Best football boots for 2021 | ranking for all budgets
Whatever level you play at, these are the best football boots you can buy in 2021.
Let’s face it, football boots are awesome. They always have been.
However, the sheer variety of models has never been more impressive, colourful or innovative. Classic black leather uppers have made way for lightweight, flexible synthetics, with each of the big brands providing a constant stream of new designs and colourways. In fact, things change so quickly these days, it’s actually pretty hard to keep up.
Within the last 12 months alone, a dizzying number of excellent football boots have been unleashed upon the world, serving up an all-you-can-eat boot buffet and making it harder to find the perfect pair. Whether you’re a Premier League superstar, Sunday league maestro or a casual five-a-side player, you might just find yourself a little spoilt for choice.
To cut through all the noise, this is our ranking of the best football boots you can buy in 2021, with a little something for players of all budgets. Let’s do this thing.
Best Football Boots 2021: at a Glance
How to Choose Football Boots
Every player wants to make sure they’re wearing the best boots possible. After all, this is your weapon of choice out on the pitch, and the wrong pair could have you playing like Phil Jones on a bad day. Even worse, it could make you even more injury-prone and unreliable than, um, Phil Jones.
There’s a number of important factors you need to consider. Everyone’s got their own preferences in terms of sizing and colour, but you should always focus on these three things when buying some new boots: comfort, performance and budget.
Comfort will depend largely on the materials used (either leather, synthetic or sock), the shape of your foot (wide or narrow) and the lockdown each boot provides. Performance revolves around the features and technology included, as well as the overall durability and, to a certain extent, style.
Budget, of course, is fairly self-explanatory. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a new pair of football boots or a box of doughnuts (or both), pretty much everyone craves excellent value for money, which is why the below ranking considers the best cheap football boots, as well as those with the best performance and comfort.
READ | Our complete guide on how to choose the perfect football boots this season.
Which Surface Type Do You Need?
Before you consider any of the above, however, you need to make sure you’re buying boots which are suitable for your chosen playing surface. Picking up a pair of soft-ground boots, for example, would be an absolute disaster if you’re tearing it up at Powerleague every week.
Every football boot is made for a specific surface, and we never recommend trying to wear your boots on the wrong kind of pitch. It might cost you a little more money, but the wrong boot type could either become stuck in the turf or provide no traction whatsoever, causing some very nasty injuries indeed. Goodbye, knee cartilage.
There are exceptions. For example, if a boot is classed as “FG/AG”, then this means it can be worn on both firm-ground and artificial ground.
READ | Our definitive guide on the different football boot surface types for more information.
Top 20 Football Boots for 2021
Ever since Alan Ball showed off a striking white pair in the early 70s, football boots have gradually grown more exuberant and exciting. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with some classy black leather, now you can choose between countless colourways, silos, surface types and materials.
But, with so much choice available, what are the best football boots in 2021? Let’s dive in.
PLEASE NOTE: the below ranking is focused on adult sizes. Check out our separate blog on the best kids football boots if you’re hoping to find something for the little ones instead.
20. New Balance Tekela V3 Pro
Let’s kick things off with something laceless. New Balance have made a huge leap with the Tekela v3, massively changing their focus and just about managing to stick the landing. Its predecessor was one of the most underrated boots on the market and, although not all of these changes are positive, there are enough great features for the new-gen to sneak onto this list.
+ The first-ever laceless boot from New Balance, the Tekela v3 offers vastly improved control and touch, thanks to those eye-catching 3D ridges in the forefoot.
+ Although it might feel a little too tight for some, the lockdown on this bad boy is very impressive for a laceless boot. You won’t have to worry about your feet slipping around as though you’ve become Bambi on ice.
+ The rough texture on the knitted upper ensures you’ll enjoy a sensational feel on the ball, along with an irresistibly clean and smooth strikezone.
