There was a time when Frisbee was something you did to sit back and relax. Throwing the disc around with the family or maybe to your dog. Nowadays, though, it’s not nearly as laid back as it once was thanks to the popularity of ultimate Frisbee. Ultimate Frisbee- or just ultimate to many- has increased its audience tremendously over the years, coming from relative obscurity to become a major sport on college campuses and parks all over the country. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the most important tool that can make you better at the game: your cleats. Without the right pair of cleats, you might as well forget being the best player on the field. In our buying guide, we’ll be breaking down the ins and outs of ultimate Frisbee cleats and reviewing the most popular pairs that are available at the moment. Let’s get to it then!
Top Ultimate Frisbee Cleats Comparison Chart
|Name||Type||Material||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Adidas Men’s Copa Mundial Soccer Cleats||Soccer Cleats||Leather||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|New Balance Men’s Burn Mid Speed Lacrosse||Lacrosse Cleats||Textile & Synthetic||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Nike Men’s Mercurial Victory VI FG Soccer||Soccer Cleats||Synthetic||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon Mid Football||Football Cleats||Man Made||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Nike Men’s Lunarbeast TD Football||Football Cleats||Synthetic||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
Ultimate Frisbee Cleats Buying Guide
Why You Need Cleats
A lot of people might have encountered ultimate for the first time when they were just strolling through a park. If that’s the case, then wearing tennis shoes would be fine. But over time, that’s a really, really bad idea. With tennis shoes, or running shoes, etc. you just do not get the traction you need on grass. Slipping is much more likely, forcing your performance to be hampered. Furthermore, it can present you with the possibility of getting injured as well, which is something no one will be keen on. Cleats take away the high likelihood of injury. They aren’t going to guarantee that you stay safe, but they do make things a lot better since you are going to have the necessary traction. A lot of times, just knowing this will make you a better player, too. You’ll be able to jump higher, run faster, and cut corners more agile simply due to the fact that you have support beneath you. That breeds confidence, and confidence is king in any sport. Ultimate Frisbee is no different than those. You wouldn’t wear tennis shoes to play ice hockey and you wouldn’t wear cleats on a basketball court. Equip yourself and you, your body, and your performance will be glad for it.
Types of Cleats Used in Ultimate
The game of Ultimate Frisbee is still taking off, and as such, there aren’t a ton of cleats on the market that are made with just ultimate Frisbee in mind. This fact is harrowing for some people, but it should not be. It actually should be a welcomed sight because it opens up your choices greatly. If you want to go with some that are just for ultimate, then there is that choice. They are newer to the market, but they do exist if you want to be ‘official.’ However, if you don’t mind that, then you can go ahead and go with either soccer, football, or lacrosse cleats. All three are excellent on grass and offer something a little bit different from one another. This is a good thing for you since you are going to be making a decision based off of how you play. So, to summarize, there aren’t really a specific type of cleats to be used in ultimate. Rather, you are able to pick from a range of cleat varieties to play the game.
Breaking Down The Types
This is the part where we will break down the differences that each type of cleat brings to the table. This should help you get a better grasp on what it is you will want and need. One person might be very comfortable in a pair of cleats, but you might not. So don’t assume that it is one size fits all, because it most definitely is not.
Ultimate cleats are new to the market, as stated before, but they do have a big appeal to them that could just see them overtake and begin to dominate the marketplace over the likes of soccer, football, and lacrosse cleats. The companies that have moved into this corner of it have made the pattern of the cleats in such a way that they are able to withstand the very specific needs of an ultimate player. They have gone with a toe spike as well as fairly big, chunky cleats in the rear to help give you not only more traction but also give more protection and hopefully durability as well.
If you are looking to be as fast as possible and don’t want to be bothered with a whole lot of bulky support measures, then a soccer cleat is just what you are looking for. In older times, soccer cleats were heavier and more solid, but they have become more and more light weight as the decades have gone by. While this does mean you get less protection in the event of being stepped on, it really yields a ton of speed from you. Being lightweight also means you are able to jump off the ground better, too. The vast majority of soccer cleats being made today are low tops, so if you are looking for something to protect your ankles, this is not going to be the best. Also, they do not feature a front toe, so that can be problematic to some as they throw the Frisbee.
Football cleats offer a lot of the opposite advantages that soccer cleats do. While there are football cleats that are made for all position types, from the smallest and speediest wide receiver to the most burly linemen, they generally are going to offer more protection to the wearer than a soccer cleat. With football cleats, you get more options for ankle support. You will see high tops, mid tops, and low tops out there, much more readily, and this will give you a broader base of choices to make in order to give those ankles the support they might crave. This is ideal if you are a bigger player, or if you have had injury issues in the past. Another fact well worth mentioning is that football cleats have the front toe, making it easier to pivot for you. It will also help with traction, too, especially forward and turning motions.
