How To Break In Soccer Cleats | The Easy Way

When you bust out your brand new pair of soccer cleats, of course, the first thing you want to do is throw them in your bag for your upcoming practice or game. 

Not so fast! It is absolutely vital that you properly break in your new cleats before bringing them to game day.

Below is your step-by-step guide on how to break in soccer cleats, and some tips on finding the best pair for you. Trust us, you’ll be a soccer cleat expert if you keep reading. 

To break in a new pair of soccer cleats, you’ll have to put them on your feet, soak them in water, apply petroleum jelly, walk around in them, and then dry them properly. After this soaking process is complete, you’ll need to practice with them for 20-30 minutes per day, until they feel ready for game day. Below is your step-by-step guide to breaking in soccer cleats like a pro. 

A Step-By-Step Guide To Breaking In Soccer Cleats

  1. Once you’ve tried your cleats on, keep them on your feet and fill your bathtub or a large bucket with hot water (think, as hot as you can tolerate without getting burned). 
  2. Place both feet (cleats, socks, and all) into the hot water and soak for 20 minutes. During this time, you can massage your feet in any areas that feel tight. 
  3. Once the soak is complete, it’s time to use petroleum jelly. Take the cleats off, and apply the petroleum jelly to the leather on the inside. Put the cleats back on your feet, and walk around in them for about a half-hour. 
  4. Lastly, dry your cleats properly. Take them off and stuff them with newspaper, in order to maintain the shape while they dry. Keep drying cleats away from sunlight or blowing air to prevent the leather from cracking as they dry. 

*Important tip: Before you do anything, always make sure you’ve chosen the correct size for your cleats. Try them on first and make sure they fit properly around your feet. Typically, it is recommended to wear cleats that are about a half-size smaller than your usual sneakers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take To Break In Soccer Cleats?

The amount of time that it takes to break in your soccer cleats may vary. Typically, a 20-minute soak and a half-hour of walking around in them should suffice. So overall, it should take roughly one hour to break in soccer cleats, but you’ll need to practice in them for a while before committing to a full game in them. Soccer Player's Foot with Cleats and Ball

How Can You Be Sure Your Cleats Fit Properly?

One of the most important ways to ensure that your cleats will feel good on your feet is to be sure they fit properly. Undersized cleats will be extremely uncomfortable even if broken in properly.

Pay attention to how the upper part of the cleat fits around the foot, and how they generally fit your feet. Most importantly, ask yourself: do they feel like they fit comfortably around your foot? 

Can You Break In Soccer Cleats Without Water?

Some soccer players have come up with unique ways to break in soccer cleats without water, in a desperate attempt to rush the process. Ultimately, we recommend the water method because it is tried and true. 

How To Know When Cleats Are Ready To Wear?

Once you’ve soaked and dried your cleats and worn them to a few training sessions to confirm comfort, they should be ready to wear. Pay attention to any specific areas that cause discomfort and be weary of blisters. If you’re able to comfortably practice in them and you haven’t gotten any blisters, then they should be ready to play in!

Additional Tips

  1. Take the necessary time to break your cleats in, and don’t commit to wearing them for a game until you’re sure they feel right. You don’t want to cause your team to suffer because you rushed the break-in process.
  2. Always have a backup pair of older cleats with you when you wear new cleats for the first time, just in case you realize later that they aren’t ready yet.
  3. Pay attention to how you’re feeling. If you start to notice blisters or pain from your new cleats, they may not be fully broken in yet. In this situation, you could wear older cleats during a game and continue to practice in your new cleats to break them in more.
  4. If your new cleats are causing you discomfort and you aren’t sure why, you may have to try loosening the upper material more. It is important to pay attention to the way that all parts of the cleat fit on your foot, not just the support on the bottoms of your feet.
  5. Practicing in your cleats for 20 – 30 minutes per day is one of the best ways to get them broken in quickly. 

Types Of Soccer Cleats

Different types of soccer cleats require their own unique considerations. Soccer cleats may be made of leather or synthetic material, they may also be laceless or laced. 

Leather Cleats

The best way to break in leather cleats is to use the hot water method described above. Many soccer players prefer leather cleats over synthetic material because the malleability of the leather allows for a more custom fit. 

Laced Cleats

When breaking in laced cleats, it is important to loosen up all of the laces when you first put them on your feet. While the laces are loosened, allow for the upper to naturally conform to the shape of your foot. Walk around your house with them one while the laces are open. 

This will help you feel the natural fit of the cleats. Try lacing them up and see if they are still comfortable.

If they don’t yet feel comfortable while laced up, that’s okay, you may just need to wear them unlaced a bit more. It is important to not rush this process! Laced Cleats

Laceless Cleats

It can be a little more challenging to break in laceless cleats. With laceless cleats, it is just as important to be sure that they feel comfortable when you initially put them on your feet. Since you don’t have laces to help adjust the fit, it is important that they are tight enough. 

Additional break-in time may be necessary with laceless cleats so definitely take the time that is needed. If there are any pressure points or uncomfortable spots that don’t seem avoidable, you may have to try a different pair of cleats. 

How To Find The Best Soccer Cleats For You

Even if you’ve bought soccer cleats before, the process can be a little tricky, and let’s not even get started on if you’ve never bought soccer cleats. For first time soccer cleat buyers, the process is down right overwhelming.

Don’t be afraid, we’re here to help! Here is a guide to finding the best soccer cleats for you. 

Do Some Research

Start by doing some research to get an idea of what you need in a soccer cleat. What material best suits you?

Are you more flat-footed or do you have a higher arch? Are you needing something more narrow or wide?

Ask yourself these questions and anything else you can think of to help narrow down your options. We can see you’ve already taken this step though, since you’re here reading this article! 

Consider Playing Surface

There are five main playing grounds in soccer: firm ground, soft ground, artificial grass, turf, and indoor. 

  • Firm ground is made of natural grass with a hard base. As the most common type of playing surface in soccer, it shouldn’t be tough to find a soccer cleat that will work on this surface. FG outsole is the type of outsole you should look for if you plan to play on firm ground.
  • Soft ground is the ideal soccer playing surface. It includes low cut grass, and a soft base. For soft ground, you should look for an SG soleplate when buying soccer cleats. 
  • Artificial grass is synthetically made grass intended to imitate real grass and often isn’t the most ideal playing surface for soccer players. You will want to look for soccer cleats with AG outsoles if you plan to play on artificial grass. 
  • Turf is very similar to artificial grass but doesn’t involve the same level of maintenance and quality. Therefore, turf is not allowed for professional soccer playing. Soccer cleats made specifically for turf are much different from the others. Luckily, many brands make specific cleats for this type of surface, if that’s what you are in the market for. 
  • Indoor soccer involves a totally different surface from any of the others. Again, you will have to find specific cleats made for indoor soccer playing since the surface is so different from the others. Soccer Field

Final Thoughts

Finding a good pair of soccer cleats and breaking them in properly, may be all you need to do to really up your game this season. If you’re new to the game of soccer, then you’re probably a little surprised by the extensive process of breaking in a new pair of cleats.

It may seem a little trivial but it is 100% worth it. Buying soccer cleats may seem overwhelming, given all of the options that are out there. Luckily, there is a great soccer cleat out there for you. With the right considerations and research, the perfect soccer cleats are only a kick away! 

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