The Best Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

Firm ground cleats are versatile boots designed to work best on natural dirt or grass fields. They feature rounded studs, bladed studs, or a combination of both for maximum grip on natural playing surfaces. For more details check out my soccer cleats 101 guide.

Firm ground cleats are the most common type of soccer cleat on the market so there are  hundreds of choices.  How to choose and see past the marketing fluff?  Well you don’t have to since I compiled TONS of data on all the firm ground cleats for sale and four shoes stand above the rest.

Criteria for selection:

  • At least 50 reviews
  • Reviewed on a minimum of 5 different sites to remove website bias

Classic rounded stud pattern is common to firm ground cleats

The list – most popular firm ground soccer cleats

side by side comparison

 

Adidas Copa Mundial 

With almost 1,000 reviews, the Copa Mundial dominates in this category as the best selling and most popular soccer cleat of all time. The second best selling cleat of all time happens to be the Copa’s cousin the Adidas Samba.

Since its design in 1978, the Adidas Copa Mundial has consistently remained one of the most popular soccer cleats. Adidas has stayed true to the shoe’s retro history, retaining many of its original features, including construction from kangaroo leather for softness and flexibility and a soft EVA insole for comfort.

The direct injection-molded cleats allow a responsive game on firm ground. One of the best soccer cleats for defenders, weighing in at 11.7 oz, the extra weight is provided by the extended tongue and extra padding that provides protection from tackles and getting stepped on.

Adidas has retained the original black and white colors – because after all why change the most popular outdoor soccer cleat?  Recently however, Adidas is offering the Copa Mundial in the all black boot (Blackout) and all white (Whiteout) color styles.

 

Nike Hypervenom Phantom

The Nike Hypervenom Phantoms are amazing soccer cleats with loads of synthetic tech features.

The striking design of this lightweight attacker’s boot makes this one of the best looking soccer cleats available. Right away, the 3D textured Nikeskin fabric pops out. The waffle-textured surface, a combination of mesh and polyurethane, allows for improved ball feel and ball control. A short lace set with thinner laces at the bottom is located in an offset position, giving yet another distinctive look to this boot.

This positioning leads to an increase in the available surface of the front of the shoe, for bigger and better contact with the ball. As an attacker’s boot, the firm ground version features 10 conical (TPU tipped) studs to allow for fast rotation, while the midfoot blades give advanced toe off.

At only 7.2 oz, this combination of weight and cleat pattern makes the Nike Hypervenom Phantom one of the best soccer cleats for strikers and players who value that barefoot feel of a light shoe.

 

 

 

Nike Tiempo Legend V

The Tiempo Legend V features a kangaroo leather upper with Nike’s all conditions control (ACC) technology, giving this boot more control in wet conditions.  This shoe also features Nike’s hypershield technology in the liner, which helps the shoe be water resistant while still retaining the softness and flexibility of the kangaroo leather. An internal TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane – a material specialized for elasticity) plate provides increased durability and stability throughout your game.

A combination of cleats and blades in the direct injected sole provide great surface penetration and good traction on firm surfaces. Rectangular cleats at the heel provide comfort, while the conical cleats at the front allow for speedy rotation.

At 8.4 oz, this combination of kangaroo leather and technology makes the Nike Tiempo Legend V a great choice for someone looking for the feel of leather but with some of the newer technologies that can actually make a difference in performance.

 

Adidas Predator Instinct FG

Twenty years after the launch of the original Predator, the Instinct combines the best of the original features with the latest in technology and design, producing an amazing firm ground soccer cleat.

The upper is manufactured with Adidas’ Hybrid Touch fabric meant to mimic the feel of leather. The Predator Instinct features rubberized “lethal zones” — first implemented as a result of consultation with players such as Xavi and Robin Van Persie.  Many reviewers report increased grip and ball control from these rubber elements which are on the toe box as well as underneath the laces.

The stud pattern of the Predator is mixed allowing the best of both worlds for traction. The bladed studs in the heel provide a lot of traction while the conical studs under the midfoot and toe allow for pivoting.

At 9.8 oz, this Predator is heavier than previous year models and no longer competes with the very lightweight 6 to 8 oz cleats.   However, the combination of the rubber “lethal zones” and its weight provides a decent amount of protection and contributes to the Predator’s reputation for durability.

Given the protection and control elements, the Predator Instinct is one of the best soccer cleats for midfielders who need a durable shoe that is also beneficial to the ball control and passing demands of a midfielder.

 

Top 4 firm ground cleats at a glance

Nike Hypervenom Phantom

Score4.7
  • 221 reviews
  • 7.2 oz
  • Synthetic

Nike Tiempo Legend V

Score:4.6
  • 88 reviews
  • 8.4 oz
  • Kangaroo Leather

Adidas Predator Instinct

Score:4.6
  • 80 reviews
  • 9.8 oz
  • Synthetic