Best Soccer Cleats For Defenders

Whether it was John Terry’s crucial slip in the Champions League final or Gerrard’s Premier league deciding slip, soccer cleats have played a definitive role in many circumstances. The stakes are even higher when you are a defender-the last line of defense. 

So, you must have the right cleats to tackle cleanly and keep up the pace with those wiggling attackers. Without the right equipment, you wouldn’t just be lagging but being destroyed by today’s crafty players.

Thus, we bring you our top 10 cleats for the defenders which will help you with maximum grip and agility. This list has been picked very meticulously to encompass all types of defenders and their respective preferences.

Nike HyperVenom Phinish – The Absolute Best Soccer Cleats For Defenders

Nike Men's Hypervenom Phinish II FG Total Orange/Black Shoes - 8
30 Reviews
Nike Men's Hypervenom Phinish II FG Total Orange/Black Shoes - 8
  • Imported
  • 100 % Authentic
  • Synthetic
  • Made in USA or Imported
  • Size : 8

Nike dropped one of its best editions of soccer cleats by introducing Nike HyperVenom Phinish FG. Carefully designed to give total control and agility to the player on firm ground, these are the best Nike soccer cleats for defenders. It can easily be noticed that the key features of Nike HyperVenom Phinish are all about perfection in striking. 

The textured NIKESKIN allows a superior touch to the ball by enhancing precision and control while shooting. Asymmetrical lacing gives a larger strike-zone surface to smoothly direct the ball towards the target. Ultra-light Flywire cables in the upper offer durability support and lock-down fit to your ankle. 

Nike cleats have really come a long way in innovation and performance for all kinds of gameplay. Many footballers, including Andres Iniesta, shared their opinion on the lack of consistent control and feel on the ball when there is moisture. However, ACC technology in these cleats maintains the same level of friction, control, and touch at either wet or dry surfaces.

However, the best part about Nike HyperVenom is that it does not compromise on the comfort level in any way. This is ensured by a molded sock liner cushion that absorbs the pressure from the stud. This makes Nike HyperVenom is one of my most favorite soccer cleats for any match. I guarantee that once you slide into these cleats, you will take them to every game. And wouldn’t you? They are the best soccer cleats for defenders and total value for money.

Pros

  • Fits like a glove bringing out your best game in every match. 
  • Highly comfortable that even after hours of wearing them, there will be no blisters or bruising on your feet
  • The Anti-Clog Traction technology does not allow mud to accumulate in the outer soul when the soil field is wet, which otherwise would cause a player to slip

Cons

  • It may take some time for new soccer players to adjust with the tongue-less feature

New Balance Men's Furon 4.0 Pro – Most Affordable Cleats For Defenders

New Balance Men's Furon 4.0 Pro Firm Ground Soccer Shoe, Black,...
72 Reviews
New Balance Men's Furon 4.0 Pro Firm Ground Soccer Shoe, Black,...
  • Lightweight textured mesh providing increased ball...

Despite being relatively new in the soccer industry, New Balance took everyone by a storm in no time. As a solid defensive player, speed is the key to tackle dominating attackers. The launch of New Balance Furor 4.0 soccer cleats was applauded because of its streamlined design fit for defenders with monstrous speed. 

Integration of Fantom Fit design technology by New Balance in these signature soccer cleats for defenders around the heel area and TPU sprint spikes collar is truly a game-changer. It gives the player freedom to move around his ankle effortlessly, essentially adding durability and structure to your favorite pair of cleats. 

More than its already mentioned elaborate features, these cleats go high on comfort. The inner sole is padded with REVlite, a lightweight foam specially designed to avoid traction by maintaining a high inner sole grip. On the outer surface, the upper is made from engineered hybrid TPU/polyester mesh that is extremely lightweight, contributing to increased agility, speed, and responsiveness on the field.

Pros

  • High performing cleats at an affordable price 
  • Lightweight soccer cleats for defenders with unmatched comfort
  • Made from premium quality materials, they are durable and will serve you a good time on the field

Cons

  • Synthetic used in its crafting makes the foot stiff when worn for the first time. However, it eases off with a few weeks of usage, and you will enjoy its feel on the ground

Adidas Ace 17.1 FG – Most Valuable Cleats For Defenders

With the ever-growing popularity of Adidas soccer cleats for being the best in the market, the company has indeed lived up to all your expectations with its launch of Adidas Ace 17.1 FG. Lightweight in feel, Adidas Ace 17.1 is super comfortable to wear. People loved the Purecontrol sock design Adidas integrated here to give your foot a comfortable lockdown fit. 

The design and technology adaptations reflected in Adidas Ace 17.1 speak for themselves. It features a Sprintframe outsole with TPU studs to maintain firm traction with the ground. What makes them the best Adidas soccer cleats for defenders is the Non-Stop Grip (NSG) near the toe of studs to give maximum stability and grip.  

The on-ground experience is the best feature of Adidas Ace 17.1 Fg. Adidas wanted players to have a barefoot feel of the ball and thus used ControlSkin and PrimeKnit technologies to enhance the responsiveness and control over the ball.

Pros

  • Value for money, Adidas Ace 17.1 is worth every cent of your hard-earned money as they are durable
  • Comfortable fit that supports your foot and keeps it firmly on the ground
  • Better handling of the ball and accuracy in striking

Cons

  • Users have reported the upper to be stiff, but with usage, it expands up to comfort level

PUMA Men's Evospeed 3.5 Lth – Best Soccer Cleats For Fast Defenders

PUMA Men's Evospeed 3.5 Lth FG Soccer Shoe
14 Reviews
PUMA Men's Evospeed 3.5 Lth FG Soccer Shoe
  • Mix of soft full grain leather and synthetic...

Accelerate your game with Puma Evospeed 3.5. These soccer cleats for defenders are made for fast and agile players that sprint across the field, dodging the ball away from the opposition.  

To give the best finish, the upper is made with a combination of synthetic and full-grain leather pliable and offers a comfortable fit around your foot. The stud configuration and TPU outsole, which is extremely lightweight, enable the player to sprint freely.

As a defender, these cleats can prove to be a game-changer allowing you to be agile and cut through empty spaces to shoot the best shot. The cleats’ structure is designed similarly to a speed cell’s body, enhancing your game on the field.

Pros

  • Puma Evospeed is a simple cleat at a very affordable price 
  • The responsiveness, traction, and speed these cleats offer make them a good buy for you

Cons

  • Sizing issues for players with wide foot

Nike Men's Magista Opus II – Most Comfortable Cleats For Defenders

Nike Magista Opus II FG Mens Football Boots 843813 Soccer Cleats...
7 Reviews
Nike Magista Opus II FG Mens Football Boots 843813 Soccer Cleats...
  • Nike Magista Opus II FG Mens Football Boots 843813...

When Nike first introduced Magista Opus II they faced a lot of backlashes. As a response, Nike identified its shortcomings and launched it again with redesigned upper. This version of Opus II was more sophisticated and classy.

Nike Magista Opus II is made from a synthetic kangaroo leather material known as Kanga-lite that molds on to the physical contours of your foot. The hybrid tongue adds to the comfort giving a snug like fit. The All Conditions Control and 3D patterns embossed on the sideways and middle of the upper for increased grip and control over the ball as you zip up a pass. Stitched in a one-piece design, these soccer cleats for defenders are responsive to the touch of the ball. 

The design of these cleats reflects that Nike continues to embark on its journey for cleats that are precisely the best in the soccer market. Because well, the sky is the limit! The NikeGrip in the innersole and the TPU plate studs on the outsole are designed for maintaining traction thus supporting the defender on the field as he makes cutting edge turns.

