The Top New Balance Cleats for Optimal Performance

Finding the right cleats is essential for players of sports like soccer, football, softball, baseball, and lacrosse. Cleats provide the traction and grip needed to accelerate, cut, pivot, and push off on natural grass surfaces. For athletes, choosing cleats that match their playing style and position can give them a performance advantage and prevent injury.

New Balance has long been a leader in athletic shoes and cleats, crafting innovative technologies and designs to meet athletes’ needs. Their cleats feature a range of stud configurations, cushioning systems, stability features, and lightweight or supple materials. With so many options to choose from, selecting the best New Balance cleats may feel overwhelming.

This guide will highlight the top four New Balance cleat models available right now. We’ll cover their key features, pros and cons, and the playing positions or needs they are best suited for. Tips are also provided on how to pick the right New Balance cleats for your specific sport and feet. Read on to learn all about New Balance’s stellar cleat offerings.

The Best 4 New Balance Cleats

New Balance Furon v6+ Firm Ground Cleats

The New Balance Furon v6+ Firm Ground cleats are designed for fast play on firm, natural grass pitches. They are New Balance’s lightest soccer cleat, engineered for speedy wingers, outside midfielders, and forwards who rely on pace and acceleration.

With an ultra-lightweight synthetic leather upper, the Furon v6+ cleats feature a minimalist, anatomical fit and raised grip zones on the vamp for enhanced ball control. The arrowhead-shaped studs are strategically positioned for multidirectional traction and pivot points. At just 6.4oz, the Furon v6+ cleats deliver lightweight lockdown and agile maneuverability.

Key Features:

  • Ultra-lightweight synthetic leather upper
  • Minimalist one-piece upper design
  • Raised grip zones on vamp for ball control
  • Arrowhead-shaped studs for multidirectional traction

Pros:

  • Very lightweight and flexible for speed
  • Low-profile and anatomical fit
  • Excellent traction from arrowhead studs
  • Durable yet supple synthetic leather upper

Cons:

  • Runs narrow
  • Less protection than bulkier cleats
  • Expensive

Best For: Speed positions like wingers, forwards, fullbacks

The Furon v6+ is New Balance’s fastest cleat. For players who rely on continuous speed, the Furon v6+ provides a glove-like fit without sacrificing protection or traction.

New Balance Tekela Magique Firm Ground Cleats

Engineered for elite playmakers, the New Balance Tekela Magique Firm Ground cleats offer an unparalleled soft touch and adaptive fit. The Tekela Magique cleats are designed to enhance shot power and accuracy for midfield maestros and attacking players.

They feature a premium kangaroo leather upper for exceptional feel on the ball. With an asymmetrical lacing system and internal mesh liner, the Tekela Magique cleats lock down the foot securely while providing a flexible, sock-like sensation. The conical studs deliver grip for precise cuts and turns.

Key Features:

  • Kangaroo leather upper
  • Asymmetrical lacing system
  • Internal mesh liner
  • Heel cup for stability
  • Conical studs

Pros:

  • Unparalleled soft touch on the ball
  • Kangaroo leather forms to foot
  • Lace Guard wrap prevents blow outs
  • Excellent lockdown and fit
  • Good traction from conical studs

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Leather requires break-in time
  • Studs don’t provide multidirectional traction

Best For: Midfielders, forwards, players looking for an exquisite touch

For players looking for a natural leather cleat that can enhance ball manipulation, the New Balance Tekela Magique is a top-tier option. The supple kangaroo leather and sock-like construction make for an unrivaled feel.

New Balance Audazo Pro Firm Ground Cleats

Designed to maximize power and accuracy, the New Balance Audazo Pro Firm Ground cleats are New Balance’s widest soccer cleat. With carbon fiber inserts and a strike zone engineered for shot speed, the Audazo Pro cleats are ideal for dominant, power-oriented players.

The Audazo Pro cleats feature Carbon Fiber inserts in the “Power Strike” zone to add pop and precision on driven shots and passes. With an asymmetrical lacing system, Wide last, and a heel counter for stability, the Audazo Pro cleats provide a supportive, locked-down fit. The bladed studs penetrate and release from firm natural grass pitches efficiently.

Key Features:

  • Carbon fiber inserts in Power Strike zone
  • Asymmetrical lacing
  • Wide last
  • Heel counter for stability
  • Bladed studs

Pros:

  • Carbon inserts add powerful shots
  • Wide fit accommodates wide feet
  • Lace Guard wrap prevents blow outs
  • Great striking surface
  • Studs provide traction and grip

Cons:

  • Runs half size large
  • Stiff outsole requires break-in
  • Studs don’t provide multidirectional traction

Best For: Wide-footed players, midfielders, defenders

For goal-dangerous players who prioritize striking power, the Audazo Pro cleats from New Balance provide accuracy and pop. The carbon-infused strike zone is a game-changer.

