Best soccer cleats 2022

Best cleats 2022
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for the best soccer cleats in 2022? Look no further: we've reviewed the latest releases from Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Umbro and more.

With so many soccer cleats on the market right now, it's important to know what you're looking for. Cleats these days are tailor-made for specific roles on the field – whether you're looking for cleats for strikers or cleats or defenders – but also for specific players, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and even Harvey Elliott with trademark cleats of their own. 

Whether you'd like something comfy for your weekly five-a-side or you take soccer cleats a little more seriously and need a pair of the greatest soccer cleats of all time, we've got your back… well your feet, of course.

Best soccer cleats, 2022

Nike

Nike Air Max Zoom Mercurial cleats

(Image credit: Nike)

Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 Elite

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Unbelievably light
+
Great traction
+
Beautiful design

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're worn this season by some of the biggest stars in the men and women's game, and will be seen extensively throughout Qatar 22.

Aside from looking drop dead gorgeous, in FFT's opinion at least, the Air Zoom Superfly IX are 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. 


A detailed view of the Nike cleats of Beth Mead of England during an England Women Training Session at Elland Road on June 23, 2022 in Leeds, England.

(Image credit: Lynne Cameron - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Nike Zoom Mercurial Vapor 15 Elite

Just like the Superfly… without the ankle wrap

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Unbelievably light
+
Great traction
+
Beautiful design

The Nike Mercurial Vapor cleats are steeped in soccer folklore. This is the brand that Ronaldo draped around his neck after losing the France '98 final; the cleats that Thierry Henry burned the Highbury grass with in his early noughties pomp.

The sock-less design is what separates the Vapor from the Superfly – and the original remains one of the most iconic yet technologically evolving soccer cleats on the market. These ones are just as bold and brilliant as the old ones though, with the feel and comfort levels – dare we say it – better than the classics. If only R9 had worn these…


The right Nike Phantom cleat of Marcos Alonso of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on August 14, 2021 in London, England.

(Image credit: Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Nike Phantom GT2 Elite

The choice for speedsters and passers alike

Specifications

Colourways: Glacier Ice/Yellow Strike/Sunset Glow/Black, Black/Summit White/Bright Crimson/Dark Smoke Grey, aser Orange/Total Orange/Bright Crimson/Black
Studs: Firm ground, soft ground, multiground, artificial grass, indoor, turf
As worn by: Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Mason Mount

Reasons to buy

+
Touch and control feels great
+
Top boot for passing players

In one TV commercial (opens in new tab) for the Nike Phantom, the greats of the game build up these cleats to be mysterious and lethal in equal part. Rino Gattuso trashes his office in rage and confusion while his former comrade Andrea Pirlo conjures an inky storm from the comfort of his vineyard, as French house duo Justice soundtrack the scene.

The latest iteration of the Phantom cleats look 80s-inspired and worn by the likes of Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne. While they're the least-known of all the American brand's efforts, they're among the best: suitable for strikers or full-backs, offering control, lightness and a design somewhere between the Mercurial and the Tiempo. 


Nike Mercurial Vapor

(Image credit: Future)
Last season's effort but by no means old news

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning design
+
Weightless and comfortable

Nike have since updated the Superfly on from this triumph – does that make these classics, yet?

With its semi-circle design on the outside and now-iconic colourways – Cristiano Ronaldo wore a blue/yellow pair to match Manchester United's third kit last season – the Superfly VIII is one of the most distinctive pairs of cleats that the Swoosh has delivered for years. Last season's or otherwise, they still look gorgeous, remain among the lightest on the market and offer top-quality traction. 


Nike Tiempo Legend 9 review

(Image credit: Future)
Comfortable, versatile and stylish

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile: worn by goalkeepers and strikers alike
+
Great for wide feet

The latest Tiempos are extremely comfortable and durable, and are among the lightest on the market, weighing in at only 207g. 

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

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

Adidas

Adidas X Speedportal

(Image credit: Pro Direct)

Adidas X Speedportal

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

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Redesigned heel
+
The lightest boots about

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.


