Last updated on 16 February 2021 to reflect latest releases and reviews.
Being a defender isn’t easy. On top of basic defensive duties, the demands on defenders today have expanded from just being a shield. You’re tasked to be the first playmaker, tactical organizer and increasingly, one of the fastest players in the team to cope with quick counters.
While we believe that players should wear whatever football boots they like no matter their position on the pitch, we wanted to explore boots that could give defenders that little bit extra. All the boots listed below are rugged enough for a 50/50 tackle but cultured enough to stand out from the rest.
Here are our best football boots for defenders.
Mizuno Rebula Cup Japan – Padded for control and protection
The modern defender is tasked with a whole range of responsibilities. They’re tasked to build the play from deep with dribbles or long passes to the flanks and receive the ball under pressure – all while also looking to make any tackles when being exposed on opposition counter attacks.
The modern defender
Mizuno Rebula Cup Japan
The Mizuno Rebula Cup is built specifically with the modern defender in mind. The FT Foam pods help to take the sting off sharp passes and cushions the ball nicely to give you confidence in control and passing under pressure. Those very pods also provide ample protection for you when going in for those crunching one-on-one challenges.
It is built like a tank but performs with the nimble agility of a rally car.
adidas Predator Freak .1 – Badass
There are some defenders whom you just don’t want to mess with. One look in their eye and you’ve got the fear of god sent through your body. These are more than just defenders, they’re demonic maniacs who will stop at nothing to win the ball – even if it means dishing out a world of hurt. And they can give as much as they can take.
For the rugged badass defender
adidas Predator Freak .1
For this very defender, there can be no other boot but the adidas Predator Freak .1. It looks as mean as they come with the Demonskin (how metal is this name?) upper full of rubber spikes and an external heel counter that could operate as a cheese grater. The Demonskin spikes aren’t just a badass’ wet dream, they work excellently when in contact with the ball. For those who always scuff their clearances, the extra grippy spikes can aid you in improving your contact with the ball.
But of course, with badass boots like the Predator, you won’t need to make hasty clearances on the account that strikers will be too scared to get near you.
Umbro Medusae 3 Elite – Light on feet
For a defender who wants to feel light on their feet, look no further than the Umbro Medusae 3 Elite. At about 165g, it is easily the lightest mass produced football boot in the market, let alone within the leather boot category. It’s even lighter than the Nike Mercurial Vapor!
Light on feet
Umbro Medusæ III Elite FG – Toreador/White/Merlot
The Medusae’s light weight comes from ridiculously light but tough soleplate that gives you a natural flex so it almost feels barefoot when you’re jogging or sprinting in them. The package is completed by a laceless leather upper that is padded enough to give you protection when diving in for those tackles while keeping you comfortable.
A truly natural sensation on feet that feels uninhibited and allows you to focus on your game.
Mizuno Morelia 2 Japan
Back in the day, Nike had the “Total 90” football boots which were meant to keep you comfortable for the entire 90 minutes. If there was ever spiritual successor, , it’s the Mizuno Morelia 2 Japan (Made in Japan).
Mizuno Morelia II Made In Japan FG
A buttery soft leather upper with solid lockdown thanks to Mizuno’s Wave-Fit lacing system, it’s a boot that does very little wrong while allowing you to play your game without needing to think about what’s on your feet.
It’s got an accommodating fit that’ll stretch across most feet shapes and it’s a “Made in Japan” boot – one that promises quality handcrafted Japanese craftsmanship. So expect the Morelia 2 to be able to take a beating while keeping your feet cocooned from the harsh duels with the opposition striker.
Nike Tiempo Legend 8 – Locked in no matter the situation
Often as a defender, you’ve got to be able to react to a livewire striker who can go from 0-100 in a heartbeat. You want your feet to react and shift as quickly as you can in such situations without you slipping around too much. Enter the Nike Tiempo Legend 8.
Locked down with no slippages
Nike Tiempo Legend VIII Elite AG-PRO – Laser Crimson/Black/White
The Tiempo Legend 8 has to be the most technically advanced knitted boot in the market and you’ll notice that immediately when you put it on. The Flyknit tunnel and Quadfit mesh immediately wraps and adapts to your feet the moment it’s slipped on. No football boot out there gives you lockdown like the Tiempo Legend 8. It constantly adapts to every shift in movement to ensure there are zero slippages within the boot and you’re always secure even with the most aggressive switches of direction.
Be warned though, the extremely snug fit can feel suffocating for first-timers. But once you’ve gotten used to it, you don’t every want it leaving your feet.
Did we miss a the perfect football boot for a defender? Let us know in the comments below.