Cleats can really make or break your performance on the field. Wearing uncomfortable cleats can cause terrible blisters, ankle sprains and just be an overall crappy time. When I started playing, I used soccer cleats because they are light, but quickly realized they were not for me as they don’t have enough support for my feet. Soccer cleats also do not have as much traction as lacrosse, football or ultimate specific cleats which is why I would not consider them the best option for ultimate. I think they are an okay choice for players that grew up playing soccer and do not want to switch to something else. For players wanting a little better traction and about the same level of comfort, I would recommend a lightweight football/wide receiver cleat. These cleats are going to have more stability, and better traction but slightly more weight. The only problem I see with football cleats is the fact that they are made for a lot of starting and stopping whereas ultimate is consistent movement. Some cleats can really cause some pain since they are not exactly made for that constant running. Even so, football cleats are what many ultimate players are turning to because they are cheaper and have better stud patterns for the movements in ultimate. Some examples of these cleats would be the Nike vapor untouchable 3 ‘speed’ or the Adidas Adizero 8.0s, these are just the two most popular examples and there are many others that people wear as well.
The next kind of cleats that I think match ultimate the best would be lacrosse cleats. Lacrosse cleats are all over the board, some brands make very heavy cleats with stiff sole plates and others make lightweight cleats with flexible bottoms. Lacrosse is the one sport that matches ultimate in terms of amount of running and similarity of cuts. I found New Balance Freeze Lacrosse cleats to be the best cleat for Ultimate players. These cleats have a flexible sole plate that stays comfortable for a full day of playing while still having much more durability than a soccer cleat. These have the best stud pattern and most aggressive traction out of any of the cleats I have found, over soccer and football cleats. They also come in both a low and high top version for different amounts of ankle stability. These cleats have quickly gained popularity in ultimate, and I think will continue to grow as more players learn about them. The only reason I would say a player should not choose these would be because they run a little too wide for someone with narrow feet and can cause blisters and feel uncomfortable and even painful after a short time playing. I think every person have different preferences but, New Balance Freeze’s are the overall best cleats for the sport of ultimate.
There are also two companies that make cleats that are specifically for ultimate. These cleats I think are on the right track but not quite there yet when compared to cleats made by bigger companies. The first company is Universe Point, the cleats they make seem very similar to the Nike Vapor Untouchable ‘Speed’ but are much heavier. I think this is a huge downside to their cleat since you can find something similar and lighter for cheaper.
The next pair of cleats that are ultimate specific are Tokay cleats. Tokay cleats were made by some ultimate nerds and have science that goes into every single decision. I think these cleats are like a soccer cleat with better traction. They have toe and heel cleats and are more geared towards ultimate movement. These cleats are great for ultimate, with the only problem being the fact that they are pretty expensive. I think they are a great up and coming brand that could become the go to ultimate cleat in the next 5 years.