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How To Stretch Soccer Cleats In 3 Easy Steps

If you want to learn how to stretch a pair of soccer cleats, you need to learn when it is appropriate.

The three best methods for stretching a cleat wearing them in, stuffing them, and soaking them. But there are circumstances when you should avoid using these techniques altogether.

I have bad memories of playing soccer with uncomfortable cleats that did not fit right. There is nothing worse than playing with blistered toes and bloody heels.

Choosing The Right Size And Material

I’ve researched the topic of making a soccer cleat the perfect fit, so you don’t have to suffer as I did.

Before you do anything, you must ensure that the soccer cleat is the right size for your feet. The tips below will improve your soccer cleat fit by around 10%.

But none of these tips will help if you are wearing a cleat that is too small. I have already written a guide on how a soccer cleat should fit, which you should go and check out before reading on.

The type of material the cleat is made from will also impact how effective the stretching methods work. Leather cleats have a much better time stretching, whereas synthetic material is less likely to reshape.

A synthetic-leather combination might be ok, but there are no guarantees. So bear this in mind.

Tips To Stretch Your Soccer Cleats

I will list the following in order of extremeness. The higher up the list the method is, the fewer extremes you have to go to for the cleat to stretch.

Wearing Them In

That old-fashioned tip of wearing them around the house for your feet to get used to them? There is a method to this and may be one of the most effective options to try.

Put your cleats on and go for a walk around your backyard or the local park. Your cleat will begin to take the shape of your feet.

I recommend that you avoid tying up the laces and tuck them into the side of the cleat. After 10 minutes, you can tie them and carry on walking or gently jogging for another 10 minutes.

You can also wear extra thick socks or two pairs of socks which will help to expand the cleat.

Stuff The Cleats

You can stretch your cleats without wearing them. Do this by stuffing the inside with an object and leaving it overnight.

You can purchase a shoe stretcher that enables you to adjust the length or width of the cleat.

Another method is to place two or three tennis balls inside the cleat. This won’t help with lengthening a cleat, but it can help to create more room around the upper area of the cleat.

You can also use ice. Place water into a sealable plastic bag, place the bag in the cleat and then leave the cleats in the freezer overnight. Water expands when it freezes which will expand the cleat.

Soaking Your Soccer Cleats

Another common method is to soak your cleats in hot water. This can help to expand the material and soften the fibers.

Cristiano Ronaldo once shared an image of soaking his cleats before a match. If CR7 does it, then it must be useful.

Put your cleats on and then place your cleats in hot water and let them soak for about 10-20 minutes. Make sure the water isn’t boiling and avoid soaking your laces area. You should be able to run your hands in the water without them burning.

Remove your feet from the water and continue to wear them for a further 30 minutes as they dry. This should help to mold the shape of your feet with the cleat and help expand them.

Please note that this method is a last resort. The material might wear down a lot quicker because the glue holding the cleat together has weakened which has led to a reduced lifespan.

Any Extra Tips?

If you find that certain areas of your feet are sore, you can reduce this by wearing an extra layer of socks. This should provide added spacing between the soccer cleat and your feet which should help to reduce the chances of running and blisters.

You might also find that you are tying your cleats up too tight. Loosening them might help reduce any tightness, especially if the top of your foot and the sides of the cleat are too tight.

You can also wear plasters around areas that are likely to rub. I had to resort to this method when I needed to borrow a buddy’s cleats for a one-off match.

Common areas will be the heel and big toe. Remember that this method is only a temporary fix, and you should look to buy a new pair of cleats immediately. There’s a plaster-over-a-bullet wound analogy here, but I can’t find it!

Should You Own A Backup Pair?

What happens if you have recently bought a pair of cleats but you have practice or a match coming up? There isn’t time to break them in, so what do you do?

This is where I would recommend having a backup pair. Owning a pair of reliable cleats that you know don’t give you any issues is a must.

Think of this as a transition period from your old boots to the new. You can wear the new pair of cleats during the early parts of practice, and then take them off if you start to feel them rubbing.

You could also try them during a match. Play the first half with your old pair of cleats, and then play the second half with the new pair. I would recommend this way around as you don’t want to play an entire half of soccer with blisters, should the new cleats be too new.

I Need A Pair Of Soccer Cleats, What Now?

If this is your first time picking up a pair of soccer cleats, then check out our guides to the best pairs of soccer cleats that won’t break the bank.

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