- The upper is surprisingly stiff and rigid, meaning that they’re nowhere near as comfortable as other boots released in 2021. For a next-gen control boot, that’s obviously very disappointing by today’s standards.
- The tighter fit means this is a particularly bad choice for players with wide feet, while most players may find them difficult to actually put on.
- Since it’s now much cheaper and actually much more comfortable, you might want to consider opting for the older Tekela v2 instead. It depends on how desperate you are for a laceless upper.
19. adidas Predator 18.1
The adidas Predator can do very little wrong in my eyes. Although I’m always partial to a retro throwback or two, this silo has reached whole new heights after returning to replace the Ace in 2017. Although this isn’t the latest model available, the Predator 18.1 offers outrageous value for money, while it’s also a fantastic option if you’re looking for kids boots.
+ When it comes to touch and control of the football, few boots do it better than the adidas Predator. The Controlskin upper has the ball sticking to you like glue, even when it’s pouring down with rain.
+ The 18.1 has been replaced by the 19.1, but the differences between the two models are almost non-existent. To save yourself some extra cash and still enjoy the same level of performance, the 18.1 is certainly the better option.
+ You get to show off that distinctive Predator style, even if these new boots aren’t quite as iconic as the Mania or Accelerator. Some of the colourways (especially the ‘Team Mode’ version) are absolutely breath-taking.
+ This feels like a sleeker, more modern version of an old classic, offering playmaking midfielders a performance of the absolute highest quality out on the pitch.
- Lockdown on these Predators could certainly be better, which is why you should probably go for the 18.1 instead of the 18+, since the use of laces lets you tighten things up a bit.
- It’s such a shame that the new Preds don’t feature the rubber fins or tongue which made the originals so iconic. Of course, that’s just me being a nostalgic old man.
18. Pantofola d’Oro Lazzarini ‘Made In Italy’
One day, the term “luxurious leather” should be added to the Oxford English Dictionary, with a picture of the Pantofola d’Oro Lazzarini serving as the definition. These are, for lack of a better word, immaculate football boots. Never mind heading out for a game of footy, these are so clean and crisp I’d be happy to eat my dinner off them.
+ Fine Italian craftsmanship. Luxurious, soft and supple kangaroo leather. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most comfortable football boots money can buy.
+ Made from premium leather materials, the durability and value offered by these boots simply cannot be faulted. You get what you pay for: sheer quality.
+ Just look at them. This is just about as classy and sophisticated as football boots get. You could probably wear them to your mate’s wedding, if you really wanted to.
+ The luxury leather really does feel incredible while on the ball. It’s as if they turn each and every one of us into a wannabe Andrea Pirlo.
- They lack the innovation and high performance of more modern football boots. You’re paying for style and comfort here, so they’re not a great option for those playing at a high level.
- It weighs much more than more recent releases, a problem which is exacerbated when playing in wet conditions.
17. adidas Copa Mundial
The old classic. It’s impossible to talk about the best football boots without at least mentioning the adidas Copa Mundial. Particularly popular among football coaches, match officials and the old-fashioned, no-nonsense Sunday league player, this will always be one of the best boots in the history of the beautiful game.
+ This is your quintessential football boot. The classic black and white, three-striped design remains just as classy as it was 40 years ago. People know you’re serious when you rock up in a pair of these.
+ Using premium leather materials, this is still one of the most comfortable football boots ever made.
+ An excellent choice for players with wide feet, while you’ll be pleased to hear they actually need very little wear-in time (though you should still wear them round the house for a bit).
+They’re not the cheapest boots on this list, but the value for money is insane. Buy a pair of these and they’ll honestly last forever.
- The Mundial is much heavier and bulkier than modern football boots, so won’t perform quite as well if you’re a serious player. This feels even worse when it rains and the leather soaks up all the moisture.
- A lack of any bells and whistles will be a pro for some people, but for others it means these boots just can’t compete with more recent models. It depends on whether you’re looking for quality or technology.
