Skip to Content
The Pitch is Ours is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

How To Break In Synthetic Soccer Cleats?

How To Break In Synthetic Soccer Cleats?

Soccer players are often allowed to play without a few gears but soccer cleats are not something that a soccer player would want to do without. Playing soccer without a soccer cleat already puts you at a disadvantage over your well-kitted opponents.

Imagine another player stepping on your barefoot during a tussle for the ball. It is definitely one of those experiences you don’t wish to have.

However, buying cleats that fit you properly is often a tough choice. When you eventually get what may seem like the right fit, it wouldn’t take you long to realize that most new soccer cleats need to be broken in.

Breaking in a synthetic soccer cleat is quite tricky compared to leather cleats. Even the best high-quality cleats on the market designed according to specification also require some level of breaking in.

Breaking into cleats is easier when you buy the right size. This is particularly true for synthetic soccer cleats which don’t stretch as much as leather cleats.

When you select a soccer cleat that fits snuggly around your feet, you are sure to have a little space to wiggle your toes. This kind of cleats will require stretching in just a few places to give you the desired comfort.

The right cleat minimizes your chance of getting blisters and other forms of injuries associated with wearing the wrong pair of cleats. In addition to that, it also makes the break-in process easier.

There are usually major material differences in the types of cleats used by soccer players which often affects their breaking-in period.

For example, synthetic cleats are much lighter than pure leather cleats which is why they require less effort when trying to break into them.

We shall examine some effective and common ways of breaking into synthetic soccer cleats to aid those of you who prefer synthetic cleats over leather cleats.

How to break in synthetic soccer cleats?

Whether you are a teenager playing with an academy, an amateur who plays on weekends with a local team, or a professional soccer player earning millions of dollars per year, you cannot deny the fact that you need the right-fitting cleats to reach the peak of your potential.

a foot wearing new soccer cleat

Synthetic cleats seem to be more popular than leather cleats in modern soccer because they have undergone major improvements over the years. Most of them are lightweight, water-resistant, provide more traction, and can be cleaned easily.

When you purchase a new pair of synthetic cleats and try them on, don’t just admire how good they look on your feet. Take note of their pressure points because they are the areas that need more attention while stretching.

The presence of pressure points and hot spots can lead to blisters when you wear and use your new cleats, hence the need for a break-in.

When breaking in new synthetic soccer cleats, you should be careful, considering that they are less durable than leather. Applying too much pressure or heat to them can affect their initial structure and ruin the glue used to hold some of the parts in place.

Also, keep in mind that the few tips we are about to share with you on how to break in your new soccer cleats are strictly for cleats made with synthetic materials. Synthetic cleats stretch less than leather which is why they are mostly not suitable for people with wide feet.

By practicing some of the methods we would show you below, we believe you can break in your synthetic cleats and make them comfortable enough, even if you have wide feet.

When it is time to break in your synthetic soccer cleat, try one or a combination of the steps below to get the job done.

1. Purchase right-fitting synthetic cleat

As we mentioned earlier, synthetic cleats don’t stretch as much as leather cleats. In most cases, all you want to do is simply to get your feet used to them.

Therefore, buying synthetic cleats that give you a near-perfect fit is paramount if you are going to have a satisfactory result with your break in process.

Man is wearing soccer cleats on the field

The wrong-sized cleat might never get to fit comfortably even after trying out every single break-in method you know. When purchasing new cleats, try them out to make sure they are the right fit before making payment.

Don’t forget to try out your new cleats with your official matchday socks because the thickness of soccer socks could add an extra half-size to your foot.

It is always better to shop at a physical soccer accessories store when purchasing new pairs of cleats instead of shopping online. Online stores might offer better prices but the chances of selecting the wrong-sized pair of cleats are usually higher.

Always try as many pairs of cleats as you possibly can before purchase and don’t shy away from asking for assistance from the salesperson.

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Wear the new synthetic soccer cleats

We all know that one of the ways to break in your soccer cleats is to wear them for a few minutes every day. Most professionals will recommend that you wear it for 30 minutes to 1 hour after which you should take it off and give your feet a rest for 1 hour before wearing it again.

You should wear them around the house or indoors while just sitting around your reading table. Your feet will gradually stretch the synthetic cleats while also becoming accustomed to the feeling of the cleats around your feet.

A soccer player with cleats is standing on the field

If your new synthetic cleats feel too tight around your feet, particularly on the sides and the top of your feet, loosely tying your laces can make it feel more comfortable. Do the reverse if the cleats feel a bit bigger than your feet.

Lacing your synthetic cleat the right way gives your feet enough time to get used to the cleats as you wear them around without causing severe discomfort.

This method is healthy for your synthetic soccer cleat because it doesn’t weaken the glue used in assembling some of its vital parts. It is also good for your feet because it doesn’t put too much pressure that eventually encourages blisters or chafing.

When you are satisfied with the comfort of the cleat and ready to take it to the field for practice or drills, make sure you tighten the laces through to the runner’s loop located near your ankle.

Tightening the laces through the runner’s loop helps in locking the tension on the laces thereby preventing your cleat from untying itself during the game. Changing your lacing pattern sometimes can help prevent discomfort on the boot.

By trying out different lacing patterns, you can easily identify which lacing pattern makes your cleats tighter or freer. If you find it difficult getting your laces to stay in place while playing, you can use a lace band or safe clip to hold them tightly in place to stop them from obstructing the flow of the game.

