Finding the right pair of soccer cleats is paramount to ensuring you are performing at the highest level come kick-off. 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.
Having a solid defense is the key to every successful soccer team. Keeping a clean sheet automatically ensures you get a draw – you only need your strikers to score one goal to win the game. With that being said, center backs have one of the most important visible roles on the field. John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Carlos Puyol are examples of players who lead their teams from the back line. So, what does a center back need from a soccer cleat?
- Comfort – Center backs are required to be on their toes at all times, especially since they have the responsibility of quickly closing down attacking players.
- Protection – Tackling is a big part of any defenders job, a boot that keeps your feet protected is essential.
- Power – If in doubt lump it out! When it comes to clearing the ball or playing long balls over the top, having the advantage of power is very welcome!
Adidas Predator X or adiPower (review)
The Predator X has all the attributes needed to suit the typical center back. They are designed for striking solid balls, and the Predator Zone doubles to add some extra protection. If you like to get stuck into strong tackles, the Predator X is a good boot to be wearing. The Predator range has a strong tradition with suiting the needs of players who’s key role is spray balls around the field (David Beckham optimizes this type of player.) During testing, I gave them full marks for comfort, so you will feel confident in them during a game. Since writing this post, the adiPower Predator has been released and offers an equally competitive option!
Search for pairs of adiPower Predator.
Puma PowerCat (review)
A boot designed with power in mind, the Puma PWR-C 1 includes the added benefit of a padded strike zone, or SpringTech foam. The layered ridges add a unique look to the boot that adds spring when you connect with the ball. Although they are not quiet the most comfortable cleat in the world, they do offer high quality and a smooth break-in period. If you want to play like Nemanja Vidic then the PowerCat is the boot for you!
Search for pairs of Puma PowerCat.
Nike Tiempo Legend
If you are looking for a lighter option, the Tiempo Legend might just be the answer. They seem to be one of the preferred choices for some of the worlds best center backs right now (including Carles Puyol). The highlight of the boot is the supersoft Kangaroo leather – ideal for players who need good touch and feel while on the ball. I found that the Tiempo series fits small, so while reviewing comfort was not one of the high points, but from player feedback once you find the right size they are a great option.
Search for pairs of Tiempo Legend.
What center backs are currently wearing: (as of Feb 2011)
John Terry (Chelsea) – Umbro Speciali
Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd) – Puma PowerCat
Carles Puyol (Barcelona) – Nike Tiempo Legend
Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich) – Adidas Predator X
Walter Samuel (Inter Milan) – Nike Tiempo Legend
Johan Djourou (Arsenal) – Puma PowerCat
Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen) – Adidas Predator X
Carlos Bocanegra (St Etienne) – Nike T90 Laser III
Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) – Adidas adiPure IV