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Updated July 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best Nike football cleats

Nike makes many different kinds of athletic gear, but the company continues to remain true to its roots as a shoe manufacturer. Along with track and basketball shoes, Nike football cleats are among the company’s most popular types of athletic shoes. 

Although football players wear a lot of gear, the cleats they wear are especially important. Much of the power for blocking and tackling in football requires having a secure base and strong legs. Receivers and running backs need to make quick cuts to avoid a big hit. 

A poorly made football cleat could lead to a slip and a missed play. Nike football cleats have an excellent level of quality, giving players the opportunity to play the game to the best of their abilities.

Nike doesn’t skimp on style, either. Because football players all wear the same uniforms, having the ability to personalize the cleats is a great way to show off the player’s style. Nike football cleats have a wide range of colors and designs available, giving players the ability to find a design that fits their personalities.

Nike cleats
Nike has a deal with the NFL to supply apparel and sideline gear until 2028, but this deal doesn’t involve football cleats, as the NFL does not require players to wear a certain brand of shoes.

How to buy the best Nike football cleats

Nike football cleats types

High-top: Nike high-top football shoes have an upper layer that covers the player’s ankle. This provides extra support for players in this area. When players are attempting to throw blocks or are trying to fight off blocks, the ankles can be a weak point, leading to a loss of balance. 

Primarily, larger and heavier players, such as linemen, select high-top shoes. Quarterbacks also may choose high-top shoes for support when creating leverage for throwing the football.

Mid-cut: A mid-cut cleat from Nike gives football players the best mixture of support for the foot and of freedom of movement. This type of shoe has the top layer lay directly across the ankle. 

Players who need both the ability to make quick cuts and the support to stand up to throwing and receiving blocks will appreciate the layout of mid-cut shoes, such as running backs and linebackers.

Low-cut: With low-cut shoes, the top of the shoe lays under the ankle bone. This gives players the ability to have the greatest level of flexibility in the ankle to make sharp cuts and to jump freely. However, these shoes provide no support for the ankle area.

Wide receivers and defensive backs most frequently wear low-cut shoes.
 

One of the first football players who served as a Nike spokesperson was Bo Jackson, who was a two-sport star in the NFL and Major League Baseball in the late 1980s.

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What features do Nike football cleats have?

Color and design options

Nike football cleats have a reputation for offering high-end designs and great color combinations. No matter what color you want, you probably can find a Nike football shoe that fits your desires.

Stripes and other patterns are common on these Nike shoes, adding to the design choices. 

Types of cleats

Nike football cleats offer a few different types of cleats, or studs, on the bottom of the shoe. Nike shoes often use a hard plastic type of cleat that digs into the turf and provides excellent traction. A few types of Nike football shoes have a removable cleat, so you can swap out the cleats for a new length to match the type of playing surface for a particular football game.

Many types of Nike cleats are round in shape, although a few have a triangular shape. Additionally, Nike shoes often carry 10 studs or more per shoe, which helps players gain maximum traction for quick cuts.

Materials

Nike football shoes use mesh panels along with leather or synthetic leather panels. This mixture of materials attempts to maximize the breathability of the shoes while providing the highest level of stability. 

Players who need more flexibility to make quick cuts may want to seek out a pair of shoes that has the highest level of breathable and stretchy fabrics. Linemen, meanwhile, may want a higher level of synthetic leather or leather panels to create extra stability.

Dyk1-Nike cleats-soccer
Did You Know?
Nike introduced its first shoe featuring the swoosh logo in 1971, and it was a football cleat that also worked as a soccer cleat.
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What accessories are available for football players?

Football gloves

Nike is almost as well-known for making football gloves as it is for making football cleats. Nike football gloves have a wide range of color and design options that allow players to show off their personalities. These gloves are especially popular among wide receivers and others who must catch the football.

Footballs

Although Nike makes footballs, its footballs are not quite as popular as some other brands. Wilson is the official football maker for the NFL, for example. 

