Tear up the pitch and boost your game with the footwear of superstars like Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar.
Matthew Jussim 1 / 14
The Best Soccer Cleats
You’ve been training hard in the gym, getting your legs stronger, your cuts crisper, and your cardio up—and whether you're playing soccer in a competitive league or just some pickup in the park, you're ready to dominate the pitch.
The one major problem? After all that training, your cleats are beat up, ripped, and falling apart. So now that it's time to pick up some new kicks, you might as well pick a pair that can perform as well as you.
Strap a new pair on your feet and you’ll be curving free kicks like Cristiano Ronaldo and dribbling through defenders like Lionel Messi in no time. Plus, hey—nothing inspires envy in your friends like a nice set of cleats.
Here are some of the best options for the 2016-17 season.
Nike Mercurial Superfly, Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 Collection
The Nike Mercurial Superfly V FG cleats are part of the Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 collection, giving you the chance to don the same footwear as the Real Madrid star. The purple-and-bright-orange colorway offers a flashy design that’s sure to turn some heads when you play pickup soccer at the park. The Mercurial collection was created with lightweight materials to help boost speed and players like Ronaldo, Raheem Sterling, Eden Hazard, and Alexis Sanchez wear versions of the cleat. The cleats were designed to give you stability on grass, and the firm-ground studs on the bottom of the cleats allow for traction even when you’re playing on a wet or damp field. Ronaldo has scored some unbelievable goals in his career and while you may not win any Ballon d’Or’s, these cleats may help you channel some of those amazing skills when you’re on the pitch.
Messi is considered to be the best player in the world, and these are the cleats he uses to score incredible goals like this one in the Copa Del Rey final. Besides his signature goal-scoring ability, Messi seems to have a supernatural ability to quickly change directions, accelerates, and maneuvers around defenders with ease, which is exactly what the cleats are designed to do. The cleats are made with adidas “SprintFrame” technology, putting your foot closer to the ground, allowing extra stability and balance through your feet. There are two colorways for the cleats: shock blue with silver metallic and black, or grey with silver metallic and solar green. It comes with an internal lacing feature that gives a flexible and secure fit for the cleat, which are best for natural grass surfaces.
Neymar’s combination of speed, agility, and explosiveness makes him the heir to the “best player in the world” title once Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are done. The 24-year-old Brazilian star is a goalscoring machine and his game is built around speed—no wonder he scored the fastest goal in Olympic history, a blazing-fast strike 15 seconds into the game in the 2016 men’s semis—and that’s why the Hypervenom cleats are built the same way. The footwear is designed for attacking players, made with a special split-toe plate that allows for quick changes in direction and sudden cuts around defenders. The cleats have a “Dynamic Fit” collar over the ankle for extra protection, while the upper part of the shoe is made with “All Conditions Control” materials to give you extra stability in both wet and dry conditions. The purple, orange, black, and red color design is bright and explosive, much like how Neymar plays the game.
Move fast and get a great feel for the ball with this pair of cleats. The evoTOUCH model is made with lightweight, “ultra-thin” leather—weighing just less than 10 ounces—to give you a close touch with the ball, allowing for increased control and stability. The cleat comes in a black, white, and "safety yellow" colorway, and has an evoKNIT sock for extra foot support and a “barefoot feel.”
This cleat is designed to give increased control when you’re dribbling and shooting the ball—the kangaroo leather on the upper shoe decreases slippage, and the cleat studs are fitted with a flexible plate to help with traction. The coastal blue, “rage” green, and polarized blue colorway gives the cleat a flashy-looking contrast, while the inner liner is designed for arch support and ankle comfort. Players like Jérôme Boateng of Bayern Munich, Gerard Piqué of Barcelona, and Raphaël Varane of Real Madrid all wear a version of the cleat, which also comes in a “Legacy” design with premium leather.
This cleat is designed for offensive players looking to dribble their way around defenders and explode towards the net to score goals. The upper part of the shoe is made with synthetic leather to give increased ball control and durability, while the the outer sole is made for giving maximum grip on firm-ground surfaces. And it's hard to argue with the price—at $50, you can afford one pair for training and a second pair just for games.
The Under Armour Spotlight Hybrid is made of lightweight material weighing just 8.4 oz, allowing you to move freely from the ground up without feeling like you have steel-toed boots on your feet. The sleek black and white colorway has fixed TPU studs as well as six removable studs, allowing you to customize and place your studs for whatever position and game situation you need. The “SpeedForm” outsole allows for natural movement of your foot, and the heel cup provides stability to allow comfortable acceleration in any direction you step.
You want to do whatever you can to help your ball control? This is the cleat for you. Nike designed the Magista Obra to give playmakers perfect touch and precise movement when handling the ball, using a 360° rotational traction pattern on the cleat and a rotational forefoot zone. The design gives players the ability to make quick cuts with ease, while the Flyknit upper helps protect the ankle and lower leg. Players like Kevin de Bruyne of Manchester City, Blaise Matuidi of Paris Saint-Germain, and Arda Turan of Barcelona wear the cleat, which comes in a unique “Rio” teal, obsidian, clear jade, and “volt” colorway.
The adidas Purecontrol Primeknit is made for the explosive player—someone who needs to accelerate, stop on a dime, and make quick cuts of direction to get around opponents, all while feeling balanced and steady. The laceless sock forefoot allows for complete control and stability when you have the ball, and the lightweight outsole gives you the ability to move with quickness and agility without being weighed down by heavy materials. The cleats come in two different colorways: white with black and gold metallic, as well as solar yellow with black and silver metallic.
While New Balance is mostly known for its running shoes, the American company is making inroads on the soccer pitch with its Furon cleat. It's made with lightweight cushioning for stability and speed, giving extra support to your foot without holding back your performance. The heel of the shoe is made with a lowered collar to give increased range of motion, and the hardened soleplate allows for increased acceleration when pressing off your heel. New Balance uses “bio-mechanical” stud placement for traction and stability. The cleats have a classic look with a solid black colorway and the NB logo in white.
Run wild, break through defenders, and work up explosive speed with the adidas X Purechaos cleats. The shoe's distinctive "PURECUT" sock system hides the laces underneath a flap of synthetic material, ensuring not only a secure fit on your foot but also a smooth, even surface between your foot and the ball. The Chaos stud alignment is designed for increased traction on firm ground. The cleat comes in a white with black and gold metallic colorway.
The Puma evoSPEED cleats are made for just that—speed. These cleats are meant for players who use agility and quick moves as part of their game, designed with lightweight materials and a synthetic upper piece to help improve ball control. The bottom of the cleat is fitted with both bladed and conical studs to allow for traction and maneuverability, while the “SPEEDTRACK” spine adds stability for the midfoot.
The affordable UA CF Force 2.0 is made for soccer players at any level, whether you’re a semi-pro star or a weekend warrior who plays pickup with their friends. The cleat is designed with a TPU outsole with bladed heel that allows for steady ground traction, while the forefoot studs provide flexibility for accelerating in any direction you step. The die-cut sockliner keeps your foot stable throughout the game and the cleats come in four different colorways, including black with “Rocket” red, green and red, royal blue and red, and “taxi” yellow and royal blue.