In football, speed kills and will always reign king. When it comes to speed, sometimes it’s as simple as what you decide to lace up once you hit the gridiron. August signals the start of football season and even though we are prepping for playoff football currently, the fields come alive with the energy of two-a-day football practices, training camps, and the excitement of the seasons across all levels of play. Whether you’re a receiver aiming to outpace defenders, a powerful lineman looking to dominate the line of scrimmage, or an agile quarterback evading pressure, having the best football cleats is essential for unleashing your speed, power, and agility. Our buying guide for the absolute best football cleats of 2023 showcases a diverse array of cleats tailored for every position and skill set. From lightweight options engineered for speed to sturdier cleats built for stability, our curated selection ensures you find the perfect footwear to amplify your performance on the field. As you gear up for the season, make your mark with the best football cleats designed to elevate your game and leave a lasting impact.

Whether you’re a rookie seeking to make a splash or a seasoned player striving for all-conference, our buying guide simplifies the process of finding the ideal cleats for your unique playing style — the right pair of football cleats can be your secret weapon for success. Enhance your speed, power, and agility with confidence as you navigate the gridiron in cleats engineered to optimize your performance, making every sprint, cut, and pivot a testament to your dedication and skill. Here are our fave picks for 2023 and beyond.

Best overall cleats: Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 2 – White

Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 2 - White colored on a light gray background.

When it comes to Nike football and cleats, those who wear them can expect to feel the need for speed. Their latest iteration of the Vapor Edge Pro 360 offers that and then some. The Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 2 Men’s Football Cleats are the pinnacle of performance footwear for football players seeking an edge on the field. These cleats offer an exceptional combination of advanced technology and sleek design, ensuring optimal performance and comfort. The cleats feature innovative Vapor Edge 360 technology, providing a secure fit and superior lockdown to enhance agility and quick movements. The lightweight and breathable upper material keeps your feet cool and dry during intense gameplay, while the responsive cushioning system delivers ultimate comfort and shock absorption. With a durable outsole designed for multidirectional traction, these cleats offer explosive acceleration and reliable grip on various surfaces. Elevate your game with the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 2 Football Cleats.

Top Reason to Buy: Ensures a secure and locked-in fit, empowering you with enhanced agility and rapid directional changes. The lightweight and breathable construction keeps your feet cool and comfortable, allowing you to stay focused on the game. With responsive cushioning and a durable outsole delivering exceptional traction, these cleats provide explosive speed and reliable grip.

Best budget cleats: Nike Alpha Menace 3 Shark – Black

Nike Alpha Menace 3 Shark - Black colored on a light gray background.

Usually when you hear the term budget-friendly and affordable, you can almost always guarantee a slight dip in performance, especially when it comes to athletic gear, namely footwear and cleats. This couldn’t be any further from the truth with this set of cleats from Nike. The Nike Alpha Menace 3 Shark Men’s Football Cleats are engineered to elevate your performance on the gridiron. These cleats are designed to provide you with the traction, stability, and support needed for explosive plays and rapid directional changes. The Shark outsole with aggressive traction patterns ensures optimal grip on various surfaces, allowing you to cut, sprint, and pivot with confidence. The lightweight and breathable upper material keeps your feet cool and comfortable during intense gameplay, while the cushioned insole provides responsive comfort and impact absorption. With a lace-up closure for a secure fit and a sleek design, the Alpha Menace 3 Shark Cleats combine style and performance for football players striving for excellence.

Top Reason to Buy: Delivers exceptional traction, enabling quick bursts of speed and precise cuts. The lightweight and breathable construction keeps your feet comfortable, ensuring you stay focused on the game. These cleats offer the perfect balance of stability and agility, allowing you to dominate your opponents with a price tag that is practically giving them away.

Best cleats built for speed: Men’s UA Blur Smoke 2.0 MC Football Cleats – Black

Men's UA Blur Smoke 2.0 MC Football Cleats - Black colored on a light gray background.

