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Should I Break in my Cleats Before Training in Them?

Just like stretching or warming up before a workout, breaking in your cleats before wearing them for an extended period of time can help to prevent injury.

Ways to Prevent Injury as You Break in Your Cleats:

It is important to make sure that the shoes you wear during athletic activity gives you the comfort and support that you need. Since cleats are most often made with leather, they are easily able to stretch and mold to your feet. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind as you start breaking in your cleats:

  • Get them fitted. Cleats are often supposed to have a tight fit to offer extra support during athletic activity, but it is crucial to make sure you are getting the right size for your foot. It is easier to make sure this is the case when you wear the same althletic socks that you would wear in a game to the fitting.
  • Bending. Moving the toe of the shoe up and down will help stretch the leather and will make the shoe more pliable when you are on the go. You can do this several times a day and may even consider applying a thin layer of leather protector to keep them flexible and to avoid cracking.
  • Slow and Steady. Day by day, gradually increase the amount of time you spend in your cleats as you work up to training in them. You should only wear your cleats on grass and dirt and you may want to wear an extra pair of socks with them the first time worn, to prevent blisters.
  • Pain is never normal. Just like any new shoes, cleats can cause blisters, corns or pains in the arches. If you are experiencing pain wear other shoes to practice for a few days. If your pain continues after returning to your cleats be sure to see a podiatrist.
Brandt R Gibson, DPM
Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute