If you’re an amateur soccer player, you might have questions regarding the right soccer shoes for yourself.
“Wait, do I even require proper soccer gear if I’m just a beginner?”
Soccer cleats are an essential part of your games and have a significant impact on your performance. While you can do just fine without a complete kit, you cannot go around wearing the wrong shoes in your matches.
Soccer involves constant sudden movements. Your cleats need to be comfortable enough for you to easily move your feet in all the complicated directions, while giving yourself the needed speed and brakes without hurting your feet.
So, when you ask for durability, stability, control and comfort from just one pair of shoes, it becomes hard to pick the right pair.
But don’t worry! I did some necessary prodding for you, so that you can answer a common query: how are soccer cleats supposed to fit, should they fit like any other shoe?
Let’s terminate a misconception regarding soccer cleats:
You don’t have to pick your cleats based on the shoe size you wear everyday! So if you think you know your size, you might be wrong.
So then, how should cleats fit? Soccer cleats are supposed to be pretty snugly. This is because the tighter the fit, the more likely you are to have better ball-handling.
If your shoes have any empty space within them, it will have a negative impact on your soccer skills - and we definitely don’t want that.
Experts recommend buying a size smaller when purchasing soccer cleats. However, know that this isn’t true for everyone and might not work out for you.
The tighter fit and size precision is so minute that your toes are supposed to be close to your cleats but also never touch them.
Now if you’re purchasing them from a store, the best way to check the soccer shoe fitting is by trying on shoes and pressing on the toe area and sides to check for empty spaces. Depending on the space you can ‘feel’, go down a size or half.
I would also recommend wearing a pair of socks while trying on shoes because cleats that fit perfectly without socks might seem tighter with socks.
If you’re making an online purchase, it’s safer to go down only half your actual size. Later, you can always wear two pairs of socks to fill in the extra room if there’s any!
Honestly, if you ask me, it’s too much to make sure of, but we both know it’s mandatory to make this effort to showcase your true soccer skills.
Majority of soccer cleats you find in the market are made of either natural leather, synthetic leather, or synthetic uppers.
You can pick your pair on the basis of two simple factors: Want greater stretchability? Go for leather. Want lesser stretchability? Go for synthetics.
Material makes a significant difference when the question ‘how should soccer shoes fit?’ is involved.
The prior offers more comfort and pliability. When you switch from natural to synthetic leather you lose some of the flexibility, but get other adaptations such as water-proofing, higher breathability, etc. Since they stretch, they get a better grip on your feet.
On the contrary, if you want higher durability, water-resistance and lighter feel, synthetic soccer cleats are for you. They don’t stretch naturally and hence should be bought exactly of the right fit. They also have a longer life span.
One advantage of pliable leather cleats is that they break-in easily. You don’t have to bear the pain of new stiff shoes for long. But this problem is heightened in synthetic soccer cleats.
You might think that with their increased popularity, the rigidity has been solved.
Unfortunately, that's not the case. However, there are certain practices that can make it easier to get rid of this stiffness quicker. The most common one includes wearing and walking in them to loosen them up. The other one includes wearing your shoes and putting them in hot water for about half an hour, so that they can expand a bit.
There are some other solutions that include buying stretching sprays etc., but you’ll have to go out of your way to purchase those accessories.
How can you make soccer cleats smaller?
If you find yourself with a pair of soccer cleats that are half-a-size too big (or even bigger), we also have a couple of recommendations for you.
1. Just Exchange Them.
Our first piece of advice will always be to go ahead and just try to exchange your shoes for ones that fit you better. Shrinking a soccer cleat is definitely a completely different process than breaking them in.
2. Double Sock it.
As mentioned before, wearing two pair of socks can definitely go a long way when trying to achieve that tighter feel on a pair of cleats that are just a bit too big. And if you feel that two socks are a bit too tight, you can always try wearing thinner socks or even going as light as a mesh sock (trust us, you won't be the first nor the last player sporting some good ol' mesh socks underneath their socks on the field to achieve that perfect touch).
3. Heat Dry Them.
Yes, you heard right. If none of our other pieces of advice work, you can always shrink your soccer cleats half a size (or even go 1 full size) by heat drying them.
For this to work well, we first recommend you spray coating your soccer shoes to avoid any sort of long-term water damage. Make sure you use the right water proofing spray given your cleat materials, and let them sit for up to 24 hours.
4 Bestelling waterproof shoe sprays in Amazon
The next step is to put them on, lace them up, and submerge them in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. It's important that you keep them on if you want them to shrink into your specific foot shape and form.
The last step is to heat dry them. For this we have a couple of methods that we recommend, the preferred one being to leave your soccer cleats out in the sun until completely dry. With this method you will avoid all the risks of damaging the leather or any of the materials by exposing the shoe to extreme heat.
However, if you are not lucky enough to live in a city with hot weather and you have no other option than tumble drying your shoes or using hot air, you will have to be extra cautious. Always make sure that you set your appliance to the lowest temperature setting.
Now that you know the right size for yourself, here’s a standard size chart to assist you further:
Remember that as a soccer player, you need fast feet. Your comfort is your topmost priority to ensure perfect foot movements, and for that, asking yourself ‘how should soccer cleats fit?’ is important. Once you find a pair with the right fit for yourself, you can take your soccer skills to the next level!
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