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.
Current Price: Predator LZ || T90 Laser IV
Also Consider: Nike Tiempo IV or Umbro Geometra Pro
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.
Current Price: King Finale || Tiempo IV
Also Consider: Diadora Evoluzione or Lotto Stadio Primato
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.
Current Price: T90 Laser IV || Predator LZ
Also Consider: Adidas adiPower Predator or Nike Tiempo IV
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.
Current Price: Maestri III || adiPure 11Pro
Also Consider: Under Armour Hydrastrike or Umbro Speciali Pro
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.
Current Price: Predator LZ || Geometra Pro
Also Consider: Nike CTR360 Maestri III or Nike Tiempo Legend IV
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.
Current Price: Maestri III || Predator LZ
Also Consider: Pele Trinity 3E or Puma PowerCat 1.12
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?
Current Price: Vapor VIII || F50 adiZero
Also Consider: Puma evoSPEED 1 or Under Armour 10K Force Pro
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.
Current Price: Vapor VIII || adiPower Predator
Also Consider: Adidas F50 adiZero and UA 10K Force II
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!
Current Price: King Finale || Copa Mundial
Also Consider: Picking up a pair of turfs – most will be suitable.
Gotta love the annual cleats by position post. Good stuff. I wonder if the adipower predator will make the list again next year. They are great anywhere on the pitch.
Adipower Predator Sucks, had them, were very disappointing, don't know why soccercleats101.com make them seem so good. F50 much better.
i think u should add vapors for outside back
While I like my King Finales, there are two minor issues I do have with them. The first one being the K-leather portion is SUPER thin. It doesn't really provide the natural padding and protection I have come to expect from most leather shoes. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer a little more padding. The second being that the sole is starting to separate from the upper near the ball of the foot on the outside of each boot (where the foot flexes). This seems to be a Puma-wide issue in my experience, although I don't think it actually effects the structural integrity of the boot. I think it's just cosmetic, but annoying none the less. Despite that, the Finale is a great boot, but I still find myself going for the Copas more often than not.
Oh, and to make this a little more relevant to this post: I generally play right/left back in a competitive adult league.
I like this article. It's always interesting to read the different options. Watching the EPL is seems to me that the most popular cleats are LZ, Legend, T90, F50 and Vapor. Of course there are some others but those I've mentioned tend to dominate.
It's also interesting to see that Robin Van Persie after giving the LZ's a go he switched back to his trusty adiPower Predator's and is playing amazingly for Man U right now. I also noticed in his last match against Chelsea he uses the FG bladed soleplate that everyone could buy (nothing tricky or custom like a lot of other players are doing). Steven Gerrard also was very reluctant to swap over to the LZ from the adiPower Predator. While the LZ is ok I just don't think it was a replacement for the successful adiPower Predator, which is a shame.
I think for amateur players, playing in hack leagues where tackles are wild and reckless, the most important thing is protection which a lot of these thin synthetic and even newer thin leather cleats don't offer any more.
I wonder what the top 5 protective cleats would be out there at the moment? Copa? DD Eleven? adiPower Predator?
Also the T90 are synthetic right? Are they of a thicker synthetic? Thicker than CRT's?
The T90's are quite a bit thicker than the CTR's (much more so on the element, obviously). I've always been a fan of the T90 range, but it seems like they mailed it in on the most recent one. The attention to detail that you see on the CTR, Vapor, and even Tiempo doesn't seem to be there, and the element has little to no tack or stickiness to it.
Bryan, what do you think of the future of so called "power boots"? I think the subject would make for an interesting write up on the site. Unless Adidas comes out with another version of the Pred or goes back in the power direction for the next model, I think what we know as power boots may become a thing of the past (no one is wearing the T90's). On the other hand, maybe we've reached critical mass with the light weight thing and the industry will swing back towards heavier, more protective boots.
I agree with the later – the trend is currently lightweight, but that will change. Plus, there will always be a need for power boots on the market. Expect to see Nike continue with the T90 range and Adidas shifting other silos toward power!!
I think Umbro has really protective cleats. The Geometra Pro is pretty hearty and the Speciali III has that great memory foam in the tongue. Also the older Puma power cats lasted me a couple of indoor seasons with no complaints. I always look for a good heel counter and good coverage on the top of my foot.
