Best football boots 2022: Top picks for strikers, defenders, and more

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There’s a lot to consider when looking for the best football boots, especially with the wide variety of options to choose from that make it hard to know which pair is right for you.

While a pair of the best Astros are essential for playing on artificial surfaces, football boots are vital for grip and control on a traditional grass pitch.

With that in mind, and with the 2022/23 Premier League season underway, we thought there'd never been a better time to compile a list of our top picks based on price, reviews, and unique features that make these boots stand out from the crowd.

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Whether you're searching for something built for defending, like these adidas Kaiser 5s, or you're in need of a pair built to play up top, like these Puma Future Z 1.2s, we've got you covered right here.

We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding football boots to help you figure out which pair is right for you and your play style. So, without further delay, let's get into it...

Best Football Boots

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Best Football Boots – Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Vapor 15 Elite

Best football boots Nike Mercurial product image of a single white boot with crimson red "Air" written across the side and a black Nike Swoosh.
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Credit: Nike
Brand: Nike | Material: Flyknit | Stud Type: FG

Nike is one of the leading manufacturers of sportswear around, making everything from football boots to some of the best basketball shoes on the market. These Nike Mercurial Vapor 15 Elites, for instance, look to be a great example of the brand's expertise.

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They're made from a ventilated variation of Flyknit with a cut-out Speed-Cage lining to deliver lightweight, flexible support alongside textured Vaporposite+ uppers for an added tactile response when in control of the football.

Perhaps the most impressive addition to these boots though is Nike's Zoom Air technology, which is a first-time inclusion for the model. With their specifically developed footbed airbags, the Mercurial Vapor 15 Elites should deliver an improved energy return for more dynamic movement all over the pitch.

Ultimately, these boots look as though they're some of the most advanced footwear for football on the market, hence their inclusion on our list.

Best Premium Football Boots – adidas Copa 20+

Best football boots adidas Copa20+ product image of two black boots with orange details.
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Credit: adidas
Brand: adidas | Material: Leather | Stud Type: Conical Moulds

Like Nike, adidas are at the very top of the football game with athletes like Lionel Messi, Mo Salah, and Paul Pogba wearing its boots during televised fixtures you can watch on your best TV for sports games.

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The Copa 20+ boots have a lot to live up to as they don the classic Copa name, but these premia laceless, leather boots do the name justice as they combine both quality and comfort in one shoe.

Being laceless, you should get a much cleaner, uninterrupted strike, making them ideal for any forward or attacking player out there looking to get the ball past a pair of top goalkeeper gloves.

Furthermore, the uppers are designed for both comfort and durability, and are reinforced with foam padding on the inside to create a pair of football boots that should last for years to come.

Not only do with think these are a top pair of boots for match days, but we also featured them in our list of the best equipment for the ultimate football training session as well.

Best Football Boots On A Budget – Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Club MG

Best football boots Nike Tiempo product image of an all-black boot with blue tips to the conical studs.
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Credit: Nike
Brand: Nike | Material: Sythentic Leather | Stud Type: Conical Studs

The Nike Tiempo Legend 9 looks as though it can seriously level up your skills for less.

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Nike boasts it's the lightest Tiempo it has released to date, allowing you to deploy bursts of speed at will without feeling as though you're weighed down by heavy footwear.

Moreover, the uppers come with raised textures backed by soft foam pods designed to give you a little more precision whilst dribbling, passing, and shooting.

The boots come with classic conical studs too for what should feel like simple yet effective traction on the pitch, helping make these Tiempo Legend 9s stand out to us as well worth considering.

Best Football Boots For Speed – New Balance Furon V6+ Pro

Best football boots New Balance product image of a singular bleached lime boot with orange accents
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Credit: Soccer Cleats 101
Brand: New Balance | Material: Nylon | Stud Type: Triangular Moulds

Unlike Nike and adidas, New Balance is relatively new to the football landscape but has quickly become one of the leading boot manufacturers around.

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The Furon V6+ Pros are a great example of a reliable and modern bit of kit, designed with speed in mind as their lightweight nylon-knitted upper means nothing should weigh you down as you burst off from the mark to chase down a perfectly weighted through-ball.

The slightly raised ankle collar offers you additional support during quick turns of pace, meaning your boot will likely stay firmly attached in all manner of weather and pitch conditions.

