No. 8 - Nike CJ Elite 2
Players: Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Robert Quinn
Key Feature: Lockdown strap
One of the few signature shoes in the NFL, the Nike CJ Elite 2, was designed specifically for Calvin Johnson. It is somewhat heavier than most cleats as it's meant for wide receivers, but Calvin is an unusual beast. He requires cleats that are fast but that provide lockdown support for red zone TDs. The cleat delivers with flywire cables and a huge lockdown strap across the midfoot. It just so happens that these needs mimic those of many other positions in the NFL, which explains why this cleat is so popular. Robert Quinn has been spotted in them, rushing the edge and terrorizing quarterbacks throughout the league.
No. 7 - Under Armour Fierce Havoc D
Players: Logan Mankins, Ray Lewis
Key Feature: Micro G cushioning technology
The Under Armour Fierce Havoc is one of the most popular cleats among the guys in the trenches. Coming in at a hefty 14.7 oz, this cleat is not meant for any player that needs unimpaired speed. The advantage of this shoe is the support that it provides through the lockdown strap and patented Micro G cushioning.
No. 6 - Nike Vapor Talon Elite
Players: Marshawn Lynch, AJ Green, Victor Cruz, Colin Kaepernick
Key Feature: Hyperfuse upper
Built with Hyperfuse technology, this cleat is one of Nike’s lightest. If you can’t tell from the names above, it is valued highly by speedy players who get down the field in a hurry. Although it is mostly worn by running backs and wide receivers, defensive backs also wear the cleat, as well as the occasional quarterback like Colin Kaepernick or Matt Ryan.
No. 5 - Under Armour Highlight
Players: Eddie Lacy, Bernard Pierce, Stevan Ridley
Key Feature: CompFit construction
Under Armour’s signature football cleat is something of an anomaly. The cleat is a super high top while remaining extremely flexible and light. Highlighted by Eddie Lacy, who finally returned to his rookie form last week, the Highlight is the top pick for running backs throughout the league. The Under Armour Highlight features CompFit construction, which form fits to the ankle and allows for the full range of motion while being extremely supportive.
No. 4 - Nike Vapor Carbon Elite
Players: Percy Harvin, Richard Sherman, Brandon Marshall
Key Feature: Nanoply upper
The Nike Vapor Carbon Elite is primarily worn by players at the skill positions like wide receivers, running backs, and defensive backs. The reason? Speed. The flywire design stabilizes the foot, keeping it squarely in place during hard cuts and intense acceleration. The nanoply upper is another lightweight technology incorporated into the shoe that gives players a seamless, snug fit.
No. 3 - Nike Alpha Pro TD
Players: Russell Wilson, Giovani Bernard, Andrew Luck
Key Feature: Flywire cables
For years, the Nike Alpha Pro TD has been one of the most popular cleats in the NFL. Most players wear the low or 3/4 edition. The key feature of this shoe is the support it provides with Flywire technology. Incorporated into the mid-foot and arch, it gives the wearer a glove-like fit while leaving the cleat very light. The mix of stability and support makes it a great cleat for running backs, quarterbacks, and linebackers.
No. 2 - adidas Adizero 5 Star 3.0
Players: Sammy Watkins, Eric Berry, Demarco Murray
Key Feature: Sprintskin
Lets start with the superficial. The Adizero 5 star 3.0 is a sleek cleat. Covered with Sprintskin technology, the shoe really does look like a second skin. Delving deeper, the Adizero is the lightest cleat in the game. Everything about the design promotes this crucial asset. The Sprintframe in the sole structures the shoe and holds the foot in place while maintaining the lightweight ideal. It has worked out for Demarco Murray, who has been by far the best back in the NFL this season, as well as Sammy Watkins, who has had a great rookie campaign.
No. 1 - Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Players: Demaryius Thomas, Drew Brees, Tamba Hali
Key Feature: Lunarlon foam
The Nike Lunar Superbad Pro is the most popular shoe in the NFL. Many cleats serve only one purpose for one position. For example, a lineman probably needs more support than the Nike Vapor Carbon can offer him. The Nike Lunar Superbad Pro is unique because it can be spotted on countless quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive lineman in the league. Tamba Hali enjoys the support it provides the ankles, while wide receivers like Demaryius Thomas rock the shoe for its lightweight leather design.