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You might have the best stick on the market, the perfect string job, and pads that absorb every blow as if it were a tap on your shoulder.
All that’s great…but if you can’t move around the field quickly on your own two feet, all that other gear means nothing.
Never overlook cleats as they are the base for everything you do on the lacrosse field. You need a boot that gives you the traction to cut on a dime, enough support to keep your ankle and foot stable, and the comfort to go hard for four quarters.
Maybe you’ve relied on football or soccer cleats these last few years, which is absolutely fine considering they’re designed for the same fields. But it may be time to make a leap to a lacrosse-specific cleat—one designed for the movements and pressure of the sport that a football or soccer cleat just cannot mimic.
To make your search easier, we’ve done the legwork by breaking down the best lacrosse cleats currently available on the market today.
Best Lacrosse Cleats
High-tops, low-tops, field cleats, turf shoes, molded studs, replaceable spikes…the list goes on and on.
There are a variety of lacrosse cleat styles available based on the field type, your personal preferences, and more.
To help you find the perfect lacrosse cleat for yourself, we found the best options for a variety of scenarios. Click the table of contents below to jump down to a specific section or just keep scrolling to see our favorites.
Jump to a section:
Best Men’s Field Lacrosse Cleats
Under Armour Men’s Highlight MC Lacrosse Shoe
- Cut: High
- Colors: Black/Graphite, White/Red, White/Midnight Navy, White
- CompFit ankle for snug fit
- 3D molded tongue for comfort
- High-rebound SuperFoam insole for shock absorption
- Full-length TPU cleat plate for durability and stability
- Triangular studs and secondary cleats for traction and acceleration
We come strong out of the gate with Under Armour’s Highlight MC, a high-top cleat that packs some serious functional punch.
The Highlight MC places a premium on comfort and stability from their CompFit top, providing extra ankle support, to the TPU cleat plate, lined with a main layer of triangular studs and secondary teeth for quick, controlled movement. These elements stitch together into a durable finish that will last.
Inside, the SuperFoam inserts protect your soles from the usual strain of being on your feet for 60+ minutes. The molded tongue at the front finishes off the comfortable connection of shoe to foot.
These support and comfort elements make the Highlight MC highly recommended for those players susceptible to ankle injuries and blistering.
The main knock on the Highlight MC is that this shoe may not be for every body type. Those players with wider feet may want to steer clear as the narrowness of the ankle to the base can be a tough squeeze. An additional caveat is to be aware of the sizing: many reviewers said that the cleat runs about a half-size small to its stated length (e.g., 12’s may want to look at a 12.5).
The Under Armour Highlight MC is a great cleat to consider for a multi-field sport athlete who wants a product focused on lacrosse but can also be employed between the endzones.
Nike Alpha Hurache 7 Elite Lax Cleat
One of Nike’s most recent lacrosse cleats, the Alpha Hurache 7 Elite, lives up to the double dose of confidence in its name.
The Hurache 7 Elite’s mesh construction blends with flywire cables to create an insanely secure fit. The flexible TPU plate and enhanced triangular studs allow for quick cutting without sacrificing speed or stability when navigating the field.
Beyond the functionality, the Hurache 7 Elite drips with subtle flashes of intense color that will tastefully stand out on the field. It all comes in the familiar package and trust of a Nike product.
As with the Highlight, the main knock on the Hurache 7 Elite is a narrow fit through the ankle and footbed that may not work for those players with wider feet. Some reviewers also note the lack of additional top lacing may cause some slippage if the natural fit of the cleat to the foot is not good.
Still, the Hurache 7 Elite from Nike is a great cleat to consider especially for those players that put extra value on speed. The enhanced grip is also extremely conducive to the quick directional changes for those midfielders looking for a new cleat.
New Balance Men’s Burn X2 Mid-Cut Lacrosse Shoe
New Balance comes in as the next option on our list of the best lacrosse cleats with the Burn X2 Mid-Cut shoe—a sleekly designed, durable boot to take the field in.
The Burn X2 is made of thermoplastic polyurethane to reinforce the base and sides, providing protection from the elements without sacrificing flexibility.
Functionally, the Burn values comfort and control. A one-of-a-kind plate works to maximize downhill speed and acceleration. A plush insert works with the design for a snug fit regardless of the intensity of movement.
The rub comes in the fit: the Burn X2 runs narrow and with a sewn-in front, lacks the tongue necessary to loosen the top to slip on and off. Additionally, the cleat may run well below your traditional shoe size (up to two sizes as noted by one user).