16. Joma Top Flex Indoor
When it comes to indoor football boots, things don’t get much better than the Joma Top Flex IN. For futsal players or those who play five-a-side in a sports hall, this should probably be your number one choice, though you can read more on our favourite football trainers if you want to check out some alternatives.
+ The clue is in the name, really. The Joma Top Flex is unbelievably flexible, making them perfect for quickly changing direction on smaller indoor pitches.
+ A premium leather upper provides fantastic comfort and durability, while also serving up the kind of touch which is vital in small-sided matches or skill games.
+ The traction and grip is simply unrivalled by indoor boots from Nike, adidas or anyone else. The non-marking rubber sole offers quality of the highest order, and you’ll rarely find yourself slipping on hard surfaces.
+ Boasts the most vibrant selection of colourways you’re likely to find on any kind of football boot, let alone just indoor models.
- With comfort the central concern here, the use of extra padding makes them a little bulkier than many other indoor trainers. Having said that, it’s still more than light enough for you to have defenders spitting dust.
15. Nike PhantomVSN II Elite DF
A sequel which improves upon the original, this is very much the Empire Strikes Back of the football boot world. The Nike Phantom Vision II delivers improved grip, control and comfort on the ball, while many will be relieved to hear it’s much easier to actually get on your feet. Built for incredible touch and control, this is definitely an upgrade worth the extra cash.
+ The Ghost Lacing System is fantastic, offering the customisation of traditional laces as well as a smooth laceless-looking upper. A very impressive strike zone.
+ Utilising a soft Flyknit upper and Quadfit mesh, these boots are very comfortable indeed, wrapping around the shape of your foot and ready to slip on straight out the box.
+ The micro-textured upper delivers sensational grip on the bal, while the ACC tech means this grip isn’t hampered in adverse conditions. Lovely jubbly.
+ The more streamlined fit offers absolutely insane lockdown, and the Dynamic Flyknit Collar is nowhere near as flappy and annoying as the original.
- While this is clearly a major improvement on the first-generation Vision, it doesn’t really blow my mind when compared to plenty of other boots on the market. The performance is great, but you could probably get something far more innovative for the same price, maybe even cheaper.
- In fact, price can be a major stumbling block here, with the latest colourways costing upwards of £200. If you’re on a tighter budget, then I’d advise checking out cheaper models listed on this ranking.
14. adidas Nemeziz 18.1
That’s right, the adidas Nemeziz 18.1 sneaks into this list ahead of the newer 19.1 model, simply because it offers more bang for your buck (or, in this case, boot). Not only is it now much cheaper, but some of the changes in the new generation have actually had a detrimental effect. Either way, the Nemeziz has always been about agility and creativity, and this remains one of the best value options for any cheeky playmakers out there.
+ Despite being a generation behind, this is still one of the most innovative boots available right now. The Agility Bandage system and Agility Weave material are still just as impressive as they were 12 months ago, and the responsiveness here is absolutely insane.
+ The lightweight, flexible feel is jaw-dropping at times, allowing you to change direction in complete comfort.
+ Personally, I think the 18.1 is superior to the 18+ simply because the laces provide a better fit, but the laceless version is still a great option.
+ There’s no denying these boots look pretty damn cool, the range of colourways is astonishing.
+ Since this has now been superseded by the 19.1, the price of these boots has dropped significantly. An absolute bargain.
- The lockdown isn’t the greatest, which is why I prefer the laced version of the Nemeziz. After updating things a bit, though, the lockdown is arguably worse on the 19.1.
- Thanks to the Dual Lock Collar, they can actually be a bit of a nightmare to put on, particularly for any players with wide feet.
13. Puma King
All hail the King. Famously worn by Pele, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff, no boot has etched itself into the fabric of the game more than the Puma King. First released back in the 1970s, this is undoubtedly one of the best football boots of all time, and it still provides a great option more than 40 years later.
