There’s nothing worse than getting a new pair of boots and try them out only then to realize that they don’t really fit you very well and actually feel pretty uncomfortable. So making proper research is essential when purchasing soccer cleats. But even if you have done your research there can be times were your new boots can cause problems and discomfort.
There’s always a reason for that and in this article, we will try to figure out what is the reason for that.
And fortunately, there are different things that you can try to your footwear and accessories that you can buy and add to your shoes in order to make them more comfortable.
How soccer cleats can be uncomfortable?
- Bad fit
Fit is everything when you’re talking about soccer boots. Not only is it important when it comes to overall comfort it’s also important when it comes to performance. Because if you’re wearing boots that are way too small that’s going to affect your ability to perform and it’s even going to potentially cause you long-term injury. If your boots are too big the boots are going to be uncomfortable and if you have a lot of extra space at the end of your boots it’s going to be difficult to kick the ball properly and your feet are going to slide inside your shoe causing blisters.
Fit on soccer cleats is ultimately a matter of personal preference but for more info, you can visit my article on how to properly size your soccer cleats.
- The shape of your foot.
When it comes to big soccer shoe brands they try to shape the boots in such a way where they’re going to fit as many people as possible. Unfortunately, every single person has a different shape to their feet which means that not every boot is going to work perfectly for your foot type regardless of how much you want to wear that specific boot.
If you put a pair of boots on and they just don’t feel right from the beginning, either by being too loose or too tight at spots, then it’s probably not the right boot for you and it’s probably one of those things that are going to result in some type of discomfort when you start playing.
Depending on the materials the upper is made out of you might get a little bit of stretch which means if the boots are slightly too tight out of the box that’s going to get better as you wear them in. But with so many boots being synthetic and having knitted uppers now, they’re really not going to stretch that much so if you find that there’s some kind of issue that you can feel almost immediately after wearing them that’s probably not the right boot for you.
- Old socks
Many players neglect the importance of a quality pair of socks in relation to the comfort that you’re going to get out of your football boots.
If you’re wearing cheap or old or worn-out socks that could be the reason for you having issues with discomfort in your soccer cleats. A good quality pair of socks does a good job of maintaining a certain comfort level.
So if all of a sudden you start to feel discomfort and nothing had changed whether it’s your socks or your shoes changing, your socks are the first action that you can take in hopes of resolving that issue. Also on the topic of socks if you’re finding that there is an excessive amount of slippage inside of your boots then a pair of grip socks could potentially help you in reducing that little bit of slippage and therefore improving the comfort of your boots.
- Wrong stud pattern
It is important to use the proper stud pattern depending on the surface you are playing, which means FG boots on firm natural grass, AG boots on artificial grass, SG boots on soft ground and so on.
Doing otherwise, you can run into issues with stud pressure. Shoes with longer studs need to be on a surface where they can dig all the way in. If they are not, every time you step down all the pressure of your weight is going into these individual spots underneath your feet which can, in turn, lead to discomfort and even potentially blistering and other injuries.
- Old shoes
Something else to consider when you’re talking about an issue with stud pressure is the age of the soccer shoes. The soleplates are made out of plastic that will soften up over time and the softer it gets the more susceptible you’re going to be to stud pressure as it doesn’t have the structural integrity to support the foot.
So if you’re finding that after using the same boots and all of a sudden you developed an issue with stud pressure it’s probably a good sign that your soccer cleats are worn down and it’s probably time for a new pair.
Now that we have seen how soccer cleats can cause discomfort, let’s see some tips on how you can overcome this.
How to make your soccer cleats more comfortable?
- Get the correct size and fit.
The first piece of advice is to make sure that you get the right size, the right fit and of course the right width when you order new boots. Because if you don’t, that can squeeze your feet or your feet can slide inside them causing injuries and blisters.
This is the most important tip because if this is wrong there is nothing else you can do to make your shoes more comfortable. You have to get as close to the right size and the right fit when you buy the boots because if you get a boot that is too tight or too loose or fit you too long, then there is nothing you can do will that can help you get more comfortable in your shoes.
So if you order your boots online and you don’t know if you have gotten the right size, before you go on the pitch is, wear them around the house late in the afternoon or in the evening where your feet are the more swollen simply to check if the fit and the width are OK.
Assuming that you now have the right fit let’s see what else you can do to increase comfort.
- Replace the insoles
If you feel that you don’t get enough support and enough cushioning or in general enough comfort from the standard insoles that come with your boot, getting a separate pair of insoles might be a very good solution.
Soccer cleats are generally coming with a very simple piece of foam as an insole that does not provide much arch support. So if you’re looking for better arch support and potential better comfort a replacement pair of insoles is a product definitely worth looking at.
- Adjust the lacing
This is self-explanatory as can try it on your own and experiment with how tight or how loose you tie the laces on your shoes.
Over tightening your laces is something that can lead to discomfort especially if the shoes are brand new.
- Get proper socks
Socks are very important when it comes to how comfortable your football boots are going to be.
Socks are an item that will wear out over time and if you’re wearing worn-out socks that’s typically not a great place to start in terms of your overall comfort.
You also need to make sure that your socks fit properly meaning that there’s no extra material inside the shoe. If you have extra material that’s going to cause the socks to move around and that is in general a recipe for blisters.
On the topic of grip socks versus regular socks, you can get a comfortable fit out with just about any socks from any brand. But what’s great about the grip sock concept and especially ones that have grips going up the back of the heel, is that they help to hold the socks in place which is really the big reason why you can struggle with blistering.
In general, you are going to be more comfortable by wearing decent quality socks that fit you properly.
- Breaking in new soccer cleats
Shoes that have the right fit might be a little bit stiff and uncomfortable when you first wear them. What you can do to make them feel more comfortable is start the breaking-in process before start playing with them,
Breaking-in time is the amount of time that it takes to become comfortable in or get used to the feel of a brand-new pair of shoes. You can read more about this process in my article on how to break in new soccer cleats.
Everyone has their own method when it comes to breaking in soccer cleats, but the best place to start is by wearing them for a while before start playing or practicing. And you can also take a backup spare pair of boots that you know that works well in case you start feeling any pain in your new boots.
- Use blister tape
Unless you are a professional player and be able to order a custom-made soccer boot, chances are that you will never find a soccer boot that fits you 100% perfectly. There are always going to be some spots that will give you some sort of discomfort especially in the breaking-in period.
What you can do in such a case, is use a blister tape in these spots that are going to have a little more friction and are more prone to the appearance of a blister. The tape, instead of your skin, will adsorb all the friction so the appearance of a blister is less likely resulting in a much more comfortable soccer cleat.
- Playing surface
As we have seen one of the major reasons that cause discomfort to soccer players is the use of a wrong stud pattern for the surface playing.
So having a pair of shoes for every surface you are playing or having shoes with mixed soleplates is an easy solution.
If you have done everything in the list above and it appears that nothing seems to work then unfortunately you might just have a pair of soccer boots that don’t work for you.
The tricky part about soccer cleats is that they are such a precision fit type of footwear. They are meant to fit really tight in order to get the best performance out of them. They are not like a pair of running shoes where they can be a little bit longer or a little bit wider and made out of materials that are much more forgiving. Soccer boots are really thin, they fit really tight and as a result, there is a huge potential for discomfort.
Everyone has their own definition of what comfort is but what you should be looking for in a pair of soccer cleats is that it follows the shape of your foot without giving you any pressure points or restricting your foot in any way, that is soft and plush and also that there isn’t much breaking time needed.