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Striker’s Boots

Ian Ebbs

Strikers are the players who play nearest to the opposition’s goal, so they are mainly responsible for scoring goals. This advanced position brings with it limited defensive responsibilities, but strikers still require intelligence, as well as speed of execution and thought, to perform well in their role. I went on to see which boots bring me up to speed for the role, and so here are my thoughts about the best football boots for strikers.

Strikers Forwards Boots
What You’ll Find On This Page:

Top 8 Boots for Scoring Goals

Rank Why? Boot
1.
phantomgx
Nike Phantom GX Elite
Sticky Gripknit technology excellent for accuracy as the additional grip helps for better placement phantomgx>> Get Elite Phantom GX2 at Nike
2.
vapor
Nike Mercurial Vapor
Thin synthetic upper for complete ball feel 100% of the time, and knowing where the ball is relative to your feet is the start of getting that goal in vapor>> Get Elite Mercurial Vapor 15 at Nike
3.

adidas F50 Elite
Gritty texturing greatly assists in ball control; helps you to dribble your way towards goal
4.ultra
Puma Ultra 5 Carbon
Responsive outsole gives you that mental speed boost and positions you to goalscoring positions quicker than the opposition ultra>> Get Ultra 5 Carbon from Puma
5.
adidas Copa Pure 2 Elite+
Knit and leather combined together for comfort while you grind it out on the attack at the final third
6.
Mizuno Morelia Neo Beta
Multifaceted premium boot for the well-rounded attacker; its great capacity to mould around your foot shape allows you to focus less about the lockdown and more on scoring goals
7.
pumafuture
Puma Future Ultimate
Agility boot with an extremely comfortable textile upper; can assist you to waltz your way and get that ball to the back of the net pumafuture
8.
vapor
Nike Mercurial Superfly
Follow the attacking prowess of CR7 and Mbappe; cushioned Air Zoom outsole makes for a seamless transition between planting your lead foot and the actual strike of the ball superfly>> Get Elite Mercurial Superfly 9 at Nike

1. Nike Phantom GX 2

Preferred by the likes of Erling Haaland, the Phantom GX is the ultimate striker’s choice. Not saying I’m at the same level as his, but with the sticky Gripknit in the upper, the Phantom GX prevents the ball from slicking away and helps me as a striker control it on my first touch.

2. Nike Mercurial Vapor

The most popular boot among footballers includes the ever-clinical Robert Lewandowski. The Vaporposite+ upper is thin enough to get a perfect sense of where the ball is all the time, while the Zoom airbag provides a comfortable bouncy platform to go in and out of the box. The most important thing though for me is that the Mercurial Vapor feels very secure and snug on my feet, which makes the ping of the ball against my foot very powerful. Sadly, I prefer the wider fit that the Phantom GX offers.

3. adidas F50

Scorers like Heung-min Son, Lionel Messi and Mo Salah benefit from the clean, barefoot touch of the adidas speed boot. They also get into scoring positions a second faster because of the responsive Sprintframe 360 outsole. I couldn’t agree more with their boot of choice as the energy-return of the soleplate gives me that mental edge of popping up at the right place at the right time for that goal.

Relative to the Mercurials, I find myself in a more forgiving situation with the F50. I personally would prefer the F50 Laced Elite as it significantly optimises the lockdown via the combination of the tongue midfoot band construction and the laces. The laceless model doesn’t fully jive in with the width of my feet.

4. Puma Ultra 5

I only tried it once as I can never fit in to this. But I must say that for a goalscorer, as long as the Ultra fits him well, can assist him in delivering the goods by strapping itself securely on his foot. There’s also that uber responsive snapback (even better than the F50’s) that can help him get into goalscoring positions fast or be first to those fifty-fifty balls. With such a thin upper, I also think he would like the heightened sensation of knowing where the ball is relative to his foot at all times.

5. adidas Copa Pure II+

Headlined by Paulo Dybala, the adidas Copa Pure+ has shown it can be capable as a finisher’s boot. The supple premium leather forefoot on the Fusionskin upper truly dampens the touch. It also forms a thin upper profile together with the knitted midfoot for a speed bootquesque fit and feel. I put on the Copa Pure+ if I want a padded touch on the ball when I get assigned as a striker in matches.

