7 Best Football Cleats of 2021: Turf, RBs, WRs, & QBs

best football cleats

As the summer air turns crisp, it can only mean one thing: football is coming. But for some people, football season never ends. Whether you play, or have a player in your family, an important piece of football gear is the best pair of cleats. 

In this ranking, we break down the seven hottest football cleats for all positions, including linemen and even quarterback. These cleats offer ankle support, and if you typically struggle to get a good fit with cleats, we have some wide feet picks as well. 

For the kind of stability on the field that can only come from molded cleats, you’ve come to the right place. Our reviews of the best football cleats available are coming up next.

Our Top Picks

Nike-Alpha-Menace-Pro-2Best for Turf: Nike Alpha Menace Pro 2.
The mid-ankle Alpha Menace Pro 2 football cleats are the perfect choice for quarterbacks, running backs, linebackers, or tight ends.
Adidas-Adizero-11.0-Football-ShoeBest Low-Tops: Adidas Adizero 11.0 Football Shoe.
The Adizero is the perfect low-topped cleat for a skilled position player.
Under-Armour-Mens-Spotlight-Lux-McBest for Running Backs: Under Armour Men’s Spotlight Lux Mc.
Most running backs prefer a low-cut cleat, keeping them agile. We like the Spotlight Lux Mc made by Under Armour.
Adidas-Freak-Carbon-Low-Football-ShoeBest for Wide Receivers: Adidas Freak Carbon Low Football Shoe.
The low-cut Adidas Freak Carbon football shoe helps wide receivers be everywhere all at once.
Nike-Vapor-Edge-Pro-360Best for Quarterbacks: Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360.
The ultimate position on the field, the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 helps quarterbacks win the day.
Adidas-Copa-Mundial-Soccer-CleatsBest for Kickers: Adidas Copa Mundial Soccer Cleats.
The Adidas Copa Mundial are the best kicking cleats for both soccer and football.
Under-Armour-Highlight-Rm-Football-ShoeBest for Linemen: Under Armour Highlight Rm Football Shoe.
Linemen need the ankle support that can only come from the Under Armour Highlight RM football shoe.
 

A Closer Look: Best Football Cleats

Break down the film on each cleat in our ranking.

1. Nike Alpha Menace Pro 2

The best cleats for turf football.

Nike Alpha Menace Pro 2

Brand: Nike | Sole: Phylon Foam | Closure: Strap w/ Hook-&-Loop | Features: TPU Propulsion Plate | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰

The hottest football cleats for turf football is the Alpha Menace Pro 2 from Nike. With phylon foam soles and a strap with hook-and-loop closure, these mid-cut football cleats do a little of everything. 

Don’t miss the TPU propulsion plate and the padded collar, and the tongue, wrapping around the entire lateral side of the shoe, putting a smooth surface where there’s normally a seam. Fans of the Alpha Menace Pro 2 cleats call them grippy, with a nice snug fit. That’s especially true for a utility player splitting time between running back and playing the line.

  • Nice colors
  • Durably built
  • Fit as expected
  • Lace quality issues
  • Molded plastic, not metal

2. Adidas Adizero 11.0 Football Shoe

The best low-top football cleats.

Adidas Adizero 11.0 Football Shoe

Brand: Adidas | Sole: Reinforced External Heel | Upper: Textile | Closure: Ghost Lace | Price: 💰💰💰💰

For the best low-top football cleats available, we like the latest Adizero 11.0 football shoe from Adidas. With a reinforced external heel, backs and other position players feel confident when wearing these shoes on the field, their feet protected by a textile lining and uppers. 

Otherwise, the cleats are lightweight with a slip-on sock design, so no need to worry about tongue adjustments. Offering unmatched performance, nothing compares for fast cuts and speed play made possible by the Adizero, according to reports. These shoes do take awhile to break in, however.

  • Good traction
  • Nothing fits like Adidas
  • Good for both wide receivers and quarterbacks
  • Not for wide feet
  • Toe box too loose
  • A soccer cleat trying to be a football cleat, some say

3. Under Armour Men’s Spotlight Lux Mc

The best football cleats for running backs.

Under Armour Men's Spotlight Lux Mc

Brand: Under Armour | Outsole: Synthetic | In-Sole: High-Rebound SuperFoam | Upper: ThreadLock Technology/Trad Knit/Melted Yarns | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Most running backs need low-cut cleats to keep them agile. For this reason we like the Under Armour Men’s Spotlight Lux Mc, with a high-rebound SuperFoam in-sole with and a knitted bootie for a snug fit.  

