How Tight Should Soccer Cleats Be?

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

There is nothing more exciting than getting a brand new pair of soccer cleats. Soccer cleats are one of the most important pieces of soccer equipment and it is crucial that they fit properly for optimal comfort and performance on the field.

When you replace your old cleats, your new cleats they will usually always feel tight at first because they need to be broken-in. After the break-in period, your soccer cleats should fit better and ideally they should be tight enough to provide a comfortable fit, but not too tight that they hurt and restrict your foot and toe mobility.

In this blog we will cover everything you need to know about how tight your soccer cleats should be.

How Tight Should Soccer Cleats BeImage by JC Gellidon

How Long Do Soccer Cleats Take to Break-in?

All soccer cleats need a break-in period as they are typically made from materials such as synthetic fabrics or leather, which need time to soften and change shape to the player’s foot. Of the two, leather cleats will be the higher quality cleats.

The break-in process allows the cleats to become more flexible, reducing the risk of blisters and discomfort while also enhancing support and stability. Most soccer cleats will have a break-in period of about a week or so depending on how much you wear them.

This is why it is recommended to wear your new cleats as much as possible during team training and pickup games to break them in faster.

How should soccer cleats fit?

Soccer cleats should have a nice snug fit but they should not be too tight that they cause pain and restrict your foot mobility. Your cleats should also provide a sock-like feel, and provide enough room for you to be able to retract your toes inside of the cleats.

It is also important to wear the same socks or grip socks that you play or train with when trying out the cleats to get a more accurate feel for how they may perform in game.

How do you know if your Cleats are too Tight?

If you have been wearing your soccer cleats consistently for about a week and they are still really tight, you start to feel pain, and/or you begin to produce blisters, then those are some signs that your cleats are too tight.

What to do if your Soccer Cleats do not Fit?

Every player has a personal preference for how cleats should fit and feel when playing soccer. With that being said there may come a point in your soccer journey where you invest money in cleats, or get them as a gift, but they are just too uncomfortable to wear.

If that happens do not worry because there are various techniques that can help improve the comfort of your cleats. If your cleats are too big and you need to shrink them, check out this blog, how to shrink soccer cleats. If your cleats run tight, they are too small, and you need to stretch them, check out this blog instead, how to stretch soccer cleats.

How to Choose the Right Soccer Cleats?

The best way to prevent getting cleats that are a half size smaller or a larger than your normal size is to choose soccer cleats correctly by using the following tips:

  • Know your shoe size and foot type
  • Know the shoe sizes of different popular brands
  • Determine what upper material you like best
    • Leather– cow, goat, or kangaroo leather cleats
    • Synthetic
    • Knitted
  • Determine what playing surface you will play on the most?
  • Determine what studs you need
    • Rubber studs
    • Conical studs
    • Metal studs
    • Shorter or longer studs
  • Know your style of play

How Tight Should Soccer Cleats BeImage by RF Studio

Frequently Asked Questions

How much room should a soccer player’s foot have when they wear cleats?

As a soccer player it is important to have some space between your toes and the end of your cleats, but not too much and not too little. You do not want your cleats to be too tight, but you also do not want them too loose.

Are soccer cleats supposed to have a tight fit at first?

Yes, soccer cleats will run tight at first because they need to be broken in. After the break-in period, which will take about a week or so, the cleats should provide a more comfortable fit for your feet.

What are the different types of soccer shoes or boots?

There are many different types of soccer shoes, or boots, and the most common are the following:

  • Firm Ground Cleats
  • Artificial grass cleats
  • Multi ground cleats
  • Indoor soccer shoes
  • Turf shoes

Conclusion

In conclusion, in the beautiful game of soccer, cleats are one of the most important pieces of equipment and having the right type of cleats that fit comfortably, and not too tight, can make all the difference on performance and injury prevention.

Avoid cleats with an overly tight fit and make sure to choose cleats with the right balance of proper control, great traction, extra cushioning and the perfect fit so your feet can thank you before, during, and after every game or training session.

In this blog, I covered everything you need to know about how cleats should fit, the break-in process, how to choose cleats, as well as explained what to do if your cleats are too tight.

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