Which footwear do you wear to the paintball games? Tennis shoes? Sneakers? Well, these sure are comfortable and cool. But do they really provide you the required support on the field? Not sure what we mean? Let’s explain.
Players tend to wear tactical boots when playing woodsball as these boots keep their feet safe and provide the required support to run, walk, jump, and wade through bushes, thorns, and swarms.
But you don’t need paintball tactical boots for all games. Speedball or airball are played in specific setups and use inflated bunkers. You want something lightweight so that you can be light on the feet and sneak around without making any noise.
The game can be on the muddy earth of an outdoor paintball ground. In that case, your footwear needs to ensure that you don’t trip, slip, stumble, or fall and twist your ankle in the process. You need something more than tennis shoes and casual athletic footwear. If what you need are not boots, then what are they?
You need paintball cleats. A cleat is a spike at the bottom of a shoe that provides a good grip on the surface and prevents you from slipping. Paintball cleats are shoes with spikes on the bottom side. Of course, there are a lot more features to qualify as a worthy paintball cleat.
The soccer shoes are an example of cleats, though you need something even better for paintball. The paintball cleats have extended soles to cover the area around the toes and the sides of your feet. This provides the necessary extra traction for crawling or running when you need to reach your bunker in record time.
Some cleats come with rubber teeth instead of spikes. The teeth don’t fall off the shoes as the spikes do. However, you cannot customize the rubber teeth either. These cleats are best suited for paintball games on the turfs and in the dirt. If the arena has grass and wet ground, pick the spiked ones.
Did we confuse you already? Worry not. We’ll explain more about paintball cleats and discuss the top five best models in the market. The buying guide should answer all your questions and help you pick the right pair of paintball cleats.
So, shall we start reading about the top 5 best paintball cleats?
Table of Contents
The Best Paintball Cleats For The Money
#1 Under Armour Men's Highlight M.C. Lacrosse Shoe - EDITOR'S CHOICE
The first best pair of paintball cleats on our list is by Under Armor. The Men’s highlight M.C. Lacrosse shoes are lightweight, durable, and flexible. The cleats are available in sizes from 9 to 14 to suit people with different foot sizes. There are support wings beside the shoes’ surface. These wings provide a comfortable fit, irrespective of the shape of your feet. Users have claimed that these are versatile and can be used even for football games. Who wouldn’t want a pair of cleats that can be worn on different grounds? Let’s read more about the shoes.
Features & Benefits
The cleats have been designed to keep the midfoot section balanced so that you can wear them for long hours on the field and not feel the pain. The design is functional, and the materials used to make it easy to move around.
While some users complained that the cleats do not allow airflow and ventilation, others faced no such issues. It is likely due to choosing the wrong size that caused this problem. The cleats are made of high-quality products like leather and last for a long time.
- The shoes are flexible and do not affect your movement. In fact, they let you be active and sprint around the field with ease.
- The cushioning inside the cleats is a highlight of this model. These are some of the best cushioned paintball shoes on the market.
- The mesh lining on the top allows good airflow and lets your feet breathe.
- The spikes provide a good grip on the ground and give you the much-needed stability to accelerate your running speed.
- The laces, however, appear to be a bit loose. You might want to secure them more carefully to get the fitting right.
- The shoes have a top coating for increased protection and durability.
- The SuperFoam insole is famous for shock absorption. Your feet will not have to take the strain of running and walking on uneven ground.
#2 HK Army Shredder 2.0 Paintball Cleats - Best for Comfort
If comfort is your first priority, you can’t go wrong with HK Army Shredder 2.0 cleats. These are designed to provide comfort and flexibility on the field. The cleats are made of quality leather and have a breathable mesh lining to allow proper airflow. Your feet won’t heat up and sweat inside the cleats. There’s no need to worry about blisters and rashes unless you choose the wrong size. That is something a few users have complained about. So, make sure you have the correct size of cleats to experience the best comfort and performance.
Features & Benefits
The shoes weigh just 11.2 ounces and are perfectly light on the feet. The air-cushioned heel is made of leather. The padding is soft and light, and the insoles are removable. You can use them in any weather condition.
The spikes are solid and come with a unique grip pattern to provide extra stability when you run or move around in the paintball field. Your entire foot will be cushioned and saved from any impact caused due to rough and uneven ground.
- One thing we adore about this model is the number of colors the cleats come in. You have various options to choose from. Those who want to add some sparkle and color to your paintball gear, go ahead and flaunt your style.
- The cleats are available in sizes from 7 to 16. That’s a wide range, isn’t it? Make sure to double-check the size. Get in touch with the seller if you are not sure of which one would be the best fit.
- While the cleats are great to use in different conditions, they can’t handle excessive wear and tear regularly. The durability will reduce if you don’t take proper care of the shoes.
- However, the cleats are way better than many entry-level models in the market. Your feet will thank you for choosing these.
