Lotto was the first brand to produce a soccer cleat without any lace. They launched their Lotto Zhero Gravity Ultra in 2006. It came with Pro-fit which guaranteed a perfect fit along with maximum comfort. Since it had an extended it provided better shooting accuracy. Lotto expected to take the 2010 World Cup by storm with their new design.
The trend of laceless cleats did not rise the way Lotto anticipated it would. That was the case until 10 years later Adidas launched their Ace 16+ Purecontrol. Adidas revolutionized the market after they revealed that their players would literally just be slipping their new cleats.
Since 2016 there have been lots of upgraded models of the laceless cleats. In terms of laceless cleats, Adidas dominates the market. As of 2021, some of the best cleats without laces include Adidas Predator 20, X 20 Ghosted, and Copa 20. These are all some of the first-line products of Adidas. They come in both with lace and without lace models.
How Do Laceless Cleats Work?
Laceless cleats are engineered to wrap around your foot and have a sock-like fit. You can just slip in your feet and start playing without any fuss. Even though they don’t have laces, their lockdown and performance feel like they are just another ‘normal’ laced cleat. Laceless cleats possess an aesthetic design. They give off a feeling of being one with the cleats that can give a boost in your agility.
Advantages of Using Laceless Cleats
The upper of laceless cleats is as smooth as the head of the Spanish soccer manager’s head, Pep Guardiola. Their sleek design can seem more pleasing in an aesthetical sense. Due to their streamlined look, some say laceless cleats are more ‘in line with the modern game’. When controlling the ball and passing, you may feel more at one with your cleats and the ball. And lastly the most important point, it’s the lazy person’s cleats. Slip on slip off. Bliss!
How to Choose the Perfect Cleats
Finding the right pair of cleats that suit your style perfectly can be a real nightmare. If you don’t know what surface type you will be playing on usually or what type of material you want or which model would fit you perfectly, then you will be overwhelmed quite easily.
Buying a new pair of cleats should be exciting and enjoyable instead of being stressful and overwhelming. Here, we will be running you through all the major factors that you need to know to buy your new pair of joy.
- Surface Type
Modern soccer cleats are engineered to perform on just one type of surface usually to provide a better playing experience. You can put yourself at risk of serious injury by using the wrong type of cleats on the wrong type of surface. Soccer cleats are made generally made for the following type of surfaces:
- Artificial Ground cleats (AG): These cleats are made to be worn on 3G and 4G artificial pitches.
- Firm Ground cleats (FG): Perfect for a moist or dry natural grass surface.
- Soft Ground cleats (SG): Ideal for playing on wet or muddy natural grass surfaces.
- Indoor cleats: These are for indoor courts. It’s in the name.
- Astro cleats: Well suited for playing in the sand and water-based astroturf pitches.
By looking at the studs of a cleat, one can tell what category this boot falls in. For example, flat rubber soles are used for indoor cleats; metal studs are used in cleats made for soft ground, and blades are used for firm grounds usually.
Wearing the wrong type of studs can sometimes lead to severe injuries. The famous ACL damage where the knee turned without the foot is worth mentioning. It happens when you try to turn your feet while it is planted in the ground. The cleat gets too much traction and imbeds itself to the ground.
- Cleat Material
Before you splash your money on a decision that you’ll regret, it is important you know your choices. Cleats have always been made of the good old-fashioned leather. But now, they also come in synthetic and knitted materials providing a wider preference for people.
Leather Soccer Cleats
Leather cleats like Puma King have always been famous for their comfort and reliability. Although leather cleats might be more comfortable, synthetic and knitted cleats provide better performance.
Synthetic Soccer Cleats
The synthetic material is the alternative to leather. They don’t give the authentic vibe but they provide a much better performance. There is no irritation of getting your cleat soaked in water and get heavy. They also don’t lose their elasticity over time like the leather cleats. Synthetic cleats are not as costly as its counterpart the knitted ones. They are basically the best of both worlds.
Knitted Soccer Cleats
Knitted cleats are mainly for really serious players or for people with enough money to spare. The latest Nike Mercurials prove how well these cleats perform.
- Playing Position
The days of using just a random cleat are over. Now, cleats are made for dedicated positions. This innovative feature allows you to give your maximize your abilities. Different cleats are made even for goalkeepers these days. Using cleats that really complement your game is the way to go unless you’re Lionel Messi. He doesn’t give much thought to this when choosing his cleats.
If you’re a professional player then you know that your comfort comes before everything when it comes to soccer cleats. The sleek design or the fancy look or the upgraded sole means nothing if you’re not comfortable when you’re running ninety minutes in the field.
Soccer brands are constantly upgrading their cleats, making them more comfortable to use while maximizing the player’s abilities to the very best. Major soccer brands are constantly releasing new colors of their products or re-releasing old products with upgrades. It is really hard to keep up with all those and identifying which one fits your criteria.