+ The ultimate classic look. Along with the Copa Mundial, this serves up a smart, traditional aesthetic which is perfect for more reserved players. The kind of thing you’d wear to impress your girlfriend’s dad, perhaps.
+ Comfort is key. The use of premium leather serves up a beautifully snug feel, making both feet feel like a pair of warm, toasty cinnamon buns.
+ Great value for money. Thanks to its impressive quality, the leather upper is famously durable and hard-wearing. If you look after it, the King will reign for a very long time indeed.
+ Who the hell doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of Pele, Maradona and Cruyff?
- Since innovative boot tech is pretty much a no-go here, they can feel a little outdated if you play at a competitive level. If you’re after something a bit more up to date, then allow me to direct your attention to the Puma King Platinum instead (which is more expensive).
- They really aren’t too great in wet conditions, since they’ll become even heavier than they already are.
12. New Balance Furon v6 Pro
The New Balance Furon v6 Pro is a spectacular speed boot and a fantastic option for anyone working on a slightly tighter budget. Currently worn by Sadio Mane, this is a football boot built for relentless speedsters and deadly finishers, jam-packed with all kinds of innovative features and technological goodies.
+ Introducing a fantastic knitted upper to the silo for the very first time (known as Fit Weave), this is the lightest, thinnest and softest Furon to date.
+ The upper is capable of stretching just a little, meaning it can mould perfectly around the shape of your foot. Snug as a glove.
+ A brand-new lacing and collar system offers absolutely sensational lockdown, keeping your feet firmly in place when you’re flying down the wings.
+ Unlike some other speed boots, the v6 offers surprising levels of comfort, feeling soft and cushioned while out on the pitch.
+ The fresh New Balance “speed logo” looks incredible as part of the design. Phwoar.
- Traction and grip unfortunately aren’t as impressive as other speed boots out there, although those ahead of it will typically cost more money.
- Despite that new knitted upper, the Furon v6 is a bit heavier than its alternatives, so it’s by no means the fastest boot you can sink your feet into.
11. Under Armour Magnetico Pro
First released at the start of 2018, the Under Armour Magnetico Pro was marketed as the thinnest football boot ever made. Instead of feeling like you’re sinking your feet into boots made of tracing paper, however, this fantastic model continues to impress almost two years later, providing one of the best alternatives to the likes of Nike, adidas and Puma.
+ Thanks to the use of Clutchfit technology, this is a form-fitting boot which requires literally no break-in time whatsoever. Seriously, you could take these out the box five minutes before a match and feel as comfortable as ever.
+ The upper is very thin indeed, but the Clutchfit also provides plenty of additional strength and durability. Essentially, the Magnetico Pro serves up the performance of synthetics alongside the quality of leather, which is why it’s so high on this list.
+ Weighing just 205g, this is a lightweight model which serves up an insane barefoot sensation on the ball. At times, it feels like you aren’t even wearing boots at all, especially when you’re flying down the wing at speed.
+ With the imminent arrival of a new generation, this underrated football boot could experience a lovely price drop in the near future, so it’s certainly worth shopping for deals.
- By offering a tremendous skin-tight feel, the Magnetico will undoubtedly by a little snug for some people, and those with wide feet should give these boots a seriously wide berth.
- A lack of real texture, padding and texture can leave your feet feeling unprotected and vulnerable. Not exactly ideal if you’re a crunching centre-half putting in some big challenges.
- This is a football boot focused solely on speed. If you’re aren’t a pacey winger or attacker, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
10. Puma Future 5.1 FG/AG
I’ll give this to Puma: they certainly don’t shy away from making changes. The Puma Future 5.1 is the third version of this boot in just the past 12 months, with the 19.1 and 4.1 released earlier in 2019. While this might be frustrating (and expensive) for Future fans wanting to stay up to date, there’s no question this latest generation introduces some major improvements.
