How to Make Synthetic Cleats Mold to Your Foot

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Soccer is hard enough on a player's feet. Playing with brand new shoes that haven't been properly broken in is even worse. Unlike leather cleats, synthetic materials can involve a long breaking-in period, but the payoff will be evident on the field when a player's cleats are comfortable enough that he can put full focus into the game. To avoid the pain of breaking in cleats during play or practice, players can start to mold the shoes to their feet before they hit the field.

Wear shoes that are the correct size. They should feel snug at the toes, but not too tight.

Apply petroleum jelly to the foot before beginning to mold the cleats. The process of molding synthetic cleats can result in blisters and the petroleum will help prevent that.

Put on the socks that will usually be worn with the synthetic cleats.

Put on the cleats and lace them up as they would normally be for a game or practice.

Walk around on a variety of surfaces, such as asphalt, sand, carpet or grass. Your foot muscles move in different ways over each type of surface, and this will help to stretch out the synthetic material of the cleats. Do this for about an hour each day until they start to feel more comfortable.

Keep wearing the cleats as you submerge them into lukewarm water for 20 minutes and then allow them to completely dry.

Introduce the new cleats to practices and games slowly. Only use them for about an hour of play at a time.

Tips

Apply a conditioning oil or petroleum jelly any time the cleats get wet -- including the step when they are submerged in water -- as this will help prevent the synthetic material from getting tight and losing shape.

Help the cleats to keep their shape by inserting balled up newspaper or socks into them when they are not being worn.

Prevent blisters during the breaking-in period by wearing one pair of thin socks under a pair of thick socks.

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