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|1. Adidas Predator Mutator 20+|
|2. Adidas Copa 19+|
|3. New Balance Tekela 3.0 Pro|
|4. Nike Phantom Vision 2 Pro|
|5. Adidas X 18+|
|6. Adidas Nemeziz 18+|
|7. Umbro Medusae III Elite|
|8. Adidas Predator 19+|
1. Adidas Predator Mutator 20+
When the Adidas Predator Mutator 20+ was first released, it was as if a creature was unleashed in the fields. This model gives a very good ball control performance to its user. It even has a Demonskin grip. Most customers said that it is very comfortable to wear and fits very well.
Although this model is a little high in price, it has left quite a lot of users satisfied.
- Comfortable and fits well
- Provides well traction
- Knitted material
- Some user complained about its durability
2. Adidas Copa 19+
The Copa has been one of the staples of Adidas for a long time now. Its first laceless model came out with the 19+ model. Worn by Argentine player Paulo Dybala, this cleat is quite durable. The Copa 19+ is the first laceless leather cleats produced by Adidas.
Although some users have commented about its design and poor design, it is still considered to be one of the best laceless cleats.
- Unique stitchless design
- Quite light even though its leather
- Some prefer its laced counterpart for the design
3.New Balance Tekela 3.0 Pro
The New Balance Tekela 3.0 Pro is the first laceless New Balance cleat. The predecessor of this model is quite underrated in the market. The strong lockdown lets the player control the ball a lot better than the previous New Balance models.
Due to its strong lockdown, the chances of your feet slipping inside are quite low. That is also the behind reason for the player to have better ball control.
- 3D ridges in the forefront
- Strong lockdown
- Perfect ball control
- Smooth strikezone
- Not for people with wide feet
4. Nike Phantom Vision 2 Pro
The Nike Phantom Vision 2 Pro is all about precision. It is a sequel that far outdid its predecessor. It is quite is to get on and take off making it a target for people with wide feet. If you have wide feet, then this should definitely be on your list.
The Quadfit mesh finish leaves a very comfortable touch to the cleat. Not to mention the Ghost lacing system that offers the customization of traditional laces.
- Ghost lacing system
- Flyknit upper and Quadfit mesh
- Perfect for people with wide feet
- Durability issues
5. Adidas X 18+
Worn by stars like Son Heung-Min this classy Adidas cleat is designed for speedsters. Although the Adidas X 18+ comes in a weird set of colors, it has a few mentionable features. The low-cut Clawcollar locks your feet in position with the boot.
The upper is made of Skeletalwave. The ultra-thin woven yarns let the user feel lightweight.
- Well known for its quality
- Low-cut Clawcollar
- Sketelwave upper
- Cause discomfort on the angle.
6.Adidas Nemeziz 18+
The greatest feature of the Adidas Nemeziz 18+ is that it was worn by Lionel Messi. It provides a very good mobility making it perfect to make those key passes. One customer said that it formed blisters initially but gave a very comforting fit later on.
They are extremely comfortable and a decent fit at the same time. It is also true of its size.
- Extremely comfortable
- Fits well
- Slick design
- Durability issues
7. Umbro Medusae III Elite
It is fair to say Umbro pulled off all the stops with their Umbro Medusae III Elite. Even after having extra padded zones in the collar and silicon grip pods in the heel, this cleat still weighs only 170g. It is the lightest cleat Umbro has ever produced.
With its lightlessness, this cleat comes with a great fitting making it very easy to run around in. It also comes with a large piece of K-leather vamp to increase the shooting area.
- Perfectly fit
- Weighs only 170g
- Comfortable and natural
- K-leather vamp for shooting
- Small studs
8. Adidas Predator 19+
Worn by famous players like Paul Pogba and Delle Ali, the Adidas Predator 19+ is quite similar to its predecessor the Adidas Predator 18+. If you enjoyed playing with the 18+, then you will certainly enjoy playing with this one.
This cleat lets you control the tempo of the game and lets you make those accurate shots you have been missing for the whole season. It also provides good precision thanks to the Controlskin.
- Great accuracy
- Controlskin upper
- Sock-like fit
- Can accommodate different foot type
- Not fitting enough
Since manufacturers use innovative technology to make cleats without laces, the laceless versions cost a little more than the normal ones. Even if you aim for a cheaper one, it will still cost slightly more than its normal counterpart version.
Laceless cleats are not usually made for people with wide feet. Since there is no lace, the openings are always narrow. The inside of the cleats is sometimes narrowed to give a better grip to the player. But in doing so, players with wide feet don’t get the privilege of wearing laceless cleats. They are engineered in a ‘one size fits all’ shape.
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