American football offers some of the most daunting physical challenges in all of sport. To play the game at the highest level, with speed, strength, agility, and resilience, you need the right cleats. Under Armour Highlight football cleats could well deliver what you need to become a gridiron great.
As the name suggests, UA Highlight cleats are high-tops. The cleats surround your ankles and provide your lower legs with the support you need for sharp cuts, reversing direction, or running straight ahead. They come in a wide range of colors and styles.
We took a close look at the market for cleats, to help you evaluate whether UnderArmour Highlight football cleats are the right shoes for your game.
What's a Cleat, Anyway?
Cleats are athletic shoes with studs or spikes on the bottom. They're for wearing on grass surfaces and provide traction and stability. These attributes are especially important on rainy or snowy days when the surfaces become muddy or slick.
But Under Armour Highlight football cleats and other shoes like them also play a role in supporting a player’s skill and safety.
The studs or spikes on the bottom come in different sizes. Players in the NFL, for example, will have cleats with removable studs or spikes to fit the conditions they face. You use more for the slickest of games; fewer with the ground is dry and predictable.
The number of spikes or studs on the bottom of a cleat can also vary. Frequently you’ll see players at the highest level in cleats with seven studs on the bottom.
Cleats also are essential in keeping players safe. As we referenced earlier, football is a game that requires a lot of speed and agility. Changes of direction take place on every play. Cleats play a role in keeping your feet supported and aligned to survive the game's frantic nature.
How to Choose the Right Cleats
Choosing the right cleats requires some self-knowledge and evaluating a couple of variables.
Probably the most important tip: Know what the rules are in your particular league. You don't want to purchase cleats only to find they're non-compliant.
But in terms of choosing what works, you first have to be honest with yourself. Know what feels right for you. Remember Goldilocks: You want cleats that are not too tight, not too loose, but just right.
Consider what kind of cut you want in your football cleats -- low, medium, or high. Each has various advantages and disadvantages.
If you're a running back, for example, you probably want to opt for the low-cut style as they are lighter, and lighter means faster.
Try on different kinds to get a feel for what you like.
Finally, you have to decide the “fixed or variable” question. Do you want spikes or studs that are pre-molded? Or do you want replaceable/detachable spikes or studs to custom fit your shoe to the conditions?
Don't forget to check the rules of your league. You may fall in love with Under Armour Highlight Football cleats, but you don't want to run afoul of the officials.
Under Armour Highlight Football Cleats: A Review
The Highlight line is Under Armour's high-top brand of cleats. They stand alongside the UA Nitro low- and middle-cut and Hammer lines, covering varying price points and stylistic needs for today's football fanatic.
We like Under Armour Highlight football cleats for a couple of key features. First, they are made of very lightweight material so extra weight won't cost you speed. The cleats weigh all of about 11 ounces or just under three-quarters of a pound.
The other intriguing feature comes with the fit. The cleats contain a patented UA "ClutchFit" upper -- it'll feel almost like the shoe has become a second skin.
The cleats conform to the shapes and sizes of your foot and help keep your foot in place as you motor across the field.
Under Armour Highlight football cleats provide a chance to get noticed stylistically. They come in a wide range of color choices. Our favorite is the cardinal color, followed closely by the forest green and white with a gold upper design.
- UA ClutchFit upper wraps your foot in a second skin of advantages for powerful support & an incredible feel
- Lightweight material innovation forms to the contours of your foot, amping your joints & muscles to give you better...
- 3D molded MPZ tongue custom forms to your foot & provides added protection
You’ll also score matching laces. But just a quick note: you don’t need to go for the flash -- the shoes come in more standard colors as well.
- Super high woven upper with TPU hot melt frame makes for the ultimate combination of comfort & stability
- Form fitting CompFit ankle construction delivers an incredible, snug feel for an extra boost of speed & stability
- 3D molded tongue for increased comfort & a better fit
If you’re looking for other reasons to put these on your consideration list -- here’s one from an esteemed authority. NFL Quarterback Nick Foles was wearing Under Armour Highlight Football cleats when he helped the Philadephia Eagles win the Super Bowl in 2018.
