The game of lacrosse is about as demanding as it comes. From doing loads of running to taking hard hits and unleashing rockets from your stick, the game has a little bit of everything. To get the very most out of your game, you need to have the best equipment available. One of those pieces of equipment that can never be overlooked are your cleats. Today, our buying guide is going to go over everything you need to know about lacrosse cleats. We’ll break down the ins and outs of it all so that you can make a good, informed decision. We’ll then also be reviewing ten of the best and most popular pairs available on the market, all in a bid to help you figure out where to begin your search. So, let’s get started then!
Top Lacrosse Cleats Comparison Chart
|Product||Cut Type||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Under Armour Men’s Highlight MC Lacrosse Cleats||High cut||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|2. Asics Men’s Gel Provost Mid Lacrosse Cleats||Mid cut||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|3. New Balance RushLX Kid’s Lacrosse Cleats||Mid cut||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|4. New Balance FreezeLX 2.0 Men’s Lacrosse Cleats||Mid cut||$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|5. New Balance Men’s Burn Mid Speed Lacrosse Cleats||Mid cut||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|6. Nike Men’s Huarache 6 Elite Lacrosse Cleats||Mid cut||$$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|7. Under Armour Men’s Spotlight MC Lacrosse Cleats||Low cut||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|8. New Balance Men’s Rush v1 Speed Lacrosse Cleats||Mid cut||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|9. New Balance Men’s Freeze v1 Turf Agility Lacrosse Shoes||Mid cut||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|10. Adidas Men’s Freak Lax Mid Cleats||Mid cut||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
Lacrosse Cleats Buying Guide
What Makes Lacrosse Cleats Unique
If you are new to lacrosse, you might not know or understand why wearing lacrosse cleats that are made specifically for the sport is just so important. Not all cleats are the same, so wearing cleats made for baseball, soccer, or football will not produce the same results as wearing cleats actually made for the sport of lacrosse. In a pinch, it will be alright to wear those kinds of cleats for a practice or two, but ultimately you want to graduate to a ‘real’ pair of lacrosse cleats. Here is a fairly brief look at some of the reasons why you want to have actual lax cleats:
One of the things you have to understand about any pair of cleats is what are actually referred to as the ‘cleats.’ The ‘cleats’ are what can also be referred to as ‘spikes,’ ‘nubs,’ or other names. These are the bits on the bottom of the foot that provide you with the traction you need on a grass field. If you have ever walked on grass with tennis shoes or any other ‘flats,’ it’s no problem. But when you begin to run, especially when you are cutting, it can become a really big problem. This is because there is no traction compound and there is no grip being afforded. Lacrosse cleats fix this issue by placing the spikes very strategically throughout the foot. Most of the time, you are going to see four studs placed in the heel area and anywhere from six to eight in the toe and the balls of the feet. Most of the time, they will be positioned in such a way so that they are close to the outer portion of the soles. This way, you can get a ton of lateral movement, such is necessary in lacrosse. In the other sports we mentioned above, there isn’t always that much lateral movement, so it’s important to have a lacrosse cleat for that reason. Because they have a spike under the toes, they can’t be worn in soccer, as that has been deemed to be dangerous to players.
One of the other things that you have to be well aware of with lacrosse cleats is that many of them are made to protect and support the ankles. The ankles are, very obviously, a critical part of playing any game or sport. With so much running and cutting, you are going to need strong shoes that are able to help you last. If you are rolling your ankles, it’s likely due to a combination of things. But one of them is going to center around your cleats just not being up to the job. Most lacrosse cleats do an excellent job at protecting your ankles, even if the cleats are not high or mid tops. We’ll go over that more in a bit! In football, ankle protection is also a very big deal. In soccer and baseball, though, it’s not generally as big of a deal. Sure, the companies that make those shoes don’t purposely overlook it, but they also don’t bend over backwards to try and shore up those areas, instead concentrating on other things.
