The goalkeeper is the number one defensive player on the team, able to use their body, hands, feet, and head to stop the ball at all costs. They need to be able to pivot on a dime and explode from a still to a sprinting action at any moment. It’s important that the best soccer cleats for goalies are the ones on their feet.
As the last line of defense, the goalie needs to stay light on their feet with cleats that are lightweight but balanced, with a high level of stability no matter the turf. The level of lockdown on each foot has to be precise and stable as well.
This is especially true when a game comes down to a penalty shoot-out. Going from stock still to leaping or sprinting forward puts a lot of torque and stress on your feet, which means that a lot of those forces are transferred to the boot.
The features that any goalkeeper will be happy to see in a quality pair of cleats are as follows:
- Snug and comfortable fit
- Stability and grip on the turf
A good goalkeeper knows their capabilities and exactly what they need in a solid boot. The level of break-in time, customizable fits, and stability on AG or FG turf is paramount.
Putting together all of the stand-out features that a goalie needs is a quality boot, we’ve compiled a list of the best soccer cleats for goalies both for your selection and enjoyment.
The 5 Best Soccer Cleats For Goalies
If the striker is the Queen piece on the board—in terms of power—then the Rook would be the goalie. It makes sense as well since the rook is represented by a castle and what is the goal if not the castle of the defense and the ultimate defender? A good castle begins with a good foundation.
This is one of the fastest shoes on the market and Puma managed to check off every mark that has anything to do with speed and finesse with the Puma Ultra 1.2. If you want to up your speed and lightfoot play while retaining your defensive capabilities, look no further.
- MATRYXEVO Upper with a new weave
- Peba SpeedUnit outsole
- V-shaped studs designed for speed and acceleration
- GripControl ProSkin
- Subtle spikes in the forefront
Puma was aiming for speed, control, precision, and acceleration with their MATRYXEVO upper. This is an extremely lightweight upper that tops out at 169g. It also has a very snug yet comfortable fit.
Puma seems to be going for a speed boot that’s more accessible by players with wider feet. That doesn’t mean a narrow fit won’t work here, only that wide feet are welcome as well.
The best part about the upper—especially for goalies—is that it’s interwoven with Puma’s new Speedcage, which is a lacing system that better encompasses the foot, increasing support for quick pivots and explosive acceleration.
The V-shaped studs on the soleplate also accommodate Puma’s desire for a little extra speed and explosive capability. The synthetic upper provides for a more streamlined fit, which is a bit of separation from the previous Puma 1.2s.
|Speed, control, and precision Speedcage is perfect for lockdown in explosive movements Peba outsole MATRYXEVO upper||More break-in time than is usual GripControl ProSkin makes for a tight boot early on|
The subtle spikes in the forefront give that little bit of extra power in each step for forwarding momentum, quick stops, and pivots on a dime. The GripControl ProSkin is just a little too much, making the boot a shade too sturdy for a quick and easy break-in time.
As far as breaking it in is concerned, it’s the one glaring issue for this boot. It is an exceptional boot but it needs time to wear-in before you can take advantage of all of the features that Puma packed into these cleats.
With the Tiempo Legend 9 Elite, Nike has managed to pack more boot technology into a single shoe than any other pair of cleats currently on the market. When it comes to balance and control, these cleats—quite literally—come equipped with everything.
- Nike’s Patented Control System
- Nylon reinforcement tunnel
- Adaptable Quadfit forefoot
- Improved AG Sole
Not only is there a lot of Nike tech packed into this boot, but it’s also one of the most comfortable Nike variations on the market. So comfortable, in fact, that it’s recommended to go half a size low when you purchase one because the pure comfort suffers when it comes to lockdown.
Nike has perfected its FlyKnit and adaptable Quadknit that has resulted in a boot that is superior in comfort and style, while not losing any of its formidable features. The knitted foundations improve lockdown and although the leather portion is very thin, it works well with the rest of the pattern.
The Nylon reinforcement tunnel is a part of the inner portion of the boot that accomplishes several things, primarily increasing support, providing more touch on the ball, and improving overall stability.
Nike also added padding to the liner, so that the reinforcement doesn’t end up being overkill and creating blisters. The improved AG soleplate has 13 circular studs with only 4 bladed chevrons. This gives the boot a little versatility on both AG and FG.
|Nike Control System Nylon reinforcement tunnel improves stability Adaptable Quadfit Forefoot Improved AG sole is good for all turf High level of comfort||Lockdown is lacking in true-to-size Order half a size small|
The final result on the soleplate is plenty of explosive movement, pivoting, and acceleration regardless of what turf you’re playing on. It has plenty of bites, without falling into the same problematic pattern that plagues many Nike cleats, which is too much dig.
As mentioned above, new levels of comfort with the Nike Tiempo Legend Elite 8 have created an exceptionally comfortable and formidable boot at the expense of lockdown capability. Goalies need lockdown, so you’ll need to purchase a half a size smaller than what you’d normally wear.
They say that the Adidas Copa 20.1 is a classic meets contemporary type of boot and maybe they’re right. Regardless, its looks take nothing away from the capabilities of this boot, as it has excellent features and its capabilities are enviable.
- Light but thicker upper
- In-Flight pack
- ExoFrame Plate
- Rounded and Half-Moon studs
Adidas looked to upgrade the thickness of the Copa lineup without sacrificing the lightweight feel and use. They largely accomplished this, going from a featherlight feel to one of stepping into clouds.
