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Much like any other major sport, the game of soccer is always advancing and setting new standards for the future. As new stars raise to amazing heights and test the boundaries of their equipment, players and manufactures look for solutions to problems both old and new. Unsurprisingly, the item receiving the majority of research and development is, perhaps, soccer shoes. Being such a specialized type of footwear, designers are always looking to make adjustments and improvements to provide shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and allow the player to maintain effective ball control while still following the latest styles. As the elites of this beautiful game find and solve the issues that plague them, this innovation is, in turn, filtered down to the public to help the young stars of tomorrow and enthusiasts alike improve their game and fitness. There are few major sportswear firms in the world that are as massive as Nike, who are known for making products for nearly every sport around. As such a driving force in the sports footwear industry, it comes as little surprise that Nike offers some of the best cleat designs available. Below are the 10 best Nike soccer cleats for 2018.
Nike Mercurial Vapor XI Firm Ground
Part of Nike's extensive Mercurial collection, the Vapor XIs provide increased speed and better grip of both the ground and the ball. The design is lightweight and comfortable, with a nice, glove-like fit. As observed by many consumers, the studs are well spaced and balanced for a substantial boost in speed as well. The shoe is built to offer the player a lighter touch in order to more easily control the ball. This lighter feel is provided by what are referred to as speed ridges; rows of a sort of piping or ribbing that run the length of the top of the boot. The tongue is comprised of a compression-type fabric with a certain elasticity, which assures a snug fit that will be endure due to the rebound of the material.
Nike Phantom Vision Elite DF Firm Ground
From the Phantom series at Nike, this cleat is engineered for optimal comfort, fit, and flexibility, as well as exceptional ground grip on a real grass pitch. With its high top structure, this boot varies greatly from the previous entry, which featured a low top. With the ankle support comprised of a flexible compression fabric, this boot is intended to provide a well-fitting, yet flexible feel, without compromising on function and utility. With a so-called "ghost lacing system," the shoe is equipped with a sleek appearance, too. With a grip that some customers term as "aggressive," this boot provides excellent traction not only on a natural pitch, but very good grip on the soccer ball as well.
Nike Magista Obra II Elite Firm Ground
This low top design, the latest entry in the Nike Magista series, offers a lightweight, flexible fit that features better control and comfort than its predecessors. Made of an innovative synthetic material, these soccer shoes are quite easily cleaned when compared with boots made from natural fabrics, also allowing for a greater tweaking of the shoes' exterior features in the design phase. The "Kanga-Lite" material used in the upper portion of the cleat allow for greater flexibility, superior range, ease of motion, and an impressively lightweight feeling. This material is also intended for fast and easy break-in, an important feature in any piece of professional-grade sportswear. The 3D patterning on the shoe allows for effective ball control while not taking too much away from the general sleekness of the design.
Nike Mercurial Veloce III Dynamic Fit Firm Ground
Another entry from the Nike Mercurial collection, the Veloce III combines many of the features of the Vapor XI with a high top construction for additional ankle support. Like the Vapor XI, the Veloce III features the effective ball feel offered by the 3D speed ridges that run across the upper of the shoe in a vertical, ribcage like fashion. With these rows of ridges, the Veloce III is especially well suited for passing and shooting, allowing for more power, efficiency, and force with a lighter attack. With it's compression fabric and higher top, this boot is meant to fit with a certain snugness and exceptional comfort (one of the most comfortable soccer cleats of 2018, to be exact), combining top of the line features from several higher end cleat series, at a more accessible price point.
Nike Premier II Firm Ground
While the previous entries listed are largely focused on futuristic and state of the art design and innovation, the Premier II is intended to be a revised classic that nods to historically iconic Nike designs and recognizes their contribution to the field of soccer cleats over the years. Like other more traditional designs, the Premier II is crafted from flexible kangaroo leather rather than the latest space-age materials. This boot is intended for the player who wants a soft and comfortably fitting shoe for a relatively accessible price, while keeping to a classic design. The Premier II is for ballers who are not so heavily fixated on the minutia of modern cleat innovation and just want a reliable boot that won’t let them down.
Nike Mercurial Superfly V Firm Ground
Yet another stellar entry from the Nike Mercurial series, the Superfly V offers many of the innovations and assets seen on the Vapor XI and the Veloce III of the same collection, with some additional features of its own that are both aesthetic and practical in nature. Like many Nike sportswear offerings, the Superfly V is featured in bright and striking color schemes that will draw the eye to them. In addition to the aforementioned ball-touch-improving speed ridges and lightweight construction that you have come to know to as standard in the Mercurial series, the Superfly V features a sock-like ankle collar for comfort and flywire cables. The flywire cables create a superior fit and snugness, which retains its structure with minimal loss to physical integrity.
Nike Magista Obra II Dynamic Fit Firm Ground
Building on the features of the previously listed and simpler Obra II Elite low top boot, the dynamic fit version offers additional ankle support and comfort for players with wider feet. While this is certainly not the best looking entry to this list of top Nike soccer cleats, it provides a great deal of practical assets that make up for its rough and utilitarian appearance. With an easy and quick break in period and flexible comfort, the upper of this boot is constructed from the proprietary FlyKnit material, which allows for a soft comfortable fit that is almost cushion-like. With its superb ball touch, this speaker is especially well-suited for passing. Additionally, the shoe is exceptionally adept at quick changes of direction and pace.
Nike Tiempo Legend VII Academy Firm Ground
A great value for its price point and features relative to that affordability, the Tiempo Legend VII builds on the success of the line while making critical improvements that bring it to a new level. Part of an iconic Nike cleats line, this affordably priced shoe allows the average person to experience some of the greatest assets and selling points of this series. Some users observed that, in spite of the budget-minded nature of the Legend VII, it has a very comparable fit to the higher end boots from the Tiempo line. In addition to the surprisingly soft and comfortable calf leather upper (with the ever-popular speed ridges), the laces feature cables for better lockdown, and the overall build quality of the shoe is impeccable.
Hypervenom Phantom III Elite Firm Ground
Once again putting function much higher than aesthetics, the Hypervenom Phantom III Elite sits in the higher price points of the cleat world, though this expense will afford you a great suite of high performance features. Whether or not you are into the Hypervenom’s brash and rugged style, this cleat is engineered to offer professional level durability and dynamism for the discerning player, sharing a design from one of the best soccer cleats for bad knees. Another design making use of Nike's new FlyKnit synthetic material, this boot is very comfortable and flexible, with great physical resilience. Additionally, the upper is reinforced with foam padding in order to make the sting of striking the ball less apparent. The comfortable and secure fit of the shoe makes it feel almost more like a well-fitting sock, displaying exceptional lockdown, too.
Nike Hypervenom Phantom Elite Dynamic Fit Firm Ground
If you are into the high end and cutting edge features of Nike soccer cleats like the Phantom III, but don't quite like the fit or feel, your best bet may well be the dynamic fit version of the same shoe. With the addition of an ankle collar, this cleat offers better support and comfort with their sock-like feel for the ankles than the low top models in the series, making it one of the best soccer cleats for ankle support on the market today. With easy break-in and true to size fitting, this boot is extra comfortable on the pitch and even off (if you feel like scuffing up the floors in your home). Being a dynamic fit model, this shoe is ideal for players with wider feet, offering for greater comfort and snug fit that should be expected with such a high-end item.