Best Soccer Cleats Reviewed & Rated in 2019
Posted January 4, 2018 | Buyers Guide
After years of experience on the pitch, playing with hundreds of players, and after hours of searching the internet for expert reviews, recommendations, and customer reviews, we sorted through many options and compiled a list of the best soccer cleats you can buy in 2019. We will also explain what to look for in a soccer cleat to help you make the best choice.
What To Look For In Soccer Cleats?
The most important characteristics of any soccer cleat, ones that should influence your buying decisions are almost always going to be the upper pliablility, weight, traction, comfort, fit, and durability/quality. Yes, every soccer player is different, but these main qualities are almost always going to be present, just at different levels of importance.
Most soccer players choose their cleat by the way it looks or which professionals wear them, however, those are not great ways to make your choice. The looks are something to consider when buying a pair of soccer cleats, but when you go strictly off of that, you end up with a good-looking piece of rubbish on your feet.
Find a pair of soccer cleats that meets your needs, one that fits you properly, has a solid comfort, provides a soft touch, performs well, and one that will last. Get comfortable, we are about to go over all of them available in 2019.
Top Soccer Cleats of 2019
1. Nike Phantom Vision Elite
The Nike Phantom Vision Elite was hinted at with leaked images throughout the year, then it suddenly popped into the market, replacing the Magista line. The unique lacing system of the Phantom Vision is hard to explain but basically, there are three layers that are a part of the Quadfit system. Although there are three layers, the upper is actually fairly thin, you get a close touch on the ball, but with slightly more padding than usual. The slightly padded touch isn't necessarily a bad thing, it gives you more control and comfort. First, there's a layer of Flyknit which covers the "Ghost Laces". The Flyknit is soft and pliable, giving you a soft touch directly out of the box. The layer under the Flyknit hides the "Ghost Laces" and the layer on which the laces are installed to. The middle layer (the one the laces are on) is very stretchy, allowing you to adjust it and move it easily. Lastly, you get a third layer, the layer your foot actually touches. This layer doesn't really have anything special to it, it's just there to comfortably strap your foot in place. The whole Quadfit system works a lot like the Adidas X 17+ Purespeed, but, the Phantom Vision has a much faster break-in time.
The short break-in time is one of the highlights of this boot, it's comfortable and soft straight out of the box. The soleplate on the Phantom Vision has an interesting and unique layout, it provides a good bite and allows you to change direction and accelerate quickly. The overall fit and feel of the Phantom Vision: comfortable, soft, and close.
- Secure and stable feel
- Structured and soft upper
- ACC Grip
- Fast break-in time
- Flexible soleplate
- Some don't like the lacing system
- Can't change laces
2. Nike Mercurial Vapor/Superfly
The Nike Mercurial Vapor and the Superfly are essentially the same things, that's why they're both at number two. The only difference between the two boots is that the Superfly has a Dynamic Fit collar (high-top). The Nike Mercurial Superfly 6 and Vapor 12 both feature a "360° Fit" that comfortably wraps your foot with Flyknit, like a second skin. They both have a split soleplate design, however, it's virtually the same fit as a regular soleplate since the middle area without the external plastic has a hard base, providing a stable and secure feel. The soleplate is also anatomically fitted, meaning that the soleplate's shape is more similar to your foot, giving you a closer feel of the ball. Additionally, the soleplate has one of the most aggressive tractions on the market today. The upper is fully Flyknit with micro-texturing that helps your foot grip the ball slightly better. The upper doesn't break-in as fast as most modern cleats, but once broken-in, it feels like a mold of your foot.
- Full Flyknit upper
- Breaks-in nicely
- Aggressive traction
- Anatomical soleplate
- One-piece upper
- Feels like a second skin
- Fits all foot types (narrow and wide)
- Thin upper
- Many people don't like the split-soleplate
- Traction may be too aggressive
3. Adidas Copa 19+
Being the best leather option of the year earns the Adidas Copa 19+ the 3rd place on our list. The Adidas Copa 19+ is the first laceless leather soccer cleat. It features a premium leather upper with an X-Ray vamp that helps prevent overstretching and gives better control of the ball. The comfort is quite good with the OrthoLite® sockliner and foam counter. The traction is decent, nothing special since the Exoframe plate is similar to what you get on every other Adidas boot. The upper gradually transitions from soft kangaroo leather to a socklike collar made from Primeknit. The kangaroo leather is finished with Fusionskin, a leather treatment that gives a seamless, stitch-free upper and decreases water absorption.
