Who could believe that it has been a year since our last Cleats By Position Summary, detailing what boots suit which players best. In the time since it was posted (you can check it out here), there has been a a ton of new and extremely high profile boots that have hit the market. What that means is it’s time for a fresh updated list, a new set of suggested boots to help you figure out which style is best for you.
Keep in mind that this is a guide, with each suggestion taking into consideration the characteristics of that particular boot. I am not saying other boots don’t suit as effectively, but that these are some ideal options. If you have a particular boot you would like to see included in a position, let us know why in the comment section below.
With that in mind, check out the full list below!
Goalkeeper – Adidas Predator LZ (review) or Nike T90 Laser IV (review)
At the moment, the trend for keepers seems to be comfortable boots that have an extra power component built in. Makes sense really, as keepers tend to strike a lot of long balls and need something that offers stability. Top pick right now is the Predator LZ, with a majority of top keepers in the EPL currently wearing them. And then there is the extremely trustworthy T90 Laser IV that needs little introduction for those who like power and control in one.
Full-Back – Puma King Finale (review) or Nike Tiempo IV (review)
No change on this one! 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.
Center-Back – Nike T90 Laser IV (review) or Adidas Predator LZ (review)
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. The only change here is the addition of the Predator LZ over the adiPower Predator. Technically, the adiPower Predator is a better option, but for the sake of availability and convenience, the LZ gets the nod. The Laser is a staple for center backs, with the upper providing a high level of support and protection without weighing players down.
Defensive-Mid – Nike CTR360 Maestri III (review) or Adidas adiPure 11Pro (review)
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. A surprise addition to this category is the new Nike CTR360 Maestri III, which offers a pretty perfect set of attributes for one of the tougher positions on the field. You get the benefit of a control pad on the instep, ideal for keeping the ball close to your feet, while the upper is durable enough for brash challenges. The adiPure is simply put, comfort personified, and it suits the majority of players who like to work hard while getting stuck into tackles all over the pitch.
Center-Mid – Adidas Predator LZ (review) or Umbro Geometra Pro (review)
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 – that is where the Predator LZ comes into play. They are a boot designed with multiple performance enhancing zones that center mids can exploit. There is not a better control element on the market right now than the ECZ found on the Geometra’s. It allows for excellent control on the ball and doubles a pass zone.
Attacking-Mid – Nike CTR360 Maestri III (review) or Adidas Predator LZ (review)
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 CTR360 and Nike are not afraid to dedicate the boot to that specific position. Next is the Predator LZ, which has found its way on to the list plenty of times. Again, the ability to use several different key zones plays in its favor, with the swerve zone proving particularly useful for the AM player.
Wingers – Nike Vapor VIII (review) or Adidas F50 adiZero (review)
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. As much as I hate to say it, Puma has lost top spot in this category – instead Nike and Adidas take over. In fact, the current Vapor fits the mold better than most boots we have previously seen suggested for this position, while the F50 continues to impress. Hmmmm, I guess this means a new challenge has been set for Puma?
Pacey Forward – Adidas F50 adiZero (review) or Pele Trinity 3E (review)
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. Ronaldo and Messi are the players you look to for this category, but I just feel like there is more to the adiZero that give it top spot. And in a surprise move, I’ve gone with the advanced Trinity 3E over the safe Vapor VIII option. Why? Well, that tri-stud configuration offers players a completely different way to cut and turn. It is effective and can only help aspiring players progress their game.
Current Price: F50 adiZero || Trinity 3E
Also Consider: Nike Vapor VIII and Puma evoSPEED 1
Strikers – Nike Vapor VIII (review) or Adidas adiPower Predator (review)
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. Top spot goes to the new Vapor as they seem to be a top option for attacking style players and they only aid goalscorers. The second choice is the adiPower Predator, a boot referenced in other positioned but by-passed. I’m a stickler for these boots and love the performance they offer – and until Robin Van Persie decides to move on from them, I’m aincluding them as a top options for strikers.
The Coach – Puma King Finale (review) or Adidas Copa Mundial (review)
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!