A Complete Guide to How Should Soccer Cleats Fit

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

How should soccer cleats fit? That is a question that every soccer player, youth or professional, has asked themselves at some point throughout their soccer journey. Most soccer cleats are designed in a narrow fashion to allow for the quick movements and change of directions that are needed in the beautiful game.

Most soccer cleats will also feel tight at first because they have to get through the “break-in” period. For this reason it is common for soccer players to experience foot problems which is why choosing the right cleats is super important for optimal performance and injury prevention.

Soccer cleats are arguably the most important pieces of equipment and the right pair of cleats will provide a nice snug fit, excellent traction, and feel responsive. In this blog we will cover everything you need to know about how cleats should fit before you invest your money in a new pair.

How Should Soccer Cleats Fit Image by Unsplash +

Choose the Right Type of Cleats

The most important part of making sure your cleats fit properly is getting the right type of soccer cleats based on the surface you will play on the most.

This is to make sure your cleats last as long as possible, since different playing surfaces will damage studs that they are not designed for, and to decrease the risk of injuries.

  • Firm Ground Cleats:
    • Designed for use on natural grass fields
    • The most versatile and common types of cleats
  • Soft Ground Cleats or Metal Cleats:
    • Designed for use on natural grass fields that are wet and muddy
    • Come with fewer but longer metal studs
  • Artificial Grass Cleats or Turf Shoes:
  • Indoor Soccer Shoes:

Cleats will also be made out of different materials, such as leather, synthetic, or knitted materials.

How Should Soccer Cleats Fit

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Measure your Foot

One of the most important parts of getting the right fit for your soccer cleats is to start with the basics- understanding the size and shape of your feet.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to measure your foot:

Starting Position:

Begin by standing on a flat surface in your bare feet. Distribute your weight evenly between both feet to get a more accurate measurement.

Toe Box:

Use a ruler or a measuring tape to measure the length from the tip of your longest toe (usually the big toe, but sometimes the second toe) to the back of your heel. Make sure to measure both feet, as they may differ slightly in size.


Measure the width of your foot by wrapping the measuring tape around the widest part, usually across the ball of your foot. If you have wide feet consider investing in wide soccer cleats for a better fit.

Current shoe size:

Next, determine what shoe size your old soccer cleats are and compare across different brands as the numbers may be slightly different sizes.

Personal Preference:

FInally, take into account any personal preferences you have regarding fit – whether you prefer a snug fit for better control or a bit more room for comfort.

How Should Soccer Cleats Fit

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Helpful Tips for How Should Soccer Cleats Fit

Your soccer cleats need to fit snugly and provide a sock-like feel, but they must provide enough room for you to be able to retract your toes inside of the cleats. In the image above you can see that Brazilian Ronaldo’s feet have calluses on the top of the middle toe joints. This tells us that his toes are in the retracted position while playing so those joints are rubbing on the top of the foot and giving him calluses there.

If you get calluses on the side of your big toe then that means you are rubbing your toe against the side of the shoe and may have lost a lot of sensation there because you are not applying proper pressure across the entire foot. You should be able to wiggle your toes around inside the cleats.

To learn how to retract your toes, which is completely different from curling and extending, you need to improve how well you can create fascial tension in your foot, which over time will lead to better control of your entire body, by training your fascia.

How Should Soccer Cleats Fit Image by Source

Frequently Asked Questions

Should soccer cleats be tight or loose?

Soccer cleats need to provide a snug fit, and not be too tight and they can cut off circulation to all five toes. The best fit will come down to preference so try different pairs of shoes and find out if the cleats you are buying run true to size, a half size smaller, or a half size bigger.

How much room should you have in a soccer cleat?

Your cleats should have a bit of room in the toe area and just enough to let your toes wiggle but not too much room or too little room.

Should your toes touch the end of your soccer cleats?

Your soccer cleats should fit as close as possible to your foot without touching your toes. Leave very little space, but enough for your toes to be able to move.

What shoes should a soccer player wear off the field?

Off the field soccer players should wear barefoot shoes to promote healthy foot function.


In conclusion, finding the perfect fit for your soccer cleats is essential for optimal performance and comfort on the field. A snug fit, but not too tight, and that allows the toes to move, ensures proper control without restricting blood flow.

No matter the type of soccer cleat or shoe you are looking for, it is very important to understand your foot’s measurements and personal preferences. Now that you are done with this blog you can lace up your soccer cleats with confidence and start training to become a better player.

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