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Best leather football boots for 2021

Despite all the modern boot tech out there, sometimes you just can’t beat wrapping kangaroo leather football boots around your feet.

best leather football boots

We live in a world dominated by extravagant colourways and knitted synthetic uppers, as the biggest brands continue to break the boundaries of innovation. Football boots are lighter, faster and more responsive than ever before, and elite players tend to opt for those synthetic designs over more traditional leather.

But, for most of us, you just can’t go wrong when slipping into a good old-fashioned pair of leather football boots. It’s like coming home after a long holiday, it just feels right.

Although, calling them “old-fashioned” isn’t exactly accurate, since the material has been severely modernised over the past few years. Leather boots are now thinner, smoother and softer, providing a level of comfort and durability you just don’t get from the synthetics; while the introduction of kangaroo leather (k-leather) has allowed designs to become more flexible and lightweight.

So, what are the best leather football boots in 2021? Let’s find out.

PLEASE NOTE: this list is focused on boots which offer the most innovative tech, so leather classics such as the original Puma King and Nike Premier have been omitted. Although, we simply couldn’t leave out the adidas Copa Mundial

5. Mizuno Morelia Neo III

Image from Unisport.

We’ve always been big fans of Mizuno football boots, and we’ve got to say the Morelia Neo III has always exuded class and sophistication.

In short, this is one of the best lightweight leather football boots available today. The streamlined, 190g design is a major improvement on the first two generations of Neo, incorporating a thin, flexible k-leather upper which allows players to really unleash their pace. Without question, this is the world’s leading full-leather speed boot.

With the Morelia Neo III having a hard-wearing leather upper, it should be deemed worthy of gracing any surface. Mizuno has created firm ground, soft ground, artificial ground, mixed and even indoor stud configurations for your year-round delight.

Now a couple of years into its lifespan, the Mizuno Morelia Neo III is available in all kinds of lively colourways, so you’re by no means restricted to a classic black leather look. Although, the blackout option is absolutely delicious.

Who Wears Mizuno Morelia Neo?

Mizuno has always been a brand which is tragically underused at the highest level, only currently worn by Maya Yoshida, Renan Ribeiro, Oriol Romeu and Jasper Cillessen.

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4. adidas Copa Mundial

Image from Unisport.

It doesn’t make any sense to talk about leather football boots without including one of the greatest of all time, the Copa Mundial. It’s true, adidas have recently tried to update this model with a sleek, Primeknit upper in the shape of the Copa Mundial 21. It’s just not as good.

Premium k-leather was born to be stacked on top of this white soleplate, and it sits there under three stripes of legendary status. Thanks to Beckenbauer, Maradona, Kahn and even a young Zidane, the Copa Mundial became an icon of liquid football.

Yeah, they’re slightly heavier than modern editions but what you lose in speed, you gain in touch, durability and comfort. These are certainly the boots for seasoned performers: a crab-like defensive midfielder or a mind-reading, sweeper centre half. They’ll never go out of style.

Who Wears adidas Copa Mundial?

It’s a modern tragedy, adidas Copa Mundials are never worn by professional players in games. Sometimes though, you’ll catch a glimpse of them in training. And it’s majestic.

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3. New Balance Furon v6 Pro Leather

Image from Unisport.

New Balance have hugely stepped up their boot game in recent seasons, and it’s culminated in the rapid form of the NB Furon v6. It was once only Mizuno that could create a speed boot from k-leather, but times are changing. And New Balance are the reason.

While the Furon range consists mostly of synthetic upper silos, we’re concentrating on their leather edition here. It’s a little rarer to find, but when you get hold of them, they’ll perform amazingly well. With a Hypoknit upper designed to provide both give and support, the k-leather is partnered perfectly.

You only need to look at the list of players who’ve began to trust this (relatively) lower tier boot brand to see that they mean business. This is without a doubt their most impressive release, and you should think seriously about making the switch too.

Who Wears New Balance Furon?

New Balance have been upping their professional ranks in recent years, with the addition of top players like Raheem Sterling, Sadio Mané, Bukayo Saka and Eberechi Eze. Speedy.

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2. adidas Copa Sense

Image from Unisport.

The Copa has received all kinds of garish colourways over the past few years, but some would argue that adidas will never beat the original Copa Mundial. Even so, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t incredibly impressed by the latest iteration, the Copa Sense.

Like its predecessor the Copa 20, the Copa Sense features a classy leather upper which just screams sophistication, featuring a coated Primeknit and k-leather upper which reduces water absorption and stops it from becoming too heavy in wet conditions.

The Copa Sense+ offers a silky laceless upper with a fantastic strike zone, but you can always move down to the Sense.1 if you miss the structure and support of lacing. This generation is a step up from the Copa 20, with Touchpods and Sensepods to absorb impact energy and to create a seamless connection between foot and ball, respectively.

As comfortable, stable and stylish as ever before, the adidas Copa Sense continues to be a leathery classic in our book. You just have to sit back and admire the innovation of this new lightweight design by adidas.

Who Wears adidas Copa Sense?

A firm favourite with the elite bunch, the world’s game is full of Senseites. Get on this list: Lorenzo Insigne, João Félix, Pedri, Paulo Dybala, Jude Bellingham, İlkay Gündoğan and Unai Simón. To name a few.

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1. Nike Tiempo Legend 9

Image from Unisport.

Now, this is special. We know there are people out there that don’t like what Nike have done here, but for us the Tiempo Legend 9 is the best leather football boot on the market.

Whilst the popular Tiempo 7 introduced Nike’s Flyknit technology for the very first time, the latest generation brings a gorgeous new upper which is all about control, touch and looking pretty out on the pitch. This textured forefoot has a more modern feel, essentially designed to improve your control and accuracy of the football.

The cushioned insole with NikeGrip tech provides anti-slippage, while a handy Flyknit tunnel still sits underneath it all to provide the best-fitting Tiempo yet. Thanks to some handy mesh materials, you also don’t need to worry too much about wear-in time, since they will conform to the shape of your foot like a fantastic leather (and quilted) glove.

It’s pushed on from the Tiempo 8 and the Tiempo 9 offers the premium feel of leather alongside the innovation found in so many synthetic boots. It’s a modern classic.

Who Wears Nike Tiempo Legend 9?

Another classic which is popular with players in every position, and good ones too. Currently donning the Tiempo Legend 9 are Virgil Van Dijk, Jorginho, Marcos Llorente, Jordan Henderson, Thilo Kehrer and Alisson.

Shop Nike Tiempo >

Whatever your budget, compare prices at FOOTY.COM today to find great deals on football boots under £100, boots under £50 and even boots under £30! We’ll be bringing you bargains on all the above designs, alongside an absolutely staggering selection of other models, colourways and surface types. Every. Single. Day.

Kevan Thorpe

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