Best soccer cleats for strikers 2023: The latest ranges from Nike, Adidas, Puma and more

Best soccer cleats for strikers
(Image credit: Future)

If you're a penalty box poacher, a false nine or an old-school centre-forward, you'll want to find the best soccer cleats for strikers. 

Having the right cleats can make a huge difference to a player's game, with certain ranges specifically designed to assist defenders, midfielders and attackers. FFT has been dedicating itself to categorising designs to make cleat shopping easier for you. If you're simply looking for the best soccer cleats out right now, be sure to check out our other reviews.

But here you'll find the best soccer cleats for strikers...

Nike Air Max Zoom Mercurial cleats

(Image credit: Nike)

Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 Elite

Most weightless Mercurial cleats ever

Colourways: White/Off Noir/Coconut Milk, Black/Dark Smoke Grey/Summit White/Volt, Barely Green/Blackened Blue/Total Orange, Yellow Strike/Barely Grape/Coconut Milk/Sunset Glow | Studs: Firm ground, soft ground, multiground, artificial grass, indoor, turf | As worn by: Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Beth Mead

Unbelievably light
Tighter around your feet
Beautiful design
Not many colourways yet
Nike Swoosh isn't as prominent

The latest in the peerless Nike Mercurial range, the Air Zoom Superfly IX, dropped in July 2022 and was given its first run out at the Women's Euros. They'll be worn this season by some of the biggest stars in the men and women's game, including at Qatar 22.

Aside from looking drop dead gorgeous, in FFT's opinion at least, the Air Zoom Superfly IX is among the lightest cleats on the market and offer unbeatable traction – making them ideal for speedy attacking players. The almost sticky skin on the upper is designed to assist with your touch, passing and shooting, while also offering decent protection. 

There's a new three-quarter-length articulated "Zoom Air bag" on these ones, along with a newly designed Vaporposite+ upper, which features a "Speed Cage" design. Basically, they're tighter, sleeker and more durable than ever before. 

Adidas X Speedportal cleats

(Image credit: Adidas)

Adidas X Speedportal

Boots straight from the feet of Mohamed Salah – via Rick and Morty

Colourways: Solar Green/Core Black/Solar Yellow, Core Black/Solar Red/Solar Green | Studs: Firm ground, soft ground, artificial grass, turf | As worn by: Mohamed Salah, Alessia Russo, Lionel Messi

Redesigned heel
Extremely light
Few colours just yet
Very slim fitting: you may need the next size up

Released in conjunction with a specially made Rick and Morty short, the Adidas X SPEEDPORTAL cleats are a natural evolution from the last X model while upgrading on the look, feel and comfort of the model.

We were blown away when they landed. These are the best-looking Xs in years, with a freshly-designed heel and the brand-new, textless Adidas logo. Bravo.

Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 football cleat

(Image credit: Future)

Nike Mercurial Superfly VIII Elite

Last season's efforts but by no means old news

Colourways: Football Grey/Light Marine/Laser Blue/Blackened Blue, Black/Metallic Silver/Cave Stone/Metallic Gold, Chlorine Blue/Marina/Laser Orange | Studs: Firm ground, soft ground, multiground, artificial grass, indoor, turf | As worn by: Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Beth Mead

Stunning design with slick curves and colours
Weightless and comfortable
Design is one of Nike's busier Mercurials
Nike have since brought out a new model

Last season's Nike offering, but still a cracking choice. In our Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 football boots review, we praised the lightness of these boots in particular. At just 190g, this is among the lightest cleats ever, despite being made from a material that does offer genuine protection and durability. They're so noticeably light, that even FFT (not quite blessed with the speed, say, of a young Theo Walcott) felt the difference in a game situation. They also offer great traction thanks to a unique stud pattern and are tight on the foot without any chance of coming off. 

The latest Mercurial Superly also boasts 'Anti-Clog Traction' technology. So if your Sunday league pitches are susceptible to heavy rainfall and poor drainage, they could be a good option – no more stud plates caked in mud after the firs five minutes of a game. 

Lastly, they look the part, come in a huge range of colours AND you can customise your own pair on the Nike store if you're really up for pushing the boat out. 

