Ask any parent of a soccer player out there, and they will have a horror story to tell you about a new pair of boots that fell apart far sooner than expected. And it is no secret that brands are not sitting around a planning table, talking about how they need to make their next boot release “the most durable.”
With advances in technology and innovation, materials have become thinner and lighter. This has the benefit of providing a more natural touch on the ball and a shoe that feels more in tune with your foot. But it also means less reliability over an extended wear time.
With that in mind, this post offers a breakdown of the more durable options we have found on the market, with some additional and extremely valuable advice added below as a bonus. Experiences with boots can vary from player to player, but having tested the majority of boots on the market we can tell you what to look for and what to avoid.
Puma FUTURE Z
The most recent release from Puma was developed using a special combination of polyester and spandex yarns, along with special technical yarns to create the perfect balance of compression, comfort and durability.
Built around an adaptive FUZIONFIT+ compression band, the boot provides optimal lock-in and support for explosive movements. The upper is made from an innovative new knitted material coated with a thin layer of GripControl Pro to provide superior touch and ball control.
Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite
First off, I chose the Vapor over Superfly because you have less material around the ankle to deal with. A comment complaint from parents is that the collar quickly starts to smell. And since they have a lower price point, the Vapor just makes far more sense.
As far as lightweight boot options go, these are about as durable as you will find. The stripped-down Flyknit upper delivers a distraction-free feel, while reducing weight in the process. The new Speed Band around the forefoot keeps you locked in and ready to accelerate.
“Avail Q” lining is a new microfiber application that adds a tactile surface across the upper for better ball control at high speeds.
Puma FUTURE 6.1
This is the last generation FUTURE release, so there are not as many pairs currently available. Those pairs that are available can be picked up at excellent prices, so you have the opportunity to pick up a durable boot at a good price.
The FUTURE 6.1 places agility at the core of the design, featuring a fully knitted one-piece upper with the latest in NETFIT technology. The upper is developed from a specially crafted textile yarn mix that adapts to the movement of the foot, providing greater freedom of movement when making explosive turns and quick changes of direction.
adidas Copa Mundial
What would a list of durable boot options be without having the Copa Mundial on it? Answer: incomplete. Everyone knows the Copa Mundial is tried and trusted, wear tested to the max, designed to last longer than the rest. If you want a quality, k-leather option that has stood the test of time, then this is the boot for you.
But before you rush out to get a pair, note that the Copa Mundial has not really been updated since their introduction to the market in the 1970s. So, they are thick and heavy, lumbersome underfoot, not designed for explosive movements on the pitch. They are the boot I recommend most to newcomers to the game, or older friends who just need a trusty boot to wear in men’s league games.
adidas Copa Kapitan
After reading the above, you might want something a little more modern. And that would be the Copa Kapitan. This is a newer option, with a lower price point and a much lighter construction. You still get k-leather, it has just been trimmed down to suit the modern game.
This is a simple boot without all the bells and whistle. They are designed for players on a budget who still crave that superior and other-worldly touch, control and feel you get with the classic Copas.
Mizuno Morelia Neo Pro III KL
Another option that offers durability and performance at a very competitive price point. The Mizuno Morelia Neo Pro III KL features a k-leather upper and couples it with quality materials for an affordable yet high quality feel. They might take a few wears to really conform to your foot shape, but once they did you get to enjoy that legendary Mizuno fit and feel on foot.
How Long Should Soccer Cleats Last?
This depends on how often you are playing and the level of soccer cleat you purchase. Lets say you practice twice a week and play at least one game on a weekend. That would equate to anywhere between 12-15 wears a month. If you multiply that by six months, you are likely to get around 72 to 90 wears. That is a whole lot of playing time for one pair of boots. I completely understand the frustration of a pair of $200 boots not lasting longer than 6 months, but that is honestly the max you can expect from current day releases. Think of all the twisting and turning, used on different surfaces, weather conditions, there is a lot of wear and tear that can go into one pair. Now, if you are getting 10-20 wears out of a pair, that is a different story and well worth the trip back to the store where you purchased them.
If you really want to get the most out of a pair, purchase a more affordable practice boot that can be worn more frequently at practice. Mid tier boots – anywhere in the $80 to $150 range – will provide a longer lifespan as they use more durable materials that are not as thin and susceptible to tearing. Or just try to find an elite tier pair that are on sale.
Price Does Not Always Equal Durability!
And finally…….Contrary to popular belief, paying more for boots does not mean a more durable boot! In fact, the opposite is often the truth. Companies go about producing professional level boots that are priced at the higher end of the market. Here is the key thing to note, no professional player wears one pair of boots for an entire season. Think about it, whether it is an international star or a semi professional player in the lower divisions, more than 1 pair of boots are needed for an entire season.
If you want performance, then the elite level boots are where you need to put your money, But, if you truly want to find the perfect balance of performance and durability, look at more of the $80 to $150 price range.