+ This is, without question, one of the best knitted football boots in the world right now. The comfort levels are absolutely through the roof, with the NETFIT upper adapting to the shape of your foot. You’ll never want to take them off.
+ The innovative NETFIT lacing system allows you to enhance comfort even further, since you can fully-customise the laces to make sure the fit and lockdown is as strong as possible - even for players with wide feet.
+ Touch, control and feel of the football have never been better, with Puma adding a sticky GripControl Pro layer to key contact zones (on the toe box, for example).
+ By going for the FG/AG version, you’re bagging a boot suitable for multiple surface types. A great choice if you play on both firm and artificial ground.
- While this feels more streamlined than previous versions of the Future, this can still feel a little bulky for some players, especially those with a narrower foot or looking for a responsive speed boot.
- The customisable lacing system is still fantastic, but the 5.1 features a reduced number of options compared to other generations.
- This is completely subjective, but I just don’t think the overall look and design of this boot is the strongest. There are definitely better-looking boots out there, though this may change with any future (no pun intended) colourways.
9. adidas X 19.1
The adidas X has always been the ultimate boot for speedsters, but the 19.1 has introduced features which opens it up to a broader range of players. Of course, acceleration still sits at the heart of this generation, which is exactly why you’ll find Mo Salah and Gareth Bale wearing them every week. Plus, some of the colourways are pretty damn awesome.
+ A truly remarkable speed boot, the paper-thin Speedmesh upper feels more texture and grippier than previous models, serving up a much more rounded design.
+ For a thin, lightweight speed boot, the X 19.1 actually feels surprisingly plush and cushioned, with plenty of padding in the toe box and heel keeping your feet nice and toasty.
+ Compared to the 19+ model, the 19.1 offers superior lockdown and responsiveness thanks to the use of traditional laces, so I recommend going for this unless you’re some sort of laceless fanboy.
+ Makes use of an innovative Speedframe outsole, designed to give you incredible traction on your chosen playing surface. Essential if you’ve got explosive pace.
- Some fantastic features have been introduced with the 19.1, but these are by no means wholesale changes to the 18.1. While this is clearly a superior boot, you might want to consider going for the older model if you want to save some extra cash.
- Unlike previous X models, this doesn’t feel like a traditional speed boot. The extra padding and focus on control makes this more an all-rounder, so it doesn’t feel quite as effective when accelerating.
8. Puma Ultra 1.1
Good grief, these are fast. Seriously, you need to strap on a seatbelt and hang onto your hat, because the Puma Ultra will probably have you trailing smoke. Marking Puma’s first dedicated speed boot since the insane evoSPEED, this is unbelievably light and breezy out on the pitch. Just steer clear of any speed cameras.
+ Speed, speed and, yep, more speed. The Puma Ultra weighs in at just 160g, ensuring it remains incredibly devastating and lightweight.
+ The ground-breaking MATRYXEVO woven upper is surprisingly strong and rigid, perfect for supporting your explosive movements and bursts of pace. Helpful, eh?
+ Without doubt, the most innovative speed boot Puma have ever made, and it’s the closest they’ve come to really challenging the Mercurial and X.
+ It’s a lot wider than you’d expect from a typical speed boot, serving up a fantastic option for players with wide feet. In fact, it’s probably the fastest wide boot around.
+ The Nano Grip sockliner offers incredible stability and lockdown (so long as you don’t have particularly narrow feet), making sure your feet aren’t sliding around inside when you’re busting a gut.
- The wider fit is definitely a bonus for some players, but those with narrow feet may find the lockdown a little disappointing here.
- It’s softer than you’d expect from such a thin upper, but it’s not as soft as some other speed boots out there - such as the adidas X or New Balance Furon. However, it’s also not quite as “barefoot” as the Mercurial.
