Are you on a quest to find the best running back cleats?
Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of products to bring you the best running back cleats.
In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.
- Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages)
- Running Back Cleats Buyer’s Guide
- The Differences in Running Backs
- Levels of Foot & Ankle Protection
- Various Kinds of Spikes
I will also answer some common questions.
- How Do I Choose The Right Size?
- How Do I Break In My New Cleats?
- How Do I Clean My Cleats?
- Is It OK To Use Soccer Cleats Since They Are Lighter?
Without further ado, let’s begin!
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Top 3 Picks ( In a Hurry? Here are the winners )
Best Running Back Cleats
Running backs are very multi-dimensional players who play numerous roles within the offensive backfield. They might receive short passes, block opponents, and take handoffs from their quarterback before running or throwing the ball.
It can be tough to find football cleats. Sure it is easy to find them, but being able to narrow them down to a couple for your specific position can be very tough. Running back cleats are similar. A decent pair of running back cleats will be different and will have different features that are the exact opposite of good lineman cleats. These two positions are very different, and it means you will need to think seriously about what you really want.
Our buying guide today will be looking at the best running back cleats. We will be looking at the ins and outs of this issue, and help to answer any of the questions you may have, and will then be reviewing the most popular pairs that are available on the market that are made specifically for running backs.
- Made in USA or Imported
- Under Armour
Under Armour really loves making comfortable cleats and the same thing is true with their Highlight MC model. Its molded “4D foam” footbed really feels great to walk on for as long as the life of the cleat and is made out of a material that is surprisingly durable.
Under Armour also has used its “ClutchFit” technology that wraps around the top part of your foot, which results in a nearly barefoot feeling while you are running. You will also be provided with the support that you need to make agile turns out on the field – the “PlasmaX plate and mid-cut design provide great stability.
Under Armour really loves using weird buzzwords, this pair of cleats really do perform just as well as they claim they will. They offer great support, and are comfortable and light, which as a versatile type of running back that is exactly what you need to have. The cleats come in a few good colorways as well – but in our opinion, nothing can beat the metallic silver and white combination.
The only downside is the price – the UA Highlight MC is fairly expensive. However, in our opinion, they are definitely worth it.
2. Nike Men’s Alpha Pro 2 Football Cleat
- NIKESKIN technology provides lightweight and durable support.
- 3/4-wedge midsole gives responsive cushioning from heel to midfoot.
- Molded plate configuration offers excellent traction.
This is one pair of cleats that almost any position could wear with pride. In contrast to the previous two options, it a complete departure from having a ton of protection since it is a low cut shoe. That means you will have more freedom and much less weight, and you will be able to more naturally flex your foot.
Another major advantage of the Alpha Pro 2 is they have screwed in detachable cleats. That will allow you to change them depending on what the field’s condition is and help you make the best out of whatever weather scenario you may encounter. Similar to Adidas with Sprintskin, Nike uses its very own “Nikeskin,'” that give your more football agility and speed across the ground so that you can move the chains by eating up more yards. The thing that you will first notice about these cleats is their new collar design.
The design looks a bit strange but basically, it creates a bigger opening for your foot. That makes it easier to get these shoes on and provides you a little more support and protection compared to what a regular low would tend to give you. In addition to that, they also have a lot of padding and comfort inside of this shoe, and that is something that everyone needs to have to play and also be efficient. The major point of contention is the lack of ankle support that is offered. Nikes are also notorious for being too narrow, so that is another thing you should watch for.
The Nike Vapor Carbon Elite is available in a wide selection of colors and also uses carbon in a really big way that will make their wearer quite happy. The shoe’s upper is made from 100% synthetics. That means it is fairly light, easy to clean, and durable, but that also means it is a little hard for it to be breathable. They are good to wear in wet condition since a Dri-Fit fabric is used. So you can stay comfortable and dry through all four quarters. For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, they could be the right choice for you.