#3 GI Sportz Faster’R Paintball Cleat - Best for Design
The design of the paintball cleats is crucial, and GI Sportz gets it perfectly right with this model. The Faster’R cleats live up to their name and can help you push your running speed to the maximum. They are flexible, comfortable, and cushion your feet on any kind of ground. Since the cleats come with 3 types of spikes to choose from, you will need to use the right one, depending on where you will be playing paintball. Shall we read the features of this model in detail?
Features & Benefits
The insole of the cleats is very important as it cushions your feet by absorbing the impact of hitting the ground. If the soles are thin and don’t have enough cushion, you will start to feel the pain shoot up your ankles to your spine.
Fatser’R ensures that the insides of the cleats have enough cushion to protect your feet on the paintball field. The grey areas on the shoes are the mesh linings that facilitate airflow and ventilation. Your feet can happily breathe, no matter how long you’ve been wearing these.
Have you experienced discomfort due to the laces poking at your feet from above? That won’t be an issue with this model.
The cleats are so flexible that you can bend and move your feet in any way. The cleats won’t restrict the movement and pinch your feet from inside.
We’ve mentioned the cleats are available in three different types of spikes. Let’s see more about it.
- The first option is the one with rubber snubs that cannot be removed or interchanged. These are not suitable for mushy paintball fields.
- The second type has golf spikes. These are the best choice for speedball players as the cleats provide maximum grip on turfs and grass.
- The third type is a perfect choice for outdoor paintball games like MilSim and scenario-based ones. They can handle mud, dirt, and rocks.
#4 Exalt TRX Paintball Cleat - Best for Grip
The fourth pair of paintball cleats on our list is by the well-known brand, Exalt. The TRX paintball cleats have been designed exclusively for this game. While it is a disadvantage to those who play various games (like soccer, etc.), this exclusivity also ensures that the cleats provide the best possible support on the field. The performance of this model is assured, even when you remove the spikes from the bottom. Let’s see a little more about these cleats, shall we?
Features & Benefits
The cleats are made of synthetic leather and offer good comfort and breathability. The heel padding prevents injuries, while the overall fitting is just right for you to be active on the paintball field.
The ribbed sides of the shoes make it easy to crawl on the ground and hide behind your bunkers without getting caught by the opponents. The grip is another highlight of this model. Even if you remove the spikes, these TRX cleats will assure stability and a strong grip on the ground.
- You can add another gel sole if you prefer more padding inside the shoe. The process is simple and easy.
- Since the sole is connected using elastic, it won’t be displaced over time and cause discomfort when you are on the field.
- Though the cleats are more than 2.5 pounds, they are highly flexible. The movement of your feet will not be restricted in any way.
- The cleats come with two types of spikes. One is for playing on turfs, and the other is for playing on muddy and wet grounds.
- The second set of spikes is larger and stronger to provide a better grip on mushy grounds.
#5 M-Tac Tactical Combat Shoes Men - Best for Budget
How can we not have a budget-friendly model on our list? For those who want useful paintball cleats that are also pocket-friendly, the combat shoes by M-Tac are a good choice. The shoes come in three colors- black, olive, and coyote. They look intimidating and mean business, though some users feel that the appearance is not colorful and attractive enough for trendy players. But considering how useful these shoes are, it’s okay to not focus on the appearance.
Features & Benefits
The shoes weigh 2.11 pounds and are made of polyester material. The sole is synthetic and provides the required comfort and flexibility on the field. One thing that made love these shoes is that they can sustain wear and tear.
You can wear them during any weather and participate in all kinds of outdoor activities. These shoes are versatile and can handle vigorous use.
- The mesh surface allows your feet to breathe inside the shoes.
- The shoes are oil and gas resistant. They are sturdy and durable enough to last for a long time.
- These hardly make any noise. Some users highlighted that the shoes are stealthy and can give you an advantage on the field.
- You can crouch, bend, crawl, sprint, and run wearing these shoes.
- While the shoes don’t offer high-end features, they provide a good grip on various outdoor surfaces.
- If you want something affordable and strong enough to sustain in a paintball field, you can pick M-Tac shoes. They fit the no-nonsense tag to perfection.
- The shoes come in sizes from 8 to 12, including 10.5 and 11.5 for extra convenience.
Best Paintball Cleats Buying Guide
Now that you have some idea about paintball cleats, it’s time to explore the factors to consider when buying a pair of the best paintball cleats in the market. Before that, let’s see the mini maintenance guide to know how to keep the cleats clean. After all, the shoes take the worst hit on the field, and without proper cleaning, you can’t use them again. The cleats won’t last long if you don’t get rid of the dirt and mud sticking to the bottom of the shoes.
Cleaning the Paintball Cleats
- Cleaning the cleats after the game is usually the best choice. Don’t wait until the next game. This allows the mud and dirt to eat their way into the spikes and soles.
- If you are playing on a mushy field, the soft mud will make it very hard to be fast. You will require a putty knife or a strong Popsicle stick to remove the dirt from the spikes even when you are on the field.
