It’s common for new players to wonder how to break in football cleats before a game. Cleats are an essential piece of equipment for football players and having them as comfortable as possible affects performance. As a result, learning how to break in football cleats before you play your first game is essential.
After all, football players need a lot of traction to get up to top speed quickly. They also need their cleats to be comfortable so that they don’t have any issues when they start to sprint.
But before you can learn how to break in football cleats, you need to understand what they are in the first place.
What Are Football Cleats?
Cleats are a type of shoe worn in many different sports around the world. Soccer, football, baseball, and lacrosse players all wear cleats. There are even variations of cleats for cyclists and track athletes.
Although there are differences between cleats in every sport, they all have similarities. Cleats are shoes with protrusions on the sole of the shoe. These protrusions from the cleats provide extra traction for athletes that would otherwise struggle to push off on soft and slippery surfaces.
Without cleats, football couldn’t be played on turf as easily, at least not at the speed it’s played at right now. Instead, it would need to be played on grass, and even then, athletes wouldn’t get the type of traction they get from cleats.
How Are Football Cleats Different from Soccer Cleats?
As we mentioned above, athletes wear cleats in many different sports. One of those sports is soccer, and cleats worn by soccer players are very similar to football cleats. However, some distinct differences make it necessary to get different cleats for soccer and football.
Different cleat types
Firstly, not every football player wears the same kind of cleats. That's because there are so many positions in football, and players are doing vastly different things depending on their position. The quarterback, linesman, and wide receiver have different skill sets.
There are three different types of football cleats, whereas there is only one type of soccer cleat. Soccer cleats all have a low-cut style that gives players the ability to maneuver and change direction with greater ease.
Conversely, football players have low-cut, mid-cut, and high-tops. High-top cleats provide extra support for the ankle and are preferred by linesman. They provide support for lateral movements needed for the position.
Mid-cut cleats only surround a small portion of the ankle. These cleats provide a little support, but they give the athlete a lot more maneuverability. Defensive backs, running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks prefer mid-cut.
Low-cut shoes are the last common cleats worn by football players, but defensive backs sometimes prefer them. This is because they are very light and enable them to reach their top speed quicker.
You might have picked up on it when we were describing the different cleat types, but soccer cleats are generally a lot lighter than football cleats.
They need to be lighter because soccer players are constantly running throughout the game. As a result, they need cleats that will help conserve their energy.
The last significant difference between football and soccer cleats is the toe stud. Football cleats usually feature a stud near the big toe that is absent in soccer cleats.
This stud gives players a little more grip when pushing off from a hunched position. Since soccer players are usually standing up, the toe stud wouldn’t provide any extra traction.
What Should You Look for in a Pair of Football Cleats?
Before you learn how to break in football cleats, you need to buy a pair first. When purchasing a pair of cleats for your kids or yourself, remember that comfort is more important than cost.
We know that not everyone can afford the most high-end cleats, and you don’t need to buy them. However, you should consider investing a little more in a comfortable pair of cleats. Comfortable cleats will fit better and last longer than unfitted cleats, and as a result, they’ll last longer.
Furthermore, you need to know what position you or your child will play.
If you’re more of a skilled player, lightweight cleats will be best for you so that you can show off your fancy footwork. If you’re a linesman, you’ll need cleats that provide a lot of support.
Finally, you need to remember that cleats are not sneakers. Sneakers are meant to be comfortable and flexible. They are good shoes for going to school and running around with friends.
With that in mind, although cleats should be comfortable, they should not be nearly as flexible as regular sneakers. They should keep your feet in place, and they should fit more like a pair of dress shoes rather than sneakers.
Why Do You Need to Break in Your Cleats?
Although you may be ready for us to explain how to break in football cleats, you also might be wondering why you need to in the first place.
When you purchase a pair of football cleats, they’re going to be moderately stiff, which can be dangerous. That’s because when you’re playing football, your foot will be flexing and bending in ways it doesn’t in everyday life.
If your feet are stuck in position, you’ll be more likely to roll an ankle or hurt your foot. So, learning how to break in football cleats before you step out onto the field is essential.
How to Break in Football Cleats
Now it’s time for us to teach you how to break in football cleats. We’ll take you through several methods that are proven to be effective. Follow our instructions carefully, and you’ll be ready for a game in no time.
If you’re only wearing your cleats for practice or games, it will take a couple of sessions to break in properly. However, while you’re waiting for your cleats to get broken in, you could injure yourself or get some ugly blisters.
Instead of waiting around for a possible injury, you should take action by learning how to break in football cleats. One of the best methods is to walk around in your cleats before you wear them for practice or a game.
You can go for a walk in the park or around your house, or play something more leisurely like golf. You can really do whatever you want, as long as you’re wearing your cleats.
Spend a few days doing this, and your cleats should feel a lot more comfortable, and you’ll be ready to play some football.
If you can’t spend a lot of time walking around in your cleats, you can try flexing them. This method takes a lot less time, and it’s effective.
All you need to do is take the toe and heel of the cleat and bend it in several directions. You can do this for 10 to 15 minutes while you’re watching TV.
The only downside to this method is it only really loosens up the upper part of the cleat. The bottom portion of the cleat needs to shape to your foot. As a result, you will still need to wear the cleats to break them in correctly.
However, this method will still make them feel better for your first time playing than they would if you did nothing.
As you learn how to break in football cleats, another method you should consider is soaking. For this method, you’ll need a large bucket, hot water, a pair of football socks, an old newspaper, and a chair.
The first thing you need to do is put on your cleats with your socks on. Doing this will make sure that your cleats conform to the shape of your feet. Then put the bucket on the ground and put both your feet in it.
When you’re standing in the bucket, your cleats should be tied. Fill the bucket with hot water, but not too hot. You don’t want to burn your feet or damage your cleats.
The water level should not be so high that it gets into your shoes. It should go to where the laces and tongue begin. While your feet are in the water, keep flexing your toes to speed up the process.
The process should take 10 minutes, but depending on the shoes, it could take up to an hour. Once you’re finished, dry them off, filling them with newspaper. Wait five to six hours for them to dry and try them on.
Steaming is similar to soaking, but you don’t need to get your feet wet. However, this method is the most complicated.
Although you can use a steam machine, many people don’t have one, so you can use anything that emits steam like a bowl of boiling water.
Place your source of steam below the cleats (without your feet in them) and let the steam rise through the cleats. Cover both the cleats and steam source with a box so the steam can’t escape.
Then leave it for 20 minutes, and your cleats should be much softer.
Start Playing After Learning How to Break in Football Cleats
After reading, we hope you have a better understanding of how to break in football cleats. All four of the methods we discussed above should be effective, so you can choose whichever you prefer. As long as you follow our instructions carefully, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Are you a new or experienced football player? Do you understand how to break in football cleats? Let us know in the comments!
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