Backs who’ve tried them say they offer better cutting and shifting than Vapor, with great traction even on wet grass or turf. They’re otherwise lightweight and fit like a sock, according to reports.

  • True to size
  • Great for sharp cuts
  • Sturdy and supportive
  • Narrow feet only
  • One report of blisters
  • Too uncomfortable for some

4. Adidas Freak Carbon Low Football Shoe

The best football cleats for wide receivers.

Adidas Freak Carbon Low Football Shoe

Brand: Adidas | Outsole: Cleated Synthetic | Upper: Textile & Synthetic | Closure: Lace-up | Price: 💰💰💰

To accommodate the sharp cuts and unpredictable moves necessary to play the wide receiver position, we like the Freak Carbon football shoe made by Adidas. These regular fit shoes have a ghost lace closure with a textile upper and a cleated, synthetic outsole. And for comfort, we like the lining and tongue pull.

Wideouts who’ve tried the shoe call them super light and flexible, adding that they feel really good. Some have a tough time getting the fit just right, however, because they do tend to run small and narrow. But nevertheless, they’re perfect for football, according to reports, and one player even called them “lit.”

  • Great traction, cut well
  • Beautiful quality and styling
  • Very good cleats for a receiver
  • Buy a size up
  • Too stiff, for some
  • Tight in the toes at first

5. Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360

The best football cleats for quarterbacks.

Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360

Brand: Nike | Features: External Pods for Traction | Closure: Ghost Lace | Cleats: Wide Stud Placement | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Quarterbacks need to do a bit of everything: stand tall in the pocket, survey the field, find the crease, scramble when necessary, and cut sharply when required. The well-reviewed Vapor Edge Pro 360 helps QBs do these things and a whole lot more, with external pods for better traction and wide stud placement across the sole for added stability.

The ghost laces are also a popular feature among those who’ve tried the shoes in gameplay. They also fit great, provide good support, with outstanding grip and traction on the field. They are particularly popular with players who run and cut a lot, including positions like quarterback, but also free safety and corner, among many others. But they are a little narrow, we learned.

  • Ghost laces
  • Super comfortable
  • Best cleats on the market
  • Nice cleat but fit tight
  • Some durability issues reported
  • Not recommended for bigger players

6. Adidas Copa Mundial Soccer Cleats

The best football cleats for kickers.

Adidas Copa Mundial Soccer Cleats

Brand: Adidas | Sole: Rubber | Upper: Leahter/K-Leather | Mid-Sole: Die-Cut EVA | Price: 💰💰

Many kickers looking for the best football cleats turn to soccer shoes. For this reason, we like the lightweight and versatile Adidas Copa Mundial. With leather uppers featuring k-leather in the forefoot only, these shoes are extra lightweight, molding better to the foot for a more natural feel. 

Known to expand and stretch, they’re also a good choice for players with wide feet, and the k-leather provides unparalleled touch and control. Copa Mundial shoes do require some upkeep — just soap and water — but with some TLC, they’ll last for several seasons. 

Otherwise, they’re the only equipment a great American football kicker needs, according to reports from the field.

  • Fit snug
  • Stretch to fit
  • Help to kick accurately

  • Look out for fakes
  • Buy a ½ size smaller
  • Controversial k-leather = actual kangaroo

7. Under Armour Highlight Rm Football Shoe

The best football cleats for linemen.

Under Armour Highlight Rm Football Shoe

Brand: Under Armour | Upper: Synthetic | Tongue: Open-holed Mesh | Features: External TPU Ankle Cage | Price: 💰💰

When it comes to football cleats for linemen, ankle support is the name of the game. That’s why we chose the high-cut Highlight Rm football shoe from Under Armour. With a synthetic upper, these rubber-molded cleats offer unparalleled support, and the open-holed mesh construction helps keep your feet cool while playing.

We also like the external TPU ankle cage, and the die-cut EVA sockliner and textile collar supporting the ankle without limiting movement. Despite the extra support, the shoes remain light on the feet. They fit true to size, and they’re an especially good choice for players with wide feet, according to feedback.

What’s more, these shoes are also pretty affordable, and they come in some nice color options, surely matching your team colors.

  • Look great, snug fit
  • Better stability for knee issues
  • Helps to prevent sprained ankles
  • Toe pain reported
  • Bit hard to get on at first
  • Buy one size up, some say

Our Process

For this guide on the best football cleats, our team spent 5 hours researching the 35 most popular options from a variety of brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read 5+ user reviews about each pair of football cleats (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 football cleats on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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