Which Nike cleats are best?

When you play outdoor sports such as football, baseball, softball or soccer, you want a good pair of cleats to give you traction and support.

Nike is a well-known brand that makes some of the best cleats. Finding the right pair for you depends on your sport, position, skill level and budget, but the best are Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 Men’s Football Cleats.

What to know before you buy Nike cleats

Which sport the cleats are for

The purpose of cleats is to provide support and grip, primarily when playing on grass or other outdoor surfaces. However, since the movements for each sport are different, so are the cleats. You first want to find cleats that match the sport you play. Soccer, football, baseball and softball are the primary sports that require cleats.

  • Soccer: Soccer cleats are firm but flexible. They tend not to have a midsole and are designed to maximize speed and ball control.
  • Baseball/softball: Baseball and softball cleats provide traction when pitching and batting but don’t provide much protection from contact.
  • Football: Football cleats tend to have thicker outsoles for durability and traction. Football cleats can vary by position. Cleats for skill positions are designed for agility, while cleats for lineman are designed for stability, durability and added protection.

Ankle support

Ankle support is also crucial. You typically have these options:

  • Low: These are good for speed and agility but leave the ankle exposed and don’t offer much support.
  • High: These are the most supportive cleats, running high up on the ankle.
  • Mid: These offer the best of both worlds, designed for agility but with a bit of extra ankle support.

Which surface you’ll play on

Regardless of your sport, you want the cleats best suited for the type of field you play on so you can maximize traction and control. Nike makes cleats designed for grass, turf, artificial grass, firm ground and soft ground. The company also makes cleats for both dry and wet weather, worth considering if the field you regularly play on is prone to one kind.

What to look for in quality Nike cleats

Ghost lacing

Cleats’ laces are essential for providing a tight, secure fit, but laces can come undone — both a distraction and a hazard during competition. Nike’s ghost lacing keeps the laces covered by mesh, which makes for a stylish, sleek look that’s also secure.

Flyknit

In Nike Flyknit cleats, light but strong strands of yarn are woven to form a sock-like cuff that secures the foot to the shoe platform. The material stretches, so it’s breathable and flexible while providing support.

React foam

Nike’s React foam in the sole of its shoes and cleats provides a soft, lightweight and durable layer of cushion. Nike says that when placed and tested in running shoes, it was found to reduce injury.

How much can you expect to spend on Nike cleats?

The price of Nike cleats can vary significantly depending on their size and features. Smaller kid-sized and low-end cleats start at $30, and pricing goes up to $300 for larger top-of-the-line designs.

Nike cleats FAQ

Can I wear football cleats when playing soccer or baseball, and vice versa?

A.  It’s possible, but not always ideal. Not only were Nike cleats designed for each sport, but many were designed for specific positions. You first want to consider the surface type and the support the cleats provide. While you might be able to wear soccer cleats when playing a skill position in football, they wouldn’t work as well for football linemen or when playing baseball.

Do Nike cleats fit the same as other brands?

A.  Although they follow the same standard size chart, it’s a common belief that Nike cleats tend to run on the small side. So, if you’re in between sizes, it’s best to size up — but keep in mind that you want cleats to be secure, so they provide adequate support.

What are the best Nike cleats to buy?

Top Nike cleats

Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 Men's Football Cleats

Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 Men’s Football Cleats

What you need to know: These are ideal for receivers or those who want to maximize their speed and agility.

What you’ll love: The internal footplate provides flexible support to the foot and ankle. Combined with the wide stud placement, that makes this the ideal shoe for making sharp cuts. The lightweight upper is durable, while the elastic sock-like cuff provides an additional layer of support and comfort.

What you should consider: This is not the cleat for linemen who want a shoe with extra stability and support.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top Nike cleats for the money

Nike Women's Hyperdiamond 4 Keystone Softball Cleats

Nike Women’s Hyperdiamond 4 Keystone Softball Cleats

What you need to know: The full-length foam cushioning makes these both soft and comfortable, while the synthetic upper and molded details make them durable.

What you’ll love: The 12-cleat configuration provides ideal traction. They are supportive but not restrictive as the Fastflex technology helps the cleats bend with your foot.

What you should consider: They tend to run both narrow and small, so if you’re between sizes, it’s best to size up.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Nike Tempo Legend 9 Club FG Soccer Cleats

Nike Tempo Legend 9 Club FG Soccer Cleats

What you need to know: These are available in both men’s and women’s sizes.

What you’ll love: Made with soft, synthetic leather, the toe is durable but allows for excellent ball control and a gentle touch. The conical studs make these cleats great for grass surfaces and help support your foot and ankle when turning and cutting on the field.

What you should consider:  These are good  for a beginner or intermediate player, but an experienced player might benefit from a higher-quality shoe. 

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

 

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Ryan Dempsey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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