Photo by ConSoccer

30 September 2019

The Lightest Soccer Cleats of 2019

Constantin Shimonenko

A lightweight boot is always desired, however figuring out which boots have the lowest weight is a struggle, so I made this list to get something off your plate. This list only contains boots that have a general release (which means they are NOT limited edition), therefore, anyone can buy them at any moment without having to look through eBay for hours to find the limited edition boot.

Lightest

Umbro Medusae III Pro

Weight: 6.4 Ounces (181 Grams)

The Umbro Medusae III Pro has a kangaroo leather upper accompanied with a single-lace-hole central lacing system. The kangaroo leather features rivets and bumps, almost like the... [Read more]

I am well aware that most soccer players are only willing to wear three brands on their feet (Nike, Adidas, and Puma). However, the lightest boot currently on the market is made by Umbro, which is not the most popular brand. If you only wear the "top three" brands and want a lightweight boot, there are still options. Unless you want to wear Puma. Not a single Puma boot made this list of the lightest eight. I only included boots under 7 ounces in weight (or 204 grams) but both the Puma Future and Puma One are 7.2 ounces, which is still very light but not "the lightest".

The Lightest Soccer Cleats of 2019:

1. Umbro Medusae III Pro

Weight: 6.4 Ounces (181 Grams)

Umbro, for the most part, is a very overlooked brand with very little players wearing their products on the field, but, they still produce quality gear. The Umbro Medusae and the Umbro Velocita are the lightest soccer cleats of 2019 both weighing only 6.4 ounces. There are of course boots that do have lighter weight and are also available in 2019, however, they are limited releases and are hard to get a hold of.

The Umbro Medusae III Pro has a kangaroo leather upper accompanied with a single-lace-hole central lacing system. The kangaroo leather features rivets and bumps, almost like the Nike Tiempo Legend 7 and the Adidas Copa 19. The Umbro Medusae III Pro also has an older brother, the Umbro Medusae III Elite, with the only difference being the Elite is laceless and the Pro has laces. The Elite does weight a little more so that is why it didn't make this list. The heel liner is made from synthetic suede and has a lot of padding, so comfort shouldn't be an issue. The heel liner also features small rubber dots that provide some grip and help your heel stay in place in abrupt turns. The soleplate features a raised heel counter that also helps with stopping heel slippage. The soleplate on the Medusae is semi-conical with conical studs the medial side of the forefoot and more aggressive studs everywhere else. The soleplate is also quite thin but flexible, with a natural (not stiff) feel.

This boot is great for players who want a kangaroo leather boot that is also lightweight and not overly thick on the upper and not so thin that it feels like it's made from plastic. The Medusea III is almost a mix of a traditional leather boot and a modern speedboot. These boots are also quite inexpensive retailing at just $200, however, you will most likely find them for cheaper considering how often Umbro boots are on sale.

2. Adidas X 19+

Weight: 6.6 Ounces (187 Grams)

The Adidas X 19+ has an upper made from a material called X-Layskin. The internal liner has cutouts which allow for a decreased weight, closer-to-the-ball touch, and a more ventilated feel. The top layer of the boot is called an "Engineered Warp Knit" which gives some texture and grip with the ridges on top of the knit. The place where the laces would have been, has a polyurethane top layer, with an elasticated layer underneath. It's not hard to put on the boots and once they are on the lockdown is decent, better than the X 18+. The upper is also slimmer than the upper of the x 18+ with less material overall and a tighter feel around your foot.

The heel of the boot features a synthetic suede fabric (coated with rubber dots that give grip) on top of cushions that hold your heel in place quite comfortably. The "Speedframe" soleplate has a raised heel counter that adds even more lockdown to the heel. The soleplate has 11 studs, the forefoot has more 'bladed-styled' studs and the heel has conical, round studs that allow for more maneuverability. The soleplate is flexible and light, adding to the 'speedboot' feel.

3. Adidas X 19.1

Weight: 6.8 Ounces (187 Grams)

The X 19.1 is the laced version of the 19+ that is also $50 less expensive. The upper is known as "Speedmesh" which was also featured on the X 18.1 but it is completely different. Adidas does this often, call something the same even though it's different and vice versa. The upper has a texturing with a very light texturing made by ridges, providing some grip and structure. Internally, there is a mesh liner. The upper also has laces (wow big surprise) however it's becoming more and rare. The laces provide the much-needed adjustability and personalized lockdown which the 19+ lacks. The mesh under the laces is thicker and more quality than the previous generations. The heel liner and the soleplate are the same as the one on the X 19+ however the 19.1 will not have a reflective coating such as the one seen on the 19+.

4. Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite

Weight: 6.8 Ounces (193 Grams)

The Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 looks a lot like the Vapor 12 but in reality, the boot has a lot of small improvements and upgrades that make the boot much better as a whole. The upper of any knitted boot before the Vapor 13 had some kind of structural reinforcements outside of the knit itself to keep the upper reinforced. But, the Vapor 13 is the first boot to have the structure incorporated in the knit itself through strands in the Flyknit fabric that are called "High Tenacity Yarn". These strands of yarn/rope in the fabric make sure your upper has structure at all points, minimizing pressure points and weak points. Most of the time, boots would have additional layers or cables (For example the Superfly 4) coated top or glued below the knitting that keeps the upper structured. The Vapor 13 doesn't need all of that since it has all the structure in the Flyknit fabric itself, meaning you will have a lighter, thinner, more consistent, more fluid, less stiff, and a softer, closer touch that makes the experience so much better. The Vapor 12 (older generation) had a "Nikeskin" coating that was basically a clear plastic-rubber type material that gave the upper texture, thickness, and stiffness. Now you have a softer (less stiff) boot right out of the box with no need of break-in time.