The final feature we will talk about here in regards to lacrosse cleats being different to others is that they are relatively lightweight, much like soccer cleats. They also look a lot like them, too, coincidentally, except for the front cleat, of course. This fact flies in the face of football and baseball cleats, which can be a little heavy. Those offer more overall protection, since you’re going to be on your feet standing a lot more in baseball and will be getting hit consistently in football and must have more protection and thus weight involved. It’s interesting to point out that even with the higher cut lacrosse cleats that they remain lighter, so that’s also something to keep in mind that’s a real plus for any aspiring lacrosse player.
Cuts and Tops
One of the things that you will have to consider when you go to purchase a pair of lacrosse cleats will be what cut, or top, you want to have. The cut or top refers to the amount of ankle protection you will get. In other words, it’s how high up the foot and ankles the cleats go. There are three main options on the market in 2019: high, mid, and low. The majority of lacrosse cleats are what is considered to be in the ‘mid’ category. The advantage of this is that you get a nice blend of both worlds. In a high top, you get a ton of protection and support for the ankles, but you end up getting less flexibility and a heavier weight. This makes it harder to move. This is perfect for a bigger, less mobile player, or someone that has experienced injuries in the past. But it’s not so good if you’re a quick forward or middie that’s looking to help your team advance and score goals quickly. With a low top, you get the opposite features. You’re able to zip and zoom around the field because there is very little holding you back. They are lightweight and you’ll have plenty of flexibility to make maneuvers. The main issue with this, though, is that you are much more prone to rolling your ankles or getting kicked there on accident. Sometimes this even happens to yourself, much in the same as a soccer player would. This all speaks to why the mid cut is the way to go for many. You get a medium amount of protection and support all the while still being fairly flexible and light in weight. In many areas of the shoe market today, in fact, the mid top has effectively become the new high top. While you can find low and high tops, you’re often going to find mid tops available and that’s what many will turn to. However, if you’re a special type of player, you can turn to the others. Always make sure to consider your position and your playing style, that way you’ll be ready to go no matter what is thrown out in front of you.
The materials that are used to make your cleats also speak loudly about how well- or poorly- they will ultimately work for you. Cleats that have good materials comprising them are not guaranteed to be great, but it sure does go a long way to helping breed confidence and assuring you’ve got plenty of protection, support, and durability. Construction is a big part of the equation, too, so don’t forget that. If you gave us the best materials in the world to build the Taj Mahal, we wouldn’t be capable of doing it because we are not engineers or carpenters. So this means there is no stone cold lock that good materials will equal great shoes. But it sure does go a long way.
There are several materials out there that are commonly found in shoes across a range of sports today. Leather used to be the unquestioned #1 when it came to sports and leisure, but it’s been phased out over time. It’s not the most humane to many people, it’s more expensive, and it’s not the best when the weather isn’t perfect outside. For these reasons, synthetic leathers, which are man made products that are produced to be pretty similar to leather, have become all the rage in recent years. Synthetics started to burst onto the scene 20-30 years ago, and if you were around then you’ll probably remember them being stiff and less than breathable. However, they have come a long, long way since then and are very much preferred by virtually everyone now. They are flexible, super durable, easy to clean, cheaper in many cases, and even breathable, too. Then you have mesh and other similar materials. The main role of mesh is to provide breathability, which basically means that air is able to flow in and out. It also contributes to reducing the weight of the pair of shoes as well, which is helpful. Too much mesh is not always for the best, though. Mesh can tear easily, and it’s also not as protective. Plus, holes to let air out and also means things can get in, so you have to weigh those decisions wisely. There are other materials, but the vast majority will fall into these categories or will at least offer an experience that is close to those mentioned!
Types of Cleats
We know that each pair of cleats is going to vary from the next, and one way that they all differ from each other is through the type of spikes that they use. When it comes to picking your spikes, or studs, or cleats, you need to think about what kind of surface you are playing on. If you are on certain surfaces, you’ll get no traction from some types, making them turn into regular old shoes. You might as well go play ice hockey with your tennis shoes, such will be the level of slippage you experience. Here’s a quick look at the three main types.
