I have been doing a lot of reading on the different soles with and without steel/aluminum cleats and (my opinion only) the boots with good sole flex combined with proper cleat placement will stand out from the rest. I think Orvis has the best cleat placement and suggest copying their design.
The boots with a good sole flex appear to have the ability to slightly wrap around a rock giving you more surface contact. If your cleats are placed in the middle of the sole your contact is reduced to the size of the cleat, it will probably put uncomfortable pressure on the ball of your foot also . Cleats that remind you of a bunch of bb's welded together can't grip as well because they will crush the stone as opposed to a sharp edge that can slightly penetrate without crushing. (drilling bit experience
) But you will have to replace the cleats more often.
As I see it the flexing sole gives more surface contact and the sharp cleats on the perimeter dig in and hold you in place.
This is a copy from a post I made earlier this year.