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Best Soccer Cleats for Defenders: Buying Guide

Choosing your soccer cleats is probably the most important decision there is to make for a soccer player.

Having the wrong soccer cleats can definitely ruin your game.

Since you are here, you probably play in a defense position in soccer.

Well, here below I review the best soccer cleats that are made especially for defenders and to help them present the best performance possible.

Best Soccer Cleats For Defenders In 2020

1. Adidas Men's Predator 19.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe

Adidas Predator 19.3 is made for the fullback defender due to its soleplate design molded with the stud size and strength.

You can feel the power flowing from the heel counter down to the midsole and into the forefront while pushing the ground for extra speed and gripping for maximum traction.

Textile material on the upper gives you the sensitive feel of the ball and the synthetic shaft at the arch gives you the stability for handling the ball accurately.

Ball tackling and balancing on the upper becomes easy and balanced while running at top speed.

The firm ground outsole is strong and sturdy for a natural grass field that is dry and hard. Since there is no deep-penetration, the foothold has to be strong and consistent.

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The outsole in combination with hybrid studs can give maximum traction while handling the ball when the opponent strikers are trying to push through defenses.

  • Low top shaft for free ankle movement
  • Lightweight body for speed and agility
  • Hybrid stud tips for firm ground grip
  • The color range is limited

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2. Adidas Men's Predator 19.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe

This version of Adidas Predator 19.3 looks and works very much similar to the first version in the listing except perhaps the design and construction of the studs.

They are straighter and thicker, giving a smooth transition from high-speed and traction of movement to firmer and accurate ball control once you get the possession.

Synthetic soleplate with flat midsole has sufficient space for bodyweight balancing around the center of gravity.

As you can see; the last pair of studs at the heel and the first pairs of studs after the midsole have the same size.

That means reverse force from the ground can push your feet faster while running.

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Ball sensitivity of the upper is high because of the strips of textile material interwoven to form a soft and firm surface. Your foot can feel the ball accurately when it is in dynamic action.

The outsole and toe-box are designed to get maximum ball control for passing, possessing, and taking away from an opponent striker.

  • Soft protection for the ankle
  • Textile upper for flexible movement
  • Lined upper stripes for ball control
  • Thicker studs for harder traction
  • May not be suitable for indoor fields

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3. DREAM PAIRS Men's Fashion Cleats Football Soccer Shoes

Fashion Cleats have a vertical design for the extended collar that covers the ankle and the upper section of the foot.

It is soft, cushioned, and thick to protect from shocks and vibrations. It gives smooth mobility and angular rotation while preventing the probability of twist and injury.

Synthetic upper (DP) is soft and flexible for allowing the maximum ball feel and tickling sensation.

The combination of thicker lace and softer tongue (extension of ankle protection into the tongue section) will ensure firm ball control.

The entire upper section from beneath the collar to the toe-box has rugged patterns for having a firm grip over the ball-surface for better control and maneuvering ability.

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A combination of soleplate and stud strength gives a strong foothold onto the ground and better traction.

Turning, running, jumping, and leaning to take ball possession from the opponents becomes simple and easy.

  • Stitched heel counter and upper for straight foot
  • Sensitive upper and forefoot for ball feeling
  • Solid studs for stronger traction
  • Thicker lace and softer tongue for ball control
  • Suitable for center-back and fullback
  • No visible cons

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4. Adidas Men's Predator 18.3 Fg Soccer Shoe

The Adidas Predator 18.3 is a smart version of 19.3 in is the approach to the study design and numbers. It has reduced in the forefront, but the thickness and load capacity have increased.

It can endure higher body weight and give stronger traction on grass and hard fields.

The three solid strips of synthetic material on the upper are highly useful for controlling and guiding the ball with precision speed and high energy.

Combined with a former lace and cushioned tongue, ball sensitivity has increased considerably.

The midsole gap is optimized by the even distribution of studs at the heel and in the forefoot sections. Optimized spacing for the midsole section ensures complete body balance.

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Upper and the forefoot top section have highly sensitive strips to feel the ball while tacking and passing.

  • Designed for center-back players
  • Cushioned protection to the entire foot
  • Accurate ball control with upper synthetic strip embossing
  • Solid traction with strong studs
  • No visible cons

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5. Joma Men's Aguila FG Firm Ground Soccer Shoes

The Joma Aguila FG is a professional level cleat with sturdy construction and flexible design.

The first attraction in the cleat is its upper part. It extends from around the hip counter beneath the collar to the toe-box.

Advanced synthetic material like fiberetec and nylon combination makes the upper protected from vibrations and shocks.

Ball handling at the upper is mainly through the sides, lace and tongue section and forefront.

The first two sections can handle the ball tackling, while the last section handles the passing and kicking actions. Ball sensitivity is high in all three sections.

Studs are hard and strong to give a firm control over foot movement and smooth turning.

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As you see, the collar is open and covers the ankle partially.

That means higher flexibility for the ankle rotation with zero risks of injury.

  • Multiple combinations of synthetic for lightweight cleat
  • Nylon interior for shock absorption of external impact
  • Denser studs for higher traction
  • Dense soleplate for foot support
  • Low collar design could cause uneasiness for ankle if you are a tall player

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6. Nike Vapor 12 Academy Youth Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

The Nike Vapor 12 is designed and constructed for the teens and youngsters who participate in training and college-level soccer tournaments.

The material in all the sections is made of synthetic, hence soft and flexible.

The heel counter has a soft cushioning at the back to keep your ankle safe and protected.

The inner code keeps your entire foot comfortable and safe.

