Best football boots 2023: Our top picks for every position

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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.

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Therefore, we've compiled a list of our top picks based on price, reviews, and any unique features that make these boots stand out from the crowd.

What features are we talking about? Well, these Mercurial Vapor 15 Elites, for example, come with Flyknit uppers with cut-out Speed-Cage linings to deliver lightweight, flexible support as you move.

Other notable features to look out for include the type of traction the sole plates provide and whether the boots in question feature fabric collars which can help keep you locked-in, but may restrict ankle movement at the same time.

So, whether you're searching for something built for speed, like these New Balance Furon v7 Pros, or you're in need of a pair built to play up top, like these Puma Future Ultimate boots, 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

Best all-round 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.
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 boots 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.
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 they should be suitable for training as well.

Best budget football boots – 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.
Credit: Nike
Brand: Nike | Material: Sythentic Leather | Stud Type: Conical Studs

Arguably some of the best football boots under 100 pounds, these Nike Tiempo Legend 9s look as though they 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 v7 Pro

Best football boots New Balance product image of a singular black boot with gold NB-branded details.
Credit: Soccer Cleats 101
Brand: New Balance | Material: Hypoknit Mesh | Stud Type: FG 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, with the Furon v7 Pro being a great example of its rising expertise.

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The boots have been designed with speed in mind as they're made from a lightweight Hypoknit mesh, so you shouldn't feel weighed down as you burst off the mark to chase down a perfectly weighted through-ball.

In fact, the boots weigh just 170g thanks to the knitted material working with the nylon outsoles and 3D tongue tabs to keep the weight to a minimum.

The boots also feature off-set lacing with a cored-out canopy to increase the area of the strike zone for a cleaner shot and to provide an improved lockdown during a game.

Best football boots for defenders – adidas Kaiser 5 Liga

Best football boots adidas product image of two black boots with white adidas accents
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.

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 midfielders – adidas Predator Freak .1

Best football boots adidas product image of a blue, black and yellow boot.
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 Ultimate

Best football boots PUMA product image of a blue boot with bright orange accents.
Credit: PUMA
Brand: PUMA | Material: Mesh/Knit | Stud Type: FG/AG

The PUMA Future Ultimate features some of the latest and most advanced technology to give you the edge on the pitch, particularly if you're a striker.

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For example, they feature new FUZIONFIT360 uppers, which combine dual mesh, stretchy knit, and supplemental PWRTAPE for unrivaled support and to keep the boots as light as possible.

Moreover, PUMA has added a second-generation Dynamic Motion System to the outsole to provide traction when performing unpredictable changes of direction. This should come in handy when trying to beat a player or break away from your opposition's back line.

Overall, we'd say these PUMA boots are tailor-made for the modern number 9. So, if you play up top, make sure you consider rocking them on your feet.

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 football boots should you 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 football boot 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 football 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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