Pros

  • Comfort is very high as the foot is well padded from the inside, especially the heel
  • One on one connection and grip over the ball under all weathers
  • Easy to put on and the soft yet durable upper requires no breaking in time

Cons

  • A few users reported durability issues because of soft upper getting worn out easily

Nike Men's Mercurial Superfly 6 Elite – Most popular cleats for defenders

Nike Men's Superfly 6 Elite FG Soccer Cleats (Hyper...
2 Reviews
Nike Men's Superfly 6 Elite FG Soccer Cleats (Hyper...
  • 1-piece upper wraps under the foot for an adaptive...
  • Podular plate system with internal chassis flexes...
  • All Conditions Control (ACC) technology provides...
  • Chevron studs provide traction on firm-ground...
  • 371 degrees of speed

Endorsed by the most esteemed soccer player, Christiano Ronaldo, Nike Mercurial Superfly 6 Elite is born and bred for fast and agile speedsters on the pitch. The final product launched by Nike reflects pure innovation and great attention to detail that makes it outshine its predecessors. 

Nike has a long withstanding position in the soccer industry for introducing pliable and comfortable soccer cleats for defenders. Its Mercurial SuperFly 6 elite is no exception as we see ahead. The Flyknit material paired with 360-degree technology wraps around your foot, giving a snug like fit. Embedded in the Flyknit upper is an All Conditions Control coating for better grip and barefoot feel. 

Mercurial Superfly 6 Elite is a good buy for defenders that use speed and acceleration as an opportunity to change the game. The sophisticated Chevron stud pattern on the outsole ensures speed and propulsion at your every step, especially if you are a defender that makes sharp cuts and likes to play with acceleration to dodge off the attacker.

Pros

  • Thinner upper gives a closer feel and soft touch on the ball 
  • Excellent lockdown and comfortable fit
  • Made with lightweight material and weighs just 7.02 oz

Cons

  • Requires some break-in time to adjust comfortably

Nike Obra 2 Pro – Most Dynamic Upper For Great Control

Nike Mens Magista Obra II FG Cleats [Total Crimson] (6.5)
36 Reviews
Nike Mens Magista Obra II FG Cleats [Total Crimson] (6.5)
  • Size 6.5 Mens
  • Authentic Nike Gear Guarantee
  • Polyester/Spandex Text
  • Synthetic Plastic

In the existing soccer cleat market, Nike remains at the top of the hierarchy for introducing the best products to win over its loyal customer base. Nike Obra II is no exception. The high note of these soccer cleats for defenders is the level of comfort it provides. 

Considering the innovation touchpoints introduced, Nike Obra II is a true epitome of innovation. The most remarkable feature of these soccer cleats is their upper sole. The upper is made from Nike’s signature Flyknit material in varying thicknesses. It gives a very bumpy texture upon touching that does not seem to affect the ball’s responsiveness; instead, it gives off a sensation induced by the pressure of the ball. 

Nike Obra II has a dynamic fit collar that seamlessly joins the lower leg and foot as one unit adds flexibility. Soft padding around the Achilles heel protects you from any injury. These are the best soccer cleats for defenders from a variety of aspects. The studs’ chevron style arrangement benefits the defender in taking sharp twists to tackle the ball away from opponents.

Pros

  • Stud configuration adds to stability and traction
  • Attractive and smart design
  • Comfortable fit for smooth movements

Cons

  • High collar makes it not very breathable and difficult to dry out after a long game

Adidas Men's Nemeziz 17+ 360 – Most Adaptive Cleats For Defenders

adidas Performance Mens Nemeziz Messi 17+ 360 Agility FG Soccer...
6 Reviews
adidas Performance Mens Nemeziz Messi 17+ 360 Agility FG Soccer...
  • Designed for use on Firm Ground
  • Zero Wear-in time
  • Laceless 360 Agility Bandage System
  • Secure Lock Down And Ankle Stability
  • Rubber sole and Synthetic upper

Nemeziz 17+ 360 Agility is a pure mastermind revolution and sheer depiction of refined class and sophistication by Adidas. Nemeziz 17+ 360 Agility’s release was successfully partnered with the most sensational player of this era, Lionel Messi. In no time, these soccer cleats for defenders were on trending as fans wanted to get the feel of improvised technology of AglityBandage introduced for the first time. 

