Finding the right pair of soccer cleats is paramount to ensuring you are performing at the highest level come kick-off. Each position is going to have specific boots that are more suited than others. So, in our Best Cleats by Position series, we take a look at what boots suit the needs of each playing position on the soccer pitch.
The role a winger plays on a soccer field is often underestimated. Having a winger who can get down the line and put accurate crosses into the box can be the difference between a good and great team. There are two types of wingers; those that like to run at defenders and those that simply look to get the ball in the box. Either way, creating chances is essential to the position. And if you look at the best players in the world, scoring goals is also an important part. To get the most out of your game, a wingers needs the following from soccer cleats:
- Touch – Particularly for those that like to dribble, having a cleat that offers good feel on the ball is essential.
- Traction – Fast acceleration to beat a defender is a must. So, a cleat must move and respond to a wingers movement.
- Lighweight – Not always the determining factor, but being light on your toes can be the difference between getting to the ball before a defender and whipping in a cross.
Adidas F50 adiZero (review)
While reviewing the F50 adiZero, I was quiet surprised to find that they break-in quiet easily and offer a high level of comfort. When it comes to playing out wide and running with the ball, you need to have confidence in what you are wearing and there are not many better options than the adiZero. The big decision lies in whether you choose the synthetic or leather version. Personally, I found the leather version offers much better touch and feel when they adapt to your feet. With either version, you are going to have a cleat that allows for optimal speed and acceleration when running at defenders.
Nike Mercurial Vapor VI (review)
The decision to include the Nike Vapor VI over the Superfly might be a controversial choice, but I believe the Vapor series offers many more benefits and value for everyday wingers. Both boots are designed for fast paced wingers and you will notice more players wearing the Superfly. But the Vapor VI is just a much more comfortable boot, and they have the added bonus of a lace cover to help improve touch and control. They are designed for absolute speed, and although they are not classified as the lightest boot on the market they are pretty stinking light!
Puma V1.10 SL (review)
Puma’s version of a speed cleat holds the reputation of being one of the lightest soccer cleats currently on the market! Weighing in at 5.3oz, the Puma V1.10 SL is going to suit any winger looking to get down the line and beat quick defenders. I actually found the Puma V1.10 SL to be my personal favorite boot as a winger. The feel and touch offered by the boot is high class, although again you have to question the protection offered. They are a great boot to dribble in and they have a slight grip like feel to the microfiber upper that allows the ball to stay close to your feet.
Adidas Predator X or adiPower (review)
The alternative boot on the list – designed for players whose role is to simply get the ball into the box! In fact, when I played professionally I was continually reminded that my role was to create chances. Using David Beckham as an example, his advantage lies in his crossing ability – he never had to dribble past defenders at speed, he simply needed to create a yard of space and cross the ball! So, if this is the type of player you are then the Adidas Predator X is going to be the soccer cleat for you. This also includes wide players that like to take a lot of set plays, the Predator X is designed for those who want to master the art of striking the ball with accuracy. Since writing this post, the adiPower Predator has been released and offers an equally competitive option!
Full selection of adiPower Predators currently still available at soccer.com.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – Nike Superfly
Nani (Man Utd) – Adidas F50 adiZero
David Bentley (Birmingham) – Adidas adiPure IV
Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas) – Adidas F50 adiZero
Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool) – Adidas Predator X
Adam Johnson (Man City) – Nike Superfly
Aaron Lennon (Tothenham) – Nike Superfly
Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) – Adidas F50 adiZero