Adidas Copa Sense

(Image credit: Adidas)
The most minimal cleats on the market and perfect for passers

Specifications

Colourways: Cloud White/Cloud White/Shock Pink, Cloud White/Hi-Res Blue/Legacy Indigo, Team Navy/Cloud White/Blue Rush, Core Black/Cloud White/Blue Rush, Team Colleg Purple/Silver Metallic/Mint Rush
Studs: Firm ground, soft ground, artificial grass, turf
As worn by: Joao Felix, Jude Bellingham, Pedri

Reasons to buy

+
Old-school design
+
Good for touch and passing

Adidas do "no-frills" awesomely well when they want to and the Copa Sense is testament to that. Worn by the likes of Jude Bellingham and Joao Felix, the Copa Sense is a defined understatement, stripping back the soccer cleat to its bare essentials. These cleats are immensely comfortable, perfect for any player who prides themselves on their first touch and despite the simplistic design, they look hella cool – whatever colour you get them in.


Adidas

(Image credit: Sports Direct)

Adidas Predator Edge+

The Preds are in their renaissance and cooler than ever

Specifications

Colourways: Cloud White/Hi-Res Blue/Cloud White, Team Colleg Purple/Silver Metallic/Team Shock Pink 2, Core Black/Cloud White/Vivid Red, Hi-Res Blue/Turbo/Hi-Res Blue
Studs: Firm ground, soft ground, artificial grass, turf
As worn by: David Alaba, Paul Pogba, Millie Bright

Reasons to buy

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Four zones to aid with touch
+
Multiple colourways that look amazing
MORE ON THE PREDS

Adidas Predator football boots

(Image credit: Adidas)

ADIDAS PREDATOR Where to get every version of the iconic cleats

The Predator is basically the Routemaster bus of soccer: a design classic that pops up in everyday life without you so much as noticing these days… and actually, the updated versions are cooler than many of the vintage models.

Controversial? Yeah, but we're going there. While old Preds were given the task of simply improving David Beckham's sweeping crosses, the Predator Edge are tailor-made for the modern baller, with panels all over to aid control, walloping from 30 yards and, of course, the occasional Goldenballs-style ping. The Predators are well and truly in their renaissance – and we're loving it. 


Adidas Copa Mundial

(Image credit: Future)

Adidas Copa Mundial

The definitive Adi cleat

Specifications

Colourways: Black/white
Studs: Firm ground

Reasons to buy

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Utterly timeless
+
Cheaper than most cleats
+
Built for comfort over style

One for the old guard and hipsters alike, there's simply nothing like the Copa Mundial soccer cleats, no matter how many times Adidas reinvent the wheel. 

For the sheer comfort, nostalgia and reliability, it's virtually impossible to top these brilliant cleats, with buttery soft K-leather ensuring your feet have room to breathe while staying warm and dry. The Adidas Copa Mundial is an icon – and if you're a soccer nerd, you deserve a pair of these at least once in your lifetime.

Umbro

Umbro Velocita 6

(Image credit: Umbro)
The great British soccer cleat of our time

Specifications

Colourways: Black/White/Cyan Blue, Pink Peacoat/Black/White, Cherry Tomato/White/Black, Urban Chic/High Rise/Black
Studs: Soft ground, firm ground

Reasons to buy

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Nostalgic, British brand
+
Among the lightest available

Umbro are as British as a one-armed Alan Shearer celebration, disappointment after the 120th minute or a grey-skied cup final at the old Wembley. But before you interject, yes, we know the Double Diamond are now owned by Nike. 

The Velocitas are still going strong, though, despite the takeover of one of Blighty's greatest icons. The Umbro logo is bigger than ever – perhaps in defiance as much as anything – with the newest 'Bro cleats coming in a wider range of shades than you would have seen when the brand made Three Lions shirts. The Velocita VI are perhaps the best Umbro cleats yet – and a fitting tribute to the good old days of the English game.

Puma

Puma Future Z 1.4

(Image credit: Pro Direct)

Puma Future Z 1.4

A light and stunning-to-look-at cleat built for attacking players

Specifications

Colourways: Parisian Night/Fizzy Light/Pistachio, Puma White/Pristine
Studs: Firm ground, multiground, artificial ground, soft ground, turf
As worn by: Neymar, Antoine Griezmann, Kingsley Coman

Reasons to buy

+
The Liberty link-up looks superb
+
Ultra-modern technology

Puma is often seen as lagging behind the juggernauts that are Nike and Adidas – yet the German manufacturer can boast the likes of Pele, Maradona and Cruyff as icons of their brand. The Total Footballer even ripped one of Adidas's three stripes off his Netherlands shirts in the 1970s in loyalty to his sponsor. That's dedication.

