It’s always difficult figuring out how to deal with family over Thanksgiving. While we can’t help you cope with your grandmother pressuring you to settle down or your Uncle Dick’s alcoholism, there is something we can give you a few pointers on. The backyard football game that erupts in so many families out of boredom and repressed masculinity is an American tradition as time-honored as getting wasted with your old friends the night you get back in town. We all know that these games are as competitive as can be, with years of family bragging rights at stake. We want to give you the edge and help you look fly as you juke cousins and siblings and make your way toward that picket fence edged end zone this Thanksgiving. Here are 10 Awesome Football Cleats to Stunt in Your Turkey Game.
No. 10 - Nike Zoom Alpha Talon
Key Tech Elements: Flywire Technology, Z-Heel Wrap
How You Will Stunt: These cleats are designed with traction in mind, so whether your are playing in the unfinished backyard of newlywed cousins or the well-watered lawn of an anal retentive uncle, you should be able to re-connect with family in the end zone all day long. Hey, if it’s good enough for Aaron Rogers, it ought to be good enough for your backyard ballin'.
No. 9 - Nike Zoom Flyposite
Key Tech Element: Foamposit Frame, Pebax plates
How You Will Stunt: These cleats were designed with a look toward support and comfort. Judging by user reviews, defensive and offensive linemen are more than grateful for that focus. We bet you probably don’t utilize too many linemen in your backyard games. For most of us, a line consists of the entire defense counting "Five Mississippi" and jumping on the QB. Even if you don’t aspire to play right guard in your game, the comfort and design of this shoe makes it a keeper.
No. 8 - Adidas Adizero 5-Star Mid
Tech Elements: light weight, Sprintframe Construction, Traxion Studs
How You Will Stunt: Though a number of ballers can be seen in these cleats regularly, we are partial to RGIII’s gold colorway. The phenom will be on your screen against the Cowboys on Thursday trying to turn around the Redskin’s pitiful 1-6 Thanksgiving record. That record's about as good as my grandmother's record remembering that my Uncle Phil is married to another man, and no, for the last time, they aren't just "good friends."
No. 7 - Nike Lunar Super Bad Pro
Tech Elements: Lunarlon Cushioning, Probax plates, Raptor Heel Cleat
How You Will Stunt: This relatively low cost cleat is geared toward traction and comfort. Rookie phenom Russell Wilson has been spotted wearing these as marches toward a spotless season at CenturyLink Field. Just like Wilson, you should be a beast at home in these cleats. Though, if you are playing an away game at your girlfriend’s parents’ place, not even the best cleats will help you outperform Wilson’s 1-4 away record.
No. 6 - adidas Adizero Five Star
Tech Elements: light weight, Sprintskin Uppers, Traxion outsole
How You Will Stunt: With these shoes, you are getting the same light weight build as with the mids, but without the ankle support. Whether you need the support or not depends on your personal game. While RG III sports the mids, C.J. Spiller and Eric Barry rock the lower build. We doubt your backyard game will change much depending on which you choose, but rather will shift based on how much dessert you eat.
No. 5 - Jordan Super.Fly Cleats
Tech Elements: Hyerfuse Construction
How You Will Stunt: Nike has assembled an all-star line-up to rep their players only Super.Fly line, including Michael Crabtree, Josh Freeman, Dwight Freeney, Andre Johnson, LaMarr Woodley and Charles Woodson. The Super.Fly was originally a basketball shoe, but was modified for these premium ballers. While we can hope for a retail version someday, you can always pick up the basketball version at the Nike Store while your aunts are punching people out at Wal-Mart on Black Friday.
No. 4 - Nike Alpha Talon Elite 3/4 Tim Tebow PE
Tech Elements: hyperfuse construction, supplemental forefoot cleats, carbon-fiber shank
How You Will Stunt: This shoe has everything you could want in a football cleat. The shoe is durable yet light weight with superior traction. We realize it might be tough to rep the Tebow color way if you are around relatives who don't follow the Jets. The Jets and Tebow don’t have too much to be proud of, as they have been abysmal with Tebow holding the clipboard. If anyone in your family is from Boston, get ready to take a few cheap shots. On the other hand, sporting these may endear you to any Christian Fundamentalist branches of your family tree.
No. 3 - Under Armor Men’s UA Highlight
Tech Elements: Compfit Construction, Corespeed Chasis
How You will Stunt: Under Armor has been focusing on Compfit technology as of late as a way to keep your ankle protected without using tape. That’s one less injury your family members will have to worry about when some of the older guys who haven’t touched the pigskin since high school try to get back in the game. If you’re feeling thankful for your country this year, why not sport the patriotic "Wounded Warrior" colorway and end your elaborate endzone celebration with a salute to our troops.
No. 2 - Air Jordan Retro IX
Tech Elements: Polyurethane midsole, Airsole cushioning
How You Will Stunt: This dope retro redesign of the 1993 Air Jordan IX is unfortunately another player exclusive. While you won’t have the chance to flash them during your pick-up game, you might catch them on Andre Johnson as he lights up the Lions secondary on Thursday afternoon.
No. 1 - Under Armour Cam Highlight
Key Tech Elements: Compfit Construction, High ankle collar
How You Will Stunt: Cam’s signature cleat is one of the most hotly anticipated of this year. Unfortunately, we won’t see it on shelves until the spring, even though Cam has already game-tested them. While many of the details are still under wraps, we do know that the shoes expand on the Compfit technology that Under Armour has been championing. You will likely see a trainer version of this shoe before Christmas, so even if you won’t have them for your Turkey Bowl, maybe you can lace them up for the inevitable Christmas rematch.