Molded cleats are the type of spikes that are found almost exclusively on the market today, no matter what sport you are talking about. Whether it’s soccer, football, baseball, or lacrosse, you are typically going to find cleats that are molded. This means that they are built in and are composed of rubber. This makes them fairly safe and also means they last a lot longer. They are not so good on hard surfaces, like pavement, though, so you should watch out for that because it will degrade them quickly. Molded cleats are usually pretty long, so you can count on them digging into the grass well to help you turn. This helps explain much of their popularity, especially at lower levels when parents will not want to worry about any potential harm being done to their kids.
The main point of our article today is not about playing on turf, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. Turf cleats are not so much cleats as they are raised ‘bumps’ on the bottom of the soles. These little raises might not seem like much, but they are abundant and serve to help you make constant contact with the ground. This allows you to never lose traction or touch to the turf, thus helping you cut. Turf cleats do not work very well on grass, since there is nothing there to dig into the ground.
The final type we’ll talk about is that of interchangeable cleats. This type is variable and can be altered depending on what surface and circumstances you find yourself in. Like in soccer, this type is used by players that are extremely serious about their game. You won’t see this type, or shouldn’t see it at lower levels, since the fields are going to be the mostly the same. For a collegiate, professional, or a high level club player, you could get a lot of mileage out of these since you’ll be playing on all types of fields. They do cost more on average than a normal pair costs, but the beauty is that it’s like two or three pairs in one. You just replace the studs as you need to fit the field you’re playing on and then go. This type is definitely worth some consideration if you’re going to be playing on grass and turf fields.
Getting the Right Fit
Before we can get into our reviews, we’ve got to go over sizing. The right pair of cleats will never be correct if you don’t have the proper size, so here’s some things you can in order to get the utmost out of the entire process. Here are some basic rules to go by to help you get the best playing experience:
– Never squeeze into a pair of cleats. No matter the reason behind it, you should never wear an ill fitting pair of cleats. One of the biggest culprits of this unfortunate phenomena is parents forcing their children to play in cleats that are too big for them so that they can “grow into them.” This is usually a bad idea because they will grow out of them before the next season anyway. Get them something that keeps them from slipping, not just something to save you a dollar or two.
– Check yourself or whoever you are buying for’s size. This is a biggie that a lot of people overestimate. Even us older folks go through changes from time to time. If you haven’t measured yourself in a couple of years, you should do so just to be sure.
– Try on in store if at all possible. You can always order online, but you will be making guesses if you go there first. By trying cleats on in the store, you’ll get an idea of which brands run big or small, and you will be able to identify what you like and dislike. Contrary to what you may believe ‘standard’ sizes are not as standard as you may be led to believe.
– When you try shoes on for the first time, whether it’s after delivery or in store, do so in a lacrosse-like setting. Put on the same kind of socks you will be wearing and make sure you are warmed up. This way your ankles will be swollen, just like you’ll have in the game. Many times you will try on a shoe and think they are great when you are cold, only to find out that once you’ve gotten into the game they are too small and begin to hurt. You will not play as well with something other than the game on your part, trust us!
– Balance your width and height. Besides going too big or small, this is one of the more common problems seen with cleat sizing, regardless of the sport being played. Cleats are sometimes going to be too narrow for you, and this will tempt you to try and go up a half a size or perhaps a full one. This sounds like a great idea on paper, but this forces you to compromise into a position where you have an ill fitting shoe elsewhere. This is not ideal by any stretch and should be avoided. If this occurs, you need to have really hard think about whether or not you want to go with them. Picking a new pair of cleats from the same brand or maybe going with a different brand entirely may end up being what you have to do. This is one reason that brand loyalty is such a force in the world of sporting goods. You just know what to expect year to year as you buy new cleats, so it makes all the sense in the world!