The entire upper is soft and flexible (try bending it from the midsole section) for easy ankle movement and rotation.

Studs and soleplates are firm and strong. They look more like a hybrid design for giving higher traction and speed at the same time.

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Thicker lace and softer tongue with smooth upper give better ball sensitivity from the collar to the forefoot and toe-box.

  • Designed for firm foot traction and ball control
  • Complete foot protection and comfort
  • Thick studs at the heel for extra pressure and force
  • Honey-comb upper design for better ball handling
  • May not be suitable for professional soccer games

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7. Adidas Kids' Predator 19.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe

The Adidas Predator 19.3 is specially designed to give a professional level experience for teens and kids like you.

The collar section extends above the ankle to cover your upper foot completely.

So, you get the maximum protection from shocks, vibrations, and stress.

Since the extension material is soft and cushion, the impact of turning your ankle will not result in twist or injury.

Soleplate and stud strength give the highest traction on grass fields with a hard and dry surface.

Well, you can also try it out on the grass when it is wet.

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It gives you the same level of traction and bodyweight support.

The forefoot is the most sensitive part with plenty of zigzag strips for sensing the ball. The three strips on both sides of the upper give better ball control and handling capacity.

  • Combination of textile and synthetic for comfort and speed
  • The hybrid style of studs for the maximum traction
  • Angled heel counter for extra speed
  • Closely knit lace for higher ball feel
  • No visible cons

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How to Choose Soccer Cleats for a Defender

The main players in soccer defense come from the center back and fullback. The position of the fullback players is in the wide-defense area, while the center-backs are placed directly in front of the goal.

Fullback players prevent the opponents from entering the box area and get possession of the ball. Then they can pass it onto the midfielder, center-back, or the front-winger.

Center-back players work in coordination with the fullback players in preventing the opponents from making inroads through the defense and reaching the scoring position in front of the goal-post.

They also have the responsibility of preventing direct kicks from the opponents and pushing the ball through them to unsettle their striking strategies.

Soccer Cleats for Fullback Players

Soccer cleats for Fullback players should offer complete foot protection, bodyweight balance, speed, traction, and ball sensitivity.

Fitment should be locking around the ankle and the instep, passing through the ball of the foot to reach the toes.

Soleplate and Studs– Speed for Advance and Overlap

Fullback players often need to adapt the strategies of advance-up and overlap to cover the wide midfield players. It requires precision movement and body balance.

The design of soleplate and the position of studs can have a great impact on their speed and traction.

Strong studs provide higher traction while advancing and overlapping. The players can turnaround with firm ball control while passing the ball to the wide midfield and the center-back.

They can also glide the ball away from an opponent striker due to the firm control they have over the ball.

The design of soleplate should be angled at the midsole position with a large space for bodyweight balance and turning the foot around the center of gravity without twisting the ankle or exposing the foot to the risk of injury.

Front Foot Design – Closing Trapping Techniques

Fullback players often need to close the gaps when opponent strikers try to penetrate through the defenses. For this, they may have to trap the opponents and break their rhythm.

They need to keep the ball in their possession for a long time until the opponent’s offense becomes ineffective.

The next stage is to pass the ball onto the center-back or push it to the forward players.

The front-foot design of the cleat should be narrow and curved to the foot design for aggressive ball possession and guiding.

Narrow front foot design also helps the fullbacks to trap the opponents outside the center-back areas with zigzag ball exchange with the wingers and center-back.

With a narrower and stronger front-foot design, they can feel the ball on the move and confuse the opponents with dynamic ball passing.

Cleat Weight – Heavier for Foot Control

The average cleat-weight of the fullback players should be relatively heavier compared to the others.

It is because they may have a full-body confrontation with the opponent strikers while closing and trapping them. Heavy cleats with dense upper can protect the foot from injuries.

Soccer Cleats for Center Back Players

Center-back cleat should be designed for speed, agility, accurate ball control, quick passing, controlled gliding, and faster clearance of the ball from the danger area.

There are a few critical criteria for the cleats to make them effective.

Large Stud Design – Full Traction and Speed Ahead

Center-back players have to deflect the flying ball away from the goal and take it out of the opponent strikers’ reach.

They should also cover the ball with their feet and pass it onto the fullback for distracting the opponent’s attention.

Large stud design allows them to move swiftly and turn around rapidly to block the invading opponent strikers. Soleplate molding with the studs can offer higher stability as the chances of slipping are low.

Moreover, the studs remain solid without bending or breaking on high impact.

Cushioned Upper Design – Impact Protection and Ball Feel

The upper design in combination with the tongue and lace can protect the foot-arch and instep from external impacts.

They can also give highly sensitive ball-sensation once it comes to their possession. They can absorb the vibrations from the impact and protect the shin and calf from shocks.

Ball feel is required to manage the passing and kicking in the appropriate direction. The cushioned upper can make your foot feel the weight of the ball and the direction of impact.

Now, you will know instinctively about the direction in which you have to deflect it or pass it for enhancing defense.

Lace Strength and Length – Midsole Tightness for Power Kicks

Sometimes you may have to kick the ball from a position closer to the goal away into the opponent half of the field.

It is required when you know the goalie may not reach the ball when the opponent strikes it in the goal direction.

When the midsole tightness is optimum, it can generate maximum torque on the ball when you kick it with the forefoot.

For this, the lace has to be optimum in length and thickness. Flat lace can give sufficient control while keeping a free circulation of blood into the foot.


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Patrick Richardson
I am a huge soccer fanatic who created this blog to help you find the best deal for soccer equipment.

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