In this guide we take a look at the best football cleats for youth and adult players that you can buy in 2021.
Good football cleat reviews are few and far between these days, so it is hard to know what information to trust. With so many cleats choices on the market, where should you begin?
Well, have no fear because this guide will help you get your head on straight, as well as answer questions like these:
- What Are the Best Football Cleats?
- What Brands Make the Best Cleats?
- What Are the Different Cleat Types and Styles I Should Be Aware of?
- Where to Buy Football Cleats: In-store vs. Online?
- How Much Should I Spend on Quality Cleats?
- What Fit of Cleats Should I Get?
- Are Soccer or Baseball Cleats Good for Football?
Top 10 Best Football Cleats for 2021: Reviews
Here are the best football cleats 2021:
- Best Overall: Nike Alpha Pro
- Best Youth: Dream Pairs 160472-K
- Best Value: Nike CJ Strike 3
- Best for Wide Feet: Under Armour C1N MC Jr.
- Lightest: Adidas Performance CrazyQuick 2.0
- Coolest Looking: Nike Vapor Untouchable 3 Pro
- Best Cheap: Wetike High-Top Cleats
- Most Comfortable: Adidas Ace 17.3 Fg J
- Best for Lineman: Adidas Freak Mid MD
- Best for Quarterbacks: Adidas Adizero 5-Star 7.0
Best Overall: Nike Alpha Pro
Pairs of Alpha Pro are some of the best Nike football cleats in today’s day and age. This option weighs less than 11 ounces and they are less than $100, too, making these cheap football cleats.
With amazing Flywire technology, the customer’s foot will stay in place time after time. This is perfect for skill players who need to cut and plant on a dime.
As some of the best football cleats for quarterbacks, the Alpha Pro cleat provides stability and protection snap after snap. If you are looking for both speed and support, this cleat is for you.
The Pylon midsole gives great cushioning, and the cleat gives you more feel as you explode ahead. Ground control and traction come standard.
These top rated football cleats are perfect for a new football player. They are not only less expensive than a lot of other brands on the market, but they also perform well, too. For a cleat with a 3/4 wedge midsole and molded configuration options, you are getting a great cleat here.
Best Youth: Dream Pairs 160472-K
Even though Dream Pairs might not be as well known as Nike, Under Armour, or Adidas, they still deserve to be on this list. As a great youth option, these cleats come in color options to add real style and flare.
They are made of synthetic material that is lightweight and comfortable with every step they take. For added relief, an insole is cushioned to fit each and every foot.
The cleats themselves are of the rubber-molded variety. This creates for fantastic traction and stability, no matter the playing conditions.
A soft / damp field will handle just as well as a field on a bright and sunny day. The fold over tongue keeps the laces tied and protected from weather and accidental unties.
These are some of the best cleats for narrow feet. This can be a difficult feature to find with most cleats, but not with this option from Dream Pairs.
Additionally, if a child is learning football for the first time, this option is a great place to start before you pay more money for a distinguished brand. That way, you will really give these cleats a chance to wow you.
Best Value: Nike CJ Strike 3
Now is time to talk about the best football cleats for the wide receiver position. The CJ Strike 3 football cleat is the second edition from the Calvin Johnson series. The former All-Pro wide receiver, for the Detroit Lions, continues to partner with Nike to make the best football cleats possible.
Just because the spokesman no longer plays in the National Football League (NFL) does not mean he does not know how to create a shoe. Now that Calvin Johnson is out of the spotlight, he has more time to focus on creating the perfect football cleat.
Even football cleat reviews agree that this edition has gotten better from the very first one. One of the changes came in the form of Flyweave taking over the place of Flywire. This technology creates for a lightweight model that gives ultimate protection, too.
If you are looking to be lighting fast, these are some of the best football cleats for speed. Do not just take Nike or Calvin Johnson’s word for it. Try them for yourself and see what the praise is all about. You may want to be a spokesman yourself after you get into a pair of these cleats for the long run.
Best for Wide Feet: Under Armour C1N MC Jr.
The first thing you will notice about the Under Armour C1N MC Jr. is that it is stylish. New football cleats have nothing on this model. Let’s start with the construction of this product.
