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Best Cleats by Position: Center Forwards

Soccer Cleats for Center Forwards

Center Forward – Finding the right pair of soccer cleats is extremely important in helping to ensure that you are performing at the highest level come kick-off time. 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.

Without a doubt, one of the most psychologically challenging positions to play is that of the center forward. Your role is to score goals, and going a few games without scoring can be one of the most challenging experiences a striker will face. Self doubt can creep in very easily and when you are not scoring, you could easily find yourself sitting on the bench. This makes having the right footwear crucial – you need to know that your boots will offer you the top level of performance on a consistent basis. This is exactly why strikers often search and swap boots in an effort to find the right pair, until the day (and it doesn’t come often) when they feel like they have the perfect boot to compliment their game. With that being said, this could actually be one of the more important positional posts I write! When it comes to the needs of a forward, the essential requirements in a suitable cleat are:

  • Touch – It is often that one piece of magic in 90 minutes that makes the difference, that one touch that takes you away from the defender and gives you space to score! Having the confidence and desire to get by the defender is a vital component for any top striker.
  • Power – It only takes one shot, so you want any advantage you can take. Think of strikers like Rooney, Drogba or Ibrahimovich who emphasize the importance of striking the ball well. You need a boot that will tempt you into hitting the target.
  • Presence – This one is pretty complex as it encompasses two different areas. It starts with the fact forwards always want to be one step ahead of the defender, with every single step making a difference. Having a boot that removes any reservations a forward might have going into the game is very important. Basically, you need a boot that screams confidence!

T90 Laser III White (2)

Nike Total 90 Laser III
A boot that is built around power, the Nike T90 Laser range enhances your ability to really strike a solid ball. At to that the fact it is no stranger to pacey players and these are a pretty optimal choice. Wayne Rooney really epitomizes the type of player these boots are designed to match. He is strong on the ball, has excellent pace and never fails to have a pop at goal when the space opens up. Nike has rolled out a bunch of new features on the Laser III including the key addition of five ‘pods’ that sit right along the strike zone and are designed to even out pressure distribution on ball contact. This is definitely a benefit to players that like to strike on sight. The Elite version is the more advanced release and weighs even less, but the regular version is sure to be a good match also. I think from US striker Taylor Twellman summed it up perfectly with this tweet!

Nike T90 Laser III


Warning Synthetic f50 adizero

Adidas F50 adiZero
They might not pack a lot of power, but you are not going to get a better boot that offers a fantastic lightweight feel and great touch. The leather version, in particular, matches the best boots on the market in terms of touch. The adiZero range also matches the requirements of presence, with a flashy looking upper that is attached to a very plain, yet advanced soleplate. You will also have absolute confidence that you are wearing one of the lightest soccer cleats on the market. But, the one thing you lose with the adiZero is that added layer of protection. If you look at the forwards currently wearing them, they seem to be the more crafty and creative players (Messi, Villa, Suarez.)

Adidas F50 adiZero


Side Nike Superfly III

Nike Superfly (II or III version)
Now here is a boot with ultimate presence, and if you just need a player as example simply look at Cristiano Ronaldo. Although he also falls into the winger category, Ronaldo can also be found up top banging in goals so, there can’t be too much wrong with them! The Superfly is another boot that falls into the speed category, but it also holds a lot of power. I am not a huge fan of the adjustable stud, but when you pair it with Flywire technology, you have a boot developed for deadly acceleration, particularly when it comes to sharp turns. At time of posting, the Nike Superfly III has just been released (but not yet reviewed.)

Nike Superfly III


Lotto Zhero Gravity Ultra Spicy Orange

Lotto Zhero Gravity Ultra
One of the surprise selections in the category, but the laceless design leaves a large strike zone that is screaming for a striker to take it into action. The Zhero Gravity Ultra also has a great look to it and defenders will take note of the player wearing them. If you turn the boot over you will notice the use of Lotto’s patented Twist n’Go stud at the front of the cleat. The idea of Twist n’Go is to enhance turning speed and acceleration when you look to turn. The stud basically rotates 360 degrees, so as you turn the stud turns with you. The one issue with this boot is ensuring you have the right fit – something that is vitally important. It can be tricky finding the match for your feet, but once you get that right, these are a boot that will compliment any striker!

Lotto Zhero Gravity Ultra


Other options worth checking out:
Nike Tiempo Legend III
Nike CTR360 Maestri II
Puma V1.10 SL
Adidas Predator X

What Center Forwards are currently wearing: (as of Mar 2011)
Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) – Nike T90 Laser III
Zlatan Ibrahimovich (AC Milan) – Nike Superfly III
Didier Drogba (Chelsea) – Nike Superfly III
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – Adidas F50 adiZero
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – Nike Superfly III
Ruud Van Nistelrooy (Hamburg) – Nike Tiempo Legend III
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) – Adidas F50 adiZero
David Villa (Barcelona) – Adidas F50 adiZero
Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) – Nike CTR360 Maestri II
Thierry Henry (NY Redbull) – Reebok Instante Pro
Javier Hernandez (Man Utd) – Nike Tiempo Legend III
Carlos Tevez (Man City) – Nike CTR360 Maestri II
Robbie Keane (West Ham) – Nike T90 Laser III
Darren Bent (Aston Villa) – Umbro Speciali R

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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36 comments

  1. In "Other options worth checking out" it says ctr maestri 360 III. 😉

  2. Hey bryan are you going to do full backs?

  3. you dont know the real centre forwards

  4. ronaldo isn't even a centre forward he's a winger/ normal forward

  5. what about the Predator Xs?!

  6. yeah what about the predator Xs many center forwards like berbatov uses that

  7. Great review! But by the way David Villa is listed under Real Madrid 😛 Sorry to be critical haha

  8. @Luke @Darren B

    Thanks for the heads up!

    @Ben @anonymous

    The Predator is listed under other options…and read the "Please Note" section at the bottom!!

  9. Adipure SL. Possible future choice 😛

  10. Great Article. Also Darren Bent is a Villa player.

  11. IF i was world class delantro like Roque santa cruz i would rock the Mizuno Wave Ignitus, but not to many players are outside of japan.

  12. It doesn’t really matter what’s the best shoe for the certain position it just matters on whether or not you like the feel of the boot on your feet and that it fully optimizes your capabilities as a player

  13. Ok I’m a striker, and I am trying to find the proper boot for myself.

    Speed,and breakaways are my main income of goals, but I would also like to improve my shooting and accuracy, but without losing lightness.

    PLEASE HELP

    • id say either the superfly 3 or the f50 adizeros

    • I find that if I have heavier boots like t90s and I want to run faster then I train with ankle weights, seem to get most goals in the same way as you and wore t90 for an entire season, they helped a lot when using my weaker foot. I've just bought a pair of Superfly III and find that I get a lot of power and swerve when I strike the ball

  14. Ok yeah cuz I play in Virginia so I don’t know how the Superfly’s hold up on wet ground.. N I was also thinkin pumas

  15. Yeah I’m down to either the adizeros or the pumas

  16. Hey Bryan,
    I got a question for u. Im a striker and I really like CTRs. I think they are great boots. I am a player that bases me game around touch and controil and then finishes. Im not a player that can just breeze past defenders so i need a boot that can is good for passing and control. Ive been playing striker now for my club team for a while but now im starting to train with the school team and my coach puts me to play either left or right mid or right back. If i do end up playing striker in the fall, should get CTRS? Plz answer

    • soccercleats101

      Yes definitely – they should work out really well if you want to focus on passing and control, and are also another good option for strikers!

  17. Adipowers anyone? They are a perfect boot for any striker!!!!

  18. i play as a striker for my club and i recently bought a pair of Superfly III to replace my old T90 laser III, the reasons being a lot of the time we played a very fast counter attacking style and i had to outrun full backs all the time. but when we played more defensive teams i would hold the ball up and play more as a number 10 and take a lot of long shots. Have i made the right choice?

  19. THE BEST BOOTS IS MECURIAL OR NIKE T90 TO BE STAR LIKE RONALDO

  20. Hey Brian,

    I have a quick question: I play striker for my club soccer team, and I've almost outgrown my current T90 Strike's, and I'm thinking of getting Predator Absolions or T90 Strike IVs. Any preferences on either boot?

    • No preference – both will give you a little extra power and suit the mold of a strong forward. If you found success with the Strikes, I say continue with that line seeing as you will be familiar with the fit of the soleplate!

  21. I am a female forward. I need a cleat that can capitalize on my speed but still feel great when striking the ball. I recently got the mercurial glide III. Love the weight of them but they aren't very comfortable on my Feet. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  22. can nike t90 shoot be use for strikers.what is the difference bw t90 laser and t90 shoot

  23. I play center forward but my team only plays with two forwards and they have to be like no. 9's. and i play like a false no. 9 sort if like messi but one of my main factors is i like to shoot with power and accuracy however i also like to use speed and dribble. Any suggestions anybody?.

  24. I play center forward but my team only plays with two forwards and they have to be like no. 9’s. and i play like a false no. 9 sort of like messi but one of my main factors is i like to shoot with power and accuracy however i also like to use speed and dribble. Any suggestions anybody?.

  25. Hey , Brian I am looking for some women cleats that are good for passing , receiving and good stamina , something that will help me play good on the field . Do you know what could help me ?

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