10 Best Soccer Cleats for Beginners (the Ultimate List)

Updated On December 1, 2023 | by

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Our topmost choices for the best soccer cleats for beginners:

  • Modern cleat: Nike Mercurial Vapor 15 Pro — the most famous soccer cleat with tons of technology that can help you become more efficient on the soccer field.
  • Classic Cleat: Nike Premier 3 — the cleat with the best value for money. It has premium materials and all the elements of a good soccer cleat.

When you are just starting as a soccer player, you need good equipment to start your training right. Among all your athletic gear in soccer, your cleats are the most important of all because they have direct contact with the ground and the ball.

Soccer is a game that belongs to high-impact sports events where your feet always leave the ground and return with an impact of at least three times your body weight. While every player needs to undergo the hardening process of developing better skills, strength, and conditioning, getting to your top form will depend on how determined you are.

Even if you start late in soccer, you can still improve your fitness and skill. But you have to spend a ton of time in beginner training, going through every fundamental of the sport. And to help improve your footwork, dribbling, juggling, shooting, and so on, you will need a soccer cleat that can bring out a better version of yourself.

soccer cleats for beginners
Image credit: Reviewgem

What are the best soccer cleats for beginners?

Soccer cleats for beginners are comfortable and protective cleats with strike zones that offer excellent touch on the ball. You may choose an all-rounder cleat to have better control of the ground. If you want the best performance, go for the top-tier models.

FG Soccer Cleats for Beginners

You can have multiple pairs of cleats and rotate different shoes between training.

New Balance Furon V6+ Destroy

new balance furon v6+ destroy

Effective positions: Goalkeeper and Winger.

The Furon V6+ Destroy is the next-tier model of the ultra-successful speed cleat of New Balance, the Furon V6+ Pro. It is not far behind in performance, although some technologies are missing and the materials used are different. If Kylian Mbappe is super fast on the Mercurial Superfly 8, look at the speed of Sadio Mane also in the Furon V6+ firm ground cleats. According to the soccer star, he likes the Furon V6+ because it is light and fast.

The top-tier Furon V6+ Pro has one of the best supportive upper constructions among soccer cleats. It has arguably the best support around the heel. And it has an aggressive soleplate with Chevron-shaped studs, designed to provide plenty of stability through every change of direction. The cheaper Furon V6+ Destroy has a similar design and feel.

PUMA Ultra 2.4

puma ultra 2.4

Effective positions: Striker, Winger, Central Midfielder, Left/Right Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder, Center Back, and Sweeper.

PUMA Ultra 2.4 is the next-tier model of the lightest speed cleat on the market today, the Ultra 1.4. This latest model has subtle improvements in its overall shape, upper construction, and touch on the ball. Although the Ultra 2.4 has lesser technology and quality of materials, it feels similar to the Ultra 1.4.

The models of PUMA Ultra had their revolutionary changes starting with the Ultra 1.3, which became the lightest soccer cleat and also one of the most aggressive speed cleats designed for the fastest players of the game. Although the Ultra is comfortable and supportive, being more lightweight also means less padding on the inside, so watch out for a forceful impact.

You can go down to the 3rd tier of PUMA Ultra, the Ultra 3.4 ($80 only), and still get a good soccer cleat. This lower-tier model has the GRIPCONTROL SPEEDCAGE technology. And it has a soleplate and studs that looks similar to its top-end model.

Another excellent option is the Ultra 2.3, an older takedown model with quality and performance that can compete with some top-end soccer cleats. In fact, if the Ultra 2.3 continues to exist, it will always be cheaper than the latest next-tier model.

PUMA King Platinum

puma king platinum

PUMA King Platinum is one of the most comfortable and affordable leather cleats with better impact protection. It has a speed cleat and agility design loved by even Neymar Jr. It is, in fact, the star’s first PUMA soccer cleat, which he used during practice and the actual match with PSG.

This leather cleat has modern technology that blends well with its materials. The clean kangaroo leather upper design will impress you with its anti-stretch pattern and knitted tongue that offers a comfortable, compression fit. The King also has an external heel counter and RAPIDSPRINT outsole that helps lock the foot down through every change of direction and during explosive take-offs.

Adidas Copa Mundial

adidas copa mundial

Adidas Copa Mundial is the most classic Adidas shoe on this list. But did you know that some professional players prefer to use it in major competitions? This shoe is arguably the best of all time. And may continue to exist for as long as the game of soccer exists.

The Copa Mundial has a trusty kangaroo leather upper covering from the heel to the forefoot. It’s a soft K-leather that feels thicker than most leather cleats, which could provide extra impact protection. It has a comfortable footbed and an old-school soleplate with long, all-conical studs designed for stability and comfort on a hard and dry playing surface.

