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The best football boots for defenders 2021

Stay rock solid at the back and keep attackers in your pocket with the best football boots made for modern defenders.

best football boots for defenders

Gone are the days of kicking lumps out of forwards and then launching the ball upfield or into Row Z. Today’s game requires defenders to be quicker, more agile and better with the ball at their feet. Of course, those traits need to come alongside the original bread and butter for the art of defending such as heading, reading the game and strength. It’s one of the most underappreciated positions on the pitch and your job is to simply shut out the opposition, it’s not glamorous work but it’s damn well integral.

You need football boots that you can rely on to perform the admirable role you’ve undertaken, we’re here to tell you exactly what you need to stay solid this season. Keep it tight and stay on your feet, here we go.


1. Nike Tiempo Legend 8

Image from Nike.

This is the perfect football boot for defensive leaders. If you’re a player that likes to set the tempo, maintain the line and ultimately bark orders at everybody else, then look no further than the stunning Nike Tiempo Legend 8. 

Boasting the comfort and durability which has always been synonymous with this silo, the Legend 8 helps you stay calm and composed when on the ball. The traditional K-leather is found across the toe box and upper, while a Quadfit Mesh and Flyknit tunnel wrap around the foot and keep you as snug as a bug. 

This is one of Nike’s oldest boot silos, but the tweaks and upgrades down the years have kept it relevant and popular amongst professionals. The Legend 8 is the most streamlined, comfortable and flexible design to date, with the ridged upper offering a delicate touch and enhanced control of the football. The Tiempo has never looked better.

Who Wears Nike Tiempo?

Virgil van Dijk, Clément Lenglet, Gerard Piqué, Tyrone Mings, Lucas Hernandez, Stefan de Vrij, Antonio Rüdiger, Niklas Süle, Çağlar Söyüncü, Merih Demiral, Davinson Sánchez, Alessandro Florenzi, Lukas Klostermann, Matteo Darmian.

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2. Puma Ultra

Image from Puma.

The Puma Ultra isn’t what you expect from a so-called “defender’s boot”, but times have certainly changed. The Ultra is a lightweight boot, built for improved agility and acceleration which are important attributes for the modern defender. It’s time to turn the tables on forwards and make them chase you.

Packed with tech, the innovative MATRYXEVO woven upper construction is a blend of carbon and aramid fibres. A Pebax SpeedUnit borne from Puma running spike tech adds more torque, while a Nano Grip sockliner gives plush comfort and a snug fit.

For having thinner uppers, these boots remain incredibly comfortable and durable. You can grab the newer 1.2 model or the original 1.1 for a cheaper price, both options have been highly recommended by us in the past. You only have to look at the list of top defenders using them to see they could lead you to clean sheets galore.

Who Wears Puma Ultra?

Raphaël Varane, Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker, Lucas Digne, Óscar Mingueza, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edmond Tapsoba, Abdou Diallo, Maxwel Cornet, Nikola Milenković.

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3. adidas Copa 20

Image from adidas.

Most importantly, this outstanding football boot provides a cracking performance, offering the kind of innovative tech the Copa Mundial can't. We’re a bit old-fashioned, so the adidas Copa will never conjure the same sentimental feelings that the iconic Mundial does, but there’s simply no arguing that the performance and technology here is truly impressive.

For a start, the premium wave-like K-leather upper is absolutely gorgeous, serving up a beautiful touch and helping you stay in control whilst looking good. The use of Fusionskin on the upper then prevents water absorption and essentially helps you to avoid feeling like you’ve got dumbbells on your feet.

It’s also worth noting that the Copa 20+ (the premium version) offers a lovely laceless upper, but we recommend going for the traditional laces of the 20.1 if you’re after a more secure fit. Plus, it’s actually a bit cheaper too.

Who Wears adidas Copa?

Sergio Ramos, Juan Cuadrado, Eric García, Davide Calabria, Joe Gomez, Mats Hummels, Joël Matip, Fikayo Tomori, Thomas Meunier, Felipe, Juan Bernat, Ezri Konsa, Jan Bednarek, Conor Coady, Mattia Caldara.

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4. adidas Predator Freak

Image from adidas.

Modern defenders are now expected to play out from the back, and the adidas Predator Freak is perfect for helping you do exactly that. They’re worn by some of the world’s leading midfielders too, as it happens.

Comfortable, flexible, and surprisingly lightweight, this new generation of Predator is a serious upgrade on the older designs. A Demonskin 2.0 upper is an upgrade on the Predator 20 and it keeps the ball firmly stuck to your feet. A flexible Primeknit SockFit collar and moulded heel offer a more comfortable fit. Of course, they’re also built to match the pinpoint precision offered by Predators of old.

Comfortable, stable, and available in various colourways / laceless options, the adidas Predator is a great option for defenders that like to get on the ball more. We hear Phil Jones is wearing them at the moment - but don’t let that put you off…

Who Wears adidas Predator Freak?

David Alaba, Aymeric Laporte, David Luiz, Ferland Mendy, Gabriel, Kurt Zouma, Álvaro Odriozola, Tanguy Nianzou, Mario Hermoso, Éder Militão, Nacho Fernandez, Yerry Mina, Luiz Felipe.

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5. Nike Phantom GT

Image from Nike.

The Nike Phantom GT is truly one of the great breakthrough models of the last few years, it also happens to be an incredible all-rounder. Like James Milner, it’s fit to do a job anywhere. A lot of leading defenders are choosing this silo, and it’s really not a surprise to us.

When you grab the Elite level of the Phantom GT, you’re going to get hoards of tech. Flyknit uppers, Generative Texture (GT) scaling and All Conditions Control (ACC) coating are going to help you with touch, feel and general avoidance of bad touches that could let any poachers in.

You’re getting performance, durability and comfort in the Phantom GT and there are more colourways becoming available for this popular model each month. It’s also worth taking a look at some of the takedown options too if you’re short on cash, they’re still pretty good.

Who Wears Nike Phantom GT?

Dayot Upamecano, Ozan Kabak, Andrew Robertson, John Stones, Victor Lindelöf, Daniel Carvajal, Rúben Dias, Marquinhos, Jérôme Boateng, Eric Dier, Marcos Alonso, Ibrahima Konaté, Manuel Akanji, Thilo Kehrer, Sergi Roberto, Leonardo Bonucci, Matthias Ginter, Willi Orbán.

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If you’re hoping to find a pair of cheap football boots to keep you solid at the back, then make sure to compare prices right here at FOOTY.COM. We find you the best deals on all the boots listed above, as well as an enormous range of other models, silos and colourways!

Kevan Thorpe

Quintessential grassroots journeyman. I've had more "you look like Gareth Barry" comments than I have career goals.