Best Football Cleats for Speed

If you’re looking for a football cleat that can help you run faster on challenging terrain, then I would recommend the Under Armour Speedform MC. I did a lot of research on this design, and based on the information I found, it was basically developed to make running on a football field effortless and easy.

Image of the Under Armour Men's Speedform MC, Midnight Navy/Chrome, 8 D(M) US

Lightweight, flexible, and supportive, the Speedform MC has exactly what it takes to give you that confidence and distraction-free disposition to dart around the field at top speed. So I guess you could say I was pretty sold on their overall performance especially when it came to improving running speed.

Now, if you’re considering buying a pair for yourself and you’re not quite as impressed with what you’ve seen so far, this complete Speedform MC review, along with a few other honorable mentions, should help you decide which cleats are best to satisfy your need for speed.

A Cleat That’s True to Its Name

The Under Armour Speedform MC wasn’t named “Speedform” just for nothing. The cleat was designed with a silhouette and a structure that’s optimized for running. The goal was to create a cleat that reduces the distractions of pain, discomfort, and limited range of motion. The result is a shoe that makes running feel natural, allowing you to move with your normal gait.

Image of the Under Armour Men's Speedform MC, Midnight Navy/Chrome, 8 D(M) US

I also want to mention how the brand paid particular attention to the finer details of the shoe to guarantee its users’ safety. With uniquely designed heel cups and counters, the cleat promises to prevent injuries so you can run without all the distractions. Plus, it also uses a special technology developed by Under Armour to limit toe hyperextension. This eliminates the chances of a variety of injuries that could result from inefficient toe off.

Flexible Uppers That Mold to Your Feet

Cleats like the Under Armour Renegade D might do well in the durability department, but they’re not really ideal when it comes to comfort and, consequently, speed. Their thick uppers prevent a lot of the typical damage you would expect from being used on a football field. But this sacrifices flexibility, making them difficult to move in and thus reducing the speed you might be able to achieve.

With the Speedform MC, that’s not really something you need to worry about. The cleats are made from ultra pliable synthetic materials that mold closely to the shape of your feet. This makes walking and running feel a lot more natural, allowing you to move your feet without restrictions. This also makes it possible to maximize your momentum at toe off by enabling you to fine-tune your step to achieve the best possible results.

Image of the Under Armour Men's Speedform MC, Midnight Navy/Chrome, 8 D(M) US

The only issue I’ve found with the pliable uppers is, of course, durability. With any type of shoe, the relationship between durability and flexibility is always inversely proportional. So as one is improved, the other will likely take a back seat. Nonetheless, the Speedform MC’s still have some durability to them. But a little extra effort to maintain their integrity wouldn’t hurt.

Killer Lock In For a Confident Step

One of the reasons why lots of athletes find themselves holding back when it comes to running is fear of injury. For any football player, avoiding any kind of accident should be top priority as incurring an injury could mean sitting out a game or two. That said, the Speedform MC can be a real investment if you don’t want caution to take a toll on your speed.

The cleat does this by giving you impressive lock in that makes the shoe feel almost like a second skin. By hugging tightly against your feet and preventing unwanted lateral movements, the cleat allows you to run your fastest minus fear of injury. For the most part, it’s the shoes’ External Pabex heel counter and specially designed heel cup that makes this possible.

Image of the Under Armour Men's Speedform MC, Midnight Navy/Chrome, 8 D(M) US

These two parts come together to create the perfect cradle, keeping your feet in proper positioning at all times throughout your running gait cycle. But despite offering some resistance against too much extension and flexion, the cup and counter system also allows just enough flexibility to let you run without restrictions.

Explosive Traction Thanks to Its Chromed-Out Cleats

While they’re not really made from actual chrome, the cleats on the Speedform MCs provide some pretty explosive traction that makes them feel like they’re made out of more than just TPU. The chromed-out undersole and studs are definitely dazzling to look at, but they offer much more than just a slick aesthetic.

There are 18 intuitively positioned studs on each sole, giving you substantial traction even on wet, muddy terrain. Plus the fact that the shoes are so lightweight, it’s easy to feel your feet digging firmly into soil and grass with each step. This makes it a lot easier to dart off in any direction by enabling you to achieve optimal toe off minus the slipping and sliding.

Image of the Under Armour Men's Speedform MC, Midnight Navy/Chrome, 8 D(M) US

I do want to mention how the chrome coating wears off after some time. So the entire outsole ends up looking a lot less appealing. Sure, if you’re not really particular about the aesthetics, it’s really no big deal. Besides, they do perform pretty much the same way even after the chrome comes off, so it shouldn’t affect your game.

