Football cleats are highly specialized shoes for the sport. Unlike soccer, you’re going to see a wide range of positions using different shoes with different support features. Linemen, running backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers are going to use the cleat that best supports their position.
Some of the most common injuries in football come from bodily strain, hyperextension, breaks, and tears all over the lower body. While exercising and building muscle mass is one thing, having good support from your cleat is something else. You’ll see players wrap and brace areas of their body that are too loose or not warm enough, such as the knees, ankles, and fingers. When you choose a specific cleat, you should make sure that it fits your position and play style.
However, the following guidelines aren’t set in stone and each set of cleat can certainly be used at any position. It depends on what you want to be able to perform. Just keep in mind that some cleats will inhibit your ability to pull lightning fast maneuvers, while others won’t give you as much ankle support.
We’ve separated the best football cleats on the market according to their ankle cut—low, mid, and high. These categories will help determine the best cleat for you based on your position.
Low-Cut (Receivers, Running Backs)
The Adidas Filthyspeeds are quite literally…filthy. Filthy, contrary to common sense, is also slang for ridiculously good in every aspect. The Filthyspeeds use seven large studs to properly dig into the ground. They are also detachable if you decide to substitute larger studs. The Filthyspeeds studs are actually the lightest in the football world. You’ll be digging into the ground to gain enough traction but be light enough to keep moving.
Trust us when we say that these cleats were built to pull filthy moves on unsuspecting opponents.
Click here to buy the Filthyspeed’s today.
The Freak X is a reinforced low cut cleat designed for tougher, more trench-like play. We all know what it’s like to go play after play against linemen or defenders twice our size. The types of moves and cuts we pull can quickly wear out a cleat not built for endurance. Like you, a low-cut cleat must survive the constant moving, cutting, and accelerating that comes with a fast-paced player.
The Freak X is a unique lacing system unlike other low-cut or even soccer cleats. There are more holes as you approach the cleat’s tongue for a broader range of tightness across your foot. In addition, the toe end of the foot features a new type of material that prevents the pain and the body of the cleat itself from being worn away if you drag your toes a lot (for those one-foot-in catches).
Click here to buy the Freak X’s today.
Mid-Cut (Line Backers, Defensive Backs, QB’s, Linemen)
This cleat is identifiable by the slightly curved, rubber studs on the bottom. Shaped like shark’s teeth, don’t be surprised if you literally tear up the field with these. Since these are mid-cut, they’ll offer better support to larger players whose position and stances weigh more on the lower joints.
The Alpha Sharks are also compatible with other high-intensity sports such as rugby and lacrosse. Both supports utilize many of the same movements and the Alpha Shark supports most ankle motion with a smooth and comfortable fit.
Click here to buy the Alpha Shark’s today.
The Adizero’s are sort of a crossbreed between mid and low-cut. Most people think that having higher cut cleats are going to inhibit your speed but in reality, it really does depend on your own physicality. Nevertheless, the Adizero’s sleek design satisfies the speed freaks and those that pay more attention to the limits of their joints.
If you’re worried about your foot sliding around in a bigger cleat, look no further because the Adizero is your cleat. Its heel cup will lock your foot into the place the moment you’re done lacing them up. Basically, it’s a fortress around your foot.
Click here to buy the Adizero’s today.
High-Cut (QB’s, Linemen)
Under Armour dominates the high-cut cleat market and for good reason. The cleats they put out, most notably the Highlight, are widely renowned for their versatility among outdoor sports and pro athletes. This high-cut cleat provides the utmost protection from your lower leg to your toe. You may think that your ankle is being locked in place but the Highlight’s flexible material ensures that your ankle is protected while giving it range of motion.
The Highlight’s unique design is not only for ankle support, but long-term exposure to different stances and body positions. Like most of the cleats on this list, you’ll see them being worn by all sorts of players no matter their position.
Click here to buy the Highlight’s today.
The C1N’s mimic the Highlight’s design but have an extra strap near the ankle for probably the most protection an ankle can get without being bulletproof. The strap is also removable should you decide you don’t need it.
These cleats are larger than the Highlights but not by much. When comparing the two, there’s honestly not too much difference, but the C1N’s are going to preferable to players with more sensitive joints and muscles.
Click here to buy the C1N’s today.