Under Armour uses synthetic and textile material for a solid make-up. This imported model has a synthetic sole with a 5” arch. Also, when it comes to lightweight football cleats, the C1N MC Jr. should be on your list.
One of the amazing features with this model is the fact it has 4D foam technology. What this means is your foot will actually mold and lock into a customized type of fit. With most cleats, you would have to pay hundreds of dollars more for this, but not with this model.
Additionally, this creation has added ankle supports that athletes once could only dream of. Now, the ankle braces can be thrown away, and this cleat can take its place.
Lastly, if you are looking for the best football cleats for wide feet, you have come to the right place. These cleats cater to this type of foot size.
At the end of the day, these Under Armour cleats are ones you should think about. Top 10 football cleats are honored to have the UA C1N MC Jr. on the list because of its well roundedness and its success all over the gridiron.
Lightest: Adidas Performance CrazyQuick 2.0
A top football cleats list would be disappointing without this next option. The CrazyQuick 2.0 Performance football cleats are one of a kind. Made with 100% synthetic material, its Techfit construction provides security for the ankle and the foot.
When it comes to the insole, Adidas is a step above the competition. Their perfect molding, made of ethylene vinyl acetate, gives phenomenal comfort with every step you take. Each time you step into the cleat, it will amazingly mold back to your shoe size. The cleats use quickstuds and sprintstuds to help cut and stop with full control to you.
A frustrating thing with cleats is they come untied all the time. Not with the CrazyQuick cleats. Lockweb technology keeps your laces locked in place until you retie or untie them.
With this classic look, you really can’t go wrong in the way they look and perform.
The best football cleats bow down to this model. With its amazing foot support and safety technology, any athlete will focus on playing at the highest level, rather than worrying about injuries on the field. That is what this Adidas model will bring to the current day athlete.
Coolest Looking: Nike Vapor Untouchable 3 Pro
Some other new football cleats that are fresh on the market include the Vapor Untouchable 3 Pro football cleat. These cleats were designed for speed first and foremost.
Tested first by the University of Oregon football team, you understand that Nike went through rigorous hoops to put a stamp of approval on this product.
The PORON footbed was created for athletes who were looking for more comfort made of lightweight material. You will feel like the fastest players on the gridiron feel.
With Nike’s patented Carbon V-Propulsion System, the traction for these cleats is literally untouchable. Made of synthetic material and a plate constructed of carbon fiber, you will be able to take the field with confidence each and every time.
However, you do pay for what you are buying. The Vapor Untouchable models are some of the most expensive football cleats you can buy today.
Nike always steps their game up when it comes to football cleats, and the Vapor Untouchable 3 cleats are no exception. As some of the best football cleats for youth, adults also thrive with these cleats as well.
If you are looking for cleats that will last the long haul, consider this version when making an educated decision to help with your next purchase.
Best Cheap: Wetike High-Top Cleats
If you are looking for some of the best football cleats for youth, this next model is made for them specifically. The Wetike High-top cleat is an amazing bargain, as well as a cleat made with incredible quality.
To start, when looking at the design, Wetike really looks to catch your eye with artificial soles that look like grass that the game of football is played on. The material itself is made with soft knitting that seamlessly transitions into a comfortable fit.
Lightweight in nature, this technology was not put together after a few tries. Wetike prides themselves of countless hours of data to create the shoe and the V-shaped cleats.
No matter if you are playing on a sunny day, in muddy conditions, or in a blizzard, these high-tops will protect you from the elements. With All Conditions Control (ACC) technology, every athlete will be able to cut sharply without any lag time.
Sizes range from 3 to 8.5 M US and come in 4 vibrant colors to choose from. Additionally, this cleat is not only for boys, but made specifically for girls, too.
For a young athlete, these are some of the best cleats for speed that money can buy. Also, these are definitely cool looking football cleats. Give this brand a chance to show you why they are on a list with the bigwigs like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour.
Most Comfortable: Adidas Ace 17.3 Fg J
Are you looking for the best Adidas football cleats? Many would say that this next version takes the cake. However, the best does come with a higher price tag. Fortunately, you will be happy to know that you can get this version for under $125.
