The 2016 soccer cleat trends: Light in weight, powerful in performance

Lighter, tighter and better control.

It’s early, but those are the 2016 soccer cleat trends we’re seeing so far. The break-through innovations are in upper-end soccer cleats for now, but, like most new technologies, these things have a way of filtering down.

Nike’s Magista line, for example, features soccer cleats with grippy textures similar to what’s on the company’s higher-end shoes. Other Magista models are built with lighter-weight NikeSkin uppers for a close fit and a natural touch. The price point on these, $68.99 for adult soccer cleats at Todd & Moore, makes it attractive for high school, travel or select players.

High performance purecontrol from Adidas

On the upper end, the best example of innovation comes from Adidas. That’s not surprising when you remember the company’s historic commitment to developing soccer apparel and gear. We’re eagerly awaiting our shipment of the Ace 16.1 purecontrol soccer cleats, released last month and the latest outstanding result of the time and research that Adidas devotes to product development.

The purecontrol is the first laceless high-performance cleat, and that feature alone is a big advantage. Adidas added a knit upper, with a goal of reducing break-in time to near zero. The sock at the forefront also helps with ball control at high speeds because there’s no edge between the player and the ball. A thin layer of raised dots on the upper helps keep the ball in contact with the foot.

On the bottom, the purecontrol has a lightweight outsole and a stud alignment designed to improve control and stability on hard ground and turf.

New Nike soccer cleat lines

Two other innovative soccer cleats come from Nike: Mercurial Superfly and the Hypervenom Phantom. They’re not as expensive as the purecontrol, and they still have a ton going for them.

The Phantom features a sock-like collar at the ankle, a built-in heel cup and cables that lock the cleat into place. The textured upper gives you better control, and the close fit gives you a better touch.

On the bottom, a special traction pattern helps with quick response, while the cleat shapes are designed for sudden directions changes. The Phantom is a firm-ground cleat designed for slightly wet, but not muddy conditions.

The latest Phantoms are retailing at most places for anywhere from $300 to $170. At Todd & Moore we sell Hypervenom soccer cleats for $130, making them attractive for adult and competitive teen players alike.

The Mercurial Superfly, designed for explosive speed, is Nike’s lightest soccer. It, too has a knit collar that creates a locked-in feel. The Flyknit upper significantly decreases the shoe’s weight and provides a skin-tight fit that puts your foot closer to the ball.

A carbon fiber outsole also decreases the weight, but at the same time it gives you a responsive grip. The Superfly also has All Conditions Control for consistent performance in wet or dry weather.

Like the trend in other sports and shoes in general, these new soccer cleats are created in colors not seen a generation ago. The purecontrol, for example, comes in solar green with black accents or black with solar green accents. Both feature the iconic Adidas “three stripe” pattern in a nod to tradition.

Nike’s Hypervenom Phantom, with its paint-splatter accents and jagged detailing in neon shades, practically makes the purecontrol look Old School. If that stock style isn’t stylish enough for your look, you can special order a custom design that adds your unique imprint.

For traditionalists, the Nike Mercurial Superfly comes in plain black for a classic look.