So, you’ve chosen your dream pair of cleats. They are lightweight, they look cool, and they’re worn by your favorite pro. You take them home and try them on … but at first, they don’t perfectly conform to your foot the way you need them to. This is totally normal, and it may take a while — and a few time-tested strategies — for your cleats to have that lived-in feel.

At, we often get asked about the best ways to break in soccer cleats, so we decided to put together a little guide. Keep in mind, these tips apply to cleats that are made entirely or mostly from leather. Synthetic materials do not require the same process, though they stretch less, which means it’s less likely they’ll perfectly fit your foot, especially if you have wide feet.

Choose the Right Size

First thing’s first, make sure you choose the right size. Often, you’ll wear cleats a half-size smaller than the sneakers you usually wear. You want them to feel skin-tight but still allow for a slight amount of wiggle room for your toes.

Get Your Feet Wet

Lace up, socks and all, and soak your feet in hot water for 20 minutes. You want the water to be like a hot tub, as warm as it can be without causing burns. Massage your feet gently, especially around places that feel extra tight.

Apply Petroleum Jelly

Take off your cleats, apply petroleum jelly to the leather on the inside, and put them back on. This will help the leather stay soft as your shoe dries, and will hopefully prevent soccer cleat blisters in the future. Jog or walk in your wet cleats for a half hour or so.

Dry Them Out the Right Way

Next, take off your cleats and stuff them full of newspaper. This will help them maintain their shape while they dry. They should be placed away from direct sunlight or air ducts that may cause the leather to crack as it dries.

Even after using the above methods, it still might take weeks of practice to get your cleats perfectly molded to your feet. This is normal, and the above tips are the best way to get the process started.

If you’re looking for the latest designs on the market, check out Nike® soccer cleats and adidas® cleats at