As some of the hottest football cleats around, these sell like hotcakes on a daily basis. Starting with their all-synthetic build, the Ace 17.3 Fg J cleats also use prim mesh for a breathable, comfortable fit. Furthermore, when weather starts to get nasty, a light film keeps debris and water out, and a dry, snug fit in.
The next thing that buyers should know is the fact that these cleats are perfect for players who run at high speeds. This is why Ace 17.3 Fg J shoes are some of the best football cleats for defensive backs.
No matter the field you play on, whether it be on 1st or 2nd generation artificial grass or turf, you will cut away from the competition.
Perfect for football, as well as other outdoor field sports, the Ace 17.3 Fg J shoes are great for a child with an athlete future. They are good football cleats that will not let you down. Easy-to-clean and easy-to-use, you will sense the ease right away.
Best for Lineman: Adidas Freak Mid MD
Football cleat reviews all have the Adidas Freak MD on their list. Many types of football cleats have their weaknesses, but this version from Adidas has high marks across the board.
This imported model is made of both synthetic and textile materials. The synthetic sole is solid and firm with every plant of your foot. As a high-top option, you can expect that this is one of the best football cleats for ankle support.
With the price under $100, you will not break the bank to get these cleats, but you will not be shafted due to poor quality either.
For a bigger foot, you can rest assured that these are some of the best football cleats for wide feet. Things only get worse when a bigger foot fits in a narrow cleat, so Adidas made sure to get it right on this account.
Linemen are not the only players that reap the benefits of this cleat. A Freak Mid MD option is one of the best football cleats for linebackers, too. So, if you play in the trenches, are looking for added protection, and love to get dirty, check out the Adidas Freak Mid MD cleats.
You may not want to buy a different type of cleat ever again during your career. These truly are some of the best football cleats money can buy.
Best for Quarterbacks: Adidas Adizero 5-Star 7.0
The last model on our review list is from Adidas. Adizero 5-Star 7.0 models pride themselves on being a high-end football cleat.
With a rubber sole and synthetic material encasing the cleat, you will be sure to have a great experience with this imported product.
As a low-top design, do not expect this version to have great ankle support, but do know that the arch creates for great comfort.
Another amazing aspect of this cleat is its many design graphics. The 21st Century athlete wants style and grace from their cleats. With 16 color options, there is bound to be one that fits you and your identity.
These options are all made possible through Sprintskin, which is a revolutionary lamination product that reduces the weight of the cleat and gives off a flawless aesthetic appeal. When pivoting on the field, there will be no contest again your opponent, winning each and every time.
Specifically for quarterbacks, but some of the best cleats for skill players, too, Adidas created this product with you in mind. They are not the most expensive football cleats, which gives you an advantage when making your financial decision. Style goes a long way and any athlete will be impressed with what they get coming out of the box.
Best Football Cleat Brands
Here the best brands of football cleats:
A top football cleat brand has to be Nike. But, it was not always this way. Started in 1964, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman created Blue Ribbon Sports, which eventually morphed into Nike in 1971.
From its humble start in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike has boomed over the last century. With ownership over other top brands, like Converse, Jordan, and Hurley, Nike has it sights set on big things in the 21st Century.
When it comes to football, Nike is always in the conversation. Some top models include the CJ Strike 3, Vapor Untouchable 3 Pro, Alpha Pro, and Jordan XI Retro TD.
When people hear “Adidas,” they might immediately think soccer cleats, but nothing could be further from the truth now. Traditionally, they have been a soccer power, but now they have navigated into other waters like football, basketball, and track. They also make some of the best cleats for baseball and softball.
With shocking colors and exciting designs, Adidas is a cleat giant. Some of the best football cleats for Adidas include the Adizero 5-Star 7.0, Freak Mid MD, Ace 17.3 Fg J, and CrazyQuick 2.0.
Since its inception in Washington D.C., Under Armour has stood with its athletes since 1996. Equality is imperative with this brand, and they want their products to reflect this.
From its small beginnings, Under Armour made apparel to keep athletes cool or warm, depending on the need. Today, Under Armour can be found in every major sporting organization, and makes its mark on the gridiron.
When looking for football cleats from Under Armour, check out these possibilities: C1N MC Jr., Spotlight MC, Highlight MC, Nitro Low MC, and Speed Phantom Jr.