Aside from that, they look very nice and very similar to soccer cleats. There is not a lot of ankle support since they are low cut, so for some that will be a concern when it comes to these cleats. Also, they don’t bend a lot due to the carbon fiber that is used. So watch for that along with the narrowness of the cleats.
4. Adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon Mid Football Shoe
- SPRINTSKIN upper is a revolutionary laminated package for incredible...
- Upper built with DuPont Kevlar for strength and stability
- Lightweight 5-STAR FRAME reinforced with DuPont Kevlar has optimum...
- Lion-print graphic upper; Anatomically molded EVA insole for perfect...
- Kevlar, registered trademark of DuPont used under license
Running backs near to have football cleats that are similar to what is used by receivers – lightweight football cleats that are built for speed. However, since running backs tend to be more versatile players, a better all-around cleat is needed to allow them to move with great agility.
That is why the Freak MD by Adidas is a great option for running backs. The Adidas-patented “Spintskin” upper is very lightweight but offers incredible support still, to help you make your turns comfortably and quickly. The rubber sole also is reinforced using DuPont Kevlar, and that offers excellent durability and great grip. There is also an extended ankle collar that provides good stability when sprinting and turning.
These are outstanding cleats overall for the price.
5. Nike New Mens Vapor Untouchable Pro 3 Football Cleats
- Molded Baseball Cleats
- Black White
When it comes to lightweight cleats, the Nike Vapor Untouchable 3 is a new revolution. The upper part of these cleats are made out of synthetic skins and mesh; there are flywire cables inside of the midfoot for a sock-like, consistent fit, and the cleat’s innovative geometry optimizes traction for quick acceleration and cuts. This is one of the best lightweight running back cleats.
These cleats excel in all of the running back’s responsibilities. The traction helps with cuts, so anytime you need to make a cut to avoid tacklers or get into a hole, the cleat will provide you with the boost that you need with grip and comfort. The material is quite thin but has been reinforced with quality. When you wear these it will definitely provide you with the confidence you need to elude defenders and run down the sideline in style!
6. Adidas Unisex Adizero 5-Star 7.0 Football Shoe
Due to its flamboyant look, overall attractiveness and resemblance to a soccer boot the Adizero 5- star is a choice worth remembering. It is designed in a multitude of colors each having the ability to stand out on its own and also to blend with other outfits. They are a good choice for running back cleats and are much superior to Adidas Freak Mid. In addition to having a scintillating look, they are quite fast.
Through the Sprintskin they have top-notch aerodynamic characteristics embedded into their superior design. This maintains weight at a lower level and provides the necessary support required to make quick cuts. Breathability is also another feature in which this shoe greatly excels in. It has holes on the sides and at the back. These holes allow excess sweat produced by the feet during running to dry out and prevent the feet from becoming too wet, slippery and uncomfortable. The refreshing coolness in feet arising from this brings in a sense of lightness which further boosts the ability to perform.
They also blend in the laces so that they complement excellently with your foot bringing about much-needed lock down control while still providing enough freedom for the feet to thrive. It is a mid cut cleat but its heel is not that pronounced in comparison to the Freak. The bottom contains carefully placed and arranged studs that are optimized to help you achieve maximum pace instantly and to glide out cuts with laughable ease. People with wider feet are not as comfortable in this pair, a rare disadvantage of this cleat. In addition, you will have to be patient as they require some amount of time to break in.
- Revolutionary SpeedForm upper molds perfectly to your foot for zero...
- Seamless molded heel cup feels like an extension of your own foot
- External Pebax heel counter for locked in structure & support
- V56 technology designed to help limit toe hyperextension
- Chromed-out TPU cleat plate digs in for explosive traction in any...
The Speedform is a choice you will not regret if you are looking for cleats that will provide you with lightning speeds by providing a lightweight design that makes running effortless. They are designed in three shiny and sleek designs. Each design is unique and stands out in the lights having a soccer cleat look. These are a low cut cleat, make no mistake about that.