The Top Ten Lacrosse Cleats of 2019 Reviews
Under Armour Men’s Highlight MC Lacrosse Cleats
One of the major players in lacrosse cleats is Under Armour, so they top our list here with the Highlight MC. These cleats are a rarity due to them being high tops. That makes them super protective and supportive for anyone that is bigger and has had injuries. Even though they are high cuts, they aren’t nearly as heavy as they might seem to be. Through the use of lightweight foam all over, they have been able to keep the weight to a minimum. And with eyerow cut-outs that have been extended, the flexibility in the upper foot has rarely been duplicated in a high top. The clutchfit upper does a very nice job of wrapping the foot and providing lock down, helping you go side to side all the while preventing any slipping and ensuring that there is no huge amount of pressure being applied inside of them.
- Flexible and light for a high top
- Excellent lock down
- No pressure limiting movement
Asics Men’s Gel Provost Mid Lacrosse Cleats
Asics might not be a name readily associated with lacrosse, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make a fine pair of cleats, as the Gel Provost show. Asics are known for their use of gel, and these don’t let down as that is used to make them super supportive and to provide exquisite shock absorption. These mid tops also bring you the best of both worlds, with some flexibility and lightweight along with protection coming. They’re also in a bootie construction, too, which helps them to be easier to get into and to give you better lock down in the ankles and fore foot. The use of synthetics and reinforced rubber makes them more durable than most on the market. They won’t breathe as well as some others, but they do have the benefit of lasting longer and being great on wetter days. Plus, they are quite an inexpensive option, too, which is not always the case for a pair of lacrosse cleats for adults.
- Good medium price
- Extreme durability
- Great shock absorption and cushion via gel
- Not super breathable
New Balance RushLX Kid’s Lacrosse Cleats
New Balance is one of the brands, along with their subsidiary Warrior, that are known for lacrosse, so you’ll see them a ton when shopping for cleats. These kids cleats are made to be a step beyond what you find on the cheaper side of the street, as they are made out of synthetics and have reinforced seams. These seams have no big sewed together pieces, which means they won’t come undone nearly as easily as you have seen in the past, which adds up to more durability. The spikes are rubber and are what you’d normally see, making them great for most surfaces you’ll find apart from turf. With EVA that runs throughout the midsole, pressure is reduced on the top and bottom of the foot, leading to more stability and comfort, which is the main issue that most kids battle while playing.
- Reinforced for durability
- EVA reduces pressure
- Stable and very comfortable
New Balance FreezeLX 2.0 Men’s Lacrosse Cleats
New Balance makes its way back to the list straight away here with another offering. This time, it’s a mid top design for the adults. These cleats are also made out of synthetics but are made with stability during lateral movements well in mind. This makes them great for anyone that is making harder cuts to the goal, making them an option for forwards and attack-minded middies that need the quickest route to goal. This is an update on the first iteration of this model, which helped revolutionize the industry, so these are very much worth checking out. One of the major pluses that these bring to the table is that they are wider than what you typically will find, meaning players that are used to tight squeeze will be very happy with these and the load they take off the feet!
- Wider than most
- Great for hard cuts to the goal
- Improved over revolutionary model
New Balance Men’s Burn Mid Speed Lacrosse Cleats
Up next is another NB offering that is a mid top. However, this one does differ dramatically as it is a bootie design, helping you give you a varied look and to provide with a different, more comfortable feel in the ankles and rear of the foot. These shoes are made out of synthetics and mesh, helping them to breathe while also serving to increase the durability. With strong TPU rubber spikes to them, you can count on them gripping the ground well and also being able to last a very long time. These cleats are ones that are built for quick acceleration, meaning they are best for a player that is already fast or someone that needs to work on that first step and needs that extra edge to their game. The insert used has been tailored and engineered for performance via data, all the while the tongue wraps to you to provide lock down and a plush, ample amount of comfort.
- Bootie differs from others
- Grips very well and lasts
- Engineered insert for comfort and performance
Nike Men’s Huarache 6 Elite Lacrosse Cleats
No matter the sport, Nike is never too far outside of the picture, and that rings true here. The Huarache 6 is a great pair of cleats worth consideration due to the fact that they have strategic placement of TPU cleats for durability and stability. On top of that, they have used foam in the midsole to reduce weight all the while making sure you have comfort and lasting cushioning as you play the game. With what they call “dynamic fit” tech, they are able to bring great lock down to further ratchet up the stability, all the while giving you excellent side to side movement through the use of sidewall spikes. These are also one of the most breathable pairs on the list so far, but they don’t sacrifice durability in doing so, which is big boost.