Best soccer cleats for strikers

(Image credit: Future)

Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Elite

Comfortable, versatile and stylish

Colourways: Black/Iron Grey/Black, Team Red/Mystic Hibiscus/Bright Crimson/White, Grey Fog/Sapphire/Volt, Black/Anthracite/Metallic Gold/Metallic Dark Grey, Guava Ice/Sunset Glow/Yellow Strike | Studs: Firm ground, soft ground, multiground, artificial grass, indoor, turf | As worn by: Virgil van Dijk, Thibaut Courtois, Harry Kane

Versatile: worn by goalkeepers and strikers alike
Great for wide feet
Not Nike's flashiest boots
Few colourway options

While the latest Tiempos have been snapped adorning the feet of a host of players in varying positions, FFT's Nike Tiempo Legend 9 soccer cleats review points out the fact that these are, in fact, cleats built for strikers. That's because, while extremely comfortable and durable, they're among the lightest on the market, weighing in at only 207g. 

They feature a number of other nifty little gadgets, including memory foam and touch pods, designed to specifically help attackers shoot, dribble and control the ball. The chevron studs have been specially designed to add traction, helping attacking players change direction more easily – perfect for bursting past defenders. 

This is a stunning all-round cleat, and one any attack-minded players should consider adding to their toolkit. 

Puma Future Z cleats

(Image credit: Future)

Puma Future Z Lazertouch

Proper leather... but still light

Colourways: Black/White/Gold | Studs: Firm ground, multiground, artificial ground, soft ground, turf | As worn by: Neymar

Extremely light
Classic design
White sole/black leather not for everyone
Lack of colourways 

In our recent Puma Future Z Lazertouch football boots review, we praised the authentic leather used in cleats worn by some of the nippiest wingers in world football. Neymar's version of the Future Z are lighter still, made by synthetic material as opposed to the leather on the Lazertouch, so you have a choice.

The cleats are a fantastic fit, offer superb traction, look stunning and are light enough to make you feel as if you're wearing carpet slippers. The Future Z is geared towards attacking players specifically.

Umbro Velocita 6 soccer cleats review

(Image credit: Future)

Umbro Velocita VI Pro

The great British soccer cleat of our time

Nostalgic, British brand
Genuinely gorgeous colourways
Among the lightest available
Traction could be better
Soleplate lacks flexibility
Scratchy material

FFT was positively stunned by how light they are when putting together our Umbro Velocita 6 soccer cleats review

Weighing in at 190g – the same as Nike Mercurial Vapours – this is an area where this cleat sits comfortably alongside the absolute best in the business. During training and games we took these out for, we half expected to look down and find we were wearing crocs. Fortunately, what we found down there was one of the best-looking cleats on the market right now. 

You'll absolutely fly past opponents in these, safe in the knowledge that if you are caught, you'll be well-protected by the tough shell and textile. There are some drawbacks, including a lack of flexibility in the soul. But check out our review to find out more about the pros and cons.

New Balance soccer cleats

(Image credit: Getty)

New Balance Furon V6+ Pro

New Balance's worthy competition to the big boys

Colourways: White/White/Orange, 'Impulse', Black/Alpha Pink, Raheem Sterling Jamaica Edition: Yellow/Green, White/Alpha Pink, Bleached Lime Glo/Citrus Punch, Black, Cobalt | Studs: Firm ground, soft ground, artificial ground | As worn by: Harvey Elliott, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling

Lightweight, colourful and with touches of blue and red across them that just look beautiful, the New Balance Furon V6+ Pro are an absolute triumph. These cleats will give strikers the edge in a foot race since they're so weightless – but they're also comfortable, too.

These are the cleats that the likes of Sadio Mané and Bukayo Saka wear. Perfect for a speedster... and they look the business, too. 

How we test soccer cleats

Here at FourFourTwo, our cleat testing procedure is all about getting boots on our feet and personally trying them out in kickabouts, training sessions and matches. Our writers test each pair over a number of weeks, in various playing conditions, in order to get a proper idea of what they're like on a soccer pitch. 

This is the best way to find out if cleats are better suited for firmer or softer ground, what level of traction they offer and how else they're geared towards improving a player's game. We're passionate about soccer cleats and regularly attend launch events and Q&As to get as much information as possible from manufacturers and designers before we begin. 

All of our reviews are honest (despite working with brands, nobody can "buy" a good review from us) and we always have real soccer cleats in mind when giving recommendations.

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