Our top choices among the best soccer cleats this year are:
- Non-leather cleat: Nike Mercurial Vapor 14, the soccer cleat admired by the majority of professional soccer players.
- Leather cleat: Mizuno Morelia Neo III Beta, one of the most comfortable and arguably the best-performing leather cleat this year.
To be the best on the soccer field, you need the boots that can bring out the best in you. While your most comfortable soccer cleat can make you perform better on the ground, you’ll need the most effective one that can match your skills.
There are plenty of outstanding football boots worth mentioning this year, but we will only feature ten of the boots we think are the best of the best. If your favorite soccer cleat is not on this list, it doesn’t mean it isn’t effective for your style of play.
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Best Soccer Cleats for 2021
Here’s a list of the best football boots for 2021:
– Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 & Superfly 8 –
Nike Mercurials are the holy grail of speed cleats. And any new fast football boot will have to compete with them in terms of technology and innovations to be popular in the soccer world. In our view, these latest Mercurials are the best Mercurials ever made.
In fact, over 50% of the soccer players in the UEFA Champions League are using Nike Mercurials for the 2020-21 season. While the Superfly 8 tends to be Nike’s elite offering, the vapor 14 seems to be more popular among professional players.
But the only clear difference between these twin brothers is the Superfly’s higher Dynamic Fit collar, which offers a better locked-in fit around the ankle.
If your greatest strength as a player is speed, the Mercurials are for you. In fact, these soccer cleats are arguably the fastest when it comes to acceleration. Weighing only at 7.2 oz, each of these speed boots has a stripped-down Flyknit upper with an “Avail Q” lining, which allows you to control the ball better. The Mercurials have a Speed Band around the forefoot for better locked-in and explosive propulsion.
– Mizuno Morelia Neo III Beta –
The Morelia Neo III Beta is Mizuno’s own speed cleat. And if you are a player looking for a leather boot, this is the one for you. Proudly made in Japan, it has the quality materials that will make it a good investment for the one who wants a soccer cleat that will last long on the soccer field.
Mizuno Morelia Neo III Beta directly competes with any speed cleat but doesn’t seem to get the credit it really deserves. But once you have tried it, you will speak good things about it.
This soccer cleat has a super soft and thin kangaroo leather with a stitch pattern that ensures the material will only stretch to conform to the shape of your foot and not as you play. The leather upper helps protect you from impact injury.
Moreover, it has a lightweight mesh in the outsole, which offers added stability and responsiveness. And it has conical studs designed to deliver more stability, optimal traction, and pivoting ability on any natural surfaces.
– Adidas X Ghosted.1 –
If you love the Adidas brand and want a speed cleat that is equally capable as the Nike Mercurials, the models of Adidas X Ghosted are the ones for you. In fact, the X Ghosted.1 feels similar to the Mercurial Vapor 14, including the touch on the ball. And if you have narrow feet, you’ll feel at home in this soccer cleat.
The Adidas X Ghosted has a laceless model named X Ghosted+, which Adidas wants you to try. But we have chosen the model with laces because of the value for money and the custom fit it can give you. However, some professional players are already using the laceless model, so they are also pretty reliable in terms of fit and performance.
Adidas X Ghosted.1 weighs 6.5 oz only and offers a better locked-in fit than its predecessor. It now has unique carbon fiber in the outsole to help you propel forward and go faster. And it has a semi-translucent Fluroskin upper, which molds to the shape of your foot like a second skin.
– PUMA FUTURE Z 1.1 –
PUMA FUTURE Z 1.1 is Neymar’s official soccer cleat, and it never stopped gaining a new following since it was first introduced to the public. This new PUMA boot is as comfortable as it is good-looking. Although we wished PUMA had made it a bit shorter because it tends to be longer in the forefoot, and it gives a little distraction when striking the ball.
But if you have narrow feet, this soccer cleat can be perfect for you. It’s comfortable right out of the box and doesn’t require any adjustment.
PUMA FUTURE Z 1.1 has a unique adaptive FUZIONFIT+ compression band, a knit construction designed to provide supreme locked-in and support for any movements of the energetic soccer player. It has an outsole, which offers agility, explosiveness, and a responsive take-off in all directions.
– New Balance Furon V6+ –
New Balance has really been doing great for the past couple of years. And we are impressed by the new Furon V6+, an improved version of the Furon V6. In fact, more and more professional players are noticing this brand and are shifting to using the Furon V6+, the flagship speed cleat of New Balance.