New Balance 442 Pro Firm Ground Cleats

Drawing inspiration from classic football heritage, the New Balance 442 Pro Firm Ground cleats offer supple leather and an old-school look. With a central lacing system and a mixture of conical and bladed studs, the 442 Pro cleats provide touch and tradition without sacrificing traction.

Broken-in quality leather on the upper delivers a plush sensation for controlling and passing the ball. With a Die-cut EVA sockliner and TPU heel counter, the 442 Pro cleats lock the foot in place securely. While the look screams football history, the precisely engineered studs and premium materials make the 442 Pro cleat ready for the modern game.

Key Features:

  • Supple K-Leather upper
  • Central lacing system
  • Die-cut EVA sockliner
  • TPU heel counter
  • Conical and bladed studs

Pros:

  • Broken-in feel from quality leather
  • Lace-up design provides lockdown
  • Lightweight yet supportive
  • Good mix of stud shapes for traction
  • Classic look

Cons:

  • Leather requires break-in time
  • Runs half size large
  • Not many tech features

Best For: Traditional players who prioritize touch, Heritage soccer look

Players searching for a natural leather cleat with vintage vibes will love the New Balance 442 Pro. With kangaroo leather and old-school design, these bring touch and a timeless aesthetic.

How to Choose New Balance Cleats

Selecting your ideal New Balance cleats involves considering several factors from fit to features. Use this comprehensive buying guide when browsing New Balance cleat options to pick the pair that enhances your performance.

Consider Your Position and Playing Style

The needs of a defender differ greatly from those of a forward. Determine what attributes you rely on most during competition and choose cleats aligned to your individual style.

Defenders need stability, durability, and traction to react quickly, pivot, and accelerate after opponents. A sturdy cleat with conical studs would be ideal.

Midfielders cover large swaths of the field, so balanced attributes like a supportive fit, decent traction, and lightweight feel are key. They pivot frequently, making studs that release from the turf cleanly important.

Forwards and wingers apply continuous speed to beat defenders, calling for lightweight cleats built for straight-line sprints. Traction for sudden cuts and grip for ball control are also useful.

Power players who rely on strike power and winning physical battles need cleats with carbon inserts and acres of striking surface. Finesse players favor cleats with supple materials and anatomical shapes to caress the ball.

Fast players should seek really lightweight cleats under 8oz to maintain top-end pace. Wide-footed players need to accommodate their foot volume and toe splay with roomy cleats.

The stud shape also affects traction for different movements and field types. Conical studs provide grip for quick cuts, pivots, and acceleration but can get stuck in very firm ground. Bladed studs supply straight-line speed for sprints but little multidirectional traction. Mixes of bladed and conical studs combine benefits.

Choose the Right Fit

Finding the proper size and fit allows cleats to enhance, not hinder, performance. When trying on New Balance cleats, consider these fit tips:

  • Cleats should fit snugly without restricting blood flow or causing pain. Feet swell during intense play, so it’s smart to go at least a half or full size up from your regular shoe size.
  • New Balance makes cleats in narrow, standard, and wide size ranges. Measure the length and width of your feet and consult New Balance’s sizing charts for your dimensions.
  • If you have wide feet, seek out New Balance’s Wide or Extra Wide fit options. Cleats like the Audazo Pro and Tekela v2 Pro offer wide sizes. You can also remove the sockliner in many cleats for a roomier fit.
  • Always try cleats on and walk around before buying. Wiggle your toes – they should have some room and not strike the front rim. Your heel should be locked in place with no slippage. Jog lightly to gauge comfort.

Consider Upper Material and Durability

The upper material affects touch on the ball, comfort, and also durability. Synthetics like New Balance’s Furon offer a lightweight, ready-to-wear feel while leather needs breaking-in for a glove-like fit.

Kangaroo leather is prized for its remarkably soft, thin sensation. It molds beautifully to feet but requires patience through the break-in period. Calfskin leather offers a supple feel too but is less durable than kangaroo leather.

More expensive usually translates to higher quality leather and thus better longevity. Synthetic leather is the most affordable option, but still durable enough for 1-2 seasons of play.

Look closely at the plate, studs, stitching and exterior protection too. A toe cap can shield from knocks. Quality, layered assembly prevents tears. The right materials mean cleats go the distance.

Learn Lacing and Ankle Cut Preferences

Lacing configurations provide different pressure patterns across the foot. Ankle cuts range from low to mid to high. Know your preferences here before buying.

Central lacing allows for more fine-tuned fit adjustments across the footbed. Off-center or asymmetrical lacing reduces lace pressure over the top of the foot.

