The striker is aptly named since they are the ones who are positioned closest to the goal and they are the ones who have most of the responsibility for scoring goals. Great cleats are important for a striker because they both accommodate and complement their best skills.
The best soccer cleats for strikers are going to offer comfort and performance and, based on the type of cleat, accommodate a striker’s preferred skill set. For instance, if a striker prefers finesse and dribbling, there’s a cleat for that. If a striker prefers taking shots, there’s a boot for that too.
A striker has to excel at speed and explosiveness, going after the ball, and constantly making plays. What they’re wearing is every bit as important as their own skill level, because a failing pair of cleats can make all of the difference in the world.
When it comes to the best soccer cleats for strikers, there are several features that are the most important.
- They must be lightweight to accommodate speed
- They need a decent level of padding
- Aerodynamically efficient
- Comfort, fit, and support
It’s not an issue of strikers being picky with what they wear on their feet. It’s an issue of what soccer cleats best accommodate a striker’s playstyle, environment, and desire for a quality, long-lasting boot.
Knowing these things, we’ve put together a list of some of the best soccer cleats for strikers available in 2021. If you want something to improve and accommodate your game at the forward and/or striker position, your search stops here.
The Best Soccer Cleats For Strikers
A striker can’t depend on subpar cleats and, thankfully, there is a wide selection of outstanding choices that will improve a striker’s game.
Nike is a company that is a well-known commodity. The name is recognizable in any home, here in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Like any high-tier company, Nike has had its ups and downs, manufacturing duds along with some exceptional footwear. The Phantom Venom Elite belongs in the latter.
- Precision PWR Strike Zone
- Built-in Tongue
- HyperReactive 2.0 Soleplate
- No dynamic-fit collar
This is a boot that is designed to be attack-oriented. The Precision PWR Strike Zone is essentially a series of raised grooves along the kicking area on the cleat (strike zone). While it won’t improve kicking accuracy, it does raise the level of power in the kick.
It has a flyknit upper that’s covered in a layer of Nike’s patented skin, hiding a portion of the laces. The material that constitutes the built-in tongue slides over the foot like a sock and is extremely snug without losing any level of comfort.
The laces are above the built-in tongue and are designed for customization when it comes to how you want the boot to fit throughout a game.
Nike went with a series of bladed chevrons for the studs and, though they look like they could easily get hung up in natural turf, play quite nicely and are free of any snagging. The hyperreactive 2.0 soleplate is rigid enough to provide comfort and stability without being too much.
|Very snug but comfortable fit Customizable lacing Precision PWR Strike Zone is effective Built-in tongue fits well No more dynamic-fit collars||A drastic change from the original HyperReactive|
There’s also no dynamic-fit collar here, which is unusual considering the fact that most soccer cleats coming out nowadays seem to be in a rush to see who can make the dynamic-fit collar go even higher.
Nike decided to go without in this design, opting to allow strikers more unrestricted freedom of movement.
If there’s a knock on the Phantom Venom Elite, it’s that Nike did a complete 180° on their HyperReactive 2.0 and that change may not be realized by those familiar with the original.
Adidas is a German-owned company and another example of excellence. Adidas has produced a number of extremely popular footwear over the years, as well as clothing.
The Copa Sense+ is another example of what can happen when you combine excellence and style.
- Widened Toebox
- SoftStuds Technology
There’s no denying Adidas wanted a boot with a sense of style and style is what it produced. This is one of those cases where you will either love them or hate them but there’s no denying that they feature a very unique look.
Lockdown is very important in a soccer boot and Adidas employed “SensePods” in their Copa Sense+ lineup. SensePods are situated around the heel and the Achilles tendon. They do a phenomenal job in keeping the heel down without inducing blisters are friction burns.
The TouchPods are located around the toe joints and they’re made of memory foam. They’re designed to reduce impact there and improve comfort, both of which they achieve admirably. However, the boot is thickest in these areas, losing a bit of the “barefoot” feeling.
|SensePods and TouchPods are very comfortable TouchPods act as advertised No tightness despite the pod additions Impact SoftStuds Wider space for toes||Feels a bit heavy|
The SoftStuds are two studs that are designed to bend on impact because they are made of softer material. The flexible design is supposed to improve power and impact. Their dampening pods also help you grab and redirect an incoming pass with ease.
- Regular fit
- Fusionskin leather upper
- Snug adidas Primeknit collar
- Upper blends K-leather with stretchy adidas Primeknit
- Firm ground outsole
With all of the pods and padded additions to the Copa Sense+, it does weigh a little on the heavy side for this type of boot. However, wearers don’t seem to feel that way when it’s in use.
The Future lineup from Puma is a direct and aggressive attack on Nike and Adidas’ hold on the market for these types of cleats. The Future Z, however, is an accomplishment all to itself and one of the best soccer cleats in this category.
- FuzionFit+ Compression Band
- ½ the lace loops
- Outstanding Grip Elements
- Barefoot feel on the ball
The FuzionFit+ Compression Brand is an exceptional addition to the Puma Future lineup and though it feels a bit tight when you first slip on the boot, it adjusts nicely to create the most comfortable lockdown cleats on this list.