What I Like About the Under Armour Speedform MC Cleats

  • Boasts an overall design that was truly optimized for speed from toe to heel.
  • Form-fitting construction accommodates the size and shape of your feet to give you the highest level of comfort and flexibility.
  • Locks your feet in to eliminate lateral movement that could lead to injury.
  • Killer traction lets you dart off in every direction without having to worry about losing your footing on difficult terrain.
  • Lightweight design lets you run without the heavy weight of a clunky cleat hindering your step.

Possible Downsides

  • Cleats lose their chrome coating shortly after the first use, so they won’t look as clean and polished for too long.
  • Not exactly the most durable cleat out there.

A Few Other Possible Choices

During my research, there were a few other football cleats for speed that stood out among the others. Sure, they probably aren’t as great as the Under Armour Speedform MCs, but they do offer some pretty solid performance that could make them a great choice for the right user.

Nike Vapor Untouchable 2 Football Cleats

Nike has always been known to revolutionize typical shoe designs by innovating certain aspects of their footwear models. They proved this with the release of their Flyknit material which basically continues to dominate the market even years after its first release.

With the Nike Vapor Untouchable 2, the brand uses a similar material that makes the cleat one of the top performing choices when it comes to optimizing speed. The woven uppers are lightweight and flexible, contouring against your feet almost like a sock would. This lets you move naturally, giving your feet freedom they need in order to run at full speed.

Image of the NIKE Men's Vapor Untouchable 2 Football Cleat Black/Anthracite/Metallic Silver Size 10 M US

But again, the shoe isn’t perfect. While the brand tried to improve support by increasing the collar height, the Vapor Untouchable 2 might still put you at risk of injury especially if you lose your footing during a high speed sprint.

What I Like About the Vapor Untouchable 2 Football Cleats

  • Ultra lightweight and flexible which gives you the feeling of running barefoot on the field.
  • Breathable material maintains a cool, comfortable interior climate.
  • Contours to the shape of your feet to limit the restrictions that stiff uppers often impose.
  • Impressive aesthetics are definitely a step ahead of other choices available.

What Needs Improvement

  • Support can be non-existent in some instances as the material doesn’t really prevent lateral movements to well.
  • Don’t expect the upper material to last very long especially when exposed too often to moisture and mud.

Adidas Performance Freak X Carbon Mid Football Cleat

Of course, it was impossible to complete this list without at least one entry from the Adidas brand. Based on what I’ve learned, I had to choose the Performance Freak X Carbon Mid Football Cleat as another worthy choice because it has a lot to offer if you’re in search of something that can help you run at top speed.

The design uses Techfit uppers that hug your foot like a sock. The material offers great flexibility that lets you move without limitations. Its lacing system is particularly wide, spanning far over the sides of the uppers. This design was intended to let you adjust width to achieve optimal fit. In terms of traction, the cleat uses DuPont Kevlar for its outsole and studs, giving you reliable grip that lasts years without showing signs of damage or wear.

Image of the adidas Men's Freak X Carbon Mid Football Shoe, Black/Black/Black, 9.5 Medium US

While it does seem like a really great design, I couldn’t bring myself to rank it higher. Mostly, it’s because it does suffer from a few design flaws. These include its inaccurate sizing that can affect fit and comfort. Plus the fact that it doesn’t really hug too closely against the ankle to prevent turf from making its way into the cleat itself.

What I Like About the Adidas Performance Freak X Carbon Mid Football Cleat

  • Uppers are optimally designed to give you comfort and that makes it easier to run without distractions.
  • DuPont Kevlar outsoles are durable and capable of providing impressive traction on both wet and dry terrain.
  • Lightweight construction reduces the burden on your feet, letting you achieve toe off minus the need to exert extra effort.
  • Pretty durable despite being light and flexible.

What Needs Improvement

  • Runs a size too small.
  • Collar design tends to let turf and dirt enter the shoe making them uncomfortable and difficult to clean out.

The Bottom Line

There’s no such thing as the perfect football cleat for speed, but the Under Armour Speedform MC comes pretty close. The design was specifically developed with your optimal run in mind. So it really does prove to be a great investment if you want to achieve top speed during a game.

If you’re thinking of checking out other choices that could help you run faster on the field, the Nike Vapor Untouchable 2 and the Adidas Performance Freak X Carbon Mid are also pretty solid choices. Sure, they both have their flaws. But all in all, they outperform a lot of the other cleats you’ll find on the market.


Leave a Comment