The lacing system is central with a dual-hole lacing system, providing personalize lockdown and adjustability. The upper is one-piece meaning there is no tongue. The material under the laces is stretchy and comfortable, which makes it easier to slip on the boots. The material is also thinner due to the High Tenacity Yarn. At the heel, the Vapor 13 is low-cut. The heel liner is made from a synthetic suede material with perforations and padding, keeping the foot secure and comfortable.

The soleplate has a split-soleplate design which is also seen on the Vapor 12. The stud pattern is the same, however, there are a few changes on the soleplate. The heel plate is different since the plastic on the inside (between studs) has been removed to shave weight and materials. On the forefoot plate, the changes are more visible with the new Aerotrack Plate. The plastic om the forefoot is patterned in a way to make the soleplate work like a spring. The more you step down on the boot, the stiffer it gets, just like a spring builds tension as it gets compressed. This was done so the forefoot springs back into place more faster and elastic-like, giving more reactiveness and consequently more speed. The studs themselves are a little bit longer and the "chevron-shaped" has a slightly sharper angle.

5. Nike Phantom Venom Elite

Weight: 6.8 Ounces (193 Grams)

Then Nike Phantom Venom as of today is the only 'power boot' on the market. A power boot is a boot that has some sort of rubber elements (usually in the instep area) giving your foot more grip to curl the ball. The upper on the Phantom Venom is pretty complex when compared to most modern soccer cleats. The upper is full flyknit however there are layers on top of the flyknit. At the toebox, there is a honeycomb design made from a silicone material that adds a lot of grip. Then at the instep, there is a "Precision Power" striking element made from silicone. Both the honeycomb material and the precision power elements are made from silicone that has been added on top of the flyknit through fusion. On the lateral side of the boot and at the heel, you will have a light coating of silicone on top of the flyknit, giving a slight grip. The upper is quite thin, more on the side of the Mercurials but unlike the Mercurials, the upper doesn't feature "High Tenacity Yarn" (explained above). The upper is reinforced buy flywire cables, the "High Tenacity Yarn" give much more responsiveness because the tenacity yarn has a consistent reinforcement. The upper also features a lace cover that is there to give more striking area, but in reality, there is no difference in what you feel when the ball touches this part of the foot. In my opinion, it just adds unnecessary bulk.

The heel is nicely padded and fits well, with a synthetic suede liner. The heel is secured in place with the internal heel liner. The soleplate is called the "Hyperreactive 2.0 Soleplate" which is very similar to the Nike Hypervenom Phantom 3 that this boot replaces. The traction is more aggressive and the studs are using the chevron shape, used on the Mercurials. The soleplate is flexible in the forefoot and has good stiffness in the midfoot, which is a good combination.

6. Mizuno Morelia Neo II Made in Japan

Weight: 6.8 Ounces (193 Grams)

Mizuno is a pretty unknown brand in North America and even Europe, with many people not knowing the brand exist or just never trying any of their products. Mizuno prides itself with its excellent quality that outclasses pretty much all of the other brands. However, the boots are expensive and some people don't choose this boot simply because they don't like the look of it. But, the made in Japan boot is much, much better made than modern boots, with outstanding durability.

With that aside, the upper on the Mizuno Morelia Neo II is made from a premium (and I mean premium) kangaroo leather toebox with a synthetic leather midfoot and heel. The kangaroo leather is thin, giving a close to the ball touch. The kangaroo leather breaks in fast, and has a soft cushioned touch, helping with control. The midfoot is narrow and slim, meaning there is only material that needs to be there, and nothing extra. The laces are deeper down the foot, giving a more locked down and customizable feel. The heel liner is suede with good padding, keeping the foot in place. The boot is low-cut, cutting back on unnecessary material.

At the heel, the soleplate has an external heel counter, which is basically a raised soleplate at the heel, which helps combat heel slippage. The soleplate is interesting with two layers. At the midfoot and heel, there is a stiffer material that gives more lockdown and stability. While at the forefoot, there is a more flexible material that allows for maneuverability. The studs are conical and provide surprisingly good traction. Since the studs are conical (round), it is easier to make sharp turns and pivots. At the top of the soleplate (the toebox), this boot features something rare to see on modern boots, which is the rivets. Rivets substantially help the upper stay secured to the soleplate, where separation often occurs.

7. Nike Mercurial Superfly 7 Elite

Weight: 7 Ounces (198 Grams)

The Nike Mercurial Superfly 7 Elite has the same upper, heel, soleplate, and general features except for the fact that the Superfly has a collar. The collar does add a little bit of weight and no real benefits. However, some people like the fit and feel the collar gives, saying that it makes the boot feel more like a sock and less like a normal boot.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope this list helps you get a sense of what are the lightest cleats currently on the market (other than limited edition releases). Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this article.