Football Cleats Buyers Guide

What are the parts of a football cleat?
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  • Outsole - The base of the shoe uses spikes to provide the highest amount of field traction possible. Different outsoles and cleat configurations give you different acceleration, stopping power, and cutting abilities.
  • Midsole - Sometimes call the ?footbed,? the midsole is the internal support of the cleat, which cushions under the foot and the heel. Midsoles utilize all types of modern technologies and foams to reduce the impact and negative effects of running on the feet, heel, and ankle. Phylon wedges, EVA foam liners, and Poron inserts are used by top football cleat brands like Under Armour and Nike, to cushion and support the foot across a variety of conditions.
  • Upper - Usually made of leather or synthetic leather, the upper is the outer layer of the cleat, designed with durability to hold up to regular use and abuse. The upper includes the laces and straps, and works to lock-down the cleat, giving you a snug, comfortable, and safe fit. Designed with added breathability and lightweight strength, modern uppers are incredibly high-performing and advanced.
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What are the differences between hard molded cleats and detachable stud cleats?

Most modern football cleats come in one of two outsole designs - hard molded or detachable stud:

  • Hard molded bottom cleats - Hard plastic molding spikes grip the field for incredible traction on firm ground or artificial grass, like astro-turf. Used and trusted throughout youth leagues and high school teams, molded outsole cleats are typically less expensive that detachable stud outsoles, and are preferred by younger players or more casual players.
  • Detachable stud cleats - Longer, more powerful studs (or spikes) provide amazing grip and traction on a variety of fields, and can be removed and changed, depending on preference and changing conditions. These types of cleats are typically used by pro, college, and advanced high school players. They also tend to be more expensive than molded football cleats.
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Why do cleats come in different heights, from low-cut to high-cut?

Football cleats come in a variety of cuts and styles, which describe the height of the upper and where it sits on the ankle. This does not determine how wide the football cleat is. Each style offers different benefits to the player, and your choice should depend on personal preference, position, style, and foot and ankle health:

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  • Low Cleats - Frees the ankle from restrictions, providing maximum mobility to make aggressive cuts and reach high speeds, with low to no ankle support. Designed for fast, agile players.
  • Mid Cleats - Moderate ankle stability without seriously restricting movement or speed. Designed for most skill players, such as running backs, quarterbacks, defensive backs and wide receivers.
  • High Top Cleats - Includes everything from 3/4" cut to 5/8 cut", and above. Secure ankle support and stability protects against rolled or twisted ankles, while slightly restricting movement and speed. Designed for players who make more lateral movements on the field, such as defenders and linemen.
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Why do cleats come in different heights, from low-cut to high-cut?

Football cleats can range from a fairly affordable $45 to a pro-level $140. But what exactly are you getting for the price? Should you only look for expensive cleats, to avoid poor-performance or low-quality?

The first thing to take notice of, when buying new cleats, is the brand. Trusted football cleat brands like Under Armour, Nike, and New Balance have been developing and designing cleats for years, and are trusted by players of all ages and skill levels. Even their most affordable cleats are still high-quality products that will last. That being said, there are certainly differences between the cleats at different price ranges, and these are designed for different types of players.

More affordable cleats provide great lightweight performance and solid acceleration for youth, high school, and some college players and typically feature:

  • Synthetic uppers
  • Rubber-molded, basically configured outsole cleats
  • Few or no advanced materials and technologies

Higher end cleats are generally designed for more advanced high school, college, and pro players, these cleats deliver pro-level speed, maneuvering, and performance and feature:

  • Advanced cleat configurations for speed and cutting power
  • High-quality leather and synthetic leather uppers
  • Innovative cushioning systems
  • Comfortable ankle support
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