- Soft upper
- Premium kangaroo leather
- Stable soleplate
- Great comfort
- Decent traction
- Low water absorption
- Lockdown lowered due to lack of laces
4. Puma Future 2.1 Netfit
The Puma Future 2.1 made very little changes when compared to the original Puma Future. That is not exactly a bad thing since the first model was already an incredible option with the innovative Netfit system. Netfit is Puma's new lacing system where you can customize the fit and feel of the boot on your foot by adjusting where the laces go. The Netfit system is made from a net that is durable yet thin, giving the user almost infinite options with how they lace their boots. Even with a net attached to the boot, it's still very lightweight at 7.2 ounces and the upper is soft and thin. The soleplate is pretty decent, it gets the job done in terms of traction, but there really isn't anything special to it. The soleplate is flexible giving more comfort and maneuverability. From the soft knit at the collar to the customizable fit at the laces, the main highlight of this boot is its comfort.
- Soleplate is suitable for both FG and AG surfaces
- Fairly low price
- Customizable fit through Netfit
- Stable and secure feel
- Flexible soleplate
- Quality and durable
- The traction is only decent
- The collar may seem too high for some players
5. Adidas X 18.1
The Adidas X 18.1 features an excellent thin upper made from Speedmesh. The Speedframe soleplate is astonishingly lightweight, while also presenting aggressive traction that allows you to change direction and accelerate ever-so-faster. The 3D-molded heel secures your heel in place snugly and comfortably, better than any other boot currently in production. The raised heel on the soleplate provides a little extra stability and security, keeping your heel locked in and not sliding around. The touch is very direct and precise, with very little in between you and the ball.
- Highly comfortable
- Structured and supportive feel
- Flexible soleplate
- Soft and thin kangaroo leather upper
- Elongated tongue
- Lockdown could've been better
Nike Hypervenom Phantom 3
Like the Superfly and Vapor, the Nike Hypervenom Phantom III has a high-top and low-top variation, with both options taking the spot in the honorable mentions category. The only difference between the high-top and low-top is the fact that the high-top has a Dynamic Fit collar made from Flyknit. The Nike Hypervenom Phantom III presents itself with a clean striking surface featuring pods filled with foam that adjusts it's hardness based on how hard it has been hit. If you are striking the ball at full power, the foam hardens up to give you a harder shot, but if you are just juggling or dribbling, the foam is soft to give you a softer touch. The upper is made from 100% Flyknit, providing a good amount a stretch, but not too much. Flyknit gives great breathability and support, ensuring your foot is ventilated and secured in place. The upper features Flywire cables that wrap your midfoot and adjust through the laces, keeping the foot locked-in during side-to-side lateral movements. The laces are "Asymmetrical" meaning they're at the side to provide a larger striking surface where the foot usually meets the ball. The heel-liner comfortably holds your heel in place, stopping unwanted heel slippage. The traction the Hypervenom provides is solid, it has a good amount of bit but it's not overly aggressive.
- Flywire cables for lockdown
- Full Flyknit upper
- Flexible soleplate
- Fairly short break-in time
- Foam with adjusting hardness at the striking surface
- Feels quality when on foot
- Tongueless design
- The Flywire cables can rip when stepped on or when exsessive force is applied
New Balance Tekela 1.0 Pro
The New Balance Tekela is one of the first boots from New Balance that can actually be considered good. New Balance has tried and failed in the past, today we have the Tekela which isn't the "best boot ever made" but it's definitely up there. The New Balance Tekela has a soft and supple upper made from microfiber. It's soft enough to be considered leather if you can play blindfolded. The upper has an interesting pattern made up of Kinetic Stitch which is basically embroidered bands sewn on the upper. The Kinetic Stitch provides lockdown by supporting your foot and keeping the upper from over-stretching. With the Kinetic Stitch bands providing lockdown across the whole upper, the striking surface has become bigger since the laces don't have such a large task to keep your foot secured. Overall, the upper is: thin, soft, and pliable ― providing a close to the ball touch. The soleplate is listed as "two-piece" however externally there is only one piece. The second piece is internal, it's an inlaid nylon chassis, it sounds fancy but it's just another layer of the soleplate. The traction is decent, it gets the job done with the round, conical studs.
