Best Football Cleats 2022: Our Top Picks For Every Position

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If you've caught up on all the Madden 23 release date information, then you may be inspired to pick up a top American football and take to the field yourself, but to do that, you'll need to find a pair of the best football cleats first.

With our list of top picks based on price, reviews, and features, you should be able to find a pair of cleats that will keep your feet firmly gripped to the ground during your next game.

With football cleat technology constantly improving as well, there's no shortage of great footwear out there to suit all kinds of different positions and strengths.

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So if you're looking for a pair specifically designed for running backs, like these adidas Adizero 11.0s, or something a little cheaper, like these Nike Vapor Edge Speed 360s from our list of the best cleats under 100, we've got you covered.

We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding what makes good football cleats to help come to an informed decision before making your next purchase.

So, without further delay, here's our list of the best football cleats available now...

Best Football Cleats

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Best All-Round Football Cleats - Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 3

Best football cleats Nike product image of a yellow cleat with black outlined Swoosh.
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Credit: Nike
Brand: Nike | Material: Flywire Mesh | Closure: Lace-Up

American football is synonymous with Nike as the brand supplies much of the equipment you see on TV to the NFL.

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They also manufacture what looks to be one of the most versatile and comfortable pairs of football cleats on the market in the Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 3s.

Designed for acceleration, these cleats feature strategically placed moulds to help you change directions and pace with ease, which is helpful to know when you're looking to secure a touchdown.

Moreover, they're made to be lightweight thanks to their knitted uppers and carbon fibre plates, so should be incredibly comfortable to wear during your games.

You also get the high sock-like collar for additional support around your ankles, thus making these cleats a great option to consider for all positions on the field.

Best Football Cleats For Support - adidas Freak X Carbon Mid

Best football cleats adidas product image of a black and blue cleat with white adidas stripes.
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Image Credit: adidas
Brand: adidas | Material: Mesh and Synthetic | Closure: Lace-Up

The Freak X Carbon football cleats look to be a great example of one of the leading brands in sportswear's expertise.

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We like that these cleats come with a mesh upper, not unlike some of the best baseball cleats around, which is designed to be both breathable and flexible to minimise any restrictions to your movement.

On top of that, you get adidas' IronSkin plus RazorFrame technology across the uppers to stiffen the Freak X Carbons for added protection and pressure resistance, plus mid-top collars for added ankle support.

It's also worth pointing out you get internal cushion pods in the tongues to help ensure a secure lockdown, which is another reason why we think these cleats are well worth considering.

Best Football Cleats For Wide Feet - Under Armour Highlight MC

Best football cleats Under Armour product image of a bright yellow and black cleat.
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Credit: Under Armour
Brand: Under Armour | Material: Textile and Synthetic | Closure: Lace-Up

If you find regular football cleats are too narrow, then these Under Armour Highlight MCs could be for you.

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The shoes use molded 4D foam footbeds that conform to your feet, helping to eliminate slippage and reduce built-up pressure during games and training.

Additionally, the engineered synthetics are strategically placed in the uppers to provide breathability and stability, which are both crucial given the high collar.

Ultimately, if you're looking for a high-quality football cleat to deliver a comfortable fit, then the Highlight MCs are well worth considering in our opinion.

Best Budget Football Cleats - Nike Vapor Edge Speed 360

Best football cleats Nike product image of a pair of silver cleats with black details.
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Credit: Nike
Brand: Nike | Material: Fabric | Closure: Lace-Up

Back to Nike and its Vapor Edge Speed 360 football cleats which look to be some of the best budget cleats on the market, particularly for speed.

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This is partly due to the lightweight fabric used to construct the uppers, which is then covered NikeSkin for added durability and comfort.

To help with sharp turns of pace, the cleats come with separate internal plates that sit closer to your feet for more flexible support, plus wide stud placement for improved agility.

On the whole, we feel the Vapor Edge Speed 360s are definitely ones to take into consideration, especially if you're looking for a great budget set.

Best Football Cleats For Running Backs - adidas Adizero 11.0

Best football cleats adidas product image of a singular white cleat with blue details.
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Credit: adidas
Brand: adidas | Material: Textile | Closure: Lace-Up

If you're looking for a lightweight pair of boots that still offer a ton of support as a running back, then these adidas Adizero 11.0s could be the cleat for you.