How We Reviewed
Football has almost unarguably become America's favorite pastime. So there's plenty to digest when considering football equipment, including cleats and turf shoes. To understand Under Armour Highlight Football cleats, we consulted several sources, from both athletically oriented and general interest press.
To get started, we did a deep dive into cleats and other parts of the Under Armour line at the main Under Armour site. Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour are the leading makers of football cleats.
We also took a look at ratings from real customers (not just NFL MVPs!), so we got a broad spectrum of opinions on Under Armour Highlight Football cleats.
To help broaden our understanding of the necessity of football cleats, we also looked at non-retail sources that explained the benefits. These included sites such as Academy.com and HowStuffWorks.com.
From all those sources, we were able to compile this comprehensive review.
Alternative Cleats to Consider
While the number of manufacturers of football cleats is limited, you do have choices. So if the Under Armour Highlight football cleats aren’t for you, for whatever reason, we wanted to highlight some alternatives.
(If you’re someone aiming for the offensive or defensive lines, you can also check out our list of the best cleats for a lineman.)
Cleats are also useful for other sports, such as soccer and lacrosse. So in certain instances, our choices are suitable for other sports. It just depends on what position you play and how you play it.
Nike Alpha Menace
The Nike Alpha Menace will help you lift your performance all over the field. Made from synthetic and mesh, with a rubber sole, the Menace comes in a wide array of colors -- wider than its UA counterparts.
The Menace offers a single-layer mesh upper, providing excellent support but also letting your feet breathe when they need to. You’ll also have technology providing extra support in your heel and midfoot.
These cleats are adjustable, with seven removable pins, providing you with the opportunity to dial in the right spikes or studs depending on the conditions.
Some customers note that the cleats run a little small to size, so you might consider stepping up a half-size or so. Reviewers also praise the cleats for their performance in inclement weather. Some note that the cleats feel too narrow.
Adidas Freak X Carbon Mid Football Shoe
- Breathable mesh upper; Reinforced overlays deliver 360-degree strength for extra support
- Ironskin provides superior abrasion resistance for added protection
- Internal tongue cushion pods enhance lockdown
Some people look for shoes with more heft. For them, a lightweight pair of cleats like the Under Armour Highlight football cleats might not be the right fit.
The Adidas Freak X Carbon cleats offer a more substantial cushion to the feet. They are mid-level, heading up toward your ankle but not quite a high-top.
Like the other shoes on our list, the Freak X offers synthetic upper. But in contrast, the cleats come with a very durable upper material for extra support and protection on the field. The cleats resist pressure, so you'll feel the frame stiffen as you accelerate.
The colors and styles available from Adidas give Under Armour good competition for flash. While there's nothing comparable to the Cardinal color in the Under Armour, we love the core black/white/gold color scheme.
Customers in their reviews praised the colors, as well as the smooth fit.
Before closing out our review of the Under Armour Highlight football cleats, we wanted to offer at least one hybrid pair that would work in multiple sports. We chose the Dream Pairs fashion cleats, which work for both football and soccer.
Cleats from Dream Pairs come with a synthetic sole and are in the molded rubber cleats category. We like the idea of one unique feature: so-called "rotational traction," allowing for quick changes in direction on the field or the pitch.
Dream Pairs are also richly colorful. We think our favorite was the orange/lemon/white scheme, which will surely stand out amongst giants on the gridiron. Customers also liked the durability and flexibility and lighter weight of the shoe.
Taking a Stand
As the saying goes: “Whatever you do, go big, or go home.” That’s true when getting geared up for football and choosing your shoes.
Find the right football cleats to help provide you support and strength when you need it. Many variables go into determining which cleats are best for you. But for our money, the Under Armour Highlight football cleats are definitely worth considering.
Featured image by underarmour.com