Our topmost choices for the best cheap soccer cleats:
- Synthetic: PUMA Ultra 2.4, a speed cleat with quality and performance that can compete with some top-tier soccer cleats. It has the topmost technology of the Ultra 1.4, its top-end model.
- Leather: Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Pro, the leather cleat that looks and feels like its Elite model, with only subtle differences in fit, support, and performance.
If you are new to soccer or playing the sport for recreation only, you can wear the cheapest soccer cleats and still have fun on the soccer field. Soccer is a sport where shoe manufacturers offer up to four tiers of footwear, each tier with a shoe capable of functioning as a complete soccer cleat.
The top-end models are the most effective in ball handling and control of the field. But they are also the most expensive shoes because of their superior materials and technologies. The lowest-tier models are the cheapest because they have low-quality materials and fewer technologies. However, even the low-end models can have adequate performance on the soccer field.
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The Different Tiers of Soccer Cleats
Famous brands have their way of labeling their tiers of soccer cleats. For example, Adidas and PUMA separate the version (generation) number from its tier number through a decimal point. The lower the tier number, the better the shoe.
For Nike and New Balance, the boot tier is easier to understand. Nike’s top-tier, most premium model is the Elite, followed by the Pro model, then the Academy model. New Balance’s top-tier model is Pro, followed by Destroy/Magia, then the Dispatch/Magique model.
What are the best cheap soccer cleats?
The best cheap soccer cleats have the best value for money. They offer good quality and performance for the price. In fact, if you look closer, you’ll find that some cheaper models can challenge the top-end models in performance because they also have massive upgrades from their top-end versions.
But do soccer cleats really make a difference? You may ask. The answer is if your skill is rapidly growing, you should invest in the best soccer cleats because they can help bring out the best version of yourself. Playing in a higher-level competition requires a more precise touch and control of the ball and field.
The Best Cheap Soccer Cleats of 2022
— Nike Premier 3 —
Nike Premier 3 is a top-tier model, but it’s cheaper than any next-tier model on this list. It has the best value for money, having a low price that is almost impossible to beat. This shoe costs $110 only, but it has all the elements of a good soccer cleat. It has quality materials from the ground up. This latest model even has a more stylish look compared to its predecessor.
The Premier 3 is a perfect choice if you are new to soccer. It has a full kangaroo leather upper, the most durable material in soccer shoes, capable of protecting the foot from any forceful impact. The manufacturer’s insole is contoured, which easily conforms to the shape of your foot, keeping it planted and secure as you move in all directions. It also has conical studs that provide more stability and better foot function.
— Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Pro —
Effective positions: Goalkeeper, Center Back, Sweeper, Defensive Midfielder, and Central Midfielder, and Center Forward.
Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Pro is undoubtedly a better choice than the Premier 3 in terms of performance. But it is more expensive by $20 than the Premier 3 and comes only with a calfskin leather upper instead of the more durable kangaroo leather material. At first glance, it looks very much like its elite model. Indeed, it only has subtle differences compared to its high-grade model.
The Tiempo Legend 9 is the lightest Tiempo ever made, with massive improvements in speed, fit, and touch on the ball. This Pro version is only a few grams heavier than the Elite version. Both top-tier and next-tier models have a similar fit, although the Elite model is more padded and has better heel and ankle support. The Elite model also has a better soleplate and more pronounced studs, which will provide better traction, stability, and control of the ground.
If your budget is below $100, go for the Tiempo Legend 9 Academy. It costs $75 only but has a soft leather upper with foam pods underneath to help you place your shots with precision. And it has a redesigned plate to make you move and strike faster.
— Nike Phantom GT2 Pro —
Effective positions: Center Forward, Second Striker, Attacking Midfielder, Central Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder, Center Back, Sweeper, and Goalkeeper.
Nike Phantom GT2 Pro is the first takedown model, but it’s cheaper than the Elite model by $120. It has a similar Flyknit upper (with GT technology) as the top-end model. But the Pro model doesn’t have the All Conditions Control (ACC) technology, so the touch on the ball is less reliable during extreme wet and dry conditions.
