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Cleats By Position: Current Summary

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One of the most common questions I get centers around positions and what boots suit a specific players needs most adequately. For that reason, I created a special series called “Cleats By Position.”

Of course, over time the posts become a little outdated as new boots hit the market and others are release. Here, I am putting together an updated summary post to highlight positions and the current boots on the market that suit their needs best. Bear in mind that this is a guide, with each suggestion taking into consideration the characteristics of the boot. I am not saying other boots don’t suit as effectively, but that these are some ideal options.

Goalkeeper

Nike T90 Laser IV or Puma PWR-CT 1.10
In order to perform to the highest level, the right pair of gloves matched with the right footwear is absolutely crucial for a goalkeeper. 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.  Top of the list right now is the Nike T90 Laser IV. They offer a great strike zone, while providing keepers with a high level of comfort and traction in the box when they need it most. This one might change in the next few weeks (pending the new release), but as it stands the PWR-CT 1.10 is another one of the top choices for keepers around the world.

Also Consider: Adidas adiPower Predator or Nike Tiempo IV
Read Reviews: Nike T90 Laser IV | Puma PWR-CT 1.10

Full-Back (right or left)

Puma King Finale or Nike Tiempo IV
Being a full back, you have the responsibility to defend, while getting up the line and providing service into the box when needed. 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. Both the Puma King Finale and Nike Tiempo IV are built around class, with both providing a heritage look and ideal performance for defenders.

Also Consider: Diadora Maracana or Lotto Stadio Primato
Read Reviews: Puma King Finale or Nike Tiempo IV

Center-Back

Nike T90 Laser IV or Adidas adiPower Predator
Defense wins championships, right? I think that is why some of the best teams in the world are notorious for their hard-hitting, no-nonsense center backs. Defenders need power for playing long passes and making clearances, while protection is also a necessity as they get stuck in on tackles. I find it slightly surprising to say that the T90 Laser IV and adiPower Predator are currently top choices for center backs, considering Nike and Adidas advertise them as “attacking” boots. But when you break both down, they offer a pretty ideal make-up for the position.

Also Consider: Pele Sports 1970 or Nike Tiempo IV
Read Reviews: Nike T90 Laser IV or Adidas adiPower Predator

Defensive-Mid

Asics Lethal Tigreor or Nike Tiempo IV
The Asics brand has not been on the market long, but their Lethal Tigreor jumps right into the action, suiting the mold of defensive midfielders. They offer great protection while offering players the opportunity to be on their toes at all times. Defensive mids need to be alert and ready to cover ground quickly. Having the job to break up quick attacks makes for an important role. The Nike Tiempo range is an all-time classic silo, and it adds a high level of heritage to a mainstay position on the field. Defensive mids need something that is reliable – and both these boots fit the old!

Also Consider: Adidas adiPure IV or Umbro Speciali
Read Reviews: Asics Lethal Tigreor or Nike Tiempo IV

Center-Mid

Adidas adiPure IV or Umbro Geometra Pro
The most multi-talanted player on the field has to be the center mid. They have to do a little bit of everything, and for that reason they need an all around performance boot. Playing center midfield means one thing – you need to have a solid engine room and a fully functional 360 degree radar! You also need a soccer cleat you can rely on for comfort and all around performance, so that you can tackle, pass, shoot and get up and down the field. They need a balance of all attributes, and both the adiPure and Geometra have that to offer. I particularly like the control region that sits on the instep of the Geometra as it offers great cushion as you take the ball out of the air.

Also Consider: Adidas adiPower Predator or Nike Tiempo IV
Read Reviews: Adidas adiPure IV or Umbro Geometra Pro

Attacking-Mid

Nike CTR360 Maestri or Mizuno Wave Ignite
Every successful team has a creator, or playmaker, who gets on the ball and creates chances – this role usually falls to the attacking mid. Not only do they create chances, but they have the responsibility of getting themselves on the score-sheet, with double digits a pretty standard season target. The number one boot for this position is without a doubt the Nike CTR360 Maestri II, Nike’s goal with this release was to create a boot that masters control while allowing players to receive and distribute passes with ease. But there are also other boots that fit the mold, most notably the Mizuno Wave Ignite, although these are not readily available on the US market.

Also Consider: Puma PowerCat 1.12 (once it is officially released it will be a top pick) or Adidas adiPower Predator
Read Reviews: Nike CTR360 Maestri or Mizuno Wave Ignite

Wingers

Adidas adiPower Predator SL or Puma V1.11 SL
As a winger myself, I have a very good idea of what is needed to be able to make the most of playing out wide. In fact, wingers play one of the most under appreciated roles on the field. Having a boot that makes the grade when called upon is a necessity – especially when you have been standing out wide for 20 minutes without getting a touch of the ball! Comfort is a must, but so is the ability to accelerate quickly and get the ball in the box. The adiPower SL and V1.11 SL are lightweight and give wingers the ability to be confident in what they are wearing!

Also Consider: Lotto Zhero Gravity or Umbro GT Pro
Read Reviews: Adidas adiPower Predator SL or Puma V1.11 SL

Pacey Forward

Nike Vapor VII or Puma V1.11
This type of player needs more than just a power boot. You have to be confident in what you are wearing to be able to cut, turn and accelerate away from defenders – with the later being most important. When you mix speed with the necessity to score goals, there are actually plenty of options to pick from. The Mercurial Vapor series has always been a top choice for creative forwards and definitely make the grade when it comes to accelerating away. Another boot that will easily move onto this list when they are released is the Pele Sports Trinity.