The authorized store of Wetike (WETIKE) mainly does its business through Amazon and eBay. Wetike has been categorized as having the best youth football cleats money can buy, since they focus on youth casual and athletic footwear.
Currently, when looking for Wetike cleat options, the High-Top is their only cleat option. As they continue to grow, they will be adding more additions in the upcoming year.
Just because they are a new seller, does not mean that this brand should be underestimated. They are some of the most comfortable football cleats around.
This brand came into being because they wanted their customers’ dreams to become a reality.
In 2013, Dream Pairs became a reality as they started as an independent seller on Amazon. Since that time, they are now selling product on their own.
Their hope is to save you money (compared to other big brand options), while still giving you a tip-top quality product. Some of the best options here include the 160472-K, and 160471-M.
Different Types and Styles of Cleats
The best part about high-tops is that the cleat has added support when it comes to lateral movement. Top 10 football cleats must have some kind of ankle support or they are not worth looking at.
However, not every football player benefits from these types of cleats. Linemen are always in the danger, with players falling on the back of their ankles. So, with more support, comes added confidence and protection.
On the other hand, these are not the best football cleats for kickers because they need less ankle protection when kicking an extra point or a field goal.
A mid-cut support is a good happy medium when it comes to athletes. There is protection, but also maneuverability on the field. These types of cleats are perfect for skill position athletes like quarterbacks, wide receivers, defensive backs, and running backs.
The last cut option is low-cut. Though there is less ankle protection, these cleats are usually the lightest of the bunch. Athletes can stop in no time at all, and cut back up field.
Unfortunately, because of the design, football players with low-cut variations are prone to ankle injuries more often than mid-cut and high-cut cleats. Primarily, defensive backs, wide receivers, running backs, and mobile quarterbacks use low-cut cleats.
Some of the best football cleats for youth involve molded cleats. First, they stay on, so you will not worry about them falling off. Additionally, they do not have to be replaced, so you will get the same great stability game after game.
These cleats are connected on the outside of the shoe, and they are perfect for turf fields. In terms of price, they are cheaper than detachable cleats, due to the fact they do not have to be switched out every so often.
When it comes to detachable cleats, these are studs that need removing and replacing over time. Different types of football cleats call for different kinds of studs, but if they are detachable, you can expect a higher cost when purchasing.
Detachable cleats are great for all surface grass types: sloppy, wet, dry, hard, or any combo in-between.
Customization is a positive when using detachable cleats because you get to pick what works for you and your game. There are short and long stud varieties that you can investigate further.
Since the beginning of football as we know it, leather has been a staple for equipment. Once used with helmets, cleats still use leather today. Leather is a very breathable material that also gives a lot of comfort to athletes.
Its make-up is very flexible, allowing for a perfect contour to an athlete’s foot. The material is very heavy-duty, but it is also more expensive than synthetic.
Breathability is not a function of synthetic material, nor is it as durable as leather; however, it definitely does not cost as much.
Additionally, synthetic material is perfect for athletes who are looking for more added ankle protection. Specifically, added protection from synthetic material comes in the form of ankle, mid-foot, and forefoot support.
Where to Buy Football Cleats: In-store vs. Online
When buying the highest quality football cleats, a lot of people want to know where is the best place to buy: In-store or online. Both have their pros and cons, but let’s dive into the conversations a little further, shall we?
When you buy the best cleat brands in a store, you are getting first-hand attention and experience from knowledgeable and helpful employees. You can try on whatever brands they have in their store.
Employees will be able to help you determine your cleat size and give you other thoughts and pointers on the spot. They will even order different sizes and brands if they do not have them at their store’s location.
Depending on the store (mom-and-pop vs. large corporation), the prices will vary. At a mom-and-pop athletic store, you may pay more for cleats, as the business needs to retain more money from your purchase.
On the other hand, a large corporation, like Dick’s, will have similar prices no matter if you are in California or New York. Only taxes will show a discrepancy in price. Overall though, prices are higher in-store than they are online.
When you shop in-store, if you do not like your purchase, you can return the cleats to the store based on its return policy. A lot of times, you will get a complete refund or store credit to buy other cleats in the future.