- Do this soon after the game ends and follow it up by brushing off the remaining dirt using a toothbrush. You can also make use of a towel to wipe off the debris from the spikes.
- Removing the mud when it is soft can be hard. An easy way is to let it completely dry and then bang the shoes together. This force will crack the mud, resulting in it falling off the shoes in bits and chunks.
- Don’t wear the cleats on hard surfaces if you want to use them on the soft ground. The spikes will lose their strength and sharpness due to excess wear and tear.
- Air-dry the cleats once you reach home. You don’t want them to be smelly the next time, right? You can also place a few crumpled rolls of paper to absorb the excess moisture. However, don’t ever leave the cleats directly in the sunlight.
- If the insole is detachable, you can clean the cleats on the outside and inside using a soft-bristled brush and soap water. Just don’t dump the cleats in a bucket full of water. And don’t ever wash them in a machine. This will drastically reduce their durability.
- If the cleats are made of leather, polish them after the wash to bring some shine.
Factors You Should Know When Buying the Best Paintball Cleats
This should indeed be the first factor to consider when buying paintball cleats. Since the events are held in almost all weather conditions, you need to be very careful about not injuring yourself by tripping or twisting your ankle or losing your shoe on the field. Some cleats have wider ankle support made of flexible and lightweight material, along with a smart cut design to improve your speed.
The Materials Used
Paintball cleats are made using various materials. While some players prefer the 100% leather models, others like a combination of different materials so that the cleats are comfortable, breathable and can be worn for long hours without your feet turning sweaty and hot. Synthetic materials allow more breathability, especially the mesh linings on the inside.
Design and Style of the Cleats
The design of the cleats is just as important. The number of studs/ spikes on the cleats matter a lot. If there are only a couple of studs, there is really no point in having them, right? The ideal number of studs on the paintball cleats is around 8. This number varies from brand to brand and model to model. However, anything less than 8 studs may not provide the kind of grip you want on a wet paintball field.
You also need to check if the design of the cleats suits your feet and allows for free movement or fits in ends up restricting your speed and serving the opposite purpose.
Comfort and Breathability
A lot of people take comfort for granted. It’s not until the cleats start pinching their feet and giving them blisters is that they feel bad for not being careful when choosing the shoes. The insole and the arch support and two crucial aspects you need to check.
Shoes with removable insoles should be your preferred choice. Some cleats come with built-in insoles that provide more comfort. Those are a great choice too. Shock-absorbing materials are a bonus. Extra support for the arches is good for your feet in the long term. It helps reduce the pressure on the heel and the foot and also prevents injuries.
The stronger the shoe grips the ground, the more stability it offers. And that converts to an increase in the speed of your movement. This is nothing but traction. The spikes of the cleats are in place to provide the required traction, which your regular running or athletic shoes cannot offer.
The high-end models are designed to offer the best of everything. Such paintball cleats will naturally be flexible and allow for free movement. If you are investing in an entry-level model, you need to double-check that the materials used are flexible enough to allow your feet to breathe. If you can’t wriggle your toes inside the cleats, don’t use them. Of course, the cleats should also have enough grip and firmness to support your movement, even on heavy terrains.
Fitting and Size
If you are wondering why we didn’t mention the size when talking about comfort, here’s the reason. Wearing shoes that are not your size is the most painful thing you can experience. And wearing them for long hours during a paintball game is no less than hell.
Firstly, check whether the company designs the shoes in the US standards size or follows any other standards. Secondly, loose shoes are just as bad as the tight ones. You want them to fit right. Measure your feet and then select the size after comparing the measurements.
Durability and Reliability
If you are a regular paintball player, you will know that it’s hard for the cleats to last for a long time. Wear and tear can easily reduce the life span of the cleats. It is always recommended to invest in a pair of tough and durable paintball cleats. Also, check the warranty offered by the brand.
Laces or Buckles
Well, this isn’t really a deciding factor except that it depends on your personal taste. Some players like laces, while others prefer buckles. Laced-up shoes are more secure unless you are not good at tying them nice and tight.
Do the looks of the paintball cleats matter? Well, they do. But not because you flaunt them on the field. Flashy cleats might be attractive to wear, but they also make it easy to detect your presence. Opt for darker shades that can easily blend into the setting. Also, light-colored cleats are hard to clean. The mud stains are more visible in softer and paler colors.
As with every other product, you should read the reviews by the existing users before you buy. Users don’t mince their words, especially if a brand has failed to deliver what it promised.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
We’ve reached the end of our post. So have you decided which paintball cleats to buy? Which pair gets your vote?
Oh, still not sure? Would you like some help? In that case, we recommend Under Armour Men’s Highlight M.C. Lacrosse Shoes for their durability, lightweight, flexibility, and cushioning on the inside. The spikes are worth it, and the shoes provide good comfort.
Since we have already seen the features and benefits in detail, let us conclude that the Under Armour Men’s Highlight M.C. Lacrosse Shoes are worth the price.