Also Consider: Adidas F50 adiZero or Under Armour Blur
Read Reviews: Nike Vapor VII or Puma V1.11

Strikers

Nike T90 Laser IV or Nike Superfly II
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. Nike win the battle in this category, with the T90 Laser IV and Superfly offering excellent options. I have to admit that it was difficult to leave the adiPower Predator off the top picks!

Also Consider: Adidas adiPower Predator or Diadora DD Eleven
Read Reviews: Nike T90 Laser IV or Nike Superfly II

The Coach

Puma King Finale or Adidas Copa Mundial
As a coach, you just need something that is simple, affordable and offers a high level of comfort. In other words, you need a boot that offers class and falls into the heritage category. There really is nothing more reliable than the Puma King Finale and the Adidas Copa Mundial. Both have a lot of tradition and have mastered the market for the past 30+ years, managing to overcome every battle with new boots hitting the market. And in terms of value, you are not going to see better options!

Also Consider: Picking up a pair of turfs – most will be suitable.
Read Reviews: Puma King Finale or Adidas Copa Mundial

Cleats by Position

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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29 comments

  1. Great post. I was actually looking through the "cleats by position" section the other day, and wondering when it would get updated.

  2. I thought it was funny that i play fullback and have both cleats you listed for them. Shows you know what your talking about. Great post! 🙂

  3. I really love Puma King Finale, the leather are just awesome!!
    And I play central defenders and Defensive mid too 🙂

    (And because of you Bryan, right now I’m considering ∂ Asics Lethal Trigeor too!!)

  4. I really like this section. It's very helpful. Can you please update it to include wide feet players?
    Having wide feet, i really like CTR360 and Tiempo Legend IV. They're excellent cleats, even for a defender.

  5. half of my college team wears adipowers including the goalie, the rest wears adizeros…one cm wears adipure and our center forward wears ctr360..coach wears flipflops..we'r 15-1-4.. I would go with adipower, fits pretty much any position..

  6. Why Adipower SL over F50 for wingers?
    adipower SL are so much more expensive

    • More expensive, but they have the added silicon region to give a little extra when it comes to crossing – something that can only be a benefit to wingers. F50 are a great choice also though!

  7. Hey bryan,
    i play fullback and i've been having trouble with sizing cleats. i rlly love a snug fit but i've noticed that the soleplates are usually too narrow for my feet so i have to size up just to make sure my feet fit, resulting in a looser fit. i'm telling you because i was wondering if any of the heritage boots you recommended for fullbacks are a bit wider, thanks

  8. Hey bryan,
    I used to play on the wing but now i moved to an attacking center mid position. What cleats would you recommend out of my options: adipure, adipower, f50 adizero leather, nike superfly, or the puma v1.11 K. I feel like the puma v1.11K delivers the most features on a boot but i was wondering which one you would choose out of these 5 and why.
    thanks

  9. Awesome article!! Thx for the update

  10. Bryan would the vapors be good for a midfielder? i want a boot with good touch traction and lightweight and they are pretty cheap too on the prodirect christmas sale

  11. Hey Bryan,

    What would Right/Left Attacking Mid fit into? Winger or Attacking Mid?

  12. i want the superfly 3 plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    or the vapors but i want mostly the superfly 3 plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  13. Hey love your recommendation but just one thing. Is it any much of a different to get the v1.11 then the v1.11SL for wingers?

    • Big difference in terms of the actual shape and fit of the boot. Both fit tight, but the V1.11 SL needs an extra size while the V1.11 only needs a half size. Plus, the V1.11 has a box toe design compared to the SL.

  14. Although I am a sweeper I do not use a cleat with much protection or designed for power, I can supply all the power myself. As the fastest player on my team I wear the F50 Primes, no striker can get a breakaway from me to the goal, and I can transition up the field with the ball, I scored 12 goals this fall while on defense, without worry of being out of position, because I can sprint back faster than anyone can notice I was gone.

  15. Bryan, I jus bought the t90 laser IV, but I had to go a full size up coz they fit abit narrow. It leaves a lil space up front, can this affect my game?

    • It depends on just how much space you have up top. You will notice yourself after wearing them for the first time, if they make you feel clumsy then there is a problem. But, if you are comfortable in them, it won't affect performance.

  16. I’ve read the utility player post. I play Right or Left Back, Center defensive mid, Center Mid and sometimes forward. I just need a boot that’s somewhat light, wide enough for my feet and comfortable, I was thinking either the tiempo legends or another pair of Lasers. I’m currently using the Puma Kings and they are wonderful except my pair is stating to rip at the sides, any other suggestions would be fine if they fit wide, except for adipure, those can’t fit me for some reason

    • ctr! dude i cant fit into adipures either, its lame… and lasers get wierd at the toe box… check out the ctrs

  17. there aren't any adizero's?!

  18. I'm a left back but I take every set piece… I wear preds like leighton baines. You dont see many full backs wearing those boots, they normally wear vapors, preds or v1's

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