There’s fast, and then there is UA’s Blur Smoke 2.0 fast — these cleats will have you movin’ and taking it all the way to the house. The Under Armour Men’s UA Blur Smoke 2.0 MC Football Cleats are engineered to provide elite-level performance, agility, and speed on the football field. These cleats are designed to give you the edge you need to outmaneuver opponents, with a lightweight and responsive construction that enhances your speed and agility. The TPU plate with bladed and conical studs ensures exceptional traction on both grass and turf surfaces, allowing you to make explosive cuts and rapid directional changes. The seamless, molded heel cup provides a secure and comfortable fit, while the breathable textile upper keeps your feet cool during intense gameplay. With its sleek design and advanced technology, the UA Blur Smoke 2.0 MC Cleats are the ultimate choice for football players aiming to dominate the game, making you, Cheetah fast.

Top Reason to Buy: The TPU plate with bladed and conical studs delivers exceptional traction, enabling quick bursts of acceleration and sharp cuts. The lightweight and breathable textile upper ensures comfort and ventilation, keeping your feet cool and dry during intense matches. With a seamless, molded heel cup providing a secure fit and reducing slippage, these cleats offer optimal support for dynamic movements built on speed.

Best for linemen: Nike Force Savage Pro 2 – White

Nike Force Savage Pro 2 - White colored on a light gray background.

When it comes to cleats for the big men, you need something with ample stability that won’t hinder explosiveness or power. Nike has been the leader of the pack in this realm since they’ve been making football cleats. The Nike Force Savage Pro 2 Men’s Football Cleat is designed to empower athletes with the performance they need on the gridiron. These cleats combine style and functionality, offering both a sleek appearance and advanced features to enhance your game. Engineered for maximum support and traction, the cleat features a durable synthetic leather upper that provides stability and protection during high-intensity plays. The TPU plate with a seven-stud configuration offers optimal grip on a variety of surfaces, ensuring you can maintain control and maneuverability in all conditions. With its secure fit and responsive cushioning, the Force Savage Pro 2 cleat is built to withstand the rigors of the game and help you perform at your best. Whether you’re explosively doing a vertical set pass block or are on the opposite end doing a two-point stance bull rush, these cleats have you covered.

Top Reason to Buy: Durable synthetic leather upper offers stability and protection, allowing you to confidently engage in intense gameplay. The TPU plate with a seven-stud configuration provides exceptional traction, enabling quick cuts and explosive bursts of speed.

Best Jordan brand swagger: Men’s Jordan 1 Alpha Menace Mid Football Cleats – Black/White

Men's Jordan 1 Alpha Menace Mid Football Cleats - Black/White colorway on a white background.

If you want the ultimate cleat drip, there’s nothing more iconic than rocking the Jumpman brand. The Men’s Jordan 1 Alpha Menace Mid Football Cleats offer a unique blend of style, performance, and support for football players who want to make an impact on the field. Inspired by the iconic Jordan Brand, these cleats feature a mid-cut design that provides ankle stability while allowing for agile movements and quick direction changes. The lightweight and durable synthetic upper enhances your mobility and comfort, while the asymmetrical lacing system ensures a secure fit. The TPU plate with a seven-stud configuration delivers superior traction on various surfaces, giving you the confidence to accelerate, pivot, and make precise plays. As legendary Hall of Fame wide receiver Mr. Terrell Owens would say, “Get yo popcorn ready!”

Top Reason to Buy: Mid-cut design offers ankle support without sacrificing agility, making these cleats versatile for a wide range of positions and playstyles. The lightweight synthetic upper enhances mobility and comfort, allowing you to stay focused on the game. Embrace the legacy of the Jordan brand and elevate your performance on the field with these cleats that seamlessly blend fashion and function.

Best for kids: Under Armour Kids’ Highlight Franchise RM Football Cleats – Blue

Under Armour Kids' Highlight Franchise RM Football Cleats - Blue colored on a white background.

The Under Armour Kids’ Highlight Franchise RM Football Cleats are a young athlete’s dream, delivering a winning combination of style, performance, and comfort. Designed to make a statement on the field, these cleats feature a sleek and eye-catching design that stands out from the competition. The synthetic upper offers durability and support, while the adjustable ankle strap ensures a secure fit. The rubber-molded outsole with strategically placed studs provides excellent traction and grip, allowing young players to confidently accelerate, pivot, and change directions. These cleats are a versatile choice for various playing surfaces and positions, giving young athletes the tools they need to excel on the gridiron.

