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There's no time like the present to get yourself out onto the pitch to play. But picking out the perfect football boots isn't just something you can leave to chance. These are precision-made pieces of well-honed craftwork made by some of the most popular manufacturers in the world.
It's only right that you put plenty of thought into your new footwear, from where you're going to play with it to just what you're going to do with it – and luckily, you don't have to break the bank to discover the perfect pair.
The football boots included in this article
- Best overall FG boots: Adidas Predator Edge.1
- Best budget FG boots: Nike The Premier III
- Best overall SG boots: New Balance Furon V6+ Pro
- Best budget SG boots: Puma Future Z 4.3 SG
- Best overall MG boots: Adidas X Speedflow.2
- Best budget MG boots: Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Academy
- Best overall AG boots: Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite AG
- Best budget AG boots: Adidas Copa Sense.3
- Best overall TF boots: Nike Phantom GT2 Academy Dynamic Fit TF
- Best budget TF boots: Adidas X Speedflow Messi TF
- Best overall indoor boots: Nike Lunar Gato II IC
- Best budget indoor boots: Umbro Tocco 2 Club IC
Before buying anything, though, it's vital to know just what you can find on the market and what you'll need, depending on how and where you play.
What is the best football boot?
There is no "best" type of football boot, per se – with so many ways to play the game these days, the best kind of footwear is all down to the player's individual needs. Even before you split them into the types you can find, there will be no overarching "best" to go for, as it depends so much on what you want from them. That said, several brands have emerged over the past half-century as leading lights of the business – Nike, Adidas, Umbro and more. While there are many manufacturers to choose from, these headline names have built their brands into global success stories for a reason – they know how to deliver the goods.
What type of football boot do I need?
The individual type of boot will depend on what you hope to achieve with your game and where you will be playing it. Football pitches can be split into roughly half-a-dozen different categories. Depending on which one you play on most, you'll want to purchase a boot that best enhances your performance upon those particular types of surfaces.
What kind of surfaces are there?
You can buy football boots for five different surfaces – firm ground, soft ground, artificial grass, astro turf and indoor courts – while in addition, you can purchase a sixth type, multi-ground, which covers varied combinations of the above. On tougher grass that's frozen in the winter? You'll want firm ground. On grass that's soaked in the rain overnight? Soft ground is your best bet. Five-a-side at the local sports hall? Indoor courts are the way to go. Knowing what you'll be playing on is sometimes half the battle.
With that in mind, here are the best football boots, plus some budget alternatives, that you can get right now.
FIRM GROUND (FG) FOOTBALL BOOTS
Built with studs shaped like blades that help dig into natural grassy terrain for excellent grip, there's nothing more popular on the market. Firm-ground options sell so well because they're ready to go whatever the weather as a boot for all seasons. So whether you're baking in summer sunshine or frozen underfoot in the winter, these will have you covered.
Read the full round-up of the best firm ground boots in 2022
BEST OVERALL: Adidas Predator Edge.1
Adidas have a few Predator options, but this one is the best overall option for firm grounds. The upper is designed with care to create four distinct ribbed sections which will elevate your dribbling and control skills whilst optimising swerve and power. The stretchy collar gives you a sock-like fit and adaptive support for all shapes. You have the choice of four colourways with this pair, but the white and cobalt blue is exceptionally sleek.
BEST BUDGET: Nike The Premier III
The K-leather with upper on the Nike Premier III gives these football boots a luxurious feel and look without the hefty price tag. The stitching on the boots is unique to create specific cushioning zones at the instep and outstep for control. Conical studs provide excellent traction, especially on wet, short cut grass pitches. Plus, the classy black, white and neon yellow colourway on this is something you can't beat.
SOFT GROUND (SG) FOOTBALL BOOTS
Soft ground boots are designed for longer, muddy grass, making them ideal for playing in rainy places like the United Kingdom. Crafted with conical studs both longer and more rounded than the typical boot, the soft-ground option helps you dig in and avoid slippage in wet conditions.
Read the full round-up of the best soft ground boots in 2022
BEST OVERALL: New Balance Furon V6+ Pro
How do you solve a problem like a lightweight upper when it brings too much drag? You make it weigh even less, which the Furon V6+ Pro achieves with its lightweight nylon plate. This minimalist cleat is designed to give you the feeling of direct contact with the ball and ground. The upper is constructed from re-engineered Fit Weave for a clean and smooth finish.
BEST BUDGET: Puma Future Z 4.3 SG
Bringing progressive dynamism wherever you are on the pitch, the Future Z is one of the best soft ground boots currently on the market. A Dynamic Motion System outsole provides great freedom of movement and support to allow you to change directions quickly. A unique stud configuration also increases your agility on the unrivalled agility compared to other boots.
