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Cheap vs. Expensive soccer cleats: Does it really matter?

Soccer is a global sport with an ever-growing audience and a vast pool of players. Since it’s played on grass, you shouldn’t run in your usual footwear. You have to buy a pair of soccer cleats so that you have more traction when running and stoping on often slippery surfaces. Brands have created soccer cleats at various price points from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. The question is: should you invest in an expensive pair of cleats or settle on a more affordable solution?

If you are playing professional soccer where the competition is fierce, everything that can give you the slightest edge over your opponents is welcomed. Expensive soccer cleats may give you that little extra benefit. Now, if you are a recreational player, chances are that you will not see any difference in your performance even if you are wearing the most technologically advanced boots.

Let’s elaborate on that a little more.

Why Are Some Soccer Cleats so Expensive?

There aren’t many examples of this, but some of the priciest models can be sold for several hundred dollars. Let’s say that the mid-tier price would be around 150 dollars for a pair. It’s also true that there are numerous models that you can get for just 20 bucks. These are made by the same companies.  Furthermore, soccer brands may give you three or four or maybe even five versions of the same model in different price tags. 

So, why does this happening? Manufacturers want to sell as many shoes as they can. By giving you more alternatives, they have more chances of catching you with a price point that you are happy to buy. Between the various versions of the same silo, the main differences can be found in the following points:

  1. Weight: Those that cost more will generally be more light-weight than the regular ones. This is a much-desired feature, especially for those who are looking for speed.
  2. Comfort: The material will also be of higher quality and they should be more comfortable, at least on paper. Some cleats also come with the innovation of keeping the feet more relaxed and breathable.
  3. Fit: The expensive ones claim that they will fit better around the foot and can provide some improvements when controlling the ball.
  4. Design: The more costly ones will have more fancy designs to lure more players on buying them.

An example of such variation in price between shoes of the same silo is the Adidas X Speedflow or the Adidas Predator series in the video below.

These are, of course, the perks of buying an expensive product from different brands or silos.

Except for that there are many other reasons why a soccer boot is more costly than others.

The technological processes that are implemented in the making of soccer shoes are getting increasingly sophisticated. This means that more expensive models require a lot of research and workforce to develop. Companies spend many working hours while testing various types of materials. Their goal is to make them more durable and decrease their weight. Production is also more complicated, and this contributes to higher prices.

When buying some brand new pricy cleats, you should note that you are also paying for the design and color patterns. This doesn’t have any impact on the way you play, but some people like to wear soccer shoes that can leave a distinct impression.

A lot of these models are also designed in collaboration with superstar players. Many are made with their playstyle in mind. The very fact that many famous players are wearing a particular cleats model will boost its price in no time.

Do Expensive Soccer Cleats Make a Difference?

This question can be a bit tricky to answer. Let us say this right away: soccer cleats that cost more will make you slightly better. But, some things should be mentioned when stating this. First off, if you aren’t a professional player, it’s very debatable if there will be any noticeable improvements. Athletes that compete on the highest level have a lot of competition. These players are in perfect physical condition and they will need even the slightest advantage if they want to be better than their peers.

For example, expensive soccer cleats are lighter than the cheaper ones. This difference in weight is measured in a couple of grams, and if you aren’t playing professional soccer, this won’t be noticed. However, professional athletes will pay a lot of money for lighter shoes as they will gain some small speed advantage.

Now let’s see another example. The upper of some expensive shoes has some extra layers or constructions that enhance the striking of the ball (At the Adidas Predator Mutator series of the example in the above video, the cheaper version does not have any spikes in the upper as the other expensive cleats of that silo). If you are an amateur player, and you have a certain level of ability in shooting the ball, those features will not have any noticeable impact on your performance.

In general, advanced soccer cleats will not help you to become a better player. You have to become more competent first and then look for something that will help you step up your game.

Cheaper models tend to last longer than the pricey ones. That is because they don’t feature materials that are quite as thin and quite as flexible. The materials are a little bit thicker a little bit more rugged, and they tend to be more durable than the lighter and thinner boots. Top boots are designed mostly for top players in mind who can afford spending thousands of dollars on such equipment. And because a shoe is designed for a specific pro player, it doesn’t mean that it will suit your playing style as well.

On the other hand, expensive shoes are more comfortable. They are usually made with better materials and fit your foot better. This means that there are some differences in build quality between cheap and expensive soccer cleats. The traction will generally be better on expensive shoes, but you can also find cheaper models with that fare well in this category. It’s also worth mentioning that better-fitting shoes can provide you with some better ball control. Even so, this is not always the case. A low-cost model will sometimes fit you better than its expensive counterpart. It’s all about personal preference and testing for the right boots that suit you the best.

Closing thoughts – Should I buy expensive soccer cleats or not?

There are many questions that you have to ask yourself before making a decision.

  • Are you a kid, and your foot is growing? You do not want to invest 300$ for a shoe that you will wear for only a few months.
  • Are you playing on several surfaces? You need a different pair of shoes for firm ground pitches or artificial grass, for example. You have to consider that as well before purchase.
  • Are you playing just for fun, or do you have other aspirations? As long as you are not very serious about soccer, cheaper ones will be more than enough. If you are a pro, why not take advantage of every extra benefit that top shoes have to offer.
  • Are you going to take care of your boots and prevent them from ripping? Every soccer cleat will deteriorate fast if you neglect them. If you invest in expensive boots and want to make the most out of your purchase, you can refer to that article.
  • How will a pricey shoe impact your game? Some players gain confidence if they are wearing the best shoes that the industry has to offer. Others may become extra careful as they do not want to harm their new pricey shoes, and that has a negative effect on their game.
  • What is your budget? If you are in a tight budget wait for the brand to release a new version of the shoe you want to buy. That will drop the price of the older version significantly. Obviously,  if you can afford it go for the most technologically advanced shoes.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your personal choice and budget. Investing more in your soccer cleats will undoubtedly have a small impact on your game. Does this extra benefit justify an additional investment of around 100 bucks? It’s up to you to decide.

Finally, it is always better to purchase the cheaper versions than going for fake or used soccer cleats.

I hope that this article has helped you come to a decision. If you have any thoughts on that topic, feel free to share them in the comment section right down below.


Hi, my name is Bill, owner, writer and editor at was created based solely on my love for soccer. Soccer is more than just a sport to me, it is my hobby, talent, work and more. I have been watching the sport for most of my life and played it from my teenage days up to now. The main focus of is to help professionals, players and sport lovers find information on soccer gear. The main aim is provide high quality, advanced/updated and comprehensive content on soccer cleats and other soccer gear to people all around the world.

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