How to Size Soccer Cleats

Cleats or football boots is probably the biggest thing that a lot of people get wrong when it comes to buying a brand-new pair of shoes. Here we will be going to cover all of the little things that you should consider when it comes to picking out a brand-new pair. We will be covering sizing as well as how the shoes fit your feet. So, if you’re on the market for a brand-new pair or you feel your shoes just don’t fit you the way you think they should, there is some information in this guide that will help you out tremendously.

When you’re talking about how a soccer cleat actually wraps your foot there are two main aspects:

  1. Sizing – which has to do with the length of the shoe.
  2. Fit – which has to do more with the general shape and the whip – the way it wraps the length of your foot.

Soccer Cleat Sizing

I’m going to start off with sizing. It is the most important factor when it comes to fitting the soccer shoe properly. If the sizing is wrong, everything else will be wrong. When you think about sizing and having a shoe that is too big for you, you have to think about how a soccer shoe actually looks and how it is design.

If you look at a soccer cleat it’s very contoured it looks like the shape of a foot. For the most part you can see that there’s a distinct area where the midfoot is, there’s a distinct shape to the forefoot, there’s a distinct shape to the toe box area. It’s made to wrap your foot very tightly, very close and really leaves no extra space on the inside of the shoe. It is supposed to act somewhat as a second skin. So if the sizing is wrong and your mid foot not sitting quite in the midfoot area, your fore foot not sitting quite in the forefoot area and your toes are too far back. All of the technology that’s being implemented and put into the upper of the cleat as well as the soleplate because your foot’s not sitting in the right spot – you’re not utilizing any of that technology, you’re not getting any of the benefits. The shoes aren’t going to feel the way they’re supposed to. Part of the reason why you spend extra money on a high-end shoe – it’s for these technologies and for superior fit. So if you intentionally buy your shoes too big it really defeats the purpose of buying that high-end product in the first place.

Rule of Thumb

A lot of people use a rule of thumb when they are buying a brand-new pair of soccer shoes. This is a common thing for a lot of younger kids because they don’t want to grow out of their shoes throughout the season. This rule is based on that you leave a thumb width of space at the end of the cleat and for a lot of people that works fine. But it’s a little bit too general. If you think about a thumb – everybody’s got a differently shaped thumb, everybody’s got a different width of their thumb, every single person has a different shape. Also, everybody’s toes are shaped differently and every shoe that you’re trying on is shaped differently. You are dealing with different sizes and there’s too many variables that aren’t consistent in leave a thumb up space.

What I like to say to people when they’re buying a brand-new pair of shoes is – When you try them on for the first time, your shoes should be as snug as possible while still maintaining a comfortable fit. So if you like to leave that little bit of extra space, you can, leave that little bit of extra space but there should never be a ton. The cleat should still fit snug, you should never be able to slide your foot, slide your fore foot, and slide your toes around on the inside of the shoe. They should be held in place, not necessarily firmly but comfortably, you should have a snug overall fit. That’s how soccer cleats are designed to fit.

A lot of people like to compare the feet of their soccer cleat to a casual wear shoe or running shoe or something like that. Simply they are not the same style of footwear. They’re not designed to do the same thing and they’re not supposed to fit the same way. Soccer cleats are designed to fit very snug and very tight depending on what your preferences are.

If you want your shoes to fit a little bit tighter that’s fine as long as it’s comfortable for you. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you like it to be not so tight but a little bit more so snug, you can do that as well. It is really about a personal preference in regards to how much room you should leave at the end of your shoe. But there should never be a lot.

Next time that you’re trying on a brand-new pair of shoes, make sure the shoe fits your foot completely perfect. Not just the very end. Look at the sides, look at the mid-foot and look at the heel. Consider absolutely everything. If something doesn’t feel right or if it feels like there’s a little bit too much extra space then maybe the sizing is going to be a bit of a problem and you may want to go a little bit smaller.

Getting the Right Size for Kids

The final sizing point that I wanted to throw in has to do with younger kids who are still growing. Obviously, they or their parents who are buying these shoes, they don’t want to outgrow them before the end of the season. They want to get at least a full seasons use out of their shoes. My best advice and something that I’ve seen over and over again is that you’re very unlikely to outgrow your shoes over the course of a single season. Full season generally spans three – four months and it just doesn’t happen very often.

If you’re buying a pair of cleats to play right now, they should fit you right now. You shouldn’t buy the shoes intentionally too big. Play your entire season to the point where the shoes are going to be needed to be replaced anyways and then go ahead and buy them too big again… They should fit you right now if you have to play in them right now because the likelihood of you outgrowing them through the season is very low.

Soccer Cleat Fit

Regarding fit the first thing that you have to keep in mind is something that I talked about earlier – soccer cleats are supposed to fit tight or snuck depending on your personal preference. But basically, you want your soccer shoes to fit pretty snug on both sides of your feet. You should never be able to slide your foot from side to side on the inside of the shoe especially when the shoes are fully tied up. You want them to be pretty much no give on the inside. This makes for more responsive feel, it makes for more stability and that is how the shoe was actually designed to be worn. If there’s a lot of extra space on the inside you’re losing a lot of the performance qualities of that shoe and you’re just not going to get the experience that the shoe is intended to provide. So again as far as the side to side with this concern the shoe should always fit tight and they should always fit snug but at the same time you still want them to be comfortable.

Be Honest with Yourself

Another aspect about the way a soccer shoe fits your feet that a lot of people just get wrong is that they’re not honest with themselves. They want to lie to themselves about whether or not they truly like the way a shoe feels on your feet. Everybody’s done that you have probably had your heart set on a particular pair of shoes, you really liked the way it looks or you really liked some element of that particular shoe. You’ll finally get the chance to try it on and it just doesn’t feel the way you were hoping. It doesn’t fit you properly but you get it anyways and suffer the consequences.

That’s really my best advice – be honest with yourself guys. I know you really want that pair of Superflys and you order them and they finally show up. Then you’re super excited, you put them on your feet and they just don’t fit right. Don’t stick with the Superfly get something else, get something that fits you properly. You’ll be much better off for it.

Going Different Size

Something that a lot of people think is the right thing to do in regards to getting the proper fit out of a pair of shoes that doesn’t fit them properly – is going up in size to accommodate for a wider foot or a more comfortable fit. If your true size is a 9 US you order that pair of shoes or you try that pair of shoes on in a nine. The fit in the length is perfect but the width and the general shape of the shoe just doesn’t match your foot type, that doesn’t mean you should go a half size up or a full size up to have a more comfortable fit in the width and the shape but have the wrong fit in the length. If a shoe doesn’t fit you in your true size it isn’t the shoe for you. So I would never ever recommend going up in size to compensate for a wider foot or just a fit that doesn’t work out properly.

Have Your Own Mind

The final aspect of getting the right size and fit from your new pair of shoes is that you kind of have to have a mind of your own. You have to think for yourself, you have to use your own discretion and you can’t let other people influence your decision. Nobody else will tell you what shoes are going to be most comfortable on your foot. Nobody can tell you what shoes are going to fit your foot the best. These are all things that you have to be able to decide on your own.

Yes you can ask for help up to a certain point but once that shoe is on your foot you have to be able to decide for yourself whether or not you like how it feels. If you don’t like how it feels I don’t care what that guy says and I don’t care what your teammates are saying. If you don’t like how it feels – try on something else. Don’t feel pressured or just presume in general to go with what’s the most popular thing, what people are advising you to get. Use your own discretion, think for yourself.


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