How To Break In Soccer Cleats

Buying a new pair of cleats is exciting, and if you love soccer, you’re most likely itching to take them to the field. 

You might be enthusiastic, but all new shoes, along with your cleats, will need breaking in beforehand. If you don’t break your soccer cleats (see also: How To Clean Soccer Cleats)in, they can remain uncomfortable for a while, affecting your performance as a result. 

How To Break In Soccer Cleats

If you don’t know how to break in your cleats, don’t worry! You’ll learn some effective ways of doing so in this post. 

We’ll go over tried and tested methods, like using petroleum jelly, doubling up on socks,(see also: What Are Grip Socks?) and even frozen water, so that you can get into your new cleats sooner rather than later.

Wear The Right Size

The first thing you need to do is ensure your cleats are the right size. Wearing the wrong one can make them even harder to break in. Double-check your sizing before purchasing a new pair, or ensure that you can return ones if you are trying them on at home.

Make sure that you wear your usual soccer socks when you try your cleats (see also: What Is The Difference Between Soccer And Football Cleats?)on, as thick socks may add up to a half-size more to your foot.

Try on a lot of pairs at the store, then after you find ones that feel comfortable, note down the model, shoe size, and dimensions. Having these written down means you can buy pairs online later.

Wear Your Soccer Socks

Wear your soccer (see also: How To Wear Soccer Shin Guards)socks when you are trying to break your cleats in. These socks are taller and thicker than other ones, designed to prevent chafing and discomfort on your feet.

Breaking your cleats with thinner socks means that there is more chance of the cleats being tighter later on. It’s best to wear grippy socks that have stickier bottoms, as these will stick the cleats to your feet. This prevents the cleats from moving around and rubbing against your feet.

Use Custom Or Older Insoles

Insoles provide the bottom of your shoes with an impression of your feet, so the cleats better mold themselves to the shape of your feet. 

Molding new insoles is the main aim of breaking in your cleats. You can use older insoles that already fit, saving you time and ensuring you can start playing sooner.

It generally takes around three days to break cleats in. How fast or slow this goes will depend on how much time you spend on breaking the cleats in, what materials the cleats are made of, and if you are using a good breaking-in technique.

If you have older cleats that have already been broken in, take out the insoles from your new shoes and replace them with the older ones. Once a week has passed, swap the insoles once more and see if they fit better.

This helps the new cleats adapt to the shape of your feet, saving you time in the process. You can also opt for orthopedic custom insoles if you prefer, as these will fit your feet the best. Bear in mind that these can be more expensive than regular insoles. 

Try Petroleum Jelly

Wearing inflexible, stiff shoes means that the fabric will rub against your skin, leading to blisters. Using a slippery barrier between your shoes and feet can help prevent chafing and blisters from forming.

A trick used by several professional players is to rub petroleum jelly on the inside of their shoes. Petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, prevents the cleats’ materials from dry rubbing against your feet, but it also helps to soften the leather and polymer, making the cleats more comfortable overall.

If you don’t have petroleum jelly close by, you can use deodorant on the inside of your shoes to make the cleats softer. The deodorant can also make your cleats smell better, which is great for feet that sweat a lot.

How To Break In Soccer Cleats (1)

Keep Your Laces Loose

The way you lace your cleats up at first can make a big difference in how easy it is to break them in. 

Make sure that your laces are loose when you first wear your cleats. This ensures that any areas on the shoes that fit tightly will become loose, so you can tighten them up more later on.

After the shoes have become comfortable with loose laces, start to tighten them slowly over the next couple of days. Doing this gradually means the shoe molds to your feet without undermining the glue in the cleats. This also prevents any blisters or chafing.

Wear Them For Three Days

As is the case with all types of shoes, your soccer cleats won’t be comfortable until they have molded properly against your feet. 

Never wear brand new soccer cleats on the field, as you won’t be able to change them during a gain if they become uncomfortable. It’s best to wear your cleats as much as you can beforehand, particularly if you’re preparing for an upcoming match.

Remember to start small, as this will prevent blisters from forming on your skin. Once you have your pair of cleats, wear your usual soccer socks and tie the shoes loosely.

Keep wearing the cleats for a few hours and do some typical tasks in the meantime, like cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, or walking your dog. 

You’ll need to wear the cleats for a minimum of three hours per day for three consecutive days. It’s also a good idea to run with them once, as you can check if they are flexible enough instead of rigid around your ankles. 

A point to remember is never to walk on asphalt or concrete if you’re wearing cleats, as hard surfaces can wear down the rubber spikes and damage them beyond repair. 

Use Frozen Water

The frozen water method is ideal if the cleats fit tightly or if the toes are too pointy. Water expands when it freezes, so filling your cleats with water and freezing it will gradually stretch out the inner materials. 

Follow these steps to use the frozen water method:

  1. Position a large freezer bag in your cleats with the zip top facing upwards.
  2. Pour cool water into the freezer bag until it reaches the ankle.
  3. Zip the bag closed and put the cleats in the freezer.
  4. After 12 hours, remove the shoes from the freezer.
  5. Allow the bag to melt, then take the bag out from the cleats.
  6. Wear your cleats for a minimum of 20 minutes so the materials keep their new stretch.

The Bottom Line

You’ll need a few days to sufficiently break in your soccer cleats, but it’s worth it to avoid blisters and discomfort on the field! Using the right insoles, tying your laces loosely, and lowering friction against your skin will all help to ensure your cleats remain comfortable. 

If you take enough time and remain consistent, you’ll be able to enjoy comfortable new cleats sooner rather than later. 

Adrian Turner
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