The nightmare of every soccer player is ending up with a soccer cleat that is tight in some areas leading to pain. Playing soccer is hard enough and adding a painful cleat to the picture can be unbearable even for the toughest soccer players.
Professional soccer players can easily get a new pair of cleats when they mistakenly purchase a pair that is a bit too tight. However, amateur soccer players may not be so lucky because of how expensive this footwear can be.
If you are asking whether soccer cleats stretch, it is likely because you are stuck with a pair that gives you pain in some areas of your feet.
The simple answer to that question is yes. However, the extent to which soccer cleats will stretch will depend on the material used in their production.
Today, we will tell you why soccer cleats will stretch and by how much they are going to stretch. This will make it easier for you to decide if it is OK to proceed with any stretching technique or whether you should give the cleats out and save yourself the trouble.
Will soccer cleats stretch?
When soccer players first transitioned from the use of bare feet to cleats, the cleats at that time were made of leather. Although they were durable, leather was heavy and weighed the players down.
By the beginning of the 21st century, soccer cleats had advanced so much that the majority of them are now made of synthetic fibers and polymers. There are times when the boots are made of a combination of more than one type of material.
For example, Concave is a brand that makes cleats that features both leather and synthetic materials at the upper. Nike, another soccer gear manufacturer, has been known to make soccer cleats entirely from carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber is extremely light but also very strong. The bottom line is that soccer cleats now do more than just protect the soccer player’s feet. The right pair also enhance the performance of a soccer player on the pitch.
Now, let us look at the different materials used in making soccer cleats and examine if they will stretch and by how much.
Leather soccer cleats
Inasmuch as manufacturers are exploring the use of other materials to make soccer cleats, leather has remained an indispensable material in the industry. However, it has had to go through some modifications to make it more efficient.
Boots made of leather can stretch as much as a quarter to half an inch. Another reason why some manufacturers still prefer the use of leather is because of the limitless number of ways they can be manipulated.
Leather also has a softer feel and has a way of forming around your feet if you break in them properly.
Nevertheless, it is important to mention that there are different types of leather.
Full-grain leather is the most durable. However, their biggest disadvantage is that they easily absorb water which makes them less suitable for use in certain conditions.
Also, full-grain leather is heavy and usually less flexible compared to modified leather. But, if you need maximum value for your money, they should suffice.
The most advanced form of leather that is widely used in soccer boot manufacture is kangaroo leather. Some of its unique qualities that make it a preferred choice for manufacturers include improved comfort and softness as well as being lightweight.
The idea of reducing the weight of leather was truly phenomenal. If you are looking for soccer cleats that can easily stretch, the kangaroo leather cleats should be at the very top of your radar.
Several studies in Australia (where they have a large population of kangaroos) have shown that the leather from these animals are 50% stronger than the leather from goatskin and perform 10 times better than cowhide tensile strength.
Despite its glam, Kangaroo leather has its downside too. The most pronounced of them is the premium price which makes it inaccessible to amateur players.
There is also the Pittards leather, a patented form of leather made from calfskin by Puma. The most obvious difference between the Pittards and the kangaroo leather is that the former has been made to be water-resistant.
Just like kangaroo leather, Pittards leather can give you a good stretch. It is also soft and flexible. However, they are not as expensive as cleats made of kangaroo leather.
Due to their stretchy nature, leather cleats are usually the choice of soccer players with wide feet.
Synthetic soccer cleats
Every soccer cleat that is not made of leather falls under synthetic. While leather is a naturally occurring material in nature, synthetics are man-made products—usually polymers.
If what you have is a synthetic soccer cleat, the chance of stretching is really low. In fact, most synthetic soccer cleats will not stretch and any attempt made to stretch them will only lead to deformation or loss of integrity.
So, it is always important to make sure that your choice fits snugly. Also, synthetic soccer cleats are usually less durable compared to leather soccer cleats. So, you have to make plans to change them after a year or two—depending on how often you use them.
Nevertheless, synthetic soccer cleats have their own good side too. For example, they are more affordable compared to leather cleats, making them ideal for soccer players on a low budget.
Perhaps, their lower price point is the reason why they are usually referred to as entry-level soccer cleats.
Another area that synthetic soccer cleats stand out is their lightweight nature. This allows the soccer player to feel the ball and the environment better—and this can also lead to better ball control, dribbling, and kicking.
Since the referee is less likely to end the game because of rain, synthetic soccer cleats can come in handy in wet fields or when you anticipate rain, mist, or snow. This is because synthetic soccer cleats dry faster when compared to leather cleats.
Due to advancements in technology, synthetic soccer cleats are becoming better. Premium synthetic cleats are usually a combination of synthetic material and leather.
As long as they are the right fit, synthetic soccer cleats will usually not require a break in. So, you can wear them right out of the box to your training or soccer game.
Some tools commonly used to stretch soccer cleats
Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
While soccer cleats made of leather can stretch, it is always advisable to buy cleats that fit snuggly right out of the box. If a soccer cleat is too tight such that it squeezes your toes, it is highly unlikely that you will get them to a snug fit—regardless of the number of stretching techniques you may try.
However, if you are gunning for a soccer cleat made of leather that is stretchable, it may be a wise idea to go for a size that is half an inch your regular size.
For example, if you wear a size 9, going for a size 8.5 might be a smart choice. This is because they will eventually stretch to form snugly around your feet.
It is embarrassing and potentially dangerous to have your soccer cleats flying into the air each time you take a shot. Also, having your feet slide around in your boots is a recipe for potential disaster.
If you don’t end up having blisters in different parts of your feet, you may slide and fall in one of your runs. That can cost your team a game or even cost you your career if you sustain serious injury.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!