The 10 Best Soccer Cleats for Defenders – Find Their Pros and Cons!

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From the timeless Adidas Copa Mundial to the contemporary Nike Tiempo Legend, there’s no shortage of amazing footwear available to the average consumer. 

With that in mind, let’s explore an in-depth analysis of the advantages and drawbacks of cleats designed for defenders. In this article, we will tell you all about their comfort, durability, texture, and price.

Top 10 Soccer Cleats for Defenders

Soccer players need to engage in extensive exercise routines and endure long hours of matches. With such intense workouts, it is important that their shoes provide long-lasting comfort. Likewise, these boots should also have durable and functional cleats. 

Here is a list of the top ten cleat brands for defenders. 

1. Adidas Copa Mundial

adidas Men's Copa Mundial Soccer Shoe

Since the initiation of the Adidas Copa Mundial in 1979, they have prevailed for decades, and their distinguished reputation precedes them.

In this inconsistent world, they are a brand that has consistently flourished and, even now, has no blemishes on its reputation. Many defenders use and appreciate them all over the world. 

Things We Like

  • Usage of Kangaroo Leather

High-quality kangaroo leather is their motif. This commitment to using premium leather consistently over the years underscores their unwavering dedication to top-notch quality. This leather not only enhances grip on the soccer ball but also delivers exceptional control during gameplay.

  • Its durability

One of the standout features of the Adidas Copa Mundial is its exceptional durability. With the ability to withstand the rigors of play, these cleats can easily endure two seasons of action without showing signs of wear and tear.

  • Practicality with comfort

While Adidas introduces several upgrades a year, their overall comfort level has never been neglected. 

  • Conical stud pattern

Incorporating a conical stud pattern significantly boosts functionality, offering optimal traction on natural grass surfaces.

Things we don’t like

  • Heavier than others.

No matter how comfortable Adidas’ cleats are, they are heavier than their peers. This might not be an issue for everyone, but if you lean towards lighter alternatives, this could potentially limit your agility.

  • Out-of-date aesthetics

The color choices for these cleats are limited to traditional black and white. While the practical advantages override this aspect, those who favor more vibrant styles might not find these visually appealing.  Water absorption

Leather (no matter how high-quality) soaks up moisture in wet conditions. This makes Adidas cleats less suitable for games played in rainy weather.

  • Price

With a long-standing brand name and reputation comes a heavy price tag. If you’re working with a constrained budget, these cleats might not be the most viable choice. Those seeking a more budget-friendly option might find other alternatives more suitable.

2. Nike Tiempo Legend 9

Nike Tiempo Legend 9

The Nike series has persisted for a long time. They have produced many prominent series of cleats over the years. The latest series, Nike Tiempo Legend 9, is just as distinguished. It is ideal for those with wide feet.

Things we like

  • Kangaroo leather

Using premium kangaroo leather for their cleats assures they are of the best quality. Additionally, it provides a snug fit and excellent ball control.  In the Tiempo Legend 9, innovative foam pads integrated into the leather upper add an extra layer of comfort and cushioning

  • Durability

Renowned for their durability, all previous Nike cleat lines stand as a testament to this quality. The Nike Tiempo Legend 9 takes durability even further, setting a new standard for long-lasting cleats.

  • Light-weight

The Nike Tiempo Legend exhibits an impressive lightweight design, significantly enhancing mobility and agility on the field.

  • Traction 

While all the previous series offer superb traction, the Nike Tiempo Legend 9 provides even more traction.

Things we don’t like

  • Price

Since Nike is a long-standing and high-quality brand, their prices are also demanding. If you take up soccer as a hobby, you may not want to spend more on premium cleats. However, if you are pursuing soccer professionally, purchasing high-quality cleats is a must. 

  • Water-absorption

Leather’s tendency to absorb water can lead to added weight in rainy conditions, potentially restricting movement and agility.

  • Color 

The aesthetic sense of Nike Tiempo Legend 9 might not appeal to an audience who prefers flashy styles.

  • Maintenance 

Everything requires maintenance. If you want your cleats to last longer, you need to clean them regularly and even apply leather creams so they do not lose their brilliance.

3. Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan

Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan

Puma has taken the world by storm with its King Platinum 21 Vegan cleats. To be exact, the word “vegan” has surprised everyone.

Who knew an animal-free, eco-friendly leather cleat could offer such a great package?

Things we like

  • Eco-friendly and Animal-free

True to its “vegan” label, this cleat’s leather is crafted without the use of animal products, aligning seamlessly with eco-friendly practices.

  • Durability

While it is an unconventional leather, there has been no compromise on its durability. This leather upper lasts as long as premium Kangaroo leather upper lasts.

  • Light-weight 

The animal-free leather upper boasts a lighter and softer feel, adding to its comfort. 

  • Cheaper price

While new, the Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan is much cheaper than its peers.