Unique Sports Youth Lace Bands Soccer Cleat Lace Cover and Lace Protector, Black, Youth
  • Unique Sports Lace Bands stretch to slide over cleats and stay firmly in place while playing
  • Fits shoe sizes 13K to 6 youth and/or size 6 adult
  • Keeps laces tied and securely in place

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The downside to this method is that it takes really long time to achieve the desired result. If you want to use your new cleat almost immediately, you may never get there with this method.

3. Break it in with your official game socks

Sometimes, wearing the cleats alone and walking around the house may not be enough to get that snug fit that you yearn for when you eventually take it to the pitch. The simple reason is that official matchday socks are usually thick and will add about half an inch to your feet.

kid wearing orange socks and new soccer cleats

So, if you stretch your cleats with just your feet, you may discover that they feel a bit tighter and uncomfortable the moment you put on your socks. In that case, you have to give your soccer cleat a bit more stretch by putting on your official matchday socks while you wear the soccer cleats around the house.

Walk around on different surfaces ranging from grass, sand, asphalt, wood, marble, smooth, inclined, etc. Doing this will help stretch out the synthetic materials used in manufacturing the cleat.

You can wear double or triple socks before putting on the soccer cleat to give it more stretch. If your synthetic cleat stretches to a snug fit while wearing your official soccer socks, you will have no problem when you take it for a spin on the pitch.

Fitliva Knee High Socks for Men 9-12 White Soccer Socks Long Socks for Men Women Football Socks (3 Pairs Size M)
  • Thick, soft and snug, comfortable fabric and breathable design, high elastic, towel-knitted sole,...
  • Truly knee high socks for men and women. Suitable for ball games like soccer, baseball, football,...
  • Two sizes: large size for people with shoe size 9-14 and taller than 5'9". Medium size for people...

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The only downside to this method is that it takes a long time to achieve the desired result. Well, for synthetic cleats, the longer the break in time, the better.

This is because a hasty break in process is usually not good for synthetic materials and can cause irreparable damage to the cleats.

4. Try giving it a stretch with a boot tree

One of the fast-stretching techniques that will cause minimal harm to your synthetic cleat is the use of a boot tree. A boot tree is a mechanical device that you can place inside the soccer cleat and adjust to stretch them out.

Since your feet are not doing the actual stretching, you don’t have to worry about blisters. Boot trees are easy to use.

a pair of boot trees on wooden floor

All you have to do is put them into the synthetic soccer cleat and adjust it till the cleats appear stretched out a little. Place the synthetic cleat in your closet and leave the boot tree in them for 24 to 48 hours.

Once your predetermined waiting time is over, take the boot tree out of the synthetic soccer cleat and take it out for a spin. The only downside of this technique is that the cleats may stretch more than you want them to and create a new type of problem for you.

FootFitter Premium Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher, Stretches Length & Width, Strong & Heavy Duty Construction
  • WHAT’S IN THE BOX: This listing is for 1 Shoe Stretcher (NOT a pair) and 3 Metal Spot Stretching...
  • PREMIUM MATERIALS: The FootFitter Premium Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher is constructed with...
  • SPOT STRETCHING PLUGS: Along with the SINGLE Shoe Stretcher, we’ve included 3 attachable Metal...

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Get help from frozen water

This trick is safe to be used on your synthetic cleats. As you may halve figured out already, using hot water or any form of heat on a synthetic cleat is a bad idea.

The frozen water technique has several advantages over other water techniques. They don’t get your cleats soaked such that you will have to start worrying about drying them afterward.

This method works on the principle that water expands when they are frozen—which also explains why a bottle of drink will explode if you freeze it.

To accomplish this method, fill a Ziplock bag halfway with water and stuff it into the synthetic cleats. Make sure that when the Ziplock bag is stuffed into the cleats the water swells up to the ankle.

fill a water bag into soccer cleat and put it in the freezer

Close the Ziplock bag and twist the top for extra safety from a spill. Put the cleats containing the Ziplock bags in the freezer and allow them to stay there overnight or a minimum of 12 hours.

Remove it afterward and take out the Ziplock bags. Try the cleats and see if it fits snuggly. You will have to wear it for around 30 minutes and walk around in it to retain any stretch that it must have gone through.

If you still feel discomfort, repeat the process. Besides the odd feeling of putting your soccer cleat in the freezer together with your groceries, you may have to repeat this method several times to achieve the desired result.


When it comes to breaking in a synthetic soccer cleat, finding the right fit is paramount. Synthetic materials don’t stretch as much as leather. Therefore, if it doesn’t fit snugly out of the box it is highly unlikely that you will get it there by breaking in.

Breaking into new synthetic soccer cleats might take a lot of time but it is safer than wearing new cleats directly to the pitch. Also, resist the temptation to try out any technique that will break in the cleats faster because you will ruin your cleats.

When the breaking-in process is done right, the soccer player wouldn’t experience any hot spots or blisters in the process.

Learning new ways of tying your laces, wearing the right socks, and optimizing your insoles are some of the common ways of ensuring that your new soccer cleats don’t cause you problems during break-in.

Rushing to the field to show off your new cleats shouldn’t be your priority—we know that you are excited and can’t contain your joy.

Take your time and slowly break in your new cleats over a couple of days so that they will be as comfortable as they possibly can when you take them to the field to play.