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Do You Have To Break In Soccer Cleats?

Do You Have To Break In Soccer Cleats?

Soccer cleats became mainstream in the sport in the 1980s and have experienced a series of evolution into their modern design. They come in different sizes to cater to different foot sizes.

As a soccer player, you probably can remember the first soccer cleat you bought or wore to play the game. The exciting feeling of stepping onto the pitch with new cleats can boost any player’s self-confidence.

It is generally advised that soccer players break in their new cleats. But, is this really necessary?

For instance, in one of his interviews, former English international John Terry revealed he uses three cleats in a game and doesn’t wear them again. Although an extreme ritual, it makes one wonder how he breaks in the cleats so easily and if a break in is worth it.

The article examines the benefits of breaking into soccer cleats and their necessity for soccer players.

Do you have to break in soccer cleats?

Yes, you do! There are soccer players who believe there’s no need for soccer cleats to break in but fail to understand the possible benefits of doing so. Whether they acknowledge it or not, every soccer player undergoes one form of cleat break in, intentionally or unintentionally.

There are no mandatory laws requiring soccer players to perform a break in on their cleats. However, when you consider the design of soccer cleats, it becomes clearer why you may need them.

man wearing neon green soccer cleats putting on foot on soccer ball

Cleats are designed in wide ranges of foot sizes. Then, there are different foot shapes. We don’t talk much about the magnitude of the difference this can have on the whole break in process.

This is why some players may seem skeptical about taking break in seriously. Depending on the shape of the feet, some players need more or less time to successfully break in their cleats.

You may also be lucky to find a cleat that’s a perfect fit for your feet. Still, the construction material used to manufacture these cleats can sometimes be subject to stretching and shrinking.

Benefits of breaking in soccer cleats

Since most cleats don’t generally come in customizable sizes, the player’s feet may be prone to blisters and injuries. To help throw more light on this, here are some of the advantages you get when you properly break in soccer cleats.


It’s all about comfort

A soccer game lasts for 90 minutes, and you’ll need to wear your cleats for the entire period. Soccer cleats broken in helps mold your feet into the cleats, so you don’t have to feel any discomfort.

Reduces/eliminates blister formation

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve played the game, having to deal with blisters can affect the performance of soccer players.

When the cleat break in process is efficiently done, you do not have to worry about your feet getting bruised up. You can eliminate the possibility of blister formation by giving the cleats the necessary adjustments and fit through breaking in.

a person has blisters on the feet


Not everyone has access to custom-made cleats

Unless you’re a top-level professional player who can call up soccer footwear manufacturers and request a custom-made pair, you may struggle to find the right cleat to replace your old ones.

A good break in can help teach your growing feet (if it’s still growing) the perfect fit for it. It can also stretch the closest fitting size available to give you a snug fit.

Better playing performance

The cleats don’t make the players, but they sure help them stay focused on their A-game. The lesser soccer players worry about their gears, the more they can focus on their game.

soccer player wearing orange soccer cleats on a match

When should you break in soccer cleats?

When you buy a new cleat, you should consider initiating the break in process. When you try them on, observe if your feet feel tight in them. Take note of pressure points.

Pressure points in cleats are indications that you need a break in. As you use your preferred break in method, ensure you pay close attention to these pressure areas to avoid blister formation in the future.

In new cleats, your feet are probably all cramped up inside, waiting for the break in process to complete. The heat and sweat build-up can result in blisters and other related injuries.

It’s important to pay attention to any slight discomfort and immediately find ways to address it. It can only get worse if ignored.

soccer player wearing a new pair of white soccer cleats putting one foot on the ball

Also, regarding the weather, break in can be done anytime, as long as it is not during extreme conditions. For example, break in during cold weather will make the process rigid and slow.

Break in helps promote the significant expansion of the cleat material, allowing your feet to mold and acclimatize better in it.

Of course, break in time varies for different reasons but you alone can decide when the process is complete.


Break in of soccer cleats is a necessity. Every player does it knowingly or otherwise. It’s the only way to get your feet adapted into new cleats.

The benefits far outweigh any possible con that can exist. For no reason should the comfort of a soccer player be jeopardized on the soccer pitch.

As a sport heavily dependent on the use of the foot, breaking in soccer cleat should be a priority.