The great thing is despite the great support offered you will not feel limited by its weight and you will be able to run and cut with ease. Even in the absence of solid ankle support, this cleat has some built-in safety precautions that offer great protection. First, the employ V56 technology to plum around the toe area. This a precautionary measure put in place to prevent you from hyperextending your toe.
In simple terms, a plate is added near the toe area but not to the level exhibited in steel toe or hiking boots. However, it still meets the purpose of ensuring that you do not get your toes injured. The shoes are also properly designed in the interior to provide stability. One perfect example is the heel counter at the back. It holds your foot in position and allows you to make those swift and sudden glides at full pace. A major disadvantage of these cleats is that they are among the most expensive in the market. Also, the support provided is minimal, which is something to consider before purchasing them.
8. Adidas Adizero 5-Star 5.0 Uncaged Mens Football Cleat
- Style Number: AQ7809
- Synthetic SPRINTSKINª uppers provide a lightweight feel
- 5-Star Frames deliver excellent traction while you're on the move
It is eerily familiar to a score cleat and is one I have had the chance t buy and experience. On style, it is a low, narrow and lightweight. The Adi-zero’s aerodynamics are the real deal if you desire to experience unrivalled agility and frightening quickness, something your opponent will hate.
For those endeared by fashion, these unassuming cleats come in a beautiful “chic style”. The single layer of lightweight “Sprint Skin” will be a boost to your acceleration and your ability to make quick cuts. With all these advantages you are assured of gliding seamlessly past flummoxed opponents to the end zone.
9. Under Armour Men’s UA Spotlight Metallic
- Your need for speed has finally been met . . . Set the field ablaze...
- Icy Diamond synthetic upper materials hugs the foot for a snug, secure...
- Lace-up closure.
- Pebas external heel counter helps lock the foot in place, and provides...
- Thin comfort tongue and padded collar. Seamless molded heel cup...
This is the most popular Under Armour cleat that has endeared itself to the masses. It is commonly referred to as the “Cam Newton”. This cleat is superior and offers any running back a unique advantage when running across the field and making agile cuts to evade opponents. It is in the top range of the top quality products that Under Armour offers.
This cleat definitely looks like the original cleat suitable for a running back position based on its appearance. The low cut Under Armour Spotlight has a SpeedForm molding that provides the best fit for your foot. In addition, the material used in the manufacture of this cleat guarantees the user astonishing speed and relaxing comfort.
On the negative, the UA Spotlight is a bit bulky and heavier when juxtaposed against other skill position cleats especially those from Nike. A heavier cleat weighs heavily on the bulkiness experienced by a running back and lowers their running ability on the field. A running back will be looking for a lightweight solution that also offers some bit of protection. Unfortunately, this cleat disappoints in this regard. Also, it poses an injury risk to players. The material used in this cleat’s interior is not soft and padded enough to prevent against ankle blisters.
10. Adidas Men’s Freak Mid MD Football Shoe White Black
Are you searching for a cleat that resembles a traditional Adidas pair? The Adidas Men’s Freak Mid Md Football Shoe is as close as you can get. It has an impressive, ultra classy look. These cleats also help you achieve high level running and gliding performance leaving you fulfilled. The Freak Mid Md is a mid cut pair suitable for running backs. The mid cut ensures that there is adequate ankle protection as you run, cut and block. Their bottom and upper section are manufactured and lined with many synthetics which give them a glowing look. This characteristic also makes it easy to clean. Adidas “Sprintskin” gives them the extra edge.
This compound is not eye-catching but it ensures that the shoe is light, remains comfortable and offers support to the athlete. Freak Mid is different from other mid cut cleats that can wear you down. Despite being mid cut it is light enough for comfort. The bottom of Freak Mid are molded using rubber and strengthened using Kevlar Technology to ensure that provide a better grip and to guarantee that they are highly durable.
This pair is a big step in innovation in shoe technology and they are quite a spectacle to behold when in action. Relatively inexpensive prices for superior technology and design is the icing on the cake. Its heel entry is comfortable and different from the Carbon version whose heel entry is a nuisance for a majority of wearers.