New Balance puts out the bold assertion that the Burn X2 is the perfect cleat for players who build their game around a quick first step. The intangibles point to this being the truth—this is a great cleat to consider for those quick cutting, dodging attackmen out there.
New Balance Men’s Burn X2 Low-Cut Lacrosse Shoe
Not a fan of mid-cut tops? Well, you’re in luck because New Balance also has a low-cut version of the Burn X2.
The low-cut version of the Burn X2 shares the same functionality as the mid-cut option with the same thermoplastic polyurethane material on the exterior.
The main difference comes natural to the differences in cut—the low offers less ankle support but a lighter weight. Another bigger difference is the low-cut sports a wider fit to its mid counterpart that makes this shoe accessible for more than those with narrow feet.
Still, the tongue to the low has been noted as “weird” and possibly leaves an uncomfortable fit to the user. Size differences from traditional foot lengths persist as well with the Burn X2 running small so go big with this one.
Like with the mid-cut version, this shoe is a valuable asset to a quick-cutting player but provides an even lighter weight feel for those who are worried less about injuring their ankles.
Under Armour Horizon KTV Lacrosse Shoe
Under Armour makes our list for the second time with the Horizon KTV shoe.
Another functionality focused product from UA puts extra value into a secure fit and traction. The mid-cut, sock-like ankle collar provides additional support for those sprain conscious players. A built-in support cage keeps the heel in place during aggressive directional changes and movements.
The cleat plate employs secondary teeth for superior grip when navigating the field—the Horizon KTV is built for quick cutting and speed.
Now to the negative: the main knock on the Horizon KTV is its questionable durability. Reviewers have noted ankle eyelets through which the laces weave have a tendency to pop out or tear from the shoe. The fabric stitching has also shown a propensity to tear even after relatively light use.
Even so, the Horizon KTV is worthy of consideration for those who may be a fan of a mid-cut ankle or want to save some money off the Highlight MC.
Best Youth Lacrosse Cleats
Under Armour Men’s Higlight Jr Lacrosse Shoes
Starting off strong in the youth cleat game with Under Armour’s Highlight Jr. lacrosse shoe. This is a highly reviewed cleat across the board with every element covered from functionality to comfort.
Lightweight construction and elements such as the TPU ankle cage and EVA sockliner make for a very stable, secure fit. The mesh tongue and extended eyebrow cut-outs make slipping in and out of this cleat extremely easy in comparison to other form-fitting boots on the market.
The one knock…the Highlight Jr. comes in one color at the moment and it’s plain white. You’d hope a youth shoe would sport some more splashes of color and design flourishes but this is a small price to pay for how good this cleat is.
The Highlight Jr. is a worthy contender for any parent in the market for a cleat to fit their young player that they can trust to last and provide the support necessary to avoid injury.
New Balance Kids’ Freeze 2.0 Junior Mid-Cut Lacrosse Shoe
New Balance shrinks down their adult output into the Freeze 2.0 Junior.
The Freeze values a lightweight build of breathable mesh to sacrifice little in terms of comfort and speed. The outsole and molded lugs give the Freeze 2.0 extra traction that translates beyond lacrosse, making this a perfect cleat for any multi-field sport athlete.
The major knock on the Freeze comes from its comfort. Although it sports a traditional tongue to ease the on-off process, users have noted discomfort in the wear after extended use.
As mentioned, the Freeze is a great cleat to consider for any younger athlete that may be looking for a boot to use for more than just lacrosse.
Best Men's Turf Lacrosse Cleats
Under Armour Men’s Spotlight Turf Lacrosse Shoes
If you are specifically looking for a turf lacrosse shoe, the Under Armour Spotlight is a great option to consider.
The Spotlight weds support with durability. A TPU base and overcoating provides lasting protection and gives this boot a longer lifespan.
The sock-like ankle collar provides the support and snug fit you need to cut up and down the field with total control. Although not as gripped as the field cleats on this list, the Spotlight wears extremely light to lessen the load on a player to avoid diminishing their speed and acceleration.
The knock on the Spotlight mirrors the previous cleats covered: a molded tongue does not allow for any loosening of the initial fit. And, once inside, the footbed to the heel runs narrow which is not conducive to those folks with wider feet.
The Spotlight is a great shoe to consider for those primarily turf-based athletes that may be looking for a shoe to cover their needs across sports.
New Balance Men’s Freeze LX 2.0 Turf Lacrosse Shoe
The New Balance Freeze is a no-frills kind of turf boot, designed to let your play turn heads rather than the shoe.
The snug design of the Freeze hugs your foot for added security and comfort. The added layers of teeth to the sole provide additional traction for the quick cuts you’re accustomed to on turf.
A snug fit does come with its knocks as a sewn-in tongue makes it difficult for wider feet to comfortably lace up. You may also need some additional support from an outside insole for comfort through your heel and arch.
New Balance comes into the turf shoe game with a pedigree for functionality that is on full display here.
Best Men's Box Lacrosse Shoes
New Balance Men’s Freeze LX 2.0 Box
We must be dreaming…New Balance put out a box lacrosse specific shoe?!
Yes, they did, and they spared nothing in the way of design and features with the Freeze LX 2.0.
Designed in the same vein as an indoor soccer boot, the Freeze boosts superior grip adaptable to hardwood, astroturf, and concrete playing surfaces.
The Dual-Density TPU plate, Quixrail lugs, and the top woven saddle give you the flexibility and security to make the same quick cuts you would on a grass field. The Lamitex exterior provides stability and durability for continued use at the most intense levels of play.
The Freeze LX spares nothing in terms of performance with the main knock attributed to the narrowness of the foot opening— a familiar problem to snug-fitting cleats and shoes meant for high-performance use.
Lacrosse Cleats Buying Guide
Beyond the specific products listed above, we decided to create a quick buying guide to help you figure out what to consider when choosing lacrosse cleats.
1) Turf Shoes vs. Normal Cleats
This is probably the best place to start. The difference between turf shoes and cleats is extreme and knowing how each performs (or doesn’t) on certain playing surfaces is an important thing to consider before splurging on one over the other.
Let’s start with lacrosse turf shoes. These are best used on artificial surfaces. Given the predictability of such surfaces, turf shoes forgo the stabilizing agent of studs for less weighty teeth that still provide enough traction to safely navigate the field. If you find yourself playing primarily on grass, it’d be best to steer clear of turf shoes unless you want to supplement the cleats you already have.
Normal cleats on the other hand function on every playing surface but really shine on grass fields and in the elements. Longer studs provide the traction you need on such surfaces to maintain balance and speed while making runs into the box or closing out on an attackman.
If you’re not looking to open a Foot Locker and want a shoe that prides itself on utility across playing surfaces, a normal cleat is definitely the way to go.
After deciding the kind of shoe that you are looking for, size is the next greatest factor to consider. Proper fit means less slippage and more control on the field and less wear and tear on your feet (e.g., blisters, arch pain, etc.).
Given the unpredictability of sizing between brands, be sure to do your research before settling on a size especially when purchasing online; some cleats may run big or small to your true foot length.
Additionally, be aware of the structure of your foot. Do you have a wide or narrow foot? Cleats need to be snug so many will skew narrow which can be very uncomfortable and even damaging to those folks with wider feet. Reviews will usually indicate if this is the case. Luckily some shoe types do offer wide versions as well.
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The cut specifically means the height of the ankle. This is important to consider if you fall into the ankle injury-prone demo as the cut could either be helpful or detrimental to your fitness.
High and mid cuts offer ankle support, the former more than the latter. But, a mid-cut, while providing some protection, grants a wider range of motion and flexibility to make the movements you need to on the field.
Low cut shoes provide very little ankle-specific support so these are probably best for those not too worried about a sprain or twist and would rather save the extra weight in favor of speed.
Lighter = faster = better…right?
While having a lighter shoe is more comfortable and may allow you to move the fastest, it is always important to consider that lighter also typically means less supportive.
Heavier cleats may slow you down slightly, but having the support you need means fewer injuries that could take you off the field altogether.
It really comes down to a cost-benefit analysis and consideration of your position on the field. Think about how much you cut on the field and how prone you are to ankle injuries. If you cut a lot and are prone to injuries, choosing a slightly heavier yet more supportive shoe may be the smart choice.
There is a decent balance of weight and support in the cleats we listed above because many use lighter weight materials for the bulk of the shoe but supplement them with other supportive materials to give the shoe some more structure.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is the current gold standard for cleat plates and extra exterior protection. It is a durable, yet lightweight, material that you should look for in whatever cleat you may be interested in.
Mesh exterior elements, especially along the tongue and knit ankle liners, are other things to look for. They promote breathability but also security in the wear and can provide the sock-like feel that you may be after.
Foam insoles are another good element to keep an eye on. Foam is now a standard inside of the boot, providing support without the weight in addition to shock absorption that can save your feet and shins from micro-trauma.
As with all things, the technology for lacrosse cleats is constantly in flux with newer, lighter materials coming on the market every year. Be sure to do your research on the latest cleat releases to see what the never flavor of the week materials are out there that you should keep an eye out for.
Photo credit: Flickr