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How to Break In Football Cleats (Quickly)

Football cleats are a crucial piece of equipment for any football player. They provide stability and traction on the field to help you perform your best. It may take time to break in your cleats, but it’s an important step to make sure you can play your best in comfort.


There are many different ways to break in cleats. Many players find bending and folding their cleats with their hands before wearing them can help break them in more quickly. Another approach is to wear them for a shorter practice. Others find they don’t need to break them in very much at all.

SS23_FTBL_WorldTourCleats_Spotlight_Site_2_1_M
SS23_FTBL_WorldTourCleats_Spotlight_Site_2_1_M

Tips for Breaking In Cleats

Below, we present one way you can speed up the process with a few materials and four simple steps.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your new football cleats
  • A pair of socks you typically play in
  • Warm water
  • A few medium to small towels


Step 1: Walk Around in Your Cleats

The first step in the breaking-in process is to wear your cleats around the yard or in carpeted rooms of your house for an hour each day, wearing the same socks you’ll use during games. The key to this step is to walk but not run, as walking causes less friction. This will soften the material and form it to your feet, and allow your feet to adjust to the cleats' shape. Don’t wear cleats on pavement, which can damage the studs.

Step 2: Wet Your Cleats with Warm Water

After you’ve walked around in the cleats for a few days, wet them in warm water. You don’t want to ever fully submerge your cleats in water, but you can wet the outsole and the upper as long as you don’t go any higher than the laces and tongue. This softens the material, making it more pliable so it’ll more easily conform to your foot’s shape.

Step 3: Wear Your Cleats with Your Game Socks

Put your cleats on while still damp and wear them with your game socks for another 30-60 minutes. As the materials cool and dry, this will mold them to the shape of your feet.

During this step, it’s critical to wear the same socks that you play in. The cleats will mold to the shape of your foot with the socks on, so wearing thicker or thinner socks will cause them to permanently take the wrong shape.

Step 4: Dry Your Cleats

After wearing your wet cleats around, allow them to dry off. Don’t use direct heat from a dryer or hair dryer, which can damage them. Instead, use a soft towel to soak up any excess water inside and outside of the shoes, being careful not to stretch them out. Then, insert a shoe tree or stuff the toe box with newspaper to maintain the shape. Let your cleats air out in a cool, dry place with good ventilation until they’re completely dry.

UA Blur Smoke MC
UA Blur Smoke MC

How long does it take to break in cleats?


Getting a new pair of cleats for the upcoming season can be exciting, but it pays off to break them in by wearing them off the field first. Playing in your new cleats will break them in naturally, but this can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the material and frequency of wear.

Care & Maintenance of Football Cleats

It takes some work to break a pair of cleats in, and all that work goes to waste if they wear out early. While any pair of football cleats will eventually need replacement, proper care can extend their lifespan significantly.

Here are a few tips for taking care of your football cleats:

  • Never wear them on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt, which can cause the studs to wear down.
  • Clean your cleats after each use. Tap them together to remove any debris that might have stuck to the studs, then wipe them with a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt and dust from the exterior.
  • If your cleats have synthetic materials in the uppers, you can clean them more thoroughly with a wet cloth and mild soap or detergent. Make sure to let them dry completely afterward.
  • If your cleats have leather uppers, use a special leather cleaner to remove stains, then apply cleat oil or leather conditioner.
  • Store them in a dry place out of direct sunlight to prevent mold and odor growth.