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Their standout feature is their feather-light frame that should allow you to make breakaways, quick stops, and change direction with ease, whilst the uppers provide maximum breathability, comfort, and stability.

On top of that, you get adidas' Sprintframe outsoles with Sprintstuds, designed for you to cut quickly and blow by defenders.

Ultimately, we feel the adidas Adizero 11.0s are an excellent choice if you're after a lightweight cleat for on-the-field performance.

Best Football Cleats For Wide Receivers - Under Armour Blur Smoke MC

Best football cleats Under Armour product image of a crimson red and grey cleat.
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Brand: Under Armour | Material: Textile | Closure: Lace-Up

Under Armour is one of the top manufacturers of American football equipment, on the market as evidenced by these Blur Smokes.

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Under Armour boasts these cleats come with lightweight textile uppers and ultra-thin TPU skin for superior stability, breathability, and comfort

Also, being low-cut, these cleats will likely be unrestrictive and the ideal footwear for quick turns of pace.

It's also worth mentioning the SuperFoam insoles are designed to provide exceptional shock absorption, thus making these cleats a great option to consider for game days if you're a wide receiver.

Best Football Cleats For Linemen - Nike Alpha Menace Elite 3

Best football cleats Nike product image of a light grey and blue Flyknit cleat.
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Credit: Nike
Brand: Nike | Material: Flyknit | Closure: Ghost Lacing

Linemen are known for their bursts of speed and quick, twisting moves, therefore, they require cleats that offer fantastic traction with extra ankle stability.

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These Alpha Menace Elite 3s appear to tick these boxes as they're made predominately from Nike's lightweight and flexible Flyknit material, which is typically found on some of the best running shoes around.

The outsoles then feature updated plates that are said to be stiffer in the heel and midfoot than the 2s for improved stability.

Moreover, their unique Ghost Lacing system is designed to work in tandem with the plates to secure your feet in place, which is then backed by padding that should ease any pressure to keep you comfortable on the field.

All in all, these cleats are engineered with linemen in mind and are made by one of the leading manufacturers of sports equipment, Nike.

Best Youth Football Cleats - Under Armour Spotlight Franchise RM 2.0 Jr.

Best football cleats Under Armour product image of an all-white cleat.
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Credit: Under Armour
Brand: Under Armour | Material: Synthetic | Closure: Lace-Up

As a young player, you may not exactly what your best position is just yet. That's why a versatile pair of cleats like these Spotlight Franchise 2.0s could be your answer.

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They feature a 5/8 height which, Under Armour boasts, provides the perfect blend of speed and support.

The cleats also come with rubber moulds for aggressive traction but also safety during a youth game.

Overall, these Spotlight Franchise 2.0s look to be a great pick for any young newcomer to the sport.

Best Upcoming Football Cleats

With football cleat technology constantly improving, and new brands joining the scene all the time, we've decided to pick out a few of our favourite upcoming football cleats to mark in your diaries.

Jordan 7 Michigan Football Cleats

Best upcoming football cleats Jordan product image of a pair of black, white, and yellow mid-top cleats.
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Credit: UniSwag

UniSwag has revealed images of the new Jordan 7 football cleats for the University of Michigan which arrive dressed in the black, white, and yellow colours of the institution.

There's been no word on whether they'll see a general release just yet, but make sure you stay tuned for more information if and when Nike makes an announcement.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Football Cleats

With so many football cleats available, you may have a few questions about what makes each of them stand out, but don't worry because we're here to clear up a few of the most common queries.

Why Do You Need Football Cleats?

Football cleats help you stay upright and balanced when running, sprinting, and changing directions at speed.

This is achieved through studs or moulds attached to the underfoot plates which dig into the ground as you plant your feet.

That said, modern-day football cleats come with so much more additional technology to help improve your game.

For example, most cleats come with a mixture of conical and chevron moulds across the plates, all of which are placed strategically for optimal braking, rotation, and toe-off movements.

Ultimately, football cleats are designed to give you the best performance and grip possible on the field, so it's definitely worth picking up a pair if you're looking to get into the game.

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How Much Should You Spend On Football Cleats?

Since the price of American football cleats varies so greatly, it can be difficult to know how much you should speed up to get a good pair.

You're likely to find cleats at the top of the scale made from lightweight yet quality materials, and will they often include some of the latest technology and innovations to help you take your game to the next level.

There are still great budget cleats to be found, such as the Nike Vapor Edge Speed 360s, which feature NikeSkin overlays for added durability and comfort.