The Phantom GT2 Pro feels similar to its top-end Elite model, although the upper is less structured than the Elite version, which may reduce support and performance on multidirectional movements. The soleplate of the Pro model also has a different material with studs that are less pronounced than the Elite model, which may affect traction, stability, and control of the ground.
— Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Pro —
Effective positions: Center Forward, Striker, Attacking Midfielder, Central Midfielder, Left/Right Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder, and Fullback.
The models of Nike Mercurial are the most famous soccer cleats among professional players. And between the two siblings (Vapor 14 and Superfly 8), the Vapor 14 is the most preferred shoe. It has the design and materials admired by some sports medicine physicians for its perfect blend of comfort, flexibility, support, and shock absorption.
This speed cleat is arguably the best in fast-forward motion. And you can experience its top features in the Pro version as well because it feels like the elite model, with materials not far behind in quality and performance.
— Adidas Copa Sense.2 —
Effective positions: Goalkeeper, Center Back, Sweeper, Wingback, Defensive Midfielder, Central Midfielder, and Attacking Midfielder.
Some people may have mixed emotions about the latest Copa model being thinner and having less leather material than its predecessor, the Copa 20.1. But it is the 7th most famous soccer cleat among professional players, with tons of technologies that can manipulate the ball completely. This latest model is lighter and offers a closer-to-the-foot sensation than its predecessor.
Adidas Copa Sense.2 is the first takedown model, but it looks and feels almost identical to the top-end model, the Copa Sense.1. This next-tier shoe may even have a more comfortable upper, although the leather material is not kangaroo leather. It also has the famous TOUCHPODS technology, designed to absorb impact energy where the ball meets the foot. And a TPU outsole with well-pronounced studs that look like the top-end outsole.
With Copa Sense, you can go down to the lowest tier and still get a better-performing shoe. Adidas Copa Sense.3 is the lowest-tier model with good performance. It costs $80 only.
— Adidas X Speedflow.2 —
Effective positions: Striker, Center Forward, Winger, Central Midfielder, Left/Right Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder, Fullback, Center Back, and Wingback.
The models of Adidas X are the 2nd most famous soccer cleats among professional players, but it’s catching up with the Nike Mercurials for the top spot. Some players even believe that the latest model of Adidas X, the Speedflow.1, performs better than the Mercurials. This soccer cleat helps Lionel Messi stay on top of his game.
The Adidas X has so much success in the speed cleat category, and you’ll also find its top features mirrored in the next-tier model. In fact, the X Speedflow.2 has an upper material that looks and feels like the previous top-end model, the X Ghosted.1. But the X Speedflow.2 is heavier than its top-end model by over an ounce. And the outsole also misses out on Carbitex SpeedFrame technology.
— Adidas Predator Edge.2 —
Effective positions: Goalkeeper, Center Back, Sweeper, Defensive Midfielder, Central Midfielder, and Winger.
When the Predator Edge first came out, it received diverse reactions from the soccer community. But those who are consistent users of this shoe know that Adidas has brought back a little of its predatory roots for this model. Many professional players didn’t have any issues shifting from the Predator Freak to the Predator Edge right away. This latest model now has more volume and feels more powerful than its predecessor, a design typical of a Predator cleat.
The models of Adidas Predator are the 3rd most famous soccer cleats among professional players. The Predator is the number one control soccer cleat, with a next-tier model that looks and feels very similar to its high-grade model. The Predator Edge.2 also has the new ZONE SKIN technology, composed of rubberized ribs across the instep and toe box for optimized ball manipulation. And it has almost the same weight as its top-end model.
— Adidas Predator Freak.2 —
Effective positions: Goalkeeper, Defensive Midfielder, Central Midfielder, and Attacking Midfielder.
For many players, Adidas Predator Freak.2 is more comfortable and refined than the Predator Edge.2 because of the hybrid, conical-like studs under the forefoot and the 360° coverage of DEMONSKIN rubber spikes designed for extra control on the ball. And for as long as this takedown model exists, it will be one of the best-performing affordable soccer cleats.
The Predator Freak.2 is as aggressive-looking as its top-end model. It has ultra-effective 360° rubber spikes, a technology that enables superior control and increased ball swerve. These extra sticky spikes set this Predator apart from other takedown control soccer cleats. It also has soleplate and studs that look very similar to its top-end model.
— PUMA Ultra 2.4 —
Effective positions: Striker, Winger, Central Midfielder, Left/Right Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder, Center Back, and Sweeper.
PUMA Ultra 2.4 is arguably the non-leather takedown model with the best value for money. It has premium materials that look and feel similar to the previous top-end models of the Ultra. This soccer cleat has a similar price to the first takedown models of Nike and Adidas but with better materials than most lower-end models.
The Ultra 2.4 knitted upper has a close-to-the-foot sensation with an improved fit. It has MATRYXEVO technology, which gives excellent support during fast-forward motion. The upper also has the GripControl Pro skin technology for better touch and control of the ball. Unlike some takedown models, this soccer cleat has a soleplate and studs that looks identical to its top-end model.
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 FUTURE 2.3 —
Effective positions: Striker, Center Forward, Central Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder, Fullback, Wingback, and Goalkeeper.
Did you know that PUMA has improved the FUTURE and made it even better in fit and performance for this new model? The top-end model became Neymar Jr’s official soccer cleat as soon as it reached the market. It now has a more mature second-generation FUZIONFIT+ technology that provides a better locked-in fit in the midfoot area than its predecessor.
PUMA FUTURE 2.3 is one of the few takedown models that looks almost identical to its high-grade model. It has premium materials from the ground up. It also has a FUZIONFIT technology that wraps around the midfoot to provide stability and support for multidirectional movements. And a soleplate and studs that are precisely the same as its top-end model.
— Mizuno Morelia Neo III Pro KL —
Effective positions: Goalkeeper, Center Back, Sweeper, Fullback, Wingback, Defensive Midfielder, and Central Midfielder.
Mizuno Morelia Neo III Pro KL is another k-leather cleat with an excellent value for money because of its quality materials and modern design. It has a soft kangaroo leather on the forefoot and some synthetic material on the midfoot and heel, which offer great fit and support. The sockliner also has a rough coating, which ensures that the foot stays planted through every change of direction. And it has a classic molded outsole, with all-conical studs underneath, which offers plenty of stability and comfort.
— New Balance 442 v2 Pro —
New Balance 442 v2 Pro is a new top-tier soccer cleat with a price of a takedown model. It has improved a lot in fit, quality, and performance compared to its predecessor and is gaining more popularity in the soccer community. The 442 v2 Pro is one of the few leather cleats you pay less for top-quality materials.
It is a comfortable classic leather cleat with a modern design. It has a full kangaroo leather upper that feels as premium as some of the more expensive leather cleats on the market. Underneath the upper is a grippy synthetic suede, which adds comfort and reduces foot slippage. It also has an Elite nylon plate, with all-conical studs, for high-performance, extra stability, and improved feel of the ball and field.
— New Balance Furon V6+ Destroy —
Effective positions: Goalkeeper and Winger.
The Furon V6+ is New Balance’s most famous soccer cleat. It has premium materials and tons of technology that give comfort, support, and complete control of the ball and field. Many professional soccer players trust the top-end model, especially those in the midfield and forward positions. It now has at least 30 elite players using it in high-level competitions, headed by Sadio Mane, who plays as a Forward for Liverpool FC.
New Balance Furon V6+ has improved upper construction, making it even better in fit, comfort, and performance than its already great predecessor, the V6. Some top-of-the-range technologies are also present on its next-tier model, the Furon V6+ Destroy. This first takedown model has a Fit Weave stretch upper and Nanofront sock liner. And it feels fast, agile, soft, and comfortable like its top-end model.
— Lotto Solista 200 IV Gravity —
Effective positions: Goalkeeper, Center Back, and Sweeper.
Lotto Solista 200 IV is a soccer cleat with an excellent value and arguably the best-performing shoe on this list. It is a top-end cleat with high-quality materials offered at a low price. The Solista 200 IV has at least one professional player using it in defensive positions.