They stayed largely classy with the aesthetic appeal of the Copa 20.1, as the look and feel of the shoe are almost ordinary without detracting from the cool exterior design. It’s a nice-looking boot, with a more traditional lacing system that gives you good control over tightness.
The In-Flight pack is all aesthetics with the cool blue look transposed against the classic white stripes, making a boot that retains the classic feel of an Adidas shoe without getting ridiculous about it.
The ExoFrame plate makes up the soleplate and it is both rigid without being entirely inflexible. It’s studded with conical and moon-shaped studs giving it an edge on either AG or FG. This is the one Adidas feature that does feel like a combination of razorblade and chevron studs.
|ExoFrame plate is sturdy and comfortable In-Flight pack is a classic and beautiful design Rounded and half-moon studs are incredibly versatile Increased padding in the upper doesn’t add weight||Toebox isn’t very narrow for smaller feet|
The ExoFrame is incredibly sturdy, offering an immense amount of comfort and control on the field. The combination of frame and studs is perfect for pivoting, leaping, accelerating, sprinting, and quick changes in direction.
- adidas Mens Soccer Shoe
- The adidas brand has a long history and deep-rooted connection with sport. Everything we do is rooted in sport
- Driven by a relentless pursuit of innovation as well as decades of accumulating sports science expertise, we cater for all, from elite professional athletes and teams to any individual who wants to make sport part of their lives.
The toebox probably isn’t as narrow as it should be, so wider feet will feel more welcome, and narrow feet may need to take advantage of the laces a little more to tighten up the front.
With all of this talk about speed and what companies are doing to make their boots faster, we would be remiss to leave Mizuno out of the bunch. When it comes to speed, Mizuno certainly knows what they’re about.
- Barefoot Knit
- BF Knit mid-foot
- All-leather forefoot
- Conical studded plate with more bite
Mizuno has long been known for the incessant desire to stick with leather, even in an environment where speed was becoming more and more prevalent. However, Mizuno keeps using and continues to defy expectations.
However, with the Neo 3 Beta, Mizuno eschewed leather in the upper in favor of a knitted one-piece upper that they call their Barefoot Knit. Not wanting to go too far, Mizuno still included a thin layer of synthetic leather overlapping the BF Knit.
Fortunately, and despite it being a new process for Mizuno, they did an outstanding job, creating a formidable material design that’s structurally sound, comfortable, and creates a snug fit.
Mizuno did stick to their old ways with the soleplate, but only because it works. Their standard 9×4, rounded studs are all present with the exception that they have a little more bite than previous iterations, making the Neo 3 Beta a great boot for AG or FG.
|Barefoot Knit is exceptional, despite the inexperience The all-leather forefoot is perfectly balanced with the upper Studs are all-terrain A speedy boot despite the leather||As with anything with leather in it, it will take some break-in time|
The leather forefoot is also incredibly comfortable and form-fitting, without feeling separated from the newer, knitted material of the upper. There’s still an excellent “ball-feel” on the toe while retaining plenty of comfortable, leather padding.
Ultimately, Mizuno’s Morelia Neo 3 Beta doesn’t forge any new paths but goes to show that Mizuno can keep up with the rest of the world in terms of raw speed in a boot. All of this despite their propensity towards sticking with leather.
Adidas threw its hat into the ring of the best speed boots with their new Ghosted line, the term meaning exactly that, ghosting the opposition be leaving it panting and bedraggled in the dust. To do this, Adidas went full throwback.
- Extremely thin MirageSkin upper
- Aggressive studs
- Dynamic carbon plate
At first glance, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume that these are nothing more than an eccentrically alien-looking pair of house slippers. When you look closer, you can tell that this is a different boot altogether.
In a nod back to the heyday of the Adidas F50, Ghosted is all about speed. The MirageSkin upper is extraordinarily durable despite—or at least seemingly—being almost paper-thin. It has the best “barefoot” ball touch of the entire list, for obvious reasons.
In their unending quest for more speed, Adidas went with a more aggressive stud in this variation, with a soleplate covered in arrowheads. This means that real turf will likely not be as accommodating.
The dynamic carbon soleplate is the most unique aspect of the Ghosted line, with Adidas successfully integrating a blend of powerful and rigid carbon into the soleplate without losing flexibility and comfort.
|Carbon fiber soleplate MirageSKin Upper for a super lightweight feel Arrowhead studs are more aggressive Solid fit with excellent lockdown||Sticky on natural turf The thinness of the upper takes power out of kicks.|
This is the first soccer cleat to ever integrate carbon fiber to its full capacity in a soleplate and it’s very productive and extremely durable at that.
- adidas male Soccer Shoe
- The adidas brand has a long history and deep-rooted Connection with sport. Everything we do is rooted in sport
- Driven by a relentless pursuit of innovation as well as decades of accumulating sports science expertise, we cater for all, from elite professional athletes and teams to any individual who wants to make sport part of their lives
For a boot that has gone way out to the deep end in an attempt to win the speediest boot category, the Ghosted platform is outstanding and one to beat for the near future.
Look far and wide and you won’t find a better set of boots that will bring speed and lightning versatility to the goalie’s game. The best soccer cleats for goalies start and end here, with phenomenal craftsmanship and another set of enduring legacies that last players for years to come.