7. Nike Tiempo Legend 8 Elite
The Nike Tiempo is, well, a legend. This is a football boot which has always been built for comfort and providing a touch from the gods, and the Legend 8 continues that tradition with one of the strongest designs to date. However, not everyone likes what Nike have done here, and this is a Tiempo unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
+ Comfort, as always, is essentially what you’re paying for with the Tiempo. They perhaps aren’t as plush, padded or quilted as they appear, but there’s no question these feel like slipping your feet into a rather lovely pair of leather slippers.
+ The quilted, diamond-esque design is outstanding in my opinion, looking particularly smart in black alongside that iconic blue Swoosh. A work of beauty.
+ This is a modern hybrid of leather and knit. A premium k-leather upper sits atop a Flyknit Fit Tunnel which wraps around the shape of your foot, while Quadfit mesh ensures you don’t need to worry about breaking them in. A Tiempo of the future.
+ The thin one-piece leather upper is deliciously light and comes without stitches, offering a fantastic touch of the ball in all conditions. Just as importantly, shooting and passing feel absolutely fantastic.
- This is a comfortable boot, yes. However, it won’t exactly blow you away, and it’s fair to say it isn’t quite as good as previous Tiempo models in this department.
- The introduction of all these new features makes this feel less like your typical Tiempo, and more like the other boots in Nike’s back catalogue. It’s still great, but that unique Tiempo feeling just isn’t quite as strong.
6. Puma One 5.1 FG/AG
This is the ONE alright. ONE to rule them all and in the darkness bind them. Puma’s latest addition to this silo somehow brings together all the things I love about modern football boots, serving up the kind of diverse cocktail I’d very happily get drunk on. It might have been replaced by the ONE 20.1, but the differences are so slight I’d highly recommend sticking with this.
+ The Puma ONE delivers on all fronts. Speed, style, touch, comfort and just about everything in between. If you want a boot that can do just about everything, this is the ONE for you.
+ Wrapped in some rather lovely k-leather, the in-step delivers the kind of luxurious touch and control we all dream of at night. Plus, this makes striking the ball very satisfying indeed.
+ The out-step, meanwhile, makes use of Puma’s Sprintweb technology, which is essentially a mesh material designed to improve lateral support and stability.
+ Around the collar and laces, thin evoKNIT completes this ménage à trois of boot materials, keeping things all nice and comfortable and offering a slightly lower collar.
+ This is a love triangle between leather, synthetics and knit materials. It could easily have gone oh so wrong, but Puma have fortunately got it pretty much spot on instead.
- There are faster, more precise and more comfortable boots out there, but the ONE aims to deliver all those things together. If you want to focus on a sole attribute, there are definitely better choices out there.
- The lockdown is more than good enough, but not as good as several other boots on the market. This isn’t helped by the fact the laces aren’t as customisable as on previous models.
5. Mizuno Morelia Neo II
I’ve always been baffled as to why the Mizuno football boots are so criminally underused at professional level. This bafflement (new word of the day) certainly extends to the incredible Morelia Neo II, which offers a speed boot of the absolute highest quality and certainly gives you more than your money’s worth. This is a lightweight leather speed boot on a whole other level.
+ This is a lightweight leather speed boot on a whole other level. Weighing just 180g, this is one of the lightest football boots you can buy today, making you feel as though you’re running on air.
+ Made from premium kangaroo leather, the Morelia Neo II is famous for its unbelievable quality and durability, offering all players excellent value for money and fantastic comfort. You won’t need to replace these for a very long time.
+ The lockdown really is remarkable, offering the kind of stability and protection most players prioritise when buying new boots. Honestly, I can’t praise these highly enough in that department (and pretty much every other department).
+ Passing, shooting and dribbling all feel fantastic, with Mizuno striving to give us a barefoot sensation on the ball. There are other boots which do this better, but there’s no denying this boot is something truly special.
- There really isn’t much I don’t like here, but you certainly can’t escape the fact these boots miss the innovation of modern designs from other brands.