Lastly, if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you can not only return the cleats, but talk to customer service employees in person, over the phone, or via email.
A lot of people like to buy football cleats online because the process can be really easy. There are no lines to wait in to purchase your cleats. If you hate the crowds when in-store shopping, there is nothing better than ordering your cleats online with a few clicks of a mouse, sitting in the comfort of your own home.
Looking for the best youth football cleats? No problem. Just head over to Amazon, eBay, or other brand sites and get your ordering done in minutes.
Of course, you can’t try on the product, so this can be tricky, especially if you are looking for something specific like the best football cleats for narrow feet. You run the risk of buying a product that will not actually fit you when they arrive.
Without trying on cleats, the process can be hit or miss. However, with free return policies, there are times where you can ship the cleats back for free, and then order a different size to try again.
When shopping online, you can get help if you call or chat on a specific customer service line, but you will not have a real person’s help right in front of you. But, if you feel comfortable with this process, you could be well on your way to thriving online.
Unfortunately, some online stores charge a shipping fee to send your cleats. If you are willing to look for deals, there are sites, like Amazon, that ship items for free after you spend a certain amount of money.
Additionally, some sites have discounts or deals, and if you play your cards right, they can really help you save money before you make your purchase.
At the end of the day, it will usually be cheaper for you to buy different types of football cleats online than in a store setting.
How Much Do Football Cleats Cost?
Youth versions, of course, are less expensive than adult varieties. Still, you should expect to pay anywhere from $30 for some cleats, while others will cost over $200. It really depends on what material and style you are looking for.
How Should Football Cleats Fit?
Whether you are looking for the best football cleats for receivers, the best football cleats for running backs, or something in between, it is important that your cleats fit.
Many people assume that a football cleat size is the same as an everyday shoe size. This thinking is very, very wrong. Take Nike for example. Many consumer comments on Amazon have said that they purchased cleats that were the same as their normal shoe size, but the cleats ran smaller.
This is a frustrating thing, but many of these same people could have headed off the problem if they new this specific information. A proper cleat size really has more to do with what make the athlete most comfortable.
When trying out a football cleat, there are a few things that you should test. First, make sure they are the appropriate size for you. Do not be afraid to try a few on and see what works best.
Of course, if you do buy cleats that start to give you blisters or sores, this is red flag and you should consider picking a different size.
Football cleats should fit easily around the heel, while also leaving room for the toes. Particularly, the longest toe should still have about a ½ inch from the very tip of the cleat.
Next, walk around with your cleats on. Some people lace them up, look at the cleats, and go with those. Please do not be those people. Walk around the store, or outside (if you are buying from a store and they allow it).
If you are sold on specific cleats, the testing process is not over yet. After purchase, try them at practice first and wear them for a few hours. Then, introduce them to gameplay on the gridiron.
When a game is complete, stuff the cleats with newspaper, so the foot molding will keep its shape. This way, you will have cleats that fit because you really took notice during the buying process.
Can You Wear Your Baseball / Soccer Cleats for Football?
When football cleats are talked about, the conversation often shifts to one of these questions: can I use baseball cleats for football or can I use soccer cleats for football?
Just because they are all cleats does not mean that they should be created equal. Each cleat has a specific purpose for a specific sport. Brands have created these cleats to work in their individual venues.
For example, baseball cleats are made for base running, tracking down a fly ball, and stepping into the mound. Football cleats can’t say the same thing. The same can be said for soccer cleats.
However, if you are in a pinch, soccer cleats can come in handy, as they are the most versatile of the cleats. But, do not stick with them through an entire football season.
The Final Verdict
At the end of the day, you have to make the best decision that will help you towards success on the gridiron. There are a lot of components to think about when making your purchase, but do not fret. Use this information to make you more knowledgeable. In turn, you will come upon an educated decision.
Of course, there are a lot of choices to sift through, but the CJ Strike 3 is truly an unbelievable shoe. If you are a skill player, this cleat is a sure-fire way to find success no matter what day of the week you play on. Backed by an amazing brand, the CJ Strike 3 cleat was designed for explosive speed and safety snap after snap.
No matter what you choose, good luck and have fun purchasing your perfect pair of football cleats!