Puma reduced the number of lace loops by half, allowing you to customize just how you want the laces to go for your preferred fit. You can even remove the laces entirely and rely solely on the compression band.
|The compression band works very well Better customization for fit and contour Outstanding grip Evoknit is as soft and durable as ever Balanced application of TPU||Ball touch-feel is average Upper feels cheap with the TPU look|
Puma uses an EvoKnit weave on its upper for a sock-like feel and is one of the most comfortable feeling fits on the market today. Not only does it improve the barefoot feel of the shoe, but it also has exceptional levels of grip thanks to a thin layer of TPU.
The grip is excellent, without being so much that it is too sticky. It enables strikers to handle a pass with ease and improves dribbling. The thin nature of the upper can leave a sting, however, when trying to score with power.
Nike has been in this business for a long time. It’s no wonder to find more than one Nike pair of cleats in a single list. However, the Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite belongs to this company for a number of reasons.
- Avail Q Lining
- Low collar with stylish heel tab
- Aerotrak Soleplate
- Titan synthetic outer lining
The Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite made a lot of changes over its predecessor and most of it was for the better. The vaporposite material offers plenty of impact-feel and ball touch when it’s impacted and is accommodated well with the Avail Q lining—which is super soft by the way.
The lower collar goes against recent trends but it is beneficial when it comes to ankle fluidity and movement. As nice and form-fitting as higher collars are, they still lack that sense of movement that’s free-ranging.
|Vaporposite Avail Q Lining The lower collar facilitates movement Synthetic addition has more grip Aerotrak soleplate is rigid yet responsive||Not for very wide feet No one knows what the speed wing plastic is for|
The Aerotrak soleplate is now designed and constructed differently, however, there is no drop-off whatsoever where responsiveness is concerned. The heel tab is honestly just a heel tab, but Nike was going for style points and they got a few.
The titan synthetic outer lining is a welcome addition for lovers of all things synthetic. The addition improves the overall grip, which converts to better ball control and dribbling.
Overall, the shoe is very form-fitting but not recommended for those who have very wide feet.
Adidas and Nike have made a lot of headway with cleats designed for forwards and strikers, as this list and many others indicate. However, it’s hard to argue with the effectiveness of these offerings, especially the Predator Freak+.
- DemonSkin Pattern
- Laceless, compression fit
- ControlFrame Traction System
Adidas designed the Predator Freak+ for power strikes and that’s exactly what resulted. Unfortunately, this has the natural effect of knocking off some of that ball-touch feel that so many players desire.
However, there are a lot of fans of the Predator lineup and for good reason, especially if you’re a striker. The DemonSkin pattern looks just like its sounds, with tiny, rubber teeth covering the upper and designed to grip and power the ball through the back of the net.
It’s also extremely durable and isn’t just for some aesthetic appeal. Adidas has stuck with its tried and true ControlFrame Traction system but they did alter it by devising a split plate design. The studs themselves are essentially chevrons that have been rounded off at the edges.
|DemonSkin is durable and explosive on impact Laceless compression fits great once it’s worn in Better traction system for AG and FG||Requires break-in time|
The new design makes this boot usable on both FG and AG surfaces and gives you a bit more control on the ground without sacrificing firm footing.
- Regular fit
- Laceless construction
- adidas Primeknit upper, Firm ground outsole
- Snug, sock-like feel
- Demonskin 2.0 rubber strike zone
The laceless compression fit does require a bit of break-in time, as there are no laces so the initial fit will be a bit tight until you wear them a couple of times. However, once they’re broken in, they’re one of the most comfortable boots available for a striker.
We try to save the best for last and we have certainly qualified our list with this final entry. The Nike Tiempo Legend is indeed a legend in more ways than one. Nike is no stranger to the battlefield of premier sports apparel and the Tiempo is the proof in the pudding.
- Kangaroo Leather and Knit Combo Upper
- FlyKnit Fit Tunnel
- Quadfit Mesh
- Hyperstability Soleplate
Nike managed to accommodate leather lovers and knit lovers alike with a dua layer of kangaroo leather and knit that encompasses the upper. Nike’s proprietary Quadfit mesh covers the forefoot area, ensuring a solid fit regardless of someone’s foot size.
The midfoot is held down by the FlyKnit Fit Tunnel, which is sort of like a cylindrical tunnel instead of a typical tongue. The combination of all of the above materials is accomplished without making the shoe feel overly padded or heavy.
|Outstanding combination of leather and knit Quadfit Mesh fits all comers Hyperstability soleplate provides great stability and performance Perfect power and fit for both mobile and power players||A tad sticky on AG surfaces|
These are some of the most secure pairs of cleats ever assembled by a shoe manufacturer. No matter how you turn twist, sprint, or jump, your foot remains locked down, despite the fact that the Quadfit mesh allows so much movement amongst your toes.
- A Quad-Fit mesh lining hugs your foot for a comfortable feel...
- The soft premium kangaroo leather is left unstitched for a...
- The lightweight Hyperstability plate gives you stability and...
The hyperstability soleplate is rigid with enough pliability to provide balance and control. These boots have a mixture of three types of studs, giving you a little bit of an edge on any surface, though they tend to stick just a bit long on AG surfaces.
It’s hard to judge which ones in this list are the best of the best, though the Nike Tiempo certainly stands out. Any of the choices above are a great choice cleat for a striker.
Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.