- Due to the secure lockdown and snug fit of the leather, the Neo II does take a little wear-in time. You’ll need to spend some time wearing these around the house, but the fit afterwards is downright fantastic. Be patient.
4. Nike Premier II
Puma have the King. adidas have the Copa Mundial. Nike, however, have the Premier. This is the dream team of premium football boots, a kind of leathery Avengers where each hero adds something different to your game. Since it arguably offers the best value on the market, the Premier II is our Iron Man, our leader of the pack. This is worth every penny of your hard-earned cash.
+ Like I said, value for money is the main pulling point. Despite its staggeringly-low price tag, the Premier II is one of the most reliable and durable boots on the planet. The premium leather upper is soft, supple and as hard as nails. This could be the last pair of boots you every buy.
+ That classic, almost retro, design is just irresistible. It’s not quite as elaborate as more modern boots, but each colourway just oozes class and reminds us all why we love the simplicity of football.
+ That premium kangaroo leather also happens to be unbelievably comfortable, keeping your feet snug, protected and delivering a majestic touch of the ball.
+ Alongside the New Balance Tekela, these are up there as one of the best football boots very few people are wearing right now. Don’t be afraid to be a little different.
- There are no bells and whistles here. If you’re after an innovative masterpiece featuring all the latest tech, then sadly this is not the boot for you.
- As with most other leather football boots, the Premier II requires quite a bit of wear-in time, so just be prepared for that.
- There’s no handy water-resistance here, so they’ll inevitably become heavy, soggy and a little uncomfortable in wet conditions. Damn you, rain.
3. adidas Copa 19+
This is truly special. adidas will probably never beat the classic Copa Mundial, but the stunning adidas Copa 19+ is probably the closest they’ve ever been. For me, this is both the greatest laceless and greatest leather football boot on the planet, suitable for players all over the pitch and ultimately taking this famous silo to a whole new level.
+ The Copa 19+ is completely laceless, but still offers very impressive lockdown. Just as importantly, this creates a smooth, uninterrupted strikezone, and pinging balls around has never felt more satisfying.
+ Featuring some of the softest leather you’ll ever see, the durable upper connects seamlessly to the Primeknit collar, while also featuring one of the most distinctive silhouettes available. At long last, the adidas Copa has been introduced to the modern age.
+ Of course, such high-quality materials make things incredibly comfortable indeed, with internal foam pads and other cushioning creating a fluffy cloud of a football boot. Lovely jubbly.
+ Thanks to the release of the Copa 20+, the 19+ is starting to see some tasty discounts. Unless you’re desperate for one of the new colourways, there just aren’t enough differences to justify paying more for the latest generation.
+ As with any other Copa worth its salt, these boots deliver a first-touch sent directly from the heavens, especially since the x-ray vamp brings you much closer to the ball.
- Getting your feet into these boots isn’t the easiest process, but it’s still a damn sight better than the majority of other laceless boots out there.
2. Adidas Predator 20.1
After what feels like an eternity, we’ve finally been given a proper adidas Predator. The past few generations felt a million miles away from the awesome power and precision which made us love the originals. Following its revival back in 2017, this silo felt more like a continuation of the Ace; but now, at long last, classic Predators have re-entered the chat.
+ This is the greatest touch you can get on a football boot right now, with the fantastic rubber elements also enhancing spin and swerve. Honestly, you’ll feel like you’re Peter Parker in a pair of these, except you’ll be much deadlier from a dead-ball situation.
+ You could always go the laceless 20+ model, but the laced 20.1 has a superior lockdown and basically feels more comfortable. Besides, this also makes it feel more like an old-school Pred.
+ The OG colourway on the “Mutator” version sends you right back to the days of Beckham, Zidane and Del Piero.
+ Thanks to the DEMONSKIN upper, this is one of most distinctive-looking boots around. The spikes are also strategically placed to help enhance your performance. Double-whammy.