Integrated football pants

Nike offers a few models of integrated football pants, which are pants with pads built into them. These are more comfortable than having football pants with bulkier, removable pads. Under Armour is probably the most popular manufacturer of integrated football pants.

All Nike football cleats have the iconic Nike “swoosh” logo somewhere on the shoes.

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How much do Nike football cleats cost?

Inexpensive

The least expensive Nike football cleats cost $50 to $100 a pair. These shoes may offer a limited number of color options and simple designs. Youth football shoes from Nike are commonly in this price range.

Mid-range

An average-priced pair of Nike football shoes is about $100 to $150. Shoes in this price range are youth shoes with high-end designs or adult shoes with basic designs.

Expensive

The priciest Nike cleats for football cost $150 to $250 a pair. Some models are even more expensive. These cleats contain the latest designs and colors, making them highly popular and allowing retailers to charge a premium for them. They may have extra support for large players on the offensive or defensive line, or they may have extra flexibility for receivers and running backs who need to make sharp cuts.

Parts of Nike football cleats

Nike football cleats have a number of specific designs and technologies unique to the brand. When looking at purchasing these shoes, it can be helpful to understand the terminology in use. 

  • Fastflex outsole: Some Nike shoes make use of an outsole with extra flexibility, allowing players to feel like they’re wearing a general athletic shoe rather than a football cleat.
  • Flyknit technology: Nike uses the term Flyknit to describe a fabric it uses in the upper panel of the shoe, near the ankle. Flyknit is a stretchy fabric that allows the player to receive the maximum flexibility from the ankle area. 
  • Full and separate foot plate: A full foot plate in the bottom of some Nike shoes gives the player maximum stability when making quick cuts. Additionally, the foot plate doesn’t connect to the base layer of the shoe or to the studs, which helps with creating flexibility in movement.
  • Ghost lacing: The ghost lacing system hides and protects the laces so they don’t pull loose while you’re playing, but its primary function is to allow you to slip the shoe on quickly before tightening the laces. Should your shoe slip off during the game, you can use the ghost lacing system to put it back on quickly and avoid missing a play.
  • Grip and Go: Grip and Go terminology refers to the placement of the studs on the bottom of the shoe. It uses a wide stud placement around the edges of the shoe, giving the player the ability to make sharp cuts.
  • Wedge foam midsole: A few models of Nike football cleats contain a piece of foam in the midsole that provides a bit of cushioning. With the stiff foot plate in football shoes, having a bit of foam in the midsole is helpful for wearing them more comfortably for long practice sessions.
Nike outfits college teams
Nike outfits more than half of the largest “Power Five” conference college football teams, including providing cleats, uniforms, and other gear for the players.

FAQ

Q. Can I wear Nike football cleats to play soccer too?

A. Although soccer and football cleats from Nike have a lot of similarities in designs, you may not want to wear the same shoes for both sports. Football cleats have studs near the toe, which can make it difficult to kick a soccer ball cleanly. Soccer cleats don’t have studs near the toe.

Q. Do I want light-colored or dark-colored Nike football cleats?

A. Dark-colored cleats hide dirt and grass stains better than light- or bright-colored cleats. However, some players don’t care about the possibility of grime on the shoes, because they prefer the style of brighter colors. Additionally, if you practice and play primarily on artificial turf, you don’t have to worry about dirt and grass stains, so you can focus on a stylish color in your football cleats from Nike.

Q. Are Nike shoes for football really made from recycled bottles?

A. Nike does make some of its football cleats from recycled polyester yarn, which comes from plastic bottles. Its first pair of cleats from plastic bottles was the Nike Vapor Untouchable in 2014. Not all Nike pairs of football cleats consist of recycled plastic, but if this is important to you, you can find some models to consider.

Q. Do Nike football cleats fit the rules of my child’s football league?

A. Nike cleats have different lengths of studs on the bottom of the shoe. Your child’s football league may have limitations on the length of the studs. As long as you select a type of Nike shoe that has the correct length of studs, it should be legal to use in the youth league. A stud length requirement of 0.5 inches is common in youth football leagues.
 

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