Top Reason to Buy: The striking design of these cleats not only catches the eye but also reflects the young player’s dedication to the game. The synthetic upper offers durability and support, ensuring young athletes can focus on their performance without worrying about their gear. The adjustable ankle strap provides a secure fit, enhancing stability and confidence on the field.

Best cleat for specialists: Adidas Adizero Football Cleats – White

Adidas Adizero Football Cleats - White colored on a light gray background.

One of the most versatile cleats on the market, making them a must-own for specialists who handle the ball. The Adidas Adizero Cleats are the epitome of cutting-edge sports footwear, designed to empower athletes with unparalleled speed and performance on the field. Engineered to be feather-light, these cleats feature an innovative construction that reduces weight while maintaining exceptional durability and support. The advanced technology provides a responsive and comfortable fit, allowing athletes to unleash their full potential during crucial moments of the game. The outsole is strategically designed to provide maximum traction and grip, enabling rapid acceleration and agile maneuvers. Whether you’re sprinting down the field or making quick cuts, the Adidas Adizero Cleats deliver the ultimate combination of speed, agility, and style.

Top Reason to Buy: These cleats redefine performance footwear, offering a feather-light design that doesn’t compromise on durability or support. The advanced technology ensures a responsive fit, allowing athletes to feel connected to the field while maintaining comfort. The strategically designed outsole delivers exceptional traction, enabling rapid bursts of speed and precise movements. Whether you’re a back looking to make that swift jump-cut, a receiver looking to blast past on a go-route, or a lockdown safety needing agility on a centerfield turn, these are the cleats for you.

Best pop culture reference: Phenom Elite “The Joker” Velocity 2.0 Football Cleats

Phenom Elite "The Joker" Velocity 2.0 Football Cleats on a light gray background.

“Wanna see a magic trick?!” The Phenom Elite Joker Football Cleats Velocity 2.0 bring an aura of boldness and innovation to the field. These cleats are designed to amplify your performance, featuring a striking “The Joker” design that exudes confidence and style. The exceptional craftsmanship ensures both durability and functionality, allowing you to push your limits during every play. The advanced traction technology on the sole provides outstanding grip, giving you the ability to make quick cuts and explosive movements with ease. The Phenom Elite Joker Football Cleats Velocity 2.0 embody the spirit of the game, allowing you to step onto the field with a fierce and unyielding presence: as the Joker would like to say, that’s “what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object!”

Top Reason to Buy: The superior craftsmanship ensures longevity and reliability, while the advanced traction technology empowers you to execute rapid movements and sudden changes in direction. Whether you’re evading defenders or making a game-changing play, these cleats are your ultimate companion for success.

Best cleat graphics: Adidas Freak Ultra 23 Inline Cleats – Blue/White

Adidas Freak Ultra 23 Inline Cleats - Blue/White colorway on a light gray background.

In terms of clean graphic lines and bold and loud colorways, none in the game does it better than this cleat. Experience unparalleled agility and explosive performance with the Adidas Freak Ultra 23 Inline Cleats. Designed to redefine speed and precision on the field, these cleats offer a seamless blend of innovation and style. The lightweight construction ensures swift movement and enhanced agility, allowing you to outmaneuver opponents with ease. The advanced traction technology on the sole delivers exceptional grip, enabling quick accelerations and rapid changes in direction. Crafted with precision and expertise, the Adidas Freak Ultra 23 Inline Cleats are the ultimate choice for athletes seeking to dominate the game in a comic-book action callout, bold-looking graphic.

Top Reason to Buy: These cleats offer an unbeatable combination of speed, precision, and style. The lightweight design empowers you to unleash your full potential on the field, while the advanced traction technology ensures optimal grip for explosive movements. Whether you’re making a lightning-fast sprint or executing intricate spin moves, these cleats provide the support and agility you need to excel.

Speed kills

Step onto the field this August with the best football cleats of 2023, tailored to your position and playing style. As two-a-days and training camps kick off, gear up for an action-packed football season ahead. With the right cleats enhancing your speed, power, and agility, you’re primed to make every play count and leave your mark on the game.