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Adidas X Speedflow.2

adidas x speedflow.2

Effective positions: Striker, Center Forward, Winger, Central Midfielder, Left/Right Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder, Fullback, Center Back, and Wingback.

Adidas X Speedflow.2 is one of the best takedown Adidas shoes. It feels like the X Ghosted.1, the top-tier model replaced by Adidas’ best speed cleat, the X Speedflow.1. Although Adidas calls the upper material of the Speedflow.2 Speedskin, it feels very similar to the Fluroskin material of the X Ghosted.1.

The X Speedflow.2 has a similar design as the X Speedflow.1, the most famous elite FG cleat for midfielders, although the upper material may not be as pliable. The outsole is like the Carbitex SpeedFrame outsole of the top-end model but with less pronounced studs. And it doesn’t have the carbon insert in the forefoot.

Adidas Predator Freak.2

adidas predator freak.2

Effective positions: Goalkeeper, Defensive Midfielder, Central Midfielder, and Attacking Midfielder.

If you are looking for a control cleat with the best touch on the ball, Adidas Predator Freak is your best option. This soccer cleat can even make the ball swerve. Although the top-tier model, Freak.1, is your best option, the cheaper next-tier model, Freak.2, is not far behind in terms of performance.

This new model is best for dribbling. It now has rubber spikes spread across the upper, designed to capture the ball with better precision. It looks more premium than its predecessor, with an option for a mid-cut model that provides more support around the ankle and heel. The Predator Freak uses a lightweight CONTROLFRAME outsole for optimal grip, power, and control of the ground.

Nike Premier 3

nike premier 3

Nike Premier 3 is the shoe with the best value for money. It has all the elements of a good soccer cleat and now looks more stylish than its predecessor. While it’s still a wonder how Nike managed to offer it at a low price, this cleat is not far behind in terms of quality and performance compared to the top leather cleats that are 3x more expensive. It has premium leather (not synthetic leather) and modern technology that offer good comfort and performance on the soccer field.

The Premier 3 has a full kangaroo leather upper with a classic touch and anti-stretch support that keeps the leather material from overstretching while you play. It has a contoured insole that works with the outsole and conforms to the shape of your foot. It also has shorter conical studs that provide more stability and allow the foot to function better.

Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Pro

nike tiempo legend 9 pro

Effective positions: Goalkeeper, Center Back, Sweeper, Defensive Midfielder, Central Midfielder, and Center Forward.

The models of Tiempo Legend are Nike’s best leather cleats, and we recommend the Pro version if you are new to soccer because it is $100 less expensive than the Elite model, with only minor differences on the upper and soleplate.

Nike Tiempo Legend 9 has more lateral and ankle support than most soccer cleats. It has an upper construction that offers a better touch on the ball than its predecessor. This new model is more lightweight as well.

The Tiempo Legend has a soft and breathable premium kangaroo leather upper with raised textures for a better grip on the ball. It has a footbed that can provide comfort for even the problem gait. This new model has a soleplate that maintains a conical and blade cleats combo for stability, quick release, and superior turning ability.

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Nike Mercurial Vapor 15 Pro

nike zoom mercurial vapor 15 pro

Effective positions: Center Forward, Striker, Attacking Midfielder, Central Midfielder, Left/Right Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder, and Fullback.

Even though the Mercurial Vapor has one of the thinnest upper materials on this list, this ultra-famous speed cleat has the perfect blend of comfort, flexibility, support, and shock absorption admired by professional players and some sports medicine physicians. This new model is better than its predecessor.

Nike Mercurial Vapor 15 is super lightweight, comfortable on the feet, and has an excellent touch on the ball. It has one of the most aggressive soleplates, designed to follow the foot in all directions while providing excellent traction and grip for ultra-fast acceleration.

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You can go a tier lower and get the Mercurial Vapor 15 Academy, which only costs $85 but has plenty of technologies that help you perform more efficiently on the soccer field. The Academy model has excellent technologies like a soccer-specific 3/4 Zoom Air unit, speed cage, and NikeSkin.

Nike Phantom GT2 Pro

nike phantom gt2 pro

Effective positions: Center Forward, Second Striker, Attacking Midfielder, Central Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder, Center Back, Sweeper, and Goalkeeper.

Nike Phantom GT2 is an all-rounder cleat you can use anywhere on the soccer field. Professional players use the top-tier model in defensive, midfield, and forward positions. Although the Pro version is the next takedown model, it is hard to spot the difference between the Elite and the Pro models because they feel the same on the feet.

If you are a wide-footed player, the Phantom GT2 is one of your best options. It feels like a wide Mercurial but has a Generative Texture (GT) on the upper for better touch and control of the ball. Although it is not as fast as the Mercurials on straight-line runs, it appears to be better on side-to-side movements than the Mercurials.

