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Cleat Week: It's All in the Shoes

By Staff, 07/19/19, 11:45AM EDT


League One players explain how they choose their game day footwear

A soccer player’s cleats are so much more than a pair of shoes. Cleats are weapons, wheels, dancing shoes, and defensive shields. They are the tools of the trade for the World’s Game. Cleats are functional artwork, visual representations of personalities, and walking billboards that are used to pay homage to their wearer’s inspiration. 

From the youngest players to those at the highest level, the choice of cleats is an important one. The choice of game day footwear tells a player’s story. Hear from some of League One’s best player as they explain how and why they choose the cleats the wear on game day. 

Team Nike

Josh Hughes Headshot
Josh Hughes on his Nike Tiempo Legends
"I think it all really started at a club tournament one weekend, I had a pair of shoes blow out and I think back then I got a pair of Total 90s at a Dick’s Sporting Goods. Ever since then I’ve just been a Nike guy. I've tried Adidas here and there, I tried an off-brand, Mizuno, might try to get back into it soon again, but for right now I’m a Nike guy."
Jake Keegan Headshot
Jake Keegan on his Nike Phantom Visions
Cleat superstitions
"When I go awhile without scoring sometimes I take my frustrations out on my cleats. I will change to a new style or color just for a change. Often times it works so I plan on continuing to do it!"
Conner Antley Headshot
Conner Antley on his Nike Tiempo Legends
About the cleats
"I’ve got the white and orange Nike Tiempo Legends, and these are the cleats I’ve worn since I was a kid. My favorite aspect of the cleats is they’re made out of Kangaroo leather, making them really soft on my feet, and I really like the way they look."
Why he stays loyal
"The main reason I wear these cleats is because I have a really wide foot, and the Tiempos are a much wider cleat. The kangaroo leather is really soft and comfortable on my foot, and it never gives me any blisters. I think they also help my touch."
Game day ritual
"I like to clean my cleats on every single game day. On game days, after we do the walk through in the morning, I take them home and I clean them off to make them look nice and shiny for the match."
Eli Lockaby Headshot
Eli Lockaby on his Nike Phantom Visions
"For sure bright, for sure, always. It looks faster, right?
It’s team Nike forever, my whole life. I got the first generation ‘Dinho boots. Those were probably my favorite ever actually."
Charlie Dennis Headshot
Charlie Dennis on his Nike Hypervenom Phantoms
About the cleats
"My Nike Hypervenom Phantoms are yellow with a large blue Nike tick on the front. They’re very soft and stick tight to my feet which is why they’re my favorite boots I’ve ever worn."
Cleats discountinued
"They’re actually discontinued now, so I haven’t been able to wear them for a while, but I found this pair a couple weeks ago on an Instagram page called the Irish Boot Bible. I’m glad to have them back."
Cleat inspiration
"One of my favorite players, Daniel Sturridge from Liverpool, wears these same boots which is a big reason why I started wearing them in the first place."
Joe Gallardo Headshot
Joe Gallardo on his Nike Mercurial Vapors
"This is just the boot I’ve always wanted since I was a little kid. I also wear them because of Cristiano Ronaldo. I always look for bright colors like orange, or a blue color. I like them because they stand out and because they feel the most comfortable for me."

Team adidas

Steven Beattie Headshot
Steven Beattie on his adidas Predators
"I always wear Adidas. I wore Predators years ago, so when they were re-released I had to get them. I like their comfort and classic style—I'm too old for flashy boots."
Griffin Dorsey Headshot
Griffin Dorsey on his adidas Nemeziz
What cleats are you currently wearing and why?
"I currently wear laceless Nemeziz. I like them because they’re a tight fit and super comfortable. I have slim feet, so they help stabilize my foot and helps my feet from moving around in the boots."
Do you prefer your cleats to stand out or fly under the radar?
"As an attacking player, I would like to say that I like to stand out in terms of my boot choice but going with an all-black pair of boots is also something that I would do. I would say it’s a little in between. I love the color waves they’re coming out with now, and I love to rock the Nemeziz, bright or not bright."
Brecc Evans Headshot
Brecc Evans on his adidas X19.1s
"I wear them because they’re by far the most comfortable cleats I’ve ever had. I used to wear the (adidas) Predators but these are way more comfortable for me. I’m not really a flashy cleat person, so I just go with what feels right when I play."

Team Puma

Dennis Chin Headshot
Dennis Chin on his Puma Futures
"It has to feel light, you know what I mean? Because speed [and] agility are obviously important. I grew up in Jamaica, so the less on your feet the better. People play barefoot.
I like to go through a shoe. Some people like to switch, switch, switch… but I like to break a shoe."

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