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How Should A Soccer Cleat Fit? Step-By-Step Guide

I often get asked how should a soccer cleat fit. The four key areas of a soccer cleat you need to get right are the toes, heel, sides of the cleat, and laces.

Fail to get this right and you could end up with bruised and battered toes. Which makes the game of soccer a lot harder to play!

Avoid owning a pair of soccer cleats that end up at the back of your closet by following this step-by-step guide.


The first and most crucial aspect of the perfect fitting soccer cleat is to know if you have the correct size. Wearing incorrectly fitted footwear increases the chances of developing lesser toe deformity, corns, and calluses.

You want to aim for a snug fit when you are wearing the soccer socks you intend to wear during matches. This is where most people go wrong and will not try on a soccer cleat with the correct socks.

Your cleats will be too tight if you try them on with a light pair of ankle socks meant for sneakers in the summer. When you play soccer your feet will expand, so avoid buying anything too tight.

Here are the four areas you need to know about.


How much room do you have in the toes? You should have enough wiggle room at the end of the cleat.

Squashed toes at the end of a soccer cleat are not only distracting but also bad for the health of your foot.

You should also avoid too much wiggle room. Creating lots of space in your boot may seem tempting to allow them enough breathability. But this sliding around can reduce your performance by lowering total responsiveness.

You also lose confidence with loose cleats. It’s the same feeling when going out for a run with oversized running sneakers. You won’t have your mind on the game if you’re worried they’ll fall off.

The rule of thumb is to go with a width of a thumb between the big toe and the edge of the cleat. This should allow ample room.


If there is no movement in the heel you have found yourself a good-fitting pair of soccer cleats. If you notice that there is any slipping, then your cleats are too loose and you should find a pair that are snugger. 

If your heel is rubbing up against the back of the cleat, then they are too tight. You run the risk of blisters that hurt like something else.


Want to be able to pass without causing pain in your feet? Make sure that the sides of your cleats are not too tight or too loose.

They should fit and not irritate the outside or inside of your foot.


An often overlooked part of the cleat is how well it fits on the laces section. Make sure they are not too tight.

People often forget that a lot of contact with the soccer ball is on the top of the laces, especially power shots.

I’ve experienced a situation where my cleats were too tight, which caused me to have a minor injury on the top of my foot.

Not recommended.

Avoid this at all costs as it hurts!


Never buy a pair of soccer cleats that aren’t going to fit. I don’t care how flashy or good they look; your foot health is so much more important.

Adidas cleats generally run wide but tend to have a narrow height, so you need to be wary of how they fit around the ankle and toes. Nike soccer cleats tend to be a little bit tighter but are more forgiving in length.

As for Puma, you may find it a little tighter in the midfoot area in comparison to Nike and Adidas.

Other brands such as New Balance are a great alternative if you are struggling to find a suitable pair of soccer cleats from either Adidas, Nike, or Puma.

Measuring Your Feet

I recommend measuring your feet before heading out to the store or looking online and scrolling through Google.

Grab an A4 piece of paper, and draw around the outline of your foot.

Next, measure from the top of your foot between your first and second toe, to the heel. This will give you the height.

You should also measure the width by taking the widest point from each side of the footprint outline.

This will help to give you an idea of whether you have wide or narrow feet which helps you narrow down your search for the perfect soccer cleat.

Cleat Test

You should also give them a test run before committing. Whilst you won’t be able to use them in a soccer environment, you can walk them around the house and get a good idea of whether they are a good fit.

If they feel too tight, they are going to feel 10 times worse when you play. Trust me.

If you find yourself slipping around in them, they should also be returned as they are too big. Nothing other than a perfect fit is what we are aiming for.

Going Up A Size

One final tip I want to share with you is to avoid ‘going up a size’. This means you choose a size that is one up from your regular size.

For example, if you wear a size 11 sneaker, you might opt to go up to a size 12. The problem with this method is that it won’t consider your bespoke foot size.

You might end up with a longer cleat, that is still too tight on the sides and laces. You end up with clown cleats instead of a functional pair, which is not a good look.

What Now?

You now have all the steps to buy the perfect pair of soccer cleats and are ready to tear up the pitch. So what now?

Check out our comparison reviews for the high-performing soccer cleats that will improve your soccer game.

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