Leather Vs. Synthetic

The synthetic material makes the soccer cleat super lightweight. And today’s trend is ultra-thin upper so the material can stay close to your foot (like a second skin) to deliver a barefoot-like sensation and better control on the ball. But this design has a drawback in terms of protection because it will increase the risk of impact injury.

So if you want more protection, go for the leather upper. This material is soft and more durable than synthetic and will give you a custom fit over time. Leather is also weather-resistant. If you want the thickest leather uppers, look for them in the classics.

Competitive Vs. Recreational Soccer Cleats

If your purpose in playing soccer is recreational, you can choose an Academy soccer cleat or a low-end model. It is the cheapest version of the shoe it represents, yet heavier and can be more durable. But with the low-end model, you’ll give up on support, comfort, and performance.

If you are already playing in tournaments, go for the highly competitive (Elite) or semi-competitive (Pro) models because they perform better on the soccer field. They are the most expensive but worth the price.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the right soccer cleats?

Choose soccer cleats that are snug yet comfortable. If you are new to soccer, you may choose an all-rounder soccer cleat so you can be effective in any field position. Make sure they don’t have negative spaces around the heel and on both sides of the foot. You can allow up to ½ inch of space between your toes and the end of the shoe.

Do soccer cleats make a difference or do cleats matter in soccer?

Yes. That is why elite players only wear higher-grade soccer cleats. These top-tier shoes have the best materials and technologies, which can help you perform better on the soccer field. They are also more lightweight than lower-tier cleats.

What is the best youth soccer cleat?

The best youth soccer cleat offers comfort, support, and protection. You can choose an all-rounder soccer cleat so you can be effective in any field position. It may not be a top-tier model, but the shoe must be excellent enough to complement the growing skill of a young player.

What soccer cleats are best for wide feet?

The soccer cleats that are best for wide feet are wide-fitting cleats. The best examples of these cleats are Nike Phantom GT2, Nike Tiempo Legend 9, and Adidas Predator Edge. These shoes are also comfortable for regular-sized feet.

Are soccer cleats the same size as regular shoes?

You can choose a soccer cleat of the same size as your regular shoe. But make sure they are snug and comfortable in every part of the foot, with up to ½ inch of space in the front.

Are soccer cleats supposed to fit tight?

Yes, soccer cleats must be comfortably tight. An excellent cleat is well-padded inside, with soft materials that can eliminate negative spaces in every part of the foot except in the front, where your toes should not touch the front of the shoe.

What cleats do most soccer players wear?

Most soccer players wear speed cleats, which have synthetic materials. And among professional soccer players, the siblings Nike Mercurial Vapor 15 and Superfly 9 are the most famous, with over 2,340 elite players using them in high-level competitions.

How do you know if soccer cleats are too small?

Soccer cleats are too small if they fit uncomfortably. It may be that your toes are touching the front of the shoe, or there is not enough room in the toe box for your toes to splay.

Do soccer cleats help you kick?

Yes, soccer cleats are shoes designed for kicking. They have technologies on the upper that can give you power and accuracy. Some soccer cleats can even make the ball swerve.

Should I buy soccer cleats?

Yes. If you are playing soccer, you should buy proper equipment. Among all your athletic gear, your soccer cleats are the most important. They will help improve your footwork, dribbling, juggling, shooting, and so on. Your regular shoes cannot do these tasks.

Can you play soccer with regular shoes?

No. Regular shoes don’t have the technology to control the ball and the ground. If you use running shoes, you will be prone to injury because they have poor support for side-to-side movements. The outsoles of regular shoes don’t have the technology to grip the ground while moving in all directions. And regular shoes are poor at kicking the ball.

Should you go up a size in soccer cleats?

You may go for your regular size in soccer because soccer cleats have the design to fit regular-sized feet. However, if you have wide feet, you must go for wide-fitting shoes like Nike Phantom GT2 and Adidas Predator Edge. If you have narrow feet, go for narrow-fitting shoes like the Morelia Neo III and the Mercurials.

How do I know my soccer shoe size?

Your soccer shoe size is the same as your regular shoe size. But soccer cleats will give you a snug, close-to-the-foot feeling to offer you support for multidirectional movements. They feel like armored shoes with protective properties.

Should cleats fit snugly?

Soccer cleats should be snug yet comfortable. The snug fit will give you better performance on the soccer field. Unlike regular shoes where you can allow spaces inside, with soccer cleats, there should be no negative spaces inside the shoe.

Should you buy football cleats a size bigger?

When choosing a football cleat, go for the same size as your regular shoe. But don’t be surprised that it will provide you with a snug fit. Football cleats must be snug yet comfortable for you to have the support that goes with the foot in all directions.

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About Lem Anota

He played as a defender/midfielder for many years but is also proficient in other roles on the soccer field. During his younger years, Lem played in major competitions. Today, he tests soccer cleats and running shoes and reviews their quality, technology, comfort, and performance.