Goalkeeper – For every player on the soccer pitch, finding the right pair of soccer cleats is paramount to ensuring you are performing at the highest level come the first whistle. 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.
They say the best form of attack is defense and all that you need to do is keep a clean sheet to get at least a draw! This of course means, in most cases, your goalkeeper is going to be the one that needs to make one or two key saves per game in order to keep that clean sheet. In order to perform to the highest level, the right pair of gloves matched with the right footwear is absolutely crucial. Whether it is coming off your line quickly, or playing a long ball down field, having a responsive, comfortable soccer cleat can make a huge difference. In order to define the best cleats for goalkeepers, the following criteria come into play:
- Traction – Quick footwork is always going to play a big role in how a keeper performs. Whether it is clearing a long ball in the area or coming off your line to cover a one on one , if a keeper doesn’t have the right traction it can result in mistakes – and mistakes result in giving up goals!
- Power – Kick outs, punts, long balls from back passes – knowing how to strike a long ball is a key attribute for any goalkeeper! You are going to be looking through the power range of soccer cleats to find one that suits your kicking style.
- Comfort – Unlike outfield players, a keeper needs to keep on his toes at all times, often bouncing so that he is ready to dive when needed. Having a comfortable cleat will add confidence to any keepers game.
Adidas Predator X
One of the most reliable soccer cleats on the market is the Adidas Predator X. It seems that the Predator range suits nearly every player on the field, and a keeper can gain terrific positives from wearing them. I don’t think I need to tell you that the Predator falls into the power range, so these are a perfect match for knocking long balls all over the field. One of the benefits in my opinion is that the current strike zone on the Predator X has a slightly grippy feel, so the ball is easy to keep close to your feet. The inclusion of a newly developed internal chassis construction helps redirect power through the powerspine for maximum power without giving up energy. This results in a more direct power into the ball while offering important metatarsal protection. The Adidas Predator X is definitely one of the best options for goalkeepers in my opinion.
Puma PWR-CT 1.10
One of the most commonly worn soccer cleats amongst professional goalkeepers is the extremely powerful Puma PowerCat. I personally really enjoyed wearing the PowerCat for review and found them to be a very stylish cleat that offered a competitive level of comfort. The new 3D Power Shooting Technology is the highlight of this range, with the tiered looking design creating much inquisitiveness after release. The official term is SpringTech foam ridges, and they are designed to increase shooting power while maintaining touch and feel on the ball. The benefit of having this technology is that it has high rebound properties that does not absorb the typical amount of energy on ball impact, meaning more power is released when you shoot. Finally, Puma are using a new anatomically shaped PowerLast that is an updated version of the AptoLast. The PowerLast provides additional volume to the forefront and instep of the foot – ideal for keepers who need to be on their toes at all times! If I was a keeper, these would be my preferred choice.
Nike T90 Laser III
Without a doubt, these are the top option for amateur and semi professional goalkeepers around the country. Again, the key to this boot is power, with the T90 Laser III featuring five strategically positioned pods along the strike zone, designed to adsorb pressure as you strike the ball. Also, the addition of TPU fins that sit on a honeycomb panel are designed to flex on contact with the ball, acting like a car suspension system in a sense. The T90 Laser are an ideal addition for goalkeepers who need a little extra cushion when controlling back passes. It helps kill the ball, rather than have it bounce off your foot. After testing, I had some initial comfort issues with the T90 Laser III that were related to the shape of the boot.
Nike Tiempo Legend
Not all keepers desire power, with a comfortable, stable boot preferred. The ideal option in this case is the very consistent performing Nike Tiempo Legend. Featuring a super soft leather upper and lightweight soleplate, the Tiempo Legend offers an ideal solution for keepers who want to be super quick on their feet without giving up a lot of protection properties. You don’t get any added technology around the strike zone, but for most high profile keepers, this is not an issue. If you are confident in how you strike the ball, consider the Tiempo as a very good option. For those who want an even lighter boot, there is an Elite version available.
What Goalkeepers are currently wearing: (as of Apr 2011)
Edwin Van der Sar (Man Utd) – Adidas Predator X
Iker Casilles (Real Madrid) – Reebok Valde Pro
Peter Cech (Chelsea) – Adidas Predator X
Joe Hart (Man City) – Umbro Speciali
Pepe Reina – Joma Total Fit
Tim Howard (Everton) – Nike Tiempo Legend
Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders) – Puma PWR-CT
Hugo Lloris (Lyon) – Nike Tiempo Legend
Shay Given (Man City) – Puma PWR-CT
Hans-Jörg Butt (Bayern Munich) – Adidas Copa Mundial
David De Gea (Atletico Madrid) – Nike T90 Laser
Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04) – Adidas Predator X
Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax) – Adidas Predator X
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) – Puma PWR-CT