This soccer cleat is extremely comfortable. It has a soft Hypoknit upper with Fit Weave technology, which provides a sock-like fit with great stability even at high speeds. It has an infiniGRIP shoe insert, which helps reduce foot slippage and a nice lining with padding in the right places.
Moreover, the Furon V6+ has a pro-level nylon plate with a ribbed midfoot that offers plenty of stability through every change of direction. It has Chevron-shaped studs that give a sure grip on any natural surfaces.
– Adidas Predator Freak.1 –
If you want total control of the ball, even making it spin during power shots, the models of Adidas Predator Freak are the soccer cleats for you.
This latest Predator model now has a 360° coverage of the new rubber elements on the upper, designed to help you control the ball better and increase ball swerve. Plus, the soccer cleat looks more premium than its predecessor.
Adidas Predator Freak.1 comes with a new PRIMEKNIT collar, which gives you more freedom of movement and an ensured locked-in fit around the midfoot and ankle. This latest model uses a lightweight CONTROLFRAME outsole, a split soleplate, which offers a more comfortable and responsive ride.
– Adidas PREDCOPX SUPERBOOT –
This is almost a perfect soccer cleat. However, Adidas may need to work on improving the weight, locked-in fit, and efficiency of the X Ghosted soleplate. But it’s a limited edition, and soccer players may not see an improved version.
Adidas PREDCOPX SUPERBOOT is the best soccer cleat mashup of the year! It has all the important technologies of Predator Freak, Copa Sense, and X ghosted mixed as one. It has the rubber elements on the upper from Predator Freak for total control of the ball, soft k-leather upper with FUSIONSKIN technology and PRIMEKNIT fusion from Copa Sense, and the technological genius CARBITEX soleplate from X Ghosted.
Adidas did a great job putting together all these technologies and merge them into one shoe. So, it will not only perform well on the soccer field, but it is also one of the best soccer cleats to try this year.
– Nike Tiempo Legend 9 –
Nike Tiempo Legend 9 is so comfortable and stable that even some sports doctors recommend it for soccer players with problem gait. This soccer cleat has more lateral and ankle support than most soccer cleats.
Weighing now at 7.3 oz only, the Legend 9 is now more suitable for any field position. It offers a comfortable fit through a one-piece k-leather upper with soft foam pods underneath that hug the foot for a better lock-in through every change of direction.
This new model uses a Hyperstability plate, which offers comfort and traction in all directions. And it has mixed blade and round studs designed to deliver more stability, excellent grip on the ground, and superior turning ability.
– Nike Phantom GT2 –
Update: This new model has an updated design of the Generative Texture (GT) technology for better control of the ball.
Nike Phantom GT2 is so versatile; you can wear it on any field position. It has dynamic traction that makes it stable on the midfoot and responsive on the forefoot. The outsole of the Phantom GT2 is well developed in all aspects.
The upper material is made from a one-piece Flyknit that is excellent in locked-in fit and follows your foot in all directions. The upper has a unique Generative Texture technology all over the place, a grippy texture that can enhance your control of the ball during dribbling and shooting.
Nike Phantom GT2 has a wide width and is most suitable for wide-footed players. But if you have narrow feet, it isn’t uncomfortable either. Although you may have to go down half a size if you have super narrow feet.
– PUMA Ultra 1.2 –
If you are looking for a comfortable speed cleat, don’t look past the models of PUMA Ultra. In fact, it has a bit more volume (with padding in the right places) than Nike Mercurials and Adidas X Ghosted.
Some reputable sources say that it is not only the most comfortable speed cleat, but it is also the most comfortable modern football boot.
PUMA Ultra 1.2 replaces the models of PUMA One. Weighing only at 5.6 oz, the Ultra 1.2 is a true speed cleat with awesome control on the ball through its MATRYXEVO woven upper and studs that can deliver an explosive take-off and easy change of direction,
Note: PUMA Ultra 1.2 has a leather cleat, the Ultra 1.2 Lazertouch. It is almost identical in weight to the synthetic model and uses the Lazertouch technology to enhance your touch and control on the ball. This leather cleat has premium soft k-leather, which has more volume than some leather cleats on the market.
Final Thoughts on the Best Football Boots
For a football boot to be considered the best, it must have the technology that blends well with its materials. It doesn’t have to be an all-rounder shoe but is most effective in performing specific roles on the soccer field.
Since the first quarter of last year, we have already seen some ingenious innovations, new technologies, and new materials that greatly improved the modern soccer cleat.
Although the growing trend of thinner materials and more lightweight boots make you more prone to impact injury, the modern soccer cleat will also greatly improve your performance on the soccer field.