best traction and not very sturdy for a defender. copa mnudials seem good but i heard they absorb in water, and the traction is molded studs so i'm a little weary of the traction on wet grass.

    any advice or suggestion's would be greatly appreciated.

  15. soccerboy-I’m a defender as well and i would highly recommend the adipures. some consider them more of a midfield cleat but for me they have been highly durable as well as comfortable. They are much lighter and quicker than copas and the leather is exceptionally soft and makes for a great touch. I’ve had played in them for two high school seasons and they are still in great condition (although i do rotate cleats).

  16. I'm a all-around defender, I can pretty much play anywhere in defense, and I've been wearing Mercurials for the past year and a half or so, first with the Mercurial Vapor IV SL, and now the Mercurial Vapor V. I have loved the Vapors because of their overall comfort, weight, and durability. However, I tweaked my ankle a few months ago, and I wear a brace when I play (I don't wear ankle protection with my shin guards). Do you have any suggestions on which cleat might give some decent ankle protection? I was thinking about all of the cleats suggested, and also the CTR360 Maserati from Nike, or maybe some Adipures. I'm open to anything though. And do you think I should start to wear ankle protection with my shin guards from now on? Probably should, but I stopped because it used to stretch the sides of my Vapor IV's when I first got them, so I switched. Thank you in advance.

  17. Ryan,

    Very difficult to give a good suggestion in terms of ankle protection as the majority of boots fit very similar. My first suggestion is to try stick to low profile studs where possible, even choosing artificial turf cleats when possible. The biggest problem lies in the studs getting stuck along the surface, causing ankle twists. One other suggestion is to check out the <a href"http://www.soccercleats101.com/2009/06/28/under-armour-create-review/&quot; rel="nofollow">UA Create, which fits higher on the ankle.

    Wearing ankle protection is a good idea though if you are suffering ankle problems. It is better to wear it to stop injury, instead of playing without it and suffering an injury!

  18. I play right wing back, and occasionally as second forward. I need a speedy boot but with protection because I make a lot of tackles. I currently have mercurials and I've always loved them but they aren't very protective, I'm thinking about switching to adipure but if not those then what boots would

    you reccomend? Thanks, Michael

  19. Michael,

    I would recommend any of the boots above…the Predator X might be your best option.

  20. Hello! For my school team I play the stopper position, but I have recently joined a club team that has me playing more midfield positions. The cleats that I have now (Lotto brand) rub the skin off of my toes and gives me blood blisters, all of which I don't particularly appreciate. I bought them because they were relatively cheap, but I am definitely willing to branch out in light of these blisters. I also had an ACL repair surgery, so I need a cleat that will help me move a little better and allow me to keep up my fast pace without making my feet hurt! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! =D

    Thank you,

    Shikha

  21. Shikha,

    Any of the cleats in the above post are suitable options. I would recommend ordering up a size, sounds like the Lotto's might be too tight!

  22. I play left back and i got a pair of predator xs last season. I liked them, they were comfortable, supportive and protective but they are pretty heavy and there is already a hole in the leather. Im a fast player and i want to utilize that more . i was thinking about a pair of v 1.10s. do you think that its a good decision or should i go in a different direction?

  23. Matthew,

    The V1.10 is a good option, they might be as protective as you might need as a defender, but overall they would be suitable.

  24. Hello,

    I have been using Adidas Predators for a while now, and they have been great for placing the ball, but when i need to blast the ball up the field, it just doesn't work for me. I was thinking about getting the Lasers, because i needed cleats for power and touch. Any ideas?

    Thanks, Brian.

  25. P.S. —- I am a center back defense! Sorry for not including that.

  26. Brian,

    The Lasers are a really good option – also check out the Concave PT+, it has a front shot shield that adds extra power when striking the ball!

  27. This will be my first year playing soccer' my coach says i will more than likely be a defender. I need some advice on what cleats i should get. Help me?

  28. Hey, Brian. I play left back, which calls for a lot of power, but I also use a lot of feints when I'm taking the ball up to my forwards, or getting to a spot where I can pass. This calls for a lot of control as well. Which cleat would you recommend?

  29. @Dustin,

    The Nike T90 Laser seems like it might be a good option for what you are looking for, specifically when it comes to power and passing.

  30. I play left or right back and midfield sometimes. I have an attacking style and I like to go up the field with the ball. I like giving those perfect balls and making plays. I need a durable shoe, but yet a good shoe for runnung. I need for it to be great at tackling, crossing, and sometimes shooting. What do you recomend, anyone?

  31. Hey, Bryan. I play centre defence, have been using the "Nike Mercurial Vapor IV/V" for a long time. Im a fast player, which also go really hard in tackles, like to send long passes. Which cleat would fit my profile?

  32. Hi Brian,
    I play right wing back. I'm not sure whether to choose something like the adipures or maybe the adizero leathers. What would you suggest?

  33. Ok so I play defender most of the time and sometimes midfield. I am thinking of buying the Vapor VI or Mercurial Miracle 2 ( because I only have $140). Are they good for defense?? Heard they are super bad for defense… But I would like a boot that isnt 1000 oz and isn’t Gunna fall apart and has some flash. The vapor look super flashy which I like and are light and durable but they will gimme bruises on my feet when I tackle. Please leave any suggestions for other boots that aren’t up top ( there to heavy for me). I like the tiempos but they seem to plain.. Please help

    • try getting either predators or puma kings

    • i play stopper and I used 1 pair of Adidas F50's for about a year and a half…They survived through 1 season of highschool soccer and 2 seasons of highschool football. I didnt have any complaints at all. In soccer i dont hesitate to get involved in a tackle n they held up very well. I would recommend these cleats for sure.

  34. im a 15 year old boy. i play as a right back. recently i have been having alot of trouble with my cleats. i bought adidas f50 trx fg but they are very very uncomfortable. it is affecting my performance. most of the people are telling me to buy t90’s. i also love them very much. will they be good enough for speed and comfort? please reply. DEFENDER BOY

  35. I have puma kings and they r really good they r comfortable and give great protection to ur foot

  36. is the nike tiempo legend iv good for defenders because right now im in the u 12 elite devision in 2012 in burlington ontario canada and all my teamates depend on my to cover the fast players and i need a good shoe for a good price and i was able to find nike tiempo legend iv for 99$ and i need responsive shoe please recommend one also i play right back,left back or stopper infront of the sweeper

  37. I play stopper, and i play extremely rough and aggressive. In the stopper position i have used Nike Veloci's(cheap isnt always a bad thing), and Adidas F50's. Both of which held up very well for what i put them through.

  38. i play defense and i have a pair of t 90s IV and they work great! but i was wondering if nike mercurial vapor superflyIII would work better and i reallywant some. could someone please tell me what i should get. oh and no adidas.

  39. I play as a left,right,center,defensive midfielder and overlaping backs. What is a suitable boot for me cause I'm thinking to buy a lighter boot. Now I'm wearing Adidas Predator which is heavier and slower me when I overlaping.

  40. I am 13 years old by the way.

  41. guys em a CDM i am buying new shoes but i have two choices nike ctr maestri ii and the t90 laser iv which should i buy nd which will be better for me ??? help out

    • Both are decent options. If you like to play more long balls the T90 would be a better option, or if you like to play a lot of short passes on the ground you will find the CTR360 is more suited.

  42. i want a pair of cleats which wear on all positions

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