Mo Puma boots in there for the first options! I think that Puma’s boots are of the highest quality and I would even say they are better than those of Adidas!
Love this post. I only have one thought about it. I play right back, and getting 10+ assists per season, i feel a heritage boot doesnt feel right for me. I would much rather see the ctr, or the lz there, both of which i have worn, and i think their are people out their that would agree with me, Both boots could be worn in almost any position.
This "cleats-by-position" is the dumbest thing I know. It's ridicilous to say some cleats are for defenders and some are for wingers. Players should wear the cleat that fits their feet the best and make them feel confident on the pitch.
I've been wondewring this line especially: "Well protected shoe so it fits defenders, as they dive into tackles" Umm.. wouldn't the winger-forward be actually the one in need of protection in this case? Just look at the professional game, is it the center-back who gave the tackle to the winger rolling in pain or is it the winger? I play in defence and get tackled less than once a game.
You have it completely backwards mate, defenders are supposed to tackle, wingers are supposed to run/dribble with the ball. Thus, each position has its own specific set of traits and there is a need that suits those traits, you wear boots that "compliment" your particular role.
"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."
Isnt that exactly what he says, the (x)back, tackles the winger often, thus
it is the winger that needs some extra protection. That is what he said, and that is right too, the other side of the coin is that a (x)back needs to feel comfortable with his equipment when he tackles, you wear your boots for your sake not the opponents sake. By the ways i think it is a bit silly too(boots for position), but fun!
Very informative article and you have very decent facts…however a soccer cleat should not determine what type of position you play. Just because you wear vapors doesn't mean it makes you run faster and you have to be a winger or pacey forward. Don't other players in different positions require speed too? You can't win a game with a defense that runs slow as hell when chasing down the opposition. I have even see goalkeepers like Anders Lindegaard from Man. U wear vapors and many goalkeepers dont wear what people call a "power" boot. Ofcource i cant dismiss the fact that the t90s and LZs do help a bit in striking long balls, but that doesnt mean people cant wear speed boots etc. This is all just marketing. And remember, cleats dont make you a better player.
I play attacking mid yet i wear vapors. I love it because im tricky n it gives me that light on ur feet feeling plus i love that near skin to ball feel seein that i grew up playin barefeet . I think it shud be included in that category also
People need to quit bashing on this article, it’s simply a guide if you née help for finding cleats and it offers good advice and reasons if you don’t like it don’t read it. I think it’s a pretty helpful article for those who are just starting out. I’ve been playing competitively all my life and chose cleats that I feel comfortable and that best support my playing type and i’ve played all over, the cleats that he suggests are good ones, if you don’t like them you don’t have to get them. As a defender I’ve always loved the tiempos, solid cleats.
in your words do you think that the t90s are better for goalies or lz
I usually play on the wing where I can use my speed and dribbling, I also do lots of crosses to team mates in the goal box, being the most experienced person on the team though, I'm kind of like the captain, what would you recommend?
probably the vapors, they are good for speed, dribbling, and crossing, but if you don't like nike try my personal favorite, the f50's. although i play center forward, i play wing sometimes and they are good for wing also.
thanks, I just got the f50's and they are great.
Saying a specific cleat will give you an advantage over a player who doesn’t is a bit silly
He's not saying that if you wear one of the reccommended boots for your position that you will just blow right past them, this is really a guideline with some of thee best boots for each position based on characteristics, the final choice is really up to the player though
Just wondering what boot would be suited to a midfielder (left, center) who is looking for a boot less than $100 or 75€? Long-range shooting is a component of this mids game.
MEN'S ADIDAS ADIZERO F50 TRX FG MESSI CLEATS $220.00
Can not wait for these cleats. Looks amazing. Anyone else waiting for these cleats.
Can you continue this section on the site, make it more up to date…
I play defensive mid or center mid and am currently wearing the Adidas predator lz SL. They are very nice but I’m looking for a lightweight leather shoe. So next season I think I will be getting the Adidas adipure SL. But I also would like to nikeid a pair of tiempos because they are nikes only leather shoe. I just really wish that nike would let us nikeid the ctr 360 maestri.
what about nike hypervenoms????? what spot are they best for????