A common practice in many popular sports of wrapping hands and feet in elastic tape for better grip and control became the inspiration behind AgilityBandage. The 360-degree elastic coverage by AglityBandage hugs your foot perfectly without giving a feeling of a second skin locking the foot in place. Adidas used AgilityKnit 2.0 to cover the forefoot and heel areas giving you a close feel of the ball while its textured pattern maximizes the grip over the ball.

Unlocking agility is the goal behind its creation, and Nemeziz 17+ stood by it. The ultra-light Torsionframe is designed to allow players to launch in multi-directions at varying speeds smoothly. Breaking down the technological advancements and innovation introduced by Adidas left all its fans awestruck. These soccer cleats for defenders are a must-have for anyone who wants to enjoy and at the same time excel in their game.

Pros

  • AgilityBandage gives a personalized fit as the material stretches and wraps around the foot
  • Lace-less upper minimizes distractions giving a wider strike zone
  • Lightweight upper gives excellent control over the ball

Cons

  • For a few, it may be uncomfortable and stiff during the break-in period

Nike Men's Tiempo Legend 7 Elite – Top Performance Cleats For Center-Backs

Nike Tiempo Legend series has been a true crowd-pleaser and living up to that tradition, the seventh generation soccer cleats in this series are truly mind-blowing. They are the best Nike soccer cleats for dynamic players like Sergio Ramos, who enjoy superior control over the ball.

The upper of Nike Tiempo Legend 7 is made with Kanga-lite, a synthetic made from Kangaroo leather that naturally wraps around your foot, giving a very comfortable snug like fit. Tongue and Mid-foot to the rear end are covered with Flyknit material that adds cushioning. Nike used Fit-mesh on the inside for the first time in these cleats, ensuring a more lockdown fit.  

Nike put in some and designed Tiempo Legned’s outsole with Finite Element Analysis. These are the perfect pair of cleats for you as a defender as it gives you a feel of the ball around your feet, stability, and traction to make multi-direction movements with great comfort and ease.

Pros

  • Appealing in looks and design  
  • Dominating in performance by giving a superior control over the ball
  • Excellent stability on firm ground to avoid slipping

Cons

  • The soft upper requires extra care because some users have reported it to be ripped off after some usage

Adidas Youth Ace 17+ Purecontrol – Best For Junior Defenders

Adidas comes up with something special and innovative for all its fans out there. Yet again, the release of Adidas Youth Ace 17+ Purecontrol proves why Three Stripes is appreciated so much by the crowd. 

Adidas Youth Ace 17+ Pure control features a PrimeKnit upper that wraps around your foot according to its structure. On the inside, Adidas has incorporated Purecut sock to protect the foot from any pressure. A sleeve lining, lace-less design technology, and lightweight TPU cage on the lateral side anchor the foot while ensuring a flexible and comfortable fit. 

Nothing in Adidas Youth Ace 17+ Purecontrol is ordinary. It is indeed made from the latest technology giving you a remarkable performance on the field. A special mention in these pair of cleats is the Boost technology infused in the insole lining. As a defender, if you are looking for soccer cleats that give a cleaner touch to the ball, enhancing your strike’s precision, Adidas Youth Ace 17+ is your best choice.

Pros

  • Can be used straight out of the box as they require no break-in time
  • Non Support Grip delivers grip even under wet conditions
  • Total Control Stud alignment maximizes speed and traction

Cons

  • A little too pricey cleats in the market
Other Useful Soccer Articles

The Ultimate Buying Guide

Upper sole

What matters the most to the player when on the field is the level of comfort derived from a soccer cleat so that his foot can move freely. Defense is a key position during a game, and excellent performance can literally make a losing team a winner in the end. But that is only possible if the defender gets superior comfort during a match. 

A cleat that clenches the foot too tightly hinders the foot from moving flexibly towards the target direction. Often the use of synthetic leather in the upper makes the foot stiff. Nike is famous for using NikeSkin, and Adidas has been using ControlSkin technologies to give players the ultimate level of comfort and barefoot feel. 

Here I would say Adidas Nemeziz takes the lead. Its 360 degree AglityBandage envelops the foot giving a very comfortable snug-like fit that defines your great performance on the field.