MULTI-GROUND (MG) FOOTBALL BOOTS
Designed to deliver the best of both worlds between firm and soft ground options, multi-ground boots look to ensure that you won't trip up whether you're playing on robust or rubbish turf. While they're built to tackle most surfaces, there is a caveat to their overall quality. Despite their versatility, their shorter studs have less grip than you'd find elsewhere.
Read the full round-up of the best multi-ground boots in 2022
BEST OVERALL: Adidas X Speedflow.2
The Adidas X range has no shortage of varieties to its established name, but this Speedflow 2 might be among the most efficient options in its repertoire. Topped with a Speedskin upper that's effectively translucent, it's built to ensure a happy marriage of speed and comfort over any terrain. A stretchy tongue makes it easy to slip in and out of the boots.
BEST BUDGET: Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Academy
Not only are the Nike Mercurial a good looking pair of shoes, but they're also engineered for speed. The conical studs give you supercharged traction to get you off the mark quickly and help with pivoting around the opposition. The texture on the synthetic upper allows you to control the ball better, especially when dribbling at high speeds.
ARTIFICIAL GROUND (AG) FOOTBALL BOOTS
Synthetic surfaces typically offer greater resistance than real grass does, meaning boots are crafted with short hollow studs to help transition the natural impact of the body without causing lasting damage to joints. Be wary of the kind of boot you'll need, with varieties frequently adapted to suit 3G, 4G or even 5G pitches.
Read the full round-up of the best artificial ground boots in 2022
BEST OVERALL: Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite AG
Reborn from the sole up to deliver a model that allows you to cut through the noise and the field like a hot knife through butter, the Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite is the kind of boot that can help you turn your movements to smoke. Its specialised components are matched with innovative plates to create superb responsiveness. Mix it with the insole cushioning, and you've got a boot ready to adapt to the beat of artificial grass.
BEST BUDGET: Adidas Copa Sense.3
The leather upper is a real throwback to old school football boots and will make you feel like you're outdoors when you're ripping up the court indoors. The stretchy collar on the Adidas Copa Sense.3 fits the form of your foot for a seamless fit. A strong forefront also gives extra protection and support on the hard pitch to make your touches are on point when it counts the most.
ASTRO TURF (TF) FOOTBALL BOOTS
It's easy to muddle the perceptions of artificial grass with astro turf, given both deliver simulated experiences compared to authentic pitches. But there's more than meets the eye, with both possessing crucial differences in make-up and thus requiring a different kind of boot to specialise with. These bring short rubber studs into play and bouncy soles to allow for additional spring in your step.
Read the full round-up of the best astro turf boots in 2022
BEST OVERALL: Nike Phantom GT2 Academy Dynamic Fit TF
Find yourself the proven goalscorer in need of a little pick-me-up? The Phantom GT II Academy Dynamic Fit TF will do the job. It boasts an off-centre lace pattern, cut towards the outside of each respective foot, to help deliver increased ball control and strike properties when out on the pitch. Combined with its sharp, hexagonal grid of soft studs that run the gamut of its length, you've got one quality boot that's ready for action.
BEST BUDGET: Adidas X Speedflow Messi TF
There are a fair few Adidas X options for football boots, but the brand has collaborated with Paris Saint-Germain player Lionel Messi for a special boot. With the Messi logo making up the core of the design, it's the build that is really impressive. A lugged outsole gives you good traction and digs into artificial turf pitches so you can show off your best skills, just like Messi. This is only enhanced with a Speedskin upper for superior ball control.
INDOOR (IC) FOOTBALL BOOTS
Also known as futsal boots, these are specifically designed to deliver fluid experiences on hard flooring, leaving black marks behind as a thing of the past. Their rubber soles are specifically designed to do just that, while an additional bounce to the bottom helps enhance natural reactiveness.
Read the full round-up of the best indoor football boots in 2022
BEST OVERALL: Nike Lunar Gato II IC
If you're a big fan of futsal or a five-a-side game, then the Nike Lunar Gato II is perfect for ensuring you're on the winning side. Lunarlon foam cushioning will give you a responsive touch and feel like a soft cloud when playing on a hard pitch. Mesh panels mean you'll get all the breathability you would if you played outdoors. Plus, the Nike Grind rubber on the forefront means you won't be wearing down or scuffing your shoes anytime soon.
BEST BUDGET: Umbro Tocco 2 Club IC
Want extra comfort on the hard surfaces of an indoor court? Then Umbro have you covered with the stylish Tocco 2 Club football boots. The soft synthetic upper has a padded forefoot which provides a good touch on indoor courts. A textile sock collar also gives you a comfortable fit to lock you into the shoes. But, Umbro hasn't skipped on style as the boots come in a navy colourway with cool blue detailing, making it a standout option.