How to Stretch Soccer Cleats: A Complete Guide

How do you stretch soccer cleats? Soccer players should know that even the most comfortable soccer cleats on the market will take some time to break in and provide a comfortable fit.

Wearing tight soccer cleats can lead to foot issues and potential injuries which is why it is important to wear the right type of soccer cleats and break them in properly. Soccer cleats are one of the most important pieces of soccer gear and equipment and as a player, beginner, youth, or professional, it is important to have properly fitting cleats.

Without properly fitting cleats your performance and ball control skills may suffer. In this blog, I will explain how to stretch soccer cleats if you find yours are too tight.

How to Stretch Soccer Cleats

Choose the Right Type of Cleats

The most important part to know before you begin stretching your soccer cleats is that how you choose soccer cleats is going to have the biggest impact on how your cleats feel on your feet. There are many different types of cleats and you have to make sure that you pick the right ones based on certain factors such as:

  • Foot width (choose wider soccer cleats if you have wide feet)
  • Size (know if the cleats run true to size, or half a size smaller or larger)
  • Stud pattern
  • Primary playing surface (indoor, outdoor, or turf)
  • Upper Material (leather or synthetic materials)
  • Laceless or with a lacing system
  • Personal preferences (cheap or expensive)

Why Stretch Your Soccer Cleats?

Sometimes you may buy soccer cleats without realizing they run a size too small or someone may buy cleats for you as a gift and they don’t fit how you’d like them to. If this ever happens to you don’t go buy a new pair of cleats just yet.

Try out the following tips to stretch your soccer cleats first so that they can feel more comfortable and allow you to play your best on the field.

Use a tennis ball

One of the most convenient ways to stretch your soccer cleats is with a tennis ball, or any other ball you may have laying around, like a lacrosse ball. Put the ball deep inside your cleats and leave them in there overnight to stretch the upper.

Use a Shoe Stretcher

The most effective way to stretch your soccer cleats is to use a shoe stretcher, which is very easy to use. Here are the simple steps for using a shoe stretcher:

  • Insert the shoe stretcher into the soccer cleats
  • Expand the shoe stretcher and make sure it is actually stretching the material
  • Leave the stretcher inside and let it sit overnight or for about 24 hours
  • Take off the shoe stretcher
  • Try on the shoe and decide if it needs more stretching.

Use Heat

The next most effective way to stretch your soccer cleats, especially if you have leather cleats, is to use heat. You can use heat by two ways:

  • Wear a thick pair of soccer socks or grip socks
  • Put on your soccer cleats
  • Use a hairdryer on a high heat setting to blow hot air on the tight spots of the cleats for 2-3 minutes.
  • Make sure to wiggle your toes around to help stretch the material
  • Keep the cleats on until they cool down


  • Put on your soccer cleats, but make sure you are wearing thicker socks
  • Pour hot water into a tub large enough to put your feet in
  • While wearing the cleats put your feet into the hot water
  • Make sure to use hot water.
  • You don’t have to use boiling water, but it should not be warm water either.

Use Cool Tap Water and Ice

Finally, this is another effective and easy way to help stretch your soccer cleats.

  • Fill a plastic bag with water and place it inside your cleats
  • Put your cleats in the freezer overnight until the water completely freezes, this will help expand your soccer cleats.
  • Remove the cleats from the freezer and let the ice melt and frozen plastic bag thaw
  • Remove the bag and see how they fit and feel 
How to Stretch Soccer Cleats

Image by Frantzou Fleurine

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you stretch out a new pair of football boots?

There are many ways for stretching football boots such as by wearing them around the house for a couple of minutes a couple of times a day, using a boot stretcher, using a hairdryer and thick socks, hot water, as well as with water, ice, and plastic bags.

How do you break in new football boots that feel tight?

It is normal for new football boots to feel tight after you have just bought them but to get rid of tight areas and to wear boots comfortably check out this in-depth guide for a detailed explanation.

How to make sure that your soccer cleats fit perfectly for your training sessions?

To make sure that your cleats fit perfectly for your training sessions it is crucial to continue wearing them for short periods of time around the house as soon as you get them to speed up the break in process. Also check the rest of this blog for more tips.

It is also smart to have multiple pairs of cleats, especially for different playing surfaces, but this way you can alternate cleats, helping them last longer.

How can I learn more about the game?

To learn more about soccer the most important thing is to join a team and play the game as much as possible. If possible, analyze high level games as much as you can and your own games as well by recording them with a soccer camera. Also read soccer books, listen to podcasts and interviews watch soccer documentaries, as well as some movies, tv shows, and anime.


In conclusion, stretching soccer cleats is essential for comfort, performance, and injury prevention. Choosing the right type of cleats based on various factors is crucial for having cleats that give you the perfect custom fit and feel.

This guide provided you with some effective stretching methods including using shoe stretchers, heat, cool tap water and ice, and tennis balls. Your cleats are the most important piece of equipment and you want to make sure they are not giving you any type of trouble, so follow the tips on this list to optimize your comfort on the pitch.

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