This speed cleat has a soft, one-piece 3D knit upper with a sock-like fit. It has embossing on top to enhance ball control and soft padding and lining inside for long-lasting comfort and support. It has Punto Flex Technology on the forefoot to improve flexibility and reactivity. And it has well-placed EVO and conical studs for enhanced stability, acceleration, flexibility, and traction for multidirectional movements.
If you want an excellent cheap soccer cleat, be keen to watch for massive improvements in the latest top-end models. Shoe brands will always make their lower-end models benefit from the huge upgrades. They would even try to make their cheaper models feel like the top-end models. However, if your skill is rapidly growing, invest in top-end shoes because they have the best materials and technologies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between expensive and cheap soccer cleats?
The differences between expensive and cheap soccer cleats are quality of materials and technology. The top-end, most expensive models have the most premium materials and best technologies that make them very effective on the ball and field. They are also the lightest shoes. On the other hand, cheaper soccer cleats are heavier than expensive cleats because they have less quality materials. They also miss out on technologies that the expensive models have.
How long should a pair of cleats last?
A good soccer cleat may last up to 10 months without any issue with its effectiveness on the ball and field. If you are new to soccer, it may even last longer. But as you regularly, you will also develop strength and power, which could shorten the lifespan of your footwear.
Why are Nike football boots so expensive?
Nike football boots are the most famous footwear among professional players who don’t settle for second-best shoes. This brand has 49.7% of elite players using its boots in high-level competitions. Four of Nike’s shoes are in the top 10 most famous boots – Mercurial, Phantom GT, Tiempo, and Magista. These shoes tell a lot about how effective they are on the ball and field. So the things that make Nike football boots so expensive are the premium materials that keep them super light and the technologies that make them ultra-effective on the football field.
Are soccer cleats important?
Yes. Wearing soccer cleats is the only way you can have success on the soccer field. If you play soccer and wear shoes other than soccer cleats, you won’t stand a chance against an opponent who has the proper gear. Soccer cleats give you total control of the ball and the field.
Do you need special shoes for soccer?
If you are new to soccer, you can wear low-end shoes to save cash. Each model, even the cheapest soccer cleats, has the design to function as a complete gear. But as you grow and improve your skills, you will need more special shoes that can match your movements and encourage a better version of yourself.
Are laceless soccer cleats better?
Laceless soccer cleats may be better than lace-up shoes if you want a distraction-free touch on the ball. The laceless models also have reinforced support on the upper to help secure the foot and add more stability for multidirectional movements. But unlike lace-up shoes, you cannot have a custom fit in laceless soccer cleats. So once they overstretch, there’s no way of tightening them up.
Is Adidas or Nike better for soccer?
You can never go wrong choosing Adidas or Nike for any of your soccer gear. These are two of the most famous brands in soccer. And even though sometimes you’ll feel the prices of the top-end models are too much, they offer the most premium materials and the best technologies that make life and performance on the soccer field easy and more efficient.
How much do cleats help?
Good soccer cleats can give you better touch and control of the ball. They have upper materials that hug the foot and provide stable support for multidirectional movements. They have stiffer soleplate that protects the foot from the ground. And studs that provide traction and stability in all directions.
Do soccer cleats really make a difference?
Yes. Good soccer cleats can provide complete functionality on the soccer field. They provide superb support for quick cuts, lateral movements, and straight-line acceleration. They offer stiffer soleplates that help prevent injury to the foot. And studs that offer sure traction and stable support in all directions.
What are good brands for soccer cleats?
The best brands for soccer cleats are Nike, Adidas, PUMA, and Mizuno. These are the most famous brands trusted by professional soccer players because of their quality of materials and technologies that help bring out the best in a soccer player.
Why do soccer cleats cost so much?
Soccer cleats cost so much because they have premium materials that make them super lightweight, even lighter than running shoes. They also have state-of-the-art technologies that help enhance your touch and control of the ball, support/stability in all directions, and speed and traction for quick cuts, lateral movements, and explosive acceleration.
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