+ Above everything else - whether you’re passing, shooting or dribbling - this feels like a Predator. The urge to keep smacking the ball really is overpowering in these, especially with such insane swerve.
+ Very soft and comfortable straight out of the box, and you can always go true-to-size.
- These boots are pretty darn expensive, unfortunately. You might even find yourself gawking at the price tag for a little while.
- The high collar feels a little flappy and obstructive in certain situations, but you could always opt for one of the low-cut models instead. They are equally as fantastic.
- Since this is so different to anything you’ve worn before, it might actually take quite a bit of time to get used to them. But it’s worth it in the end.
1. Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite
Here we go. The best football boot for 2021. This should come as very little surprise, but the latest generation of Nike Mercurial Vapor has absolutely stormed to the crown, offering subtle improvements on the previous model to score an impressive home-run. This is a boot for the flamboyant, the speed freaks and the straight-up outrageous. It’s magnificent.
Oh, by the way, there’s very little difference between this and the Superfly 7. Personally, I don’t fancy forking out an extra 20 quid for a sock collar, but by all means go for it if that’s your preference. Either version could really come in at number one.
+ The Vapor 13 Elite is a goodie bag bursting with tech. It’s one of the most advanced football boots on the market, so it’s not hard to see why Neymar and Eden Hazard are so fond of them.
+ Using a similar 360 Flyknit upper to the Vapor 12, this time the yarn feels more textured, softer, lighter and more responsive, while seamlessly wrapping around the shape of your foot as if it’s been made just for you. The best barefoot feel and touch ever delivered by a Mercurial, and this is certainly an upgrade worth making.
+ This improved upper is also stronger and more durable than the previous generation, so it should enjoy a much longer life, while the high-tenacity yarn also feels a little comfier too.
+ My word, these are aggressive. Not only are they ridiculously light, the new Vapors have introduced Aerow Trac zones on the soleplate, which essentially provides better traction and lets you launch yourself into acceleration.
+ Thanks to Nike’s trusty ACC (All Conditions Control) technology, the boots prove just as effective on wet Tuesday nights as they do on glorious Saturday afternoons.
+ Quite possibly the greatest lockdown delivered by any modern football boot, while wear-in time is also very minimal.
- Since they’re so streamlined and sleek, those with wide feet may find them a little uncomfortable. There are other boots on this list better-suited to you if that’s the case.
- The price could be an issue. But the best boot on the planet isn’t gonna come cheap, is it?
Where to Buy Football Boots
Finding your next pair of football boots is one thing, but you also need to think about where to buy them from. There’s tons of awesome retailers out there right now, with the likes of Sports Direct, Pro:Direct Soccer and Lovell Soccer serving up some fantastic deals and discounts.
However, time is a precious thing, and nobody really wants to spend their evenings searching through various websites. FOOTY.COM is the home of football price comparison, and we bring all these retailers and brands together to make your shopping experience a whole lot easier. You’re welcome.
All you have to do is find the boots you’re looking for (our selection is ridiculously massive) and you’ll be shown a list of live prices. You can instantly see which retailer is offering the best deal, then click straight through to make a purchase. Very simple indeed.
How to Look After Your Football Boots
Once you’ve spent your hard-earned cash on a new pair of football boots, you’ll obviously want to make sure you’re looking after them properly. In addition to keeping them clean and making sure they don’t smell too bad (seriously, we all appreciate this last one), most boots also require a bit of wear-time and stretching.
Leather and synthetic boots need to be cared for in different ways, but there are plenty of hacks you can use to make sure they’re always kept healthy. Besides, after spending so much on a new pair of boots, you certainly won’t want to end up replacing them in just a few short months, especially if you’re playing on a tight budget.
READ | Our full guide on how to clean and care for your new football boots.
Looking for any of the above football boots? Don’t forget to compare prices at FOOTY.COM to make sure you get the best deals on the best boots. Better yet, you could even sign up to our awesome newsletter to make sure you never miss a bargain again!