6. Mizuno Morelia Neo IV Beta  

The Mizuno Morelia Neo IV Beta gives you an excellent leather option upfront. Both the premium K-leather forefoot and synthetic Beta Mesh midfoot cling to your foot closely for a close, non-restricting fit, while their relatively thin profile means you significantly feel where the ball is all the time. In fact, I will chose this over the Copa Pure 2+ because of the more streamlined on-feet feel and the more durable build of the leather. The stitchings on the leather, not to mention the superior quality itself, gives me confidence that the Beta would last longer than I expect it to be.

7. Puma Future Ultimate

If you know you can let your foot do the talking and just needs a comfortable option, Future 7 Ultimate is there to the rescue. I like how it utilises a textile material and a thin foam liner to create a comfortably plush sensation over your foot. It’s definitely still a thin upper, but I can sense it has a heightened cushion sensation than what you’ll find in most football boots these days. The PWRPRINT texturing to me is a welcome addition. I wouldn’t say they are grippy, but at least the increased friction points can help me control the ball even better.

8. Nike Mercurial Superfly

The same Mercurial Vapor boots, but only with a Dynamic Fit collar just like in Mbappe’s and CR7’s boots. And knowing that you’ll be wearing the same boot as these stars should give you a mental edge in front of the goal. Like the Vapor, I could hang on to this for a few matches, but will switch to a wider option (preferably the GX 2) in a heartbeat when given a choice.

Testing and Selection of Striker Boots

First things first, here are some of the fundamentals that we follow when we test out boots. When it comes to striker boots, I chose boots that I see greatly impacts goal-scoring. Some boots focused on providing the best fit so you can have the most responsiveness. For some, I find that they rely on upper features that affect the ball touch and grip. Others focus on soleplate functionality, which I believe is aimed for the striker’s movement to help him get into scoring positions effectively and efficiently. And then finally, a few are geared into providing you comfort and taking out the sting of hitting the ball, lessening your physical grind and burden so you are mentally prepared to score.

Playing Styles of a Striker

There are so many football philosophies about winning matches, but it all boils down to one thing and that is scoring goals. While certainly defenders and midfielders are not excluded in doing such, goals are the bread and butter of forwards. To score goals, forwards have varied roles depending on skills and positioning.

In a team’s frontline, there would always be the one player (or two at least in a 4-4-2 formation) whose primary function is to stay on the top to deliver the finish. Aptly called the ‘striker’ or the number 9, this forward uses clinical finishing to put the ball in the back of the net, much like Kun Agüero. However, aside from being an out and out striker, a number 9 like Zlatan Ibrahimovich has qualities that allow him to be the target man, designated to win the long balls using height, strength, and heading ability to hold up the ball and create goal-scoring chances for the other team members.

In contrast a false 9 drops deep (even reaching the midfield at times) both to possibly create spatial gaps and to confuse the defence in terms of their marking, Cesc Fabregas famously played the role for Spain and Lionel Messi was well known for playing this way at Barcelona.

A ‘second striker’ resembles a balance between the goal scoring of a number 9 and the creativity of a number 10. Instead of going all out in starting and positioning as an attacking midfielder, a ‘second striker’ instead would swing back and forth between supporting the main striker and dropping back to midfield to receive the ball. The second striker specifically acts as a support chain then between the main striker and the midfield. Wayne Rooney had at times been deployed to such roles at a time when Manchester United had the likes of Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa.

Depending on if positioned narrower near the centre forward or advanced in the wings, a supporting set of ‘inside forwards’ or ‘outside forwards’ is positioned on either flank of the main forward. Inside forwards and outside forwards are prominent during the existence of the 2-3-5 formations.

Author

Ian Ebbs

Founder of FootballBoots.co.uk back in 2010, Ian went on to create and host their YouTube channel which now has 1.5million subscribers and over 300 million views, he also hosts their podcast which you can find on Spotify. Taking his over fifteen year experience in the football industry, Ian wrote the book: How To Choose Your Boots (find it on Amazon) where he looks to help footballers of all levels find their perfect pair.