Buyer’s Guide: Running Back Cleats
The Differences in Running Backs
To be an accomplished and successful running back you must be very fast with speeds to rival some of the best sprinters in the world. How do you achieve that performance level? Incredibly Light Footwear As a running back you need material that is lightly constructed and that is not bulky. Ankle support is crucial for a quick player who moves infield but it is not needed as it takes up a lot of space. If the material used is bulky it will only limit your agility, slowing you down and limiting your running abilities on the field. It is common to see skilled players in football donning a cleat the same as that used in soccer. This is common and obvious as the demands in both situations are of a similar nature. In both cases, a lot of running and sprinting, along the field surface area is required. Do not be perturbed to realize that some of the highest quality cleats used by running backs have a close resemblance to soccer cleats.
Levels of Foot & Ankle Protection
Safety and support in regards to football cleats are usually revolving in the ‘cut’ of the heel section. This is an important aspect as it has a huge bearing on the weight and size of the shoe. Generally, as the weight of the shoe increases so does its supporting ability. A lighter shoe will offer a limited level of support. That is just some rule of the thumb and basic science. Compromise is required, you cannot get maximum support in a very light cleat. Companies are coming up with ways to utilize materials of lighter weight, but there is still a trade-off involved. Weight matters, incidentally this also affects the look. It matters due to the level of protection that is received.
High Top Cleats
Acknowledging the above, the high top or cut is the best in terms of guaranteeing safety to the athlete. A high cut is like a version of a basketball shoe fitted with cleats on the sole of the shoe. It covers your foot all up to the ankle offering a higher degree of protection to the area. The high cleat does exceptionally well in preventing ankle rolls in all game situations, this makes it highly suitable for athletes who have been susceptible to ankle or heel injuries. The major limitation of a high cut is the constriction of the foot limiting flexibility and freedom as compared to other cuts. As stated earlier, it is all about compromise.
Low Top Cleats
At the other end of the spectrum, one can pick the choice of a low cut. It is a very swift and cool looking cleat like the basketball’s low top. Due to its design, minimal protection is placed around the ankle area, allowing you better dynamism and freedom to shift and run around in the shoe. Low cut cleats are light on the feet as they do not have material around the ankle. The major issue with these cleats is that you can easily roll your ankle as these cleats offer limited protection in the ankle area. These are suited for smaller running backs or those who are looking to be quicker and do anything within their power to maintain an advantage over the competition. It is not that they will increase your running speed, the important thing is that they are lighter and hence will not slow you down. As a smaller runner, you face a tough choice. Do you go for speed or opt for protection. A hit on a low cleat could be disastrous and lead to a long term injury. This is an issue to put into consideration when deciding on the choice of the cleat to use.
Mid Top Cleats
Due to the sacrifices the high and low cleats make on weight and protection respectively, the mid cut is quite an excellent choice for you. Assuming that you are a mid-sized back, a low cut is a preferable option as you are properly equipped with the right body mass to safeguard you. Also, they assist you to run faster. However, smaller guys do not have the same conditions. A mid cut thus mixes good elements from the other two types to create a better cleat. It offers a mix of; some bit of speed, a little bit of freedom borrowed from the low cut and safety to the ankle from the high cut’s protection. This option is the appropriate choice if you are doubtful on the type of cleat that will provide the right support without being detrimental to your performance.
Honestly, if you evaluate your options based on this information, then a mid-cut is the clear winner. It borrows the advantages of both the high and low cut cleats and at the same time minimizes on their drawbacks providing the optimal solution. Defensive backs and wide receivers have lower responsibilities in games and in normal circumstances face a limited number of hits. Using a low cut will serve them well in many cases. On the contrary, running backs have much to do in running, blocking and all other duties of the position. Essentially, they have to be prepared for everything that comes their way. Based on this, the mid cut is the best choice for every running back among the various types of cuts.