Ultimately, how much you speed will come down to your personal preference and budget.

If you're a keen American football player, then you may be more inclined to check out some of the more premium picks as you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for than if you're a beginner just starting your football journey.

Can I Wear Soccer Boots For American Football?

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While soccer boots and American football cleats may appear similar at first glance, there are a few minor differences that make each of them the optimal footwear for their particular sport.

For example, soccer boots tend to be low cut and don't include a midsole to help maximise ball control and speed by reducing weight.

American football cleats, on the other hand, can be low, medium, or high cut and typically feature thicker outsoles and a stud near the big toe for added traction when you accelerate from a static position.

With that being said, you should find wearing soccer cleats to play American football perfectly fine and safe as the differences between them are small.

In fact, kickers often wear soccer boots due to the shape being designed primarily for kicking.

However, it's worth noting that most referees do not allow football cleats to be worn during a soccer game, mainly due to the additional stud near the toe.

Are There Different Cleats For Different Positions?

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In order to find a good set of football cleats, you need to know what you're looking for first. This extends to knowing what type of cleat will best suit your position on the field.

For example, if you're a wide receiver or running back, your game will likely be focused on speed. Therefore, a pair of mid to low-cut cleats may be best for you since they're lighter and less restrictive for quick movements.

However, high-cut cleats have their place too, particularly for linemen who may need the additional ankle support.

The main purpose of football cleats though is to help you maintain your grip on the field. Anyone who's played in trainers will tell you, without studs or moulds, you're likely to slip on the surface more than you don't.

In terms of what actually makes a pair of cleats good, it all comes down to the design and materials used.

Cleats made from lightweight knitted materials or footwear constructed out of durable synthetics are what you should be focusing on as they will likely be the best options for their specific purposes.

Do You Need To Break In Football Cleats?

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Cleats are an essential piece of equipment for a football game, and you'll no doubt want to be as comfortable as possible throughout a fixture.

As a result, you might want to break in your cleats before game day arrives to prevent discomfort from affecting your performance.

One of the easiest methods to do this is to simply put them on and start walking around in them on soft ground to loosen up the materials in order to make them more comfortable.

How Should Football Cleats Fit?

In order to reduce slipping, football cleats need to fit snugly around your feet, but shouldn't be so tight that they prevent you from moving your toes.

Clarks recommend you leave about one finger's width of space between your longest toe and the end of your shoe.

We believe this should be applied to football cleats as well because you'll no doubt want to ensure your toes have enough room to move freely to avoid lateral compression.

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That said, football cleats should fit true-to-size, but it may be worth measuring your foot's dimensions and comparing the manufacturer's size guide to help ensure you're selecting the right size for you.

It may be beneficial, however, to go up a half size if your feet are a little wider to ensure your feet are comfortable and secure during a match.

For more information on some of the biggest sportswear manufacturers in the world, check out our guide on Nike vs adidas and New Balance sizing, plus information on how to measure your shoe size right here.

How Do You Clean Football Cleats?

It's important to keep your cleats clean to make sure they're ready for your next match.

We'd therefore recommend regularly cleaning your cleats, particularly the sole plates, to remove any built-up mud and dirt which may impact your levels of grip and your ability to perform on the field.

The simplest way to clean them is to use warm water and a soft-bristled brush to remove the dirt across the uppers. A toothbrush usually works well when targetting some of the harder-to-reach areas.

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To remove the dirt underneath, you can first try removing as much mud as possible by banging the soles together, then, use a brush to wipe away any leftover build-up. If you can, remove the studs from your cleats for the best results.

If you're cleats come with metal studs, then these may need replacing when they've become significantly worn for your safety, and for the safety of others on the field.

For more extensive information, check out our step-by-step guide on how to clean football cleats or football boots right here.

They include some of our top tips to get your cleats looking like new again, plus our recommendations for things to avoid doing to make sure you keep your cleats stay in the best condition possible.

How Do You Lace Football Cleats?

Much like in soccer, one of the most common techniques used to lace football cleats is to cross them over the tongues of your boots.

Begin by creating a straight bar between the first row of eyelets, then thread the two ends of your shoelace through the next eyelets up on the opposite sides until you reach the top.

You can then either tuck the two ends of your shoelace into your cleats, or tie them in a knot over the front depending on your preference.

Read More: Best Football Boots Under 100 Available Now