Lacrosse cleat are very much similar to soccer cleats, though you can get a lot more ankle support and protection out of them in general terms. Whereas football cleats are a bit heavy and clunky, though, lacrosse cleats are not, making it a nice mixture of the two styles. By offering high tops and low tops, too, you can tailor them to fit you and your needs. If you don’t need the support, then you can just go with a low tops. Lacrosse cleats, like soccer cleats, do not have the front toe stud, but they do still have very good traction. If you want to be a little bit lighter than football cleats that might actually look almost exactly the same while keeping protected, then lacrosse cleats could just be the ticket for you.
The studs that you find on your cleats are going to be essential to the whole equation. If you don’t have studs, or good ones at least, you can forget it. You’ll be slipping around much like you would be if you just had regular old shoes on. Not too good for very long, is it? Studs- or cleats to some- vary in sizes. Some are longer, some are more rounded, some are shorter, and some are more square looking. They are each designed with specific thoughts in mind. A longer stud is going to be better on a softer field. If you are in the wet or if the grass is just pristine, then this is the way to go. Those conditions call for a cleat that can dig deeply into the ground but won’t allow you to get caught when turning. That’s why a longer stud is needed. If the ground is very hard, then you will want a shorter, more rounded stud. This type of stud won’t dig into the ground so much as it will sit on top and drag across it. This provides you stability and ensures you don’t get injured as much since they are more coarse and can handle a rougher ride, if you will. There are also normal, neutral stud types. A lot of times, these will be referred to as “firm ground” cleats. This type is best, as the name implies, on firm, normal types of ground. But that doesn’t mean they can’t do more. They are also good when the weather is a little bit damp or a little bit dry, making them the preferred cleat type that you will see sold. They might not be the all-time greatest at either of those, but they will do a job and make sure you don’t get hurt while offering you the grip you desperately crave. There are also options out there that will let you change your cleats as you go. You get a wrench and several stud types and you can take them off and on as you see fit. This will let you adjust for all types of weather and field conditions, making you a better player as a result. This can be a hassle for some because it does take time to setup, and they are a little bit more expensive to buy and keep up, but they can really come in handy for you if you are a very serious player. One thing to keep in mind is that ultimate Frisbee cleats cannot be made from metal. Metal studs are allowed in some sports at the higher levels, but even the most competitive of ultimate games and tournaments do not allow for them to be used. Their use can be much more dangerous, so it’s best that you don’t go there since you won’t be allowed to use them in a ‘real’ game anyway.
The cut of a cleat is also quite a vital thing to take a look at. If the cleat is not to your liking, then you are going to end up throwing it in a closet somewhere before too long. The cut- sometimes called the style or the ‘top’- is going to be one of three options. They will either have a low, a mid, or a high top to the them. We discussed this a bit before in the section about the type of cleats, but it should be spelled out here for you, too, since it’s so important for you as you make your choice on what works best for YOU.
A high top is going to be the cut you want if you have had issues with your ankles in the past or if you are a bigger player. By rising up as high as the heel, it will offer you more protection and it will help you feel more locked into the shoe. This type does have a draw back, though, and it’s that it’s almost always going to be heavier. On top of that, most high cuts are going to be more binding to you, making you feel like you might just be a little suffocated.
Next up is the low top, which is the direct polar opposite of the high top. The low cut is going to let you have a ton of freedom of movement. This flexibility is a huge helper to you as you get about, and when you couple it with the lighter weight, it’s fast and freeing. However, you do not get the same kind of ankle protection. You are much more prone to having your ankle turn over than with high tops. This kind is also a little light feeling as well, so you might see that you get less help in the event you are being stepped on.
Then you have the happy medium in the mid cut. The mid cut is actually transitioning to being a high cut in most shoes today simply because people can’t be fussed with getting their high tops on (and keeping them on). This transition looks to be speeding up and could be done in the next decade or so, but for now we have the mid top that comes between the two. This type isn’t as freeing as the low top but it’s also not going to bind you in. It’s not going to be super heavy but not also way light, either. This is just an all-around good general cut of shoe that can service anyone fairly well. If you’re unsure of which you want and just want a good type to begin with, then this is the way to go for you.
Taking Care of Cleats
If you want your cleats to last as long as possible, you have to take care of them. Without going too far into detail, here are a few things that you should be doing (or not doing) to make sure you help them last as long as they can.
– Don’t wear your cleats anywhere but the field. This is a big one. Wearing cleats on hard surfaces will wear them out. Wearing them on any surface when not playing, in fact, will wear them out. Also, it’s bad etiquette to wear them inside or in a car. It’s also dangerous to drive with them, for obvious reasons.
– Clean them as you go. A lot of cleats are super easy to clean as long as you do so up front. When you have finished playing, bang the studs of each pair together. This clapping motion will make the dirt inside of them fall to the ground and leave you with minuscule amounts of it. You can deep clean from there with a brush if desired.
– Let them dry out in the air a little after each session of play. By doing this, you will make sure they don’t smell as bad as they might if you stuff them in a bag or something. Just be careful to not put them under direct sunlight, since this can warp them and even discolor them, too.
