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Best Cleats by Position: Full Backs

Best Cleats for Full Backs

Full Back (Right or Left Defender) – 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.

One of the most underrated positions on a soccer field belongs to one of the most influential players – the full back. You rarely hear about the heroic performance of a right or left defender, yet there job could be one of the most difficult. Think about it for a second, not only are you responsible for getting up and down the line, helping support any attacks and usually whipping balls into the box, but you also have the responsibility of keeping the dangerous wide, attacking players at bay. Full backs have the unenviable task of marking the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Antonio Valencia, which is not an easy job at the best of times! Having the right soccer cleat is, as you would expect, very important in order to ensure the full back is ready for action at all times. The good news is that there is a very wide selection of cleats suitable for full backs, with pretty much any boot on the market fitting the mold. The most important characteristics to look for are:

  • Consistency – With so much going in during a game for the left or right back, have an all around consistent performing soccer cleat is pretty essential. You are going to want a boot the delivers at the right time, whether you are on or off the ball.
  • Touch – Picking up the ball in the full back position, moving forward quickly, beating one or two players and delivering a deadly cross into the box, sprint back in to position – a typical days work for a full back! In order to complete this chain of events, having good touch on the ball while you dribble, makes a huge difference.
  • Traction – Getting involved in the attack is a key characteristic of a good outside back, so you are going to want to cover a lot of ground. Being able to rely on your soccer cleats to deliver when you are crossing or getting back quickly to break up counter attacks is critical.

New Nike CTR360 Maestri

Nike CTR360 Maestri II (read review)
With the CTR360 Maestri range, you get a mix of solid protection with a creative soccer cleat. As an outside back, the CTR360 offers solid protection for those tough tackles you are going to be making. And when it comes to creating chances, these boots have exactly what you will need. Designed for playmakers, the CTR360 Maestri II features dampening pads along the front of the boot, and TPU fins along the side. The dampening pods are perfectly positioned to offer great touch and control on the ball, while the TPU fins will give you great spin when playing crosses into the box. To be honest, I have been surprised not to see that more full backs wearing these boots!

Search for pairs of CTR360 Maestri.


Umbro Stealth Pro II

Umbro Stealth II Pro (read release)
The Stealth II seems to be one of the more popular choices for outside backs in the English Premier League. A large majority of players seem to have turned to the high performance offered by the Umbro’s cleat. The biggest upgrade to the second series in the range lies in the upper of the boot, with Umbro choosing to include a K-leather this time around. In my opinion, this is a great addition and it offers a great combination of properties for defenders, especially when it comes to touch. The leather has actually been formed/riveted to improve touch and enhance power on contact. I also really like the colorway used by Umbro, with the blue/gold detailing on the boot making it look classy. One thing to bear in mind is that these are a HG boot, designed for hard ground.

Search for pairs of Stealth Pro.


Warning Synthetic f50 adizero

Adidas F50 adiZero (read review)
What is sure to be the surprise inclusion in the list of options for full backs, the Adidas F50 adiZero has a balance that will suit pacey defenders who like to join in the attack. The only negative lies in the amount of protection – or lack of – offered by the ultra lightweight boot. The F50 adiZero is a great option for wingers, so you actually get to match what they are wearing, sort of canceling any footwear advantage they might have! When I tested them, I found that they offered a very competitive level of touch and control, and as you might imagine they offer a fantastic option for players who like to run a lot! Just to note, I am specifically referencing the regular version over the Prime based on the value and price – if you prefer the Prime version, they are just as good an option.

Search for pairs of F50 adiZero.


Other options worth checking out:
Nike T90 Laser III
Adidas Predator X
Adidas adiPure IV

What center backs are currently wearing: (as of Apr 2011)
Patrice Evra (Manchester United) – Nike T90 Laser III
Ashley Cole (Chelsea) – Nike CTR360 Maestri
Marcelo Vieira (Real Madrid) – Nike Vapor Superfly II
Leighton Baines (Everton) – Umbro Stealth II Pro
Danny Alves (Barcelona) – Adidas F50 adiZero Prime
Gael Clichy (Arsenal) – Umbro Stealth II Pro
Joan Capdevila (Villareal) – Lotto Fuerzapura
Maicon (Inter Milan) – Nike T90 Laser III
Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake) – Adidas Predator X
Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy) – Nike CTR360 Maestri II
Phil Bardsley (Sunderland) – Umbro Stealth II Pro
Jose Enrique (Newcastle) – Adidas F50 adiZero Prime
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96) – Adidas adiPure IV

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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28 comments

  1. Do you think that superfly boots could be used by fullbacks because they give a pretty good touch and have heaps of traction?

  2. The Adipure III is I think the best option in terms of reliability and performance. The k-leather offers great touch and the traction is trustworthy on firm surfaces.

    In today's games where wingers emphasize pace and skill, I think lightweight boots are good options for fullbacks defending against their every move.

  3. Hi Brian,
    I play right back and centre midfield and recently i got the copa mundials. Will these be good for both positions?
    Thanks!!!!!!!

    • Yes. Copas are one of the best all-round boots. There's a reason Adidas has been selling these since 1982. Take care of the leather and the boot will take care of you. It is a heavier boot (frankly, I really don't feel the difference in my fatigue level after wearing these as opposed to Adizeros for 90 minutes) and will get even heavier when it absorbs water on a wet pitch and the traction is not as great on soft, wet grounds.

  4. I’m different to the nick above. I play right back (or centre back from time to time) and have pace. I’ve had the adidas predator x, umbro stealth pro and now the nike mercurial vapor superfly 2 elite. They are all get options for different reasons.

  5. I play right back and the best boots I've ever used are the ctr maestri.

  6. Nike Ctr Maestri II, not III as there are only 2 CTRs that have been released.

    Great review Bryan!

  7. I'm probably going to get the mizuo wave ignitus. Great price, light and a power cleat! Also cool power, 🙂

  8. so do umbro stealths work on fg or are the 100% designed for hg? by the way im a fullback (both left and right)

  9. I play right back, center mid and center back for my club team. I also take most of the teams freekicks. I am stuck between the adizero,s nike ctr360 and adiPure SL. which would you recomend?

    • soccercleats101

      Sounds like the Nike CTR360 Maestri would suit what you are looking for best, especially if you play in multiple defensive positions.

  10. Would the Puma King Finale be a solid choice for a full back? I've been using the power cats for central defense and some keeper. They are getting near the end of their life span and I'm looking for something simple but with good touch and protection.

  11. Just ordered a pair of the Mizuno Wave Ignitus II. Do you think that is a good option for a full back? 🙂

  12. Hi Bryan!!!
    Do you think that the adidas adipure iv is good for a fullback?? I like to go up the feild to support attack but i also go hard on tackles so i thought the adizeros won't give me a solid protection

  13. My son plays full back and I just bought him the Adidas 11Pros…. Good choice?

    • Sorry, to add further information, he runs up and down the field as well. Left back is his true position.

      • Yeah, good choice….anything that falls into the heritage category is an ideal choice for full backs. Plus, if he uses miCoach, it gives him the opportunity to track his performance and see what he needs to do to improve getting up and down the line.

  14. brian.would adipure be a good choice for fullback too?if i'm not mistaken lahm wears adipure I until adipure IV at bayern.even now he still wears it

  15. Hey. I play RB+LB for my club but CDM for my school. Im thinking of getting the new Adizeros ? For the pace mainly but also the power. I regularly take free kicks etc. so I’m wondering if they would work in my positions,I’ve tried nikes but they don’t fully break for me (well in boots that is) first time Adidas, what do you say?

    • Sorry. Forgot to mention when I play Rb+ Lb I am normally a semi winger running down the line … I regularly shoot, so I’m just wondering. Thanks.

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