- Very strategic cleat placement
- Dynamic fit for superior lock down
- Very breathable but still durable
Under Armour Men’s Spotlight MC Lacrosse Cleats
If you are someone that just loves to literally fly and buzz your way around the field, then look no further than these. At first glance, these look just like soccer cleats wit their low cut design. On top of that, they have a woven upper that is like a sock, helping you to be extremely comfortable while playing the game at hand. They even have a very flashy design to them in regards to colors, with a lot of different ones to choose from. With a bootie construction, you’re able to get that lightweight feel without having to sacrifice support and structural integrity at all. The SuperFoam insole is great for making them absorb shocks and increase comfort, too, which is just what you’d expect from such a low profile pair of cleats.
- Great for quick players
- Very comfy bootie design
- Absorbs shocks well
- Lacks ankle support
New Balance Men’s Rush v1 Speed Lacrosse Cleats
Here is yet another example of a pair that is going with a bootie design, though it is a mid top cleat. These cleats are made from synthetics, helping them to be more durable and flexible all over. With a molded TPU spike makeup, they are able to grip the ground very well and to last a very long time as well. Thanks to the use of the bootie, they are able to be more comfortable than models in the past that have been released while still giving you support and stability and reduced weight. The colors are also something worth noting, with them being flashy yet classy and sophisticated, a step above what most would assume New Balance cleats would look like. One of the issues surrounding these is that they do take a bit of time to break in, so be on the lookout for that.
- Bootie is flexible and supportive
- Very nice color schemes
- Super durable
- Takes patience to break in
New Balance Men’s Freeze v1 Turf Agility Lacrosse Shoes
If you are interested in a pair of turf shoes, then this is the pair we will make mention of today. These are made with a high top design that might just fall in the mid top category if you press it. It just depends on your point of view, really. These look like basketball shoes, which is great for style, all the while they provide you with many of the same characteristics of the other New Balance offerings we have seen before, just with less weight because there are no spikes and slightly more ankle protection, as most need on turf. The upper is made out of their ‘exploweave’ material, which makes them ideal for the type of cuts and runs you make while playing the game. This full bootie makes stability even better than you’d imagine, too, helping you to reach the goals you’ve not been able to as of yet.
- Lots of ankle protection
- Not as heavy as many
- Engineered for lacrosse-specific movement
Adidas Men’s Freak Lax Mid Cleats
Finishing out our list is the other major player in the shoe industry in general in Adidas. These cleats are, first of all, the coolest looking one so far. They are extremely flashy in both colors and the style they have used for the design, making it an obvious choice for any of the ‘cool’ kids to choose. These cleats have a lacrosse-only lacing system to make them lock you down better while remaining comfortable and stable in the movements you will be making. With a toe cap that wraps all the way around the side of the foot, you will have more protection afforded to you and will also have the chances of them ‘blowing out’ greatly lessened as a result. The EVA placed in the insole is also worth a mention, as they mold to the foot to make them lighter yet comfortable and supportive.
- Top of the charts looks
- Laces made for lacrosse only
- Super flexible and comfortable all over
Conclusion And Final Lacrosse Cleats Recommendations
Whether it’s your very first season on lacrosse or you’re a tried and true veteran by now, your cleats are a massive factor in how much success you may or may not have. The game is extremely demanding on your feet, and without ample protection and support, as well as traction, you can virtually forget being among the best of your peers. While cleats are not going to make you into the best player simply by putting them on, it is often the smallest of things that differentiate one player to the next. They can make a big, big difference to you and your overall game, as we have shown today. After our guide and reviews, you’ll now have a much better grasp on the situation and you’ll be able to equip yourself with just the right pair of cleat to improve your game!