Things we don’t like

  • Break-in period

Even Kangaroo leather upper requires a break-in period. If you are in its break-in period, you may find yourself unfamiliar with the Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan break-in period.

  • Breathability

This vegan leather employs synthetic materials, lacking the natural breathability associated with kangaroo leather, potentially affecting comfort during prolonged use.

  • Limited style options

This series has a limited style and design. You cannot find trendy styles in Puma King Platinum 21 Vegan.

4. Adidas Predator 19.2

Adidas Predator 19.2

Adidas is a brand name that promises practicality, comfort, and durability. The Adidas Predator is a top-notch series offering the best package. Though Adidas Predator 19.2 has been removed from the Adidas Predator 19 series, it still has its perks.

Things we like

  • Cheaper price

Adidas Predator 19.2 is not a premium model but a mid-tier one. It is relatively cheaper to buy compared to its high-tier peers.

  • Versatility of surface

Depending on your preferred stud configuration, these cleats can seamlessly transition across various ground and surface types.

  • Prime Mesh upper and control embossing

The incorporation of the Prime Mesh Upper and control embossing ensures a snug fit, ensuring maximum comfort during matches.

  • Prime Mesh Collar

The collar, designed for a secure lockdown feel, maintains its position without sacrificing comfort. This ensures you can focus on the game without adjusting the cleats during play..

Things we don’t like

  • Durability

While durable, it does not offer the same durability as a premium model.

  • Heavyweight

Compared to the high-end models, which boast weight, the Adidas Predator 19.2 is lighter than them. Unless you prefer very light options, it might not pose an issue for you.

5. New Balance V2 442

New Balance V2 442

New Balance is a brand renowned for its comfortable cleats, which, at the same time, do not compromise quality.

Its latest series – New Balance V2 442 – though not as prominent as its peers, is not an exception to its long-standing motif. 

Things we like

  • Low prices

This model has received less eminence than other top-tier and long-standing models, so its prices are relatively lower. If you are scared of those cleats with an exorbitant price tag, you can give this a try. It may be cheap, but it is high-quality. 

  • Traction

Engineered with a stud configuration that excels on natural grass and soft-ground surfaces, the New Balance V2 442 ensures impeccable traction.

  • High-quality materials 

It may not be a top-tier series, but it is made up of high-quality leather upper (whether natural Kangaroo or synthetic leather), allowing for its durability. It also has cushioned pillows internalized, which provide great comfort.

  • Not just for defenders

Suitable for defenders, offenders, and every position in between, the New Balance V2 442 transcends role distinctions, ensuring universal comfort and practicality.

Things we don’t like

  • Lack of technology

No matter how high-quality it is, it lacks modern technological features. Touchpads, which assist with ball control, are one such example.

  • Heavyweight

These cleats are considered heavier than premium cleats with minimalist or ultra-light designs. Whether you find it heavy depends on whether you are used to light-weight cleats.

  • Breathability

Unlike cleats equipped with proper ventilation systems that remain cool during extended use, the New Balance V2 442 lacks this breathability feature.

  • Limited aesthetics

While it may greatly appeal to those who prefer a classic touch, you may not find it to your taste if you desire a mainstream, flashy design.

6. Diadora Brasil Whiteout

Diadora Brasil Whiteout

The Italian brand Diadora still exists as a premium trade name that people look up to for its comfort, durability, and quality.

Part of the Diadora Brasil line – the Diadora Brasil Whiteout – offers a mix of traditional craftsmanship and durable comfort. As suggested by the word “whiteout”, the cleat has an all-white design.

Things we like

  • Premium quality

Crafted from premium kangaroo leather, the Diadora Brasil Whiteout unveils extraordinary cleat excellence. This exceptional material extends to its soft leather upper, delivering impeccable comfort and ball control.

  • Comfort

Prioritizing comfort, these cleats integrate ergonomic insoles and designs that gracefully conform to the contours of your feet.

  • Durability

Using premium kangaroo leather and expert craftsmanship ensures durability without wear and tear.

  • Traction

Its soleplate and stud configuration provide great traction on natural grass and soft grounds. 

Things we don’t like

  • Price 

Diadora is a long-standing name that promises premium quality products. This factor increases its price.

  • Weight 

You will find the Diadora Brasil Whiteout cleats heavy if you are used to modern ultra-light cleats.

  • Technologically backward

Staying true to its roots, Diadora does not incorporate modern technological features otherwise found in mainstream cleats. 

  • Maintenance

Leather cleats demand careful maintenance to maintain the brilliance of their material. Moreover, Diadora Brasil Whiteout is white and will require constant cleaning to keep up its appearance.

7. Nike Tiempo Legend 7

Nike Tiempo Legend 7

Nike Tiempo has a legendary presence in soccer. Its modern classic series, the Nike Tiempo Legend 7, has integrated traditional craftsmanship with modern innovations.

It has introduced technological features without compromising its roots.

Things we like

  • High-quality leather

Following its traditional route, it uses high-quality kangaroo leather. This choice not only ensures comfort but also delivers an impeccable touch on the ball.

  • Flyknit Construction

As a modern technological feature, it allows for ventilation (breathability) when the cleat warms up during plays. It can also be stretched,  allowing a snug fit that is comfortable.

  • Fitmesh Liner

As the leather warms up, the fitmesh liner prevents the cleat from overstretching, thus maintaining the shape of the cleat. 

  • Traction 

Grounded on a carefully designed soleplate and stud configuration, the Nike Tiempo Legend 7 excels in offering remarkable traction on natural surfaces like grass.

Things we don’t like

  • Price

As a legend, along with the usage of premium kangaroo leather, it has a high price tag.

  • Weight

While this series is relatively lightweight compared to Nike’s previous series, it is still heavier.

  • Maintenance

Leather cleats require consistent maintenance and care to ensure they retain their finesse.

  • Water absorption

Leather absorbs moisture. In rainy weather, this could lead to added weight that could potentially restrict movement and agility. 

8. Nike Hypervenom Phinish

Nike Hypervenom Phinish

Nike Hypervenom Phinish is a line from the Nike Hypervenom that boasts comfort and durability. It uses synthetic leather rather than a natural one.

These cleats are ideal for attackers rather than defenders. However, defenders can use them if they like lightweight cleats that promote agility.

Things we like

  • Aesthetic appeal

The Nike Hypervenom Phinish has a striking appearance.  Embracing a mainstream design, it effortlessly captures the attention of many players.

  • Light-weight

Engineered for agility, the Nike Hypervenom Phinish offers a lightweight construction that facilitates unrestricted movement, a crucial asset on the field.

  • Traction

The soleplate and stud configuration of the cleats provides exceptional traction on natural grass surfaces, enhancing stability and control.

Things we don’t like

  • Durability 

While praised for its durability, prolonged usage might reveal instances of soleplate detachment from the upper, indicating a potential durability concern.

  • Fitting issues

While it does offer a snug fit, individuals with wider feet might encounter a slightly narrow fit. 

  • It has become scarce.

You will no longer find Nike Hypervenom Phinish on the Nike website. Some sourcing will be required if you want to purchase them.

9. Puma EvoSpeed

Puma EvoSpeed

Puma – a German brand – has a great reputation in sports footwear. Their line, Puma EvoSpeed, is centered around empowering players to attain peak velocity while preserving comfort and ball control.

Things we like

  • Lightweight

Puma EvoSpeed is manufactured as lightweight and helps increase the player’s speed and agility.

  • Trendy design

It has a stunning aesthetic appeal, which attracts players who desire mainstream designs.

  • Versatility

Their main purpose is speed, but they also offer good control of the ball. 

  • Price

Puma EvoSpeed is relatively cheaper than all the top-tier cleats that promise the same results.

Things we don’t like

  • Durability 

We suggest you only wear the Puma EvoSpeed cleats in actual matches, not practice sessions. They are less durable and cannot last throughout the extensive workout of a soccer player.

  • Traction

Not all cleats are best on all grounds and surfaces. You might experience traction issues depending on the stud configuration.

  • Fitting

Puma EvoSpeed offers a snug fit. However, if you have wide feet, it might be uncomfortable for you.

  • Cushioning

These cleats lack cushioning in the sole, which their peers might offer. 

10. New Balance Furon

New Balance Furon

The New Balance Furon line aims at speed. These cleats aid mobility and agility during a match where players rapidly change their direction while running.

Things we like

  • Price

Compared to its peers, New Balance Furon cleats are relatively more affordable.

  • Lightweight

Since New Balance Furon cleats aim to increase speed so the player can perform agilely on the field, they are made with lightweight material.

  • Traction

On natural ground such as grass, the stud configuration of New Balance Furon allows for great traction.

  • Trendy design 

New Balance Furon has great aesthetic appeal. They will surely entice players who love mainstream designs.

Things we don’t like

  • Durability

We have seen reports of durability issues with the New Balance Furon cleats on artificial ground.

  • Fitting

New Balance Furon offers a great snug fit, but those with wide feet will find them more narrow fitting.

  • Cushioning 

Cushioning on the sole of New Balance Furon cleats has proven unsatisfactory. Over an extended game, it can be uncomfortable for a player.


For defenders, cleats that combine premium materials, comfort, a responsive touch, and long-lasting durability are essential.

In our opinion, the best soccer cleats for defenders are the Adidas Copa Mundia. Naturally, proper maintenance is crucial to keep them performing at their best.

While the price may be daunting, it is better to spend more once than to continuously spend over the whole duration of its usage.

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