High ankle cuts offer stability by hugging more of the ankle. They prevent rollovers but reduce freedom of motion. Low cuts allow more mobility and speed but have less support.

Lace Guards, overlays, and wrap-around assemblies help lock down laces firmly. This prevents the dreaded blowout where the lace rips through the upper material. Seek cleats with secure lacing integration.

Think About Weight and Tech Features

Lighter cleats under 8oz enhance maneuverability and speed while tech add-ons boost power and control. Determine what matters most for your game.

Adding tech features like carbon fiber inserts or grip textures on strike zones increase shot power and accuracy. Raised textures and grip patterns along the vamp aid in ball manipulation and command.

Synthetic uppers with fused layers or welded construction eliminate thickness and seams for lighter shoes. Knitted or woven textiles also minimize weight. Compare weights and constructions.

While tech features have advantages, don’t overlook fundamentals like stud configuration, fit, and primary materials. Lightweight means nothing without stud traction, and fancy inserts won’t help if cleats restrict movement. Find the right balance.

Know Your Budget

New Balance cleats range widely in price primarily based on material quality and technology integration. Synthetic leather models fall in the $60 to $100 range while premium kangaroo leather runs from $180 to $280.

Set a realistic budget aligned to your needs versus wants. Performance should be the priority over cosmetic details like colors. Well-made, durable synthetic leather can still offer quality comparable to pricier leather as long as the fit and features match your game.

New Balance frequently puts prior year’s models on sale. Sort by price online to find deals. Purchasing off-season is another way to save. With smart shopping, top performing cleats are attainable for different budgets.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Balance Cleats

Below are answers to some of the most common questions about New Balance soccer, football, baseball, and softball cleats.

Q: How long will my New Balance cleats last?

On average, New Balance cleats last 1-2 full seasons or longer with proper care and rotation. Higher end leather cleats can maintain quality for several seasons when maintained well. Rotate between two pairs of cleats rather than wearing one pair exclusively to prolong durability.

Q: How do I break in my new leather cleats?

  • Wear them briefly at home on carpet to begin gently stretching the leather
  • Apply leather conditioner to soften material
  • Gradually increase wear time on field over practices
  • Consider soaking cleats in warm water to further soften and quicken break-in
  • Wear thick synthetic socks during initial practices to prevent blisters

Q: What size New Balance cleats should I get?

It’s ideal to try on New Balance cleats in-store and walk around in them. Since sizing varies across styles, use their size charts if buying online. Measure your feet and order 1/2 to a full size up from your regular shoe size to allow for foot swelling and thick socks during games. New Balance offers both narrow and wide width sizes beyond standard.

Q: How do I clean my New Balance cleats?

  • Use a stiff brush like a toothbrush to remove caked on dirt
  • For leather, gently clean with mild leather soap and water. Avoid harsh cleaners.
  • For synthetic leather, wipe down with warm water, mild detergent and a rag
  • Never put cleats in washer or dryer. Allow to fully air dry before next use

Q: Are New Balance cleats good for wide feet?

Yes, many New Balance cleats accommodate wider feet well. Models like the Audazo Pro, Tekela v2 Pro, and 4040v5 Turf Trainers come in wide sizes. Look for their Wide last shape or Extra Wide sizing options. Also removing the sockliner creates more room.

Q: What are New Balance cleats made out of?

  • Upper materials include synthetic leather, calfskin leather, kangaroo leather, and woven or knitted synthetics
  • Midsoles and outsoles use Pebax or TPU plastic composites
  • Studs are constructed from plastic or metal

Q: Can I use New Balance turf shoes as cleats?

No, New Balance turf shoes like the Turf V1 or 4040v5 are designed for artificial turf and indoor court surfaces. They have small rubber studs unsuitable for natural grass play. Sports like soccer, football, baseball, and lacrosse require true cleats with longer studs that can penetrate into grass.

Q: What sock height should I wear with New Balance cleats?

Mid-calf and crew length socks that cover your ankle are recommended. The added sock compression and protection reduce irritation and abrasion from the cleats during play. Longer socks also prevent painful blisters on the heel and ankle. Choose moisture wicking synthetic socks over cotton for sweat absorption.

Conclusion

Finding your perfect match among the top New Balance cleat models requires considering factors like playing surface, fit, stud configuration, and features. Defining your individual style, foot shape, and performance needs helps narrow the options.

A snug yet comfortable fit allows cleats to become a seamless extension of your foot for fluid play. The right studs provide traction tailored to your movements and field. While technology offers advantages, tried and true fundamentals make the biggest performance difference.

With the proper New Balance cleats suited to your game, you gain the competitive edge needed to leave defenders in the dust, strike balls with precision, and move confidently in all directions. New Balance uses decades of innovation to help optimize your play. Lace up the right cleats this season and watch your game rise to the next level.

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