Last updated: August 16, 2021

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All of us on the team are convinced that sports are one of the best ways to bring people together and exercise our bodies and minds. Among them, football stands out, because it is one of the most loved. That is why today we are going to talk about football cleats.

Football is an art form, and it is deeply rooted in may cultures. Countless people choose to dedicate their lives to the pursuit of professional success in this sport, while for others, football is an escape from the worries of everyday life. For all of them, football cleats are essential.

Cleats can improve and enhance a player's dynamics on the pitch and are therefore very important for those who take the game seriously. That's why we've created this guide, which will help you get to know these sports footwear items in more depth - read on to find out more!




Summary

  • Football cleats are shoes that improve a footballer's stability, traction and control on the pitch. They are a must-have for anyone looking to maximise their performance on the pitch. They help reduce skidding, make changes of direction more efficient, control the ball and improve running performance.
  • There are two types of football cleats: leather and synthetic. Leather cleats are usually made from cowhide or kangaroo leather. They absorb water more easily and are heavier, but fit the player's foot more accurately. Synthetics are much lighter and thinner, although this results in less protection for the foot.
  • There are many different types of cleats, so in order to choose the most suitable cleats, it is important to consider the fit, the type of ground you will be playing on (there is a type of cleat for every type of court), your position and whether the cleats are removable from the sole.

The Best Football Cleat: Our Picks

In this ranking there is something for everyone: from professional players who require the highest lightness and traction, to developing players who are looking to improve their performance in order to excel. All of the cues below have one thing in common: they are of the highest quality, as they are made by the world's leading sports brands.

Buying Guide: What you need to know about Football Cleats

Now that you know the best models on the market, it's time to review what makes football cleats so important and useful on the pitch. Believe it or not, a good cleat can be the difference between winning and losing, as they are key to any footballer's performance.

Football cleats are specifically designed for the conditions of the ground on which the sport is played (Photo: Dmitriy Shironosov/123rf.com)

What are football cleats and what are their advantages?

Football cleats are shoes that improve a footballer's control and traction on the pitch. It should be clarified that the term is ambiguous and confusing, as cleats are actually the protrusions found on the sole, not the shoes per se. However, in

The studs on the sole of the shoe are designed to 'bury' themselves slightly into the turf, which gives the player a high level of control in their movements, particularly in drastic changes of direction. This helps to reduce the risk of skidding and loss of control, which are detrimental to a player's performance.

In addition, cleats are characteristically very light, so they do not inhibit or affect a player's speed and acceleration, but allow him to move more easily. Most studs are also designed to cause friction with the ball, which gives greater control over the ball.

Advantages
  • Offer control and stability in movement
  • Prevent skidding
  • Are very light
  • Improve ball control
Disadvantages
  • Limited effectiveness in wet conditions
  • Prone to rapid wear

Leather or synthetic football cleats - What to look out for?

There are two types of material from which football cleats are made: leather and synthetic material, which resembles leather. Both are highly efficient, but have certain variations that make them ideal for some scenarios and not for others. Below we review the characteristics of each material:

Leather cleats

They are usually made of cowhide, but there are also many models made of kangaroo leather. They are thicker, so offer greater protection against injury, although this makes them heavier. They are not recommended for rainy conditions, as leather absorbs a lot of water and takes a long time to dry.

If cared for, they can last much longer than synthetic studs. There are affordable leather cleaning products that can help you extend the life of your studs. They are slightly flexible, so they adapt and adjust to the shape and length of your foot, providing greater comfort.

Synthetic cleats

Synthetic cleats are much thinner and lighter than leather cleats, but at the cost of less protection against blows or kicks from other players. Synthetic materials are very versatile, so synthetic cleats come in a variety of designs, shapes and colours.

They are more suitable for rainy weather, as they absorb much less water than leather studs, and dry faster. However, they last less than leather, so they must be replaced constantly (approximately every year). They are not very flexible and do not adapt to the shape of your foot.

Leather cleats Synthetic cleats
Durability Approx. two years Approx. one year
Water absorption Considerable Limited
Fit Precise, as they are slightly flexible Limited
Care required Yes No

Purchasing Criteria

Football cleats are highly variable and there is an ideal choice for every circumstance and player. With this in mind, we have listed the most important buying factors that will help you choose the cleats that best suit your needs, so you can be at your best on the pitch with your ideal cleats!

Fit

Football cleats, unlike other types of non-sport shoes, should be worn fairly snug, without getting to the point where they don't feel comfortable. The purpose of this is to prevent the player's foot from slipping inside, which would affect control and traction.

As a rule of thumb, there should be no more than two centimetres between the tip of your toes and the toe of the shoe. Note that leather studs are slightly flexible, so if you are considering leather studs, they may feel slightly wider after a little wear.

Football cleats provide you with high stability on the pitch (Photo: Anek Suwannaphoom/123rf.com)

Type of ground

The design, manufacture and type of materials of football cleats vary depending on the surface on which they are to be used. This means that there is an ideal type of cleat for each type of pitch, which can be found in the technical data sheet of each model. The most common types of pitches for which cleats are manufactured are:

Type of ground Firm ground Hard ground Soft ground Grass
Examples Semi-professional courts with artificial grass Concrete courts Muddy, sandy courts Professional courts with natural or artificial grass

Multiple scientific studies have shown that using the wrong type of cleats increases the risk of knee or leg ligament injuries. It is therefore important to consider the type of surface you will be playing on. If this is uncertain, we recommend that you do not purchase any cleats until you are sure of the type of terrain.

It is also worth considering the option of removable sole cues. In most cases, the cleats are fixed; however, there are those more sophisticated shoes that allow you to add, remove and change the sole cleats, which is convenient in some cases. Both options are discussed below:

  • Fixed: The best option for professional players who always play in similar conditions, without considerable variations in the type of terrain. If this is your case, we recommend fixed studs because they are specially designed for the type of court you always play on, which will help you maximise your performance.
  • Removable: Ideal for those who play on variable types of terrain. In these cases, it is a good idea to have different types of cleats for each type of court. For hard surfaces, such as concrete courts, plastic or rubber studs are ideal, while for soft courts, metal studs are more suitable.

Experience level

The needs of each player depend on their level of experience, as a professional requires much more traction, control and comfort than a beginner. Beginners, on the other hand, do not have such stringent needs, especially considering that the conditions in which they play are usually not professional.

Although it is completely subject to your taste, our recommendation if you are a beginner is to opt for leather cleats, as although they are slightly more expensive, you will avoid having to change them every year. The cleats on the sole of a leather shoe are usually not as prominent, so they are a good choice for non-professional courts.

Position

Not all players have the same roles on the court. Just as there are types of cleats for every terrain, there are also types of cleats for the type of movement being performed. Some are ideal for running, while the purpose of others is to provide stability in sudden movements.

  • Strikers: For strikers, ultra-lightweight cleats are ideal because they allow them to accelerate faster and more efficiently, which can mean the difference between scoring and missing. In addition, it is important that the shoes have pronounced studs (not rounded) for maximum possible traction.
  • Defenders: Defenders can be prone to accidental kicks to the ankles, so it is worth considering boot-style cleats, as they offer greater protection in this area and reduce the risk of injury.
    Goalkeepers: Goalkeepers' movements are sudden, as they must respond to the unpredictable behaviour of strikers.

Therefore, it is worth choosing cleats that offer as much stability as possible. This may mean a higher cue weight, but it does not matter, as goalkeepers do not usually run.

(Featured image photo: Alexander Makarov/123rf.com)

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