Outsole arrangement and traction

Stability and traction are determined primarily by the stud arrangement in the outsole. Defenders need to maintain a firm footing onto the surface as they run past and make rapid cuts. If a soccer cleat does not prevent you from slipping, it is not serving the purpose, and it must be put back on the shelf. 

Over time high-end brands like Nike and Adidas have upgraded their stud configuration to deliver the best results. Most of you would not know that the outsole’s geometrical arrangement is what gives players stability. Nike Mercurial Superfly 6 has been delivering a jaw-dropping performance in this category. Its chevron stud pattern will give you as a defender to freedom to accelerate and decelerate in split seconds without losing your stability. Ronaldo, the most agile soccer player, opts for Mercurial to win back trophies, so what more evidence can you possibly ask for?

Touch and Control

The best soccer cleats for defenders are the ones that give clean strike and control over the ball. Whether you are a player like Ronaldo or Neymar who likes to showcase their fancy skills in a game, the ball must not leave your strike zone. To ensure this, the foot must maintain one-on-one responsiveness with the ball.  

We can see both top brands, namely Adidas and Nike, making an effort to give players that effortless control and feel of the ball. They both make use of Non-Stop Grip and All Conditions Control technology with the primary objective of creating friction between the ball and upper. As a fast-moving defender, you need it the most to maintain your closeness and grip over the ball.

Ranked as best defenders of the world in 2017, Leonardo Bonucci, who plays for the Italian National Soccer team, wears Nike Magista Obra. This fact is sufficient for us to conclude that Nike Obra II’s performance with the ball control and responsiveness is by far the best amongst all.

Frequently Asked Questions

What soccer cleats do pros wear?

Here is a list of some of the soccer cleats worn by the most celebrated players of all time.

Nike Tiempo Legend VI – These soccer cleats are worn by some of the world’s best defenders like Sergio Ramos, Jerome Boateng, Thiago Silva, and Gerard Pique. Made from kangaroo leather, these cleats offer a soft touch to the ball.

Nike Magista Obra II– A top choice for key players like Kevin de Bruyne, Arturo Vidal, David Luiz, and Blaise Matuidi. These statements Nike cleats offer a dynamic fit collar to support the lower leg and maximize control over the ball.

Nike Magista Opus II– Popular players, namely Andres Iniesta (pictured), Michael Carrick, Sami Khedira, and Thibaut Courtois, opt to wear Magista Opus II.

Nike Mercurial Vapor XI – About 6.5% of soccer players choose to wear Mercurial because of its excellent performance on the field, no matter which position you play. They are lightweight in feel, and outer is specially designed to increase friction for better control. Worn by Eden Hazard, Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, and Douglas Costa.

Are Tiempo good for defenders?

Yes. Nike Tiempo is made from Synthetic Kangaroo leather makes a great choice for defenders. They are highly comfortable to wear and player stability to the ground—defenders required to take sharp turns and dodge off the ball rank these cleats as their most favorite. The upper is also designed to ensure maximum control while maintaining the touch feel of the ball.

What boots does Ronaldo wear in 2020?1

Nike designed the Mercurial series for Cristiano Ronaldo, and currently, in the year 2021, he wears Nike Mercurial Superfly VII Elite Dream Speed 2.

What cleats does Messi use?

The star player of Barcelona, Lionel Messi, wears Adidas Nemeziz 19.1 soccer cleats as of 2020-2021.

The Extra Time

As a defender, you are looking to improve your performance on the field, then investing in a soccer cleat is the right idea. For that, you need a pair of cleats that enhances your natural skills and supports your style.

After individually analyzing some of the key features, it may leave you confused. So here we are to help you make that choice. Read the detailed overview of the top ten soccer cleats for defenders we picked up for you, and it will greatly help make an informed decision. After all, we don’t want our hard-earned $ to go to waste, don’t we? We would love to hear back from you. Do not forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

James Cunningham
James Cunningham
James lives in Chicago with his wife and three daughters. Originally from the UK, soccer has allowed him to travel the world. Now a youth coach, he fully enjoys teaching others about the game that he loves so much. His favorite team is Manchester United.