And now, they have Neymar in their corner. The Puma Future cleats are the chosen brand for the most expensive player on Earth for their sleek, polished design, bright palettes and ambition to do something a little different – including teaming up with Liberty for a floral version of these Z cleats. If the Puma King is the cleat of a certified legend, the Future Z is for someone who enjoys smashing trends and stepping out to be different from the pack. They're deliciously light, comfortable and come in a range of colours. 


Puma Future Z cleats

(Image credit: Future)
You won't believe how light these are for leather cleats

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Leather
+
Extremely light
+
Classic design

In our recent Puma Future Z Lazertouch soccer cleats review, we praised the authentic leather used in cleats worn by some of the nippiest wingers in world soccer. 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.


Puma Flare Ultra

(Image credit: Puma)

Puma Ultra 1.4

Specifications

Colourways: Puma Black/Puma White/Fizzy Light, Festival Fuchsia/Neon Citrus/Parisian Night, Diamond Silver/Neon Citrus
Studs: Firm ground, multiground, artificial ground, soft ground, turf
As worn by: Alexia Putellas, Harry Maguire, Antoine Griezmann

Reasons to buy

+
Very lightweight
+
Great traction

The Puma Ultra cleats are everything that you'd expect from a brand that consistently looks to push boundaries – whether that's with the wacky design of some of their shirts (see club names emblazoned in bold during the 2021/22 season) or the actual materials they use.

The Ultras tip the status quo a little further. They have the heel, laces and shape of a classic King but with surprising weightlessness, that genuinely feels freeing to your feet. Puma is rapidly becoming the choice of so many top stars – see Erling Haaland and Antoine Griezmann – and it's easy to see why with these beauties. 

New Balance

New Balance Furon 6+

New Balance soccer cleats

(Image credit: Getty)
The new cleats on the block – and endorsed by megastars

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Something a bit different
+
Great traction

Reasons to avoid

-
Empty List

New Balance is a recent competitor in the market compared to the big guns but boy are they making strides with stylish cleats. It feels like NB has always had a chair pulled up at this banquet – and the Furon is one hell of a signature party trick.

Starboy Bukayo Saka – among stellar company – can't be wrong. The New Balance Furon is textured, hard-wearing and available in a number of sexy shades, evoking classic cleat designs of the noughties while feeling new, fresh and exciting. If Hermes, the Greek god famed for his winged sandals, was lining up for Olympiacos these days, we know what he'd be lacing up. 


New Balance 442

(Image credit: Getty)
The second-best 442 around… right?

Specifications

Colourways: Black/Silver, White/Silver, Gold/Black
Studs: Firm ground

Reasons to buy

+
Cost-effective
+
Vintage design

In our New Balance V2 442 Pro review, comfort was the key recipient of our praise. The cleats are sturdy, offer a flatter foundation for all foot types and fit nice and snug. 

This is what all soccer cleats used to feel like: soft leather slippers that could thwack a rain-soaked ball top bins with might. Yet with the colour choices, the new lowercase New Balance logo on the heel and the ridged material around the ankle, these things feel not like relics of the past but callbacks, perfectly suited to soccer in 2022. New trends may come and go – but the 442 always has a place in the game.

Diadora

Diadora soccer cleats

(Image credit: Pro:Direct)

Diadora Brasil Made In Italy FG x Icon Series

Inspired by a Champions League legend and dripping in nostalgia

Specifications

Colourway: Black/gold
Studs: Firm ground

Reasons to buy

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Soft leather
+
Gorgeous embellishments

A special edition cleat released 15 years after Filippo Inzaghi stunned Liverpool in the Champions League final, these Diadora Brasil efforts hark back to a golden age – literally – of soccer cleats.

They're made of the softest leather and the tongue is pure nostalgia on these beauties. And as for the "9" insignia on the heel… Pippo has immortalised with this instant classics.