Speed is essential in the majority of sports. In football, it is the ultimate desired quality, especially in skill positions. When you are carrying the ball what matters is your speed, your strength does not matter much. It is the worst nightmare for a running back to have his speed reduced by wearing bulky cleats. The competitive nature of football and an obsession with results means that a slow running back will find himself replaced in no time.
Skill players, especially running backs are required to make swift and agile manoeuvres, with a rapid change of direction at speed (commonly referred to as “making a cut”). To accommodate such movements and direction changes at speed without twisting your knee or ankle (which is a common occurrence among running backs) you need to wear footwear that gives support and ensures stability. Good quality cleats for running backs provide a stable base and reduce the overall weight.
Various Kinds of Spikes
Spikes otherwise referred to as cleats, are found on the bottom of the shoe that touches the ground. For normal shoes, the sole is usually made of leather, rubber or plastic. Spikes are the defining feature of a cleat. They are normally there to provide balance and to prevent one from losing their footing. When you are playing, you must move with stability, always maintaining solid contact with the ground. Playing surfaces vary hence there are a variety of options to choose from. Let’s begin with the styles. There are 3 fundamental kinds.
This is the first type. This type is classified into two categories. First, there are hard molded ones. The other category is rubber molded ones. Rubber molded spikes are known for comfort and are also preferred in usage to keep prices at lower levels. This category is a good option for younger kids. They are commonly used at the peewee level. These cleats are attached permanently. If they are removed, which sometimes occurs due to a defect, they are very hard to replace.
Hard Molded Cleats
The second category is the hard molded cleat. In comparison to the rubber ones, they are not as comfortable. However, they are able to last longer and give the user better traction. They are best suited on turf fields, which have risen in popularity especially in high school and college football. This makes them a good choice. Also, they are lightweight, which is a major advantage when playing football. These two categories of cleat require replacement when one of the cleats becomes loose or comes off entirely. This means though they are cheap the service they give over a long period can be a little disappointing. The good thing is that the other cleats on highlighted here have good longevity provided you wear them accordingly and employ them in the right surfaces.
Removable/Detachable Metal & Plastic Cleats
The other type is the removable cleat. These cleats are just what their name suggests. They can be removed and swapped. For instance, when playing on a wet muddy field, you can use more rounded and longer cleats that will provide better traction and grip on the surface offering you better stability. On the other hand, is the surface is hardened due to the shortage of rain, shorter cleats are the best choice. These predominantly excel in nice grass fields but they can also do the job in various turf environments. The initial and future costs of these are also slightly higher. The main reason for this is because you have to invest in extra studs. At times they can be sold as a package, other times they will not. It will be determined by where you purchase them. In addition, they require you to have a toolkit that will guide you in the process of placing them on, this is another cost. Putting the cleats into position is a time-consuming task. Therefore, if you lack patience and do not have someone to fix them for you, avoid them.
A brief mention on the length of the stud is in order. The basic premise is that; the longer a stud is the greater the grip on a wet field. Otherwise, if the field is hard and dry you are in for a rough time. On the contrary, a dry ground hardened by lack of rain or watering requires a shorter stud. Many cleats, especially for soccer purposes, are made as “firm ground” cleats. This is a middle ground option and gives a good performance on both surfaces. It might not be effective in extremely wet conditions, but it is good when used on damp grounds. When it is super dry outside they are bound to thrive.
Major Football Cleat Brands
Before engaging in reviews, let us discuss the various makes. In recent times, the market has reoriented with only three brands having a foothold in the football shoe arena. Consequently, you should be open to the fact that we will only feature the three in reviews. These brands are popular but also have the best quality of products. The fact that they are widely popular means that they have offered quality and consistency over time.
The three brand leaders in the current market are Nike, Under Armour and Adidas. The other challengers have a lot of ground to catch up before posing any threat. Nike, an iconic American company, has been at it for a few decades. Adidas joined the market much later but first opted to concentrate on soccer while Under Armour is the latest entrant that is slowly capturing market share. Each has its own pros and cons and the choice of your preferred option will be yours.