The forefoot area is kept clear from anything that might stifle your touch and shots like laces, making them more beneficial for anyone playing a more attacking or creative role in their team.

Best Football Boots For Defenders – adidas Kaiser 5 Liga

Best football boots adidas product image of two black boots with white adidas accents
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Credit: adidas
Brand: adidas | Material: Leather | Stud Type: Conical Moulds

Named after the legendary German defender Franz Beckenbauer, aka 'Der Kaiser', this boot pays homage to the classic, no-nonsense style of the '70s and '80s era of football.

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The Kaiser 5s are made out of strong, durable leather, emulating the style of play of defenders, but should give you peace of mind as they are likely to withstand any punishment you throw at them, just like a top pair of shin pads.

The aesthetics of these boots often draw a lot of comparisons with the infamous Copa Mundial's, but one feature that gives the Kaiser 5s an edge is they are slightly more lightweight to help when you need to inject some pace into your game.

Additionally, these boots can be used on a variety of surfaces including astroturf due to their conical moulds which have been designed to provide exceptional grip on all kinds of pitches, making them great all-round football boots for every scenario.

Best Football Boots For Control – adidas Predator Freak .1

Best football boots adidas product image of a blue, black and yellow boot.
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Credit: adidas
Brand: adidas | Material: Synthetic | Stud Type: FG Moulds

adidas Predators have been worn by some of the most talented midfielders of all time including the likes of Gerrard, Zidane, and Kaka.

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With adidas' latest design, the Predator Freak .1s, you get a lightweight upper with spikes on the outside to increase friction with the ball, therefore, they should help to improve your control.

Moreover, they come in a variety of colours including a Wolverine-inspired design which may interest you if you're a fan of X-Men and want a unique pair of football boots.

On the whole, the Predator Freak .1s should be well worth considering, especially if you play in the centre of the park.

Best Football Boots For Strikers - PUMA Future Z 1.2

Best football boots PUMA product image of a bright blue boot with pink details.
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Credit: PUMA
Brand: Puma | Material: Textile/Synthetic | Stud Type: FG Studs

The Puma Future Z 1.2 features some of the latest and most advanced technology to give you the edge on the pitch, particularly if you're a striker, which is why we featured them in our list of the best gift ideas for football fans.

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For example, they come with Puma's FUZIONFIT, which utilises an adaptive compression band, designed to deliver an exceptional fit and lock-down to keep you agile against defenders.

Moreover, they feature FG studs rather than moulds which should give you a bit more grip when accelerating away to beat the offside trap.

All in all, we feel these Puma Future Z 1.2s are well worth considering if you're on the hunt for a top pair of football boots.

Frequently Asked Questions About Football Boots

With so many variations of football boots out there, you probably have a few queries about them, but we're here to clear up a few of the most common questions.

What Size Should I Buy?

Football boots are notoriously difficult to buy in the right size as each brand has its own unique style which means a pair of boots from Nike will differ in size from a pair of boots from New Balance.

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Getting the right size is vital for comfort and performance and a good way of checking is by measuring your foot's dimensions and comparing your readings to the boots size guide or chart.

Nike boots tend to be slightly bigger than say adidas or Puma boots, but it is definitely worth measuring to avoid having to send them back if they don't fit.

What Do The Different Studs Mean?

When buying new boots, you might have come across terms such as SG, FG, and AG, but don't be fooled as they are not new positions on a football pitch.

SG simply refers to soft ground and will likely mean the boots in question have classic, screw-in studs which are more suited to your standard grassy Sunday league pitch.

FG means firm ground and tends to include boots with moulds or blades which benefit you when you're playing on a grass surface that is slightly more solid but still has a bit of give to it.

If you happen to play the majority of your football on astroturf, 3G, or 4G pitches then you might want to look out for AG, or artificial ground boots which tend to come with shorter, rounded moulds that don't ruin these special surfaces.

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Are Leather Or Knitted Boots Better?

This really depends on your style of play and what you are looking for from your football boots.

Leather boots tend to be more comfortable to wear and durable as they are often thicker than the knitted fabric, but also slightly heavier so might not be beneficial for someone who looks to utilise their pace.

As well as being lighter, knitted boots open the door to more features like being laceless, so often suit attacking players more as they're after the cleanest strike of the ball possible, however, they tend to lack the longevity of the leather alternatives.

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