- Soft upper
- Secure lockdown
- Stable feel
- Large striking surface
- Snug fit
- Short break-in time
- Short lacing system
Adidas Nemeziz 18.1
The Adidas Nemeziz 18.1 is the laced version of the Nemeziz 18+. The laces provide that much-needed lockdown that many players don't find on the laceless model. The fit is tight and close with the Supportive Agility Bands hugging your foot. Some players find the fit so good, that they don't need to tie the laces, we don't recommend that. The upper at the forefoot is very thin with only one layer between you and the ball. The forefoot is the ideal striking surface when you are juggling, dribbling, or even shooting, that's why the Agility Weave is placed there for a close touch on the ball. The soleplate is not super flexible, giving more explosiveness and acceleration. The traction gets the job done, nothing special.
"The quality on the upper is nice and you don’t have to even tie the laces, they fit so well." - Verified Buyer on Adidas.com
Nike Premier II
The newest iteration of the Nike Premier has made very few modifications from the original. The previous generation was already an excellent, classic cleat but with the slight improvements, this boot is even better. The Nike Premier II provides a soft and traditional touch with the quality kangaroo leather upper. Considering that the price is at $110, the value is much greater with the genuine k-leather, amazing quality, exceptional durability, and excellent comfort. The soleplate is flexible and thin, giving a close to the ball sensation, while also being particularly lightweight. With the short break-in time, the Nike Premier II fits the shape of your foot in no time.
- Quality and durability are excellent
- Flexible soleplate
- Soft k-leather upper
- Great value
- Short break-in time
- Fold-over tongue
How long should a pair of soccer cleats last?
On average a pair of soccer cleats should last between 6-12 months. It all really depends on the quality of the cleat you invested in, the amount of time you play in them, where you play, and how you play. If you play on the wrong surface for hours every day on surfaces they are not intended to be used on in a rough manner, then no matter how much you spend on the cleats they will only last you about 5 months. The most common misuse of the cleats is wearing Firm Ground cleat (FG) in turf or artificial grass (AG). Doing that you also violate the warranty that many boots have, so if you are planning to play on artificial grass or turf, we recommend just getting a pair of AG cleats.
How to make your cleats last longer?
This is a very common question that all kinds of soccer players ask. A great way to maintain your soccer cleats is to actually have more than one pair. You see, when you only have one pair, that one pair gets used day in and day out for hours on end. And when you play for hours in very hot or cold weather, your cleats will naturally start to fall apart (seems familiar?). But when you have more than one pair you allow for the cleats to take a break and dry off, making them last longer. Having more pairs at once will last you more seasons than if you only have one pair. It's a better investment in the long term.
Caring for your soccer cleats is something essential that seems to be constantly overlooked, however, it really does make a difference. When you take care of your cleats you will increase their lifespan, get a better return on investment, make your cleats look better, and have a better time playing.
More tips here...
What is AG, FG, and SG and which ones should I use?
AG, FG, and SG are abbreviations for Artificial Grass (AG), Firm Ground (FG), and Soft Ground (SG). It is not recommended to use cleats on the wrong surface because you risk injury and early damage to your cleats. Even with these risks, most soccer players ignore that recommendation and just use FG cleats on all surfaces. This may be okay in some circumstances where the soccer cleat is made for more than one surface or if the FG cleat's studs are conical and not aggressive. Even with these exceptions, if you want your cleats to last longer, you should get a separate pair for separate surfaces.
Thank you so much for reading, If you enjoyed this guide, it would mean the world if you head over to one of our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter (@consoccerdotcom) and let us know you enjoyed this post.