Wearing the right soccer cleats can be the difference between fantastic and anonymous performances every time a player arrives on the soccer field. Size is an important factor you cannot afford to get wrong when looking for soccer cleats because it can change the dynamics of your game.
This article answers the question “Are Soccer Cleats Supposed To Be Tight?” by discussing how to choose the right fit of soccer cleats for a player’s feet as well as tips and tricks to know when a pair of cleats are extremely tight during shopping.
We also uncover a few negatives associated with wearing soccer cleats that are loose or tight.
Are Soccer Cleats Supposed To Be Tight?
The best soccer cleats fit snugly which allows players to hit balls with the cleats feeling like an extension of their feet. A tight fit provides proper ball control and shooting accuracy at both ends of the field. Experts recommend buying cleats that are half a size smaller than your regular shoe size to enjoy the best fit.
Soccer cleats wear out over time, especially under heavy usage, and before long, many of us are faced with the decision to purchase a new one. While different brands offer varying models and designs, achieving the best fit can enhance performance considerably.
Is It Better For Cleats To Be Tight or Loose?
Soccer cleats should be tight rather than loose to enhance traction and ball control while minimizing the risk of foot slippage which can lead to the development of foot blisters.
However, the tightness should not be excessive to the point of cutting off blood circulation to the feet. Generally, the space between the toes and the top of the cleats should be 1/4-1/2 inches.
Anything more could negatively impact performance by interfering with ball control. For instance, soccer cleats that offer thumb-sized space between your toes and the top of the cleats are way too big to wear.
Even the best passers could suddenly end up providing wayward passes that are unable to find their intended teammates. Strikers could also struggle to hit targets during gameplay as a result of wearing large-sized cleats.
How Tight Is Too Tight In Soccer Cleats?
Soccer cleats are too tight when the distance between the toe and the top of the shoes is less than 1/2-inch. Like any type of shoe, soccer cleats require a breaking-in period to provide the required level of comfort.
Breaking in softens the leather to provide more wriggle room for the legs resulting in enhanced comfort. However, soccer cleats that leave no space between the toes and the top of the cleats are definitely too tight and should be avoided.
While tight soccer cleats are recommended during shopping, excessive tightness can cause problems for the wearer. Not only can extremely tight soccer cleats inhibit blood circulation to the feet but they could increase the risks of injuries via sores and blisters that may affect the ability to train and play.
Besides, extremely tight soccer cleats can also interfere with ball control and the freedom to run on the field. Not only are your teammates going to be starved of the right passes but you could also have a hard time chasing opponents breathing down your neck when the mere act of even walking in your cleats feels painful.
Excessively tight soccer cleats increase the chances of letting down your teammates and reduce the ability to have a positive impact during training and games. Such cleats also wear down faster resulting in a reduced lifespan.
But, how do you know if a particular size of soccer cleats will be too tight after the breaking-in period when you have no crystal ball to predict the future? Well, avoid buying sizes your feet cannot get into without struggle because they’re likely to be excessively tight even after getting broken into.
At the very least, you should be able to wear the soccer cleats comfortably even if some edges seem to be a bit tighter than normal. Those edges should open up over time leading to more comfort after the breaking-in period. (Source)
How To Break In New Soccer Cleats
Have you picked up soccer cleats that are a bit tight? Breaking them in could ensure proper comfort during game time. Here are the best ways to speed up the stretching process.
Wear Your New Soccer Cleats
The best method for breaking in soccer cleats is to wear them. Do you have an important game coming up such as a tournament final? Waiting until the day of the game to outdoor the brand new cleats could be a huge mistake because the probability of tightness across different areas can be high.
The best practice is to wear the brand new soccer cleats continuously at home even if it is only for 15-20 minutes at a time. You may practice solo with the new cleats in your backyard garden to get an idea of how it feels to play with them while speeding up the breaking-in period.
Within 2-3 weeks of wearing, walking, and playing with the brand new cleats at home, the component leather or synthetic material should stretch to provide comfort on game day.
Stretch The Brand New Cleats With A Shoe Horn
Shoehorns can aid the stretching process particularly if you have no interest in wearing them. They stimulate stretching across the front ends which should enlarge the space between the toes and the top of the cleats.
However, avoid overstretching the top of the cleats to prevent damage to the stitching which can cause a new set of problems for you. The keyword is gentle pressure if you decide to go down the shoehorn route.
Stuffing soccer cleats with paper, fabrics, and other materials could also boost the stretching process to guarantee more comfort when you finally wear the new soccer cleats.
Lubricate Your New Soccer Cleats
Lubricating the insides of your soccer cleats with a layer of vaseline is another tried and tested technique to provide comfort for extremely tight fits. Go easy on the quantity of vaseline applied because you don’t want to soak the whole interior of the cleats in petroleum jelly.
The vaseline helps stimulate the stretching of the soccer cleat material to minimize pain and discomfort. It’s important to lubricate and wear the cleats a few times before game day to guarantee maximum comfort throughout those 90 minutes of action.
Blow-Dry The Tight Edges
Heating the tight areas of the brand-new soccer cleats can improve the fit by stretching the material. This may be achieved with a blow dryer after wearing the cleats to figure out which areas are too tight for comfort.
Simply target those areas with the hot air from the blow dryer to expand the material and help provide more comfort. Avoid overheating those areas because it can cause damage to the stitching and the component leather or synthetic fabric.
Dip Your Brand New Soccer Cleats In Warm Water
Dipping your soccer cleats in warm water can stimulate stretching and eliminate tightness around the toes and other edges of the player’s feet. The trick is to fill a bucket or bathtub that can accommodate your cleats and both feet with warm water.
Wear your soccer cleats with socks and dip both feet in the warm water. Massage the edges and sides that may be feeling too tight gently while your feet stay submerged in the water for 30 minutes.
This should stretch tight areas of the cleats for amazing comfort once they dry up.
How Do You Make Big Soccer Cleats Fit?
If your soccer cleats are too big, returning them to the store for a more snug fit is always the best move. However, if that is not an option, here are a few smart techniques to reduce foot slippage and enjoy more control during game time.
Wearing multiple tight socks is a good option to close the gap between your feet and the top of the cleats. The only problem could be your comfort as the stacking up could make your legs a bit uncomfortable.
Grip socks can be a great idea to eliminate minor slippage and movement inside your soccer cleats. The grips on the bottom of the foot may boost stability in the cleats.
Even if your soccer cleats are a snug fit, grip socks could provide a more connected feel to your legs by eliminating the extra foot movement you may not have even realized existed.
Additional insoles can provide more volume inside your soccer cleats to close prevailing gaps between your feet and the edges of the cleats. It may not work for cleats that are too long for your feet but it is worth giving a shot.
Tape Your Ankle
Taping your ankles can provide maximum ankle support during play while also eating up some space inside your cleats. Not all soccer players may like this technique but no harm in trying right?
Conclusion: Are Soccer Cleats Supposed To Be Tight?
Soccer cleats should fit snugly around the feet to make ball control easier while enhancing the ability to run and stay active in the game without discomfort. The right size should leave up to 1/2-inch space between the toes and the top of the cleats to generate the right fit.
Soaking soccer cleats in warm water, lubricating the internal areas with a thin layer of vaseline, and blow-drying tight areas can stretch the fabric to speed up the breaking-in process.
The problem of soccer cleats that are too large may be solved by wearing multiple socks or grip socks, placing an extra insole, and taping your ankle to move the feet forward a little bit.