How Do I Choose The Right Size?
This is one of the most important questions when buying cleats. You want to get the size right on any pair of shoes, but it is essential when buying your cleats. When is the last time you had your feet measured? If it hasn’t been recently, we recommend getting them measured first. Use a simple tape measure, measure from the tip of your longest toe to the back of your heel. You can convert the size using an online shoe chart.
You may want to try a few pairs of shoes on in person, to see how they fit. This can help you choose the perfect size for your cleats. Keep in mind, some brands of shoes may fit slightly snugger, while other brands looser. You will want your cleats to have a little wiggle room, but not much. Make sure your toes can move easily but are still properly supported. It is tempting to buy shoes a size too large, so you can grow into them, but that is not the smartest idea. Feet slipping in cleats increases the odds of injuries. A single minor injury is much more expensive than your next set of cleats. Oversized cleats can cause blisters, also.
Make sure you pay close attention to the width of the shoes, too. Some shoes run narrow, and if you have a wider foot, it will not work. Check online reviews and see what other players are reporting. You will quickly know if the shoes run small or large, or narrow or wide. Ordering a size larger does not correct issues with narrow shoes. You may need to change the style, or brand, of the shoe to get a proper fit. Have you been wearing a specific brand in the past? If yes, sticking with that brand is an easy way to know the fit will work and how the shoe will feel. Different shoe designs put stresses on different parts of your foot and can take a little time to get used to, or break-in.
How Do I Break In My New Cleats?
The easiest way is to start wearing them. Make sure you only wear them in appropriate places. Your new cleats can damage floors and carpeting. They can even damage soft pavement during the summer months. We suggest wearing your cleats in the yard, or head to a park and jog in the grass. The most fun way to break in your cleats is to contact a few of your co-players and spend some time having fun while your break in your cleats. You could toss around the football, kick a soccer ball, or get a little running practice in. Just remember, don’t overdo the activity at first. You do not want to get blisters. Take a little time to break your shoes in properly before the grueling practices and intense games begin.
How Do I Clean My New Cleats?
Cleaning is usually very simple, especially with the way cleats are made today. Synthetic cleats with synthetic spikes are the easiest. You can usually rinse them with a little water, then give them a quick wipe down with a towel. If your shoes have metal spikes, check the cleaning instructions from the manufacturer. Usually, they can be gently washed with water, too. Using a washing machine to wash synthetic cleats is possible, but not highly recommended. If you do use a washing machine, keep them out of the dryer. A hot dryer can destroy the shoes, plus the cleats can damage the inside of the dryer.
Is It OK To Use Soccer Cleats Since They Are Lighter?
Usually, the only player who should consider a soccer shoe is your kicker. Let’s take a quick look at the differences to see why. Soccer cleats do not have cleats under the toes for the gripping power running backs, linemen, and other players need. You need to be able to dig in and push. Soccer cleats are designed to be ultralightweight since soccer players run non-stop. This lightweight design reduces support and protection. Your ankles and feet are at greater risk on the playing field, so you need the added support and protection. Getting stepped on a single time will let you know the difference. Your kicker might elect to use a single soccer shoe on his kicking foot for better control and to eliminate the danger of the toe cleats impeding his kick. For football players, soccer shoes do not make the grade.
Finding the proper cleats for a running back might seem challenging, but by using the information you just learned you can unravel the mystery. You can quickly get lost in all the choices available today, and almost every pair seems to have supporters and haters. The most important thing to remember is the shoe needs to fit properly, give great support, and provide protection to your running back. He needs the ability to dig in and block the linebacker who broke through the line, he needs the ability to use his speed to cut through the line and streak down the field, plus he needs the ability to leap to grab a pass before the defensive back gets there. His special abilities need to be matched to shoes. Use this guide to narrow down your choices, then let him make the final decision.
Best Running Back Cleats ( Top 3 Picks )
Last update on 2019-08-15 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API