A Look At The Top 5 Ultimate Frisbee Cleats of 2019
Adidas Men’s Copa Mundial Soccer Cleats
If durability is your primary thought, then there are few that can or will be able to rival the Copa Mundial. This pair of cleats will last forever, all while looking classic, just as you would expect from Adidas. These soccer cleats are low cuts and offer a leather feel to them, making them last a long time. Thanks to them being low cut and having an EVA insole that is lightweight, it will be super easy and efficient to move around in them. This makes them an ideal choice for someone that puts a lot of hours in playing that is a very good, agile runner with few ankle issues. Also, due to the short, rounded spikes, they can do a good job on both hard and firm grounds, though the soft ground might lack a little bit with them over the long haul. Another good thing is that they do stretch out a little bit over time. This is not the cheapest pair of cleats that you will find out there, so keep that in mind when you consider them.
- Extremely durable
- Kangaroo leather stretches
- Very good traction
- Might be a little pricey for some
New Balance Men’s Burn Mid Speed Lacrosse
If you are looking for something a little bit different then this lax cleat from New Balance might just do the trick for you. While also being a little bit expensive, this cleat is going to do a world of good for those that want a combination of protection and speed. With a mid top that makes it very easy to get them on, it will no longer be a huge hassle fitting your feet into them in order to get some protection. And you’ll get that without sacrificing your speed, either, as the name suggests. By using TPU molded cleats on the bottom, they will be both grippy and allow you to go faster since they do not weigh a lot at all. They’ve also got quite a nice look to them, in spite of being gray and many’s perception of New Balance. This is a really great pair of cleats if you want just a step up in support and protection and don’t mind the price. The other possible issue is that they might run a little bit small.
- More protection
- Still very fast
- Very stylish
- A little bit expensive
- Might be too small for you
Nike Men’s Mercurial Victory VI FG Soccer
Much like the Adidas Copa Mundial earlier, this soccer cleat is going to be great for the speedster that doesn’t’ want to feel like they are being held back by an obtuse pair of spikes. Featuring a plethora of great color choices to pick from, the first of such on the list, your style will never be harmed, either, since you can match with just about any clothing type. With a very soft upper made from leather and a ‘chevron’ plate beneath the studs, they are lightweight and comfy at the same time, promoting your ability to get off the mark quickly and efficiently. These are also firm ground, meaning they will do great on neutral surfaces and can do a decent job in poor conditions. With a compression fit to them, they will retain their feel from wear to wear. Soccer cleats don’t have great ankle protection, but Nike has a sleeve here to help with that, so that can help you out a lot if you need it. Nikes does tend to run small and narrow, so keep those facts in mind.
- Lots of colors
- Better price range
- Compression fit and good feel
- Run small and narrow
Adidas Men’s Freak X Carbon Mid Football
Despite being labeled as a mid top, this pair of cleats is really somewhere between that and a high, and for that reason, have made our list as a recommendation for those with ankle issues. Furthermore, they give you a large amount of colors to pick from, too, increasing your options of looking good and feeling good out on the field. This pair of football cleats have the toe stud in front to lead the way, helping you dig into the ground run faster as well as spin and pivot as your throw. Their synthetic makeup makes them appear slippery, but it will do you well as they will last quite a long time because of it. They also have a good range of prices, depending on the color and size you pick, so they don’t have to break the bank for you. One thing to look out for is sizing. These tend to not do well for those with wider feet. They also take some break in time, so exercise patience with them.
- Tons of colors to choose from
- Toe stud
- More ankle protection
- Not conducive to wide feet
- Break in time needed
Nike Men’s Lunarbeast TD Football
Rounding out our list is the Lunarbeast from Nike, another football cleat that is going to offer bigger players a little bit of extra support. These cleats are a mid top, but they offer the new look with the laces up above the heel, making them easier for some people to slip into. This new look also just looks plain cool, adding to the the style they already have due to the midfoot strap that runs across. The strap isn’t just there for looks, either. It’s there to help lock you in and make you feel more secure, something a lot of shoes just can’t do on the field for ultimate. With the synthetic materials used, they will last a long time and will be super easy to clean off when they do get dirty. With great cushioning, expect these to be comfortable for a very long time. Watch out for them being small and narrow, as this is a common trait Nikes have across most genres.
- Mid foot strap locks you in
- Nice colors to pick from
- Very secure cleats
- Runs small and narrow
Conclusion And Final Ultimate Frisbee Cleats Recommendations
Ultimate Frisbee cleats can be tough to pick out, particularly if you are new to the game. Just figuring out what kind of cleat is accepted and best can be tough enough for you when you have just begun to discover the game. But at the end of the day, it’s not nearly as tough as it might look. By recognizing that there are basically four main types of cleats, all with various subsets within them, to pick from, you get a wealth of choices to make your game better and easier. Remember, this experience comes down to you and what you need. There is an awesome pair of cleats out there waiting for you, and after our guide today you’ll be ready to find them!