When researching which cleats to purchase, it’s important to make sure that you are purchasing a pair that fit correctly so they are comfortable when practicing and playing for long periods of time.
In this article, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about how soccer cleats should fit and what you should look out for to make sure you get a pair that is perfect for you:
The overall sizing is the first thing that you should think about as this will be the initial indication you consider. Cleats should have a snug fit to give you proper control so your foot is not slipping and sliding inside the shoe, especially if you are playing on wet surfaces.
How tight you want the cleats to be is a matter of personal preference as some players even get a half size smaller than their usual sneakers.
The general rule of thumb is that the cleats should not be any more than ¼ inches longer than your foot as they can put other players at risk if they are too long.
The upper material is another important factor with most professional players opting for kangaroo leather which has been a staple in cleat manufacturing for decades.
However, there are plenty of other materials for players to choose from if you don’t like exotic leather or are working with a stricter budget.
There are plenty of synthetic leathers available which provide the same comfort and durability as well as knit mix materials which are the most comfortable and cushioned which is ideal for those who have slightly wider feet.
Always think about what your needs are and choose a material that is best suited for you. Bear in mind that cleats that are used by professionals may not be the right ones for you. It’s all about what you want to get from playing soccer.
The lacing system is important as this ensures that your cleats are secured properly. A lacing system that allows you to adjust the width accordingly to your own comfort means that your feet won’t swell or overheat as you play.
The laces on cleats start near the toes and work their way up the foot. This means that you have complete control of the tightness along the foot so it’s important to make sure that you don’t have the laces too tight or too loose.
Over time, you’ll figure out the perfect balance that doesn’t put anyone at risk of injury.
The insole is critical to the comfortability of your cleat. Players who are not comfortable are not going to perform at their best. The insole is key to having a shoe that allows you to play to the best of your ability.
You want to make sure that the insole is cushioned so as not to feel the pressure from the studs whereas too much cushioning can cause an unstable fit. Try to get cleats that are not too thin and not too thick.
Padding is something that can be difficult to get right in cleats. Presenting a thin line between comfortability and ball touch, too much padding may be comfortable but affect the ball touch and vice versa.
Therefore, you want the cleats to have light padding that gives a comfortable fit and good ball touch. Once you get cleats with the perfect padding, you’ll find that your performance will improve instantly.
The midsole helps with the durability of the cleats and affects the performance over time. A lot of shoes compromise their durability by using cheaper materials whereas reliable models have a midsole located between the upper and outsole which means that they are more sturdy.
Midsoles add a bit of extra weight which can take some time to get used to but they are worth the extra investment as they will enhance your performance.
Lastly, you need to look at the outsole which is another key component of the shoes. They influence the stud shape as well as the sole flexibility which can affect the surfaces that you play on.
Conical studs allow for more rotation, bladed studs provide more traction and grip and hybrid studs combine the best of both for a better performance.
However, hybrid studs are a new phenomenon and sadly compromise the overall quality. Therefore, it’s best to choose from the first two options depending on where you play and what you want to achieve.
The flexibility is important as this will allow for more control of the ball when in your possession or when carrying out strategies. Making sure that you choose a quality outsole will reduce any injury as well as you’ll be able to maintain your grip on the surface.
Read our guide on the different types of soccer cleats, to make sure you make the right decision.
In conclusion, purchasing the right cleats is going to improve your performance enormously and having the perfect fit will mean that you have a more comfortable experience so you can work on any weaknesses you may have rather than be in any pain.
Make sure that if you are buying cleats online to choose a site that offers free returns just in case they don’t feel right on your fit. If you do, bear in mind that you should not have worn them outside and simply tried them on for an initial fitting otherwise they won’t accept the return.