Comfort is the name of the game here. It's what we're all after. And the tips or life hacks that I'm going to share with you includes a few different things such as accessories that you can actually buy and add to your footwear in order to make them more comfortable.
These tips are in no particular order of importance. I'd say they're all pretty important if you're trying to be as comfortable as possible.
1. Check your Socks
Number 1 is so important. In fact, when most people experience discomfort in their soccer cleats, I would say about 50% of the time, the discomfort is not the cause of the actual cleats, it's the cause of your sock. So number 1 is socks.
Having good socks and not just good quality socks but socks that fit you properly are super, super important in regards to getting the best possible comfort from your soccer cleats. If you're wearing really old socks that are particularly rough or socks that are too big for you so there's bunches of material on the inside of your shoes while you're wearing them, that is going to cause discomfort. That's going to lead to running which is going to lead to blisters which is going to lead to overall discomfort. And that is what we're trying to avoid here.
So don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you need to by true socks or Nike grip Socks. I'm not saying you need to spend a lot of money on specialty socks like true Socks or Nike socks $40-30 a pair. That's great if you can afford that stuff. They're definitely worth the money in terms of what they have on offer in regards to how they're different from regular socks but it isn’t entirely necessary. As long as your socks are decent quality, you find them comfortable and they fit you well, that's really what's important here.
Also, keep in mind that the thickness of the sock is very much a personal preference thing. Some people prefer thinner socks, some people prefer thicker socks. Again, it really does come down to what you like the feel of, what you're most comfortable wearing but again, just make sure you have some decent quality socks that fit you properly. If you've been wearing the same socks for three years straight and you only have one pair, it's definitely worth the $10-15 investment to get another pair of good quality socks just because it's going to make your experience that much more comfortable.
2. Don't Tighten your Laces
Number 2 is in regards to how you tighten the laces on your soccer cleats. Obviously if your shoes are laceless, this is not necessarily going to be an issue for you although there are some downside to laceless shoes as well. But number 2 is over-tightening your laces which is something that I see a lot of.
It can lead to discomfort. If you're somebody that generally experiences foot cramping when wearing your soccer cleats, it's very, very likely that you're simply tying them too tight. The laces are there to serve a purpose – to tighten the shoes and hold them on your feet. But a lot of these shoes, especially something like a Nike Mercurial as an example, being a Superfly or a Vapor 11, the upper already fits really, really tight so all you're really doing with the lacing system is holding the two sides together. You don’t need to try and pull them together and have your foot being squeezed as tight as possible. Some people like that feel and some people can tolerate that feel in regards to overall comfort. But for a lot of people, especially if you’re slightly flat-footed, if you have a super, super tight squeeze on your foot from the upper especially through the mid foot, that can cause discomfort after about 10 minutes. Even if you're just standing around, your feet can start to cramp.
So what's the best way to dealt with it is don’t tighten the shoes so tight. This is something that you can try it on your own. It's completely free to do. You don’t have to buy anything at all but experiment with how tight or how lose you tie the laces on your shoes. If you leave them a little bit looser, the end result might be a little bit better comfort.
3. Choose your Insole Responsibly
Number 3 is CurexSole ActivePro insole. Now, what's cool about all these replacement insoles is that if you're somebody that struggles with not having enough arch support from your soccer cleats a product like this is definitely worth considering. What's cool about this one is that they're low profile enough to fit in literally any soccer cleat. Even ones that fit super, super tight with low profile fits, plus you get the arch support aspect while still maintaining the nice flexible feel to the actual insole.
It doesn’t feel stiff. It doesn’t feel out of place inside of the shoes, plus they're customizable in terms of being able to purchase a low, a medium, or a high arch. So you can match it up to the specific march type of your foot. The end result is just going to be just better comfort overall.
So if you’re looking for arch support and potentially just better comfort in general, looking to improve the feel of your shoes, CurexSole ActivePro insoles are definitely worth a look.
4. Breaking in your New Soccer Cleats
Number 4 is in regards to breaking in brand new soccer cleats which can be a little bit of a pain. They can be uncomfortable at first especially if they tend to be on the stiffer side. Most shoes aren't going to feel 100% perfect the first time that you put them on. So what should you do in order to maximize comfort and ease the break-in process?
Wear them around the house. This seems like a really, really simple thing but it actually does work extremely well.
Everyone has their own method when it comes to breaking in soccer cleats. Some people think it's a great idea just to wear them straight into a game. It's not by the way.
Sometimes even wearing them straight into a practice can lead to discomfort. You want to avoid blisters. You want to avoid any kind of discomfort. Nobody likes that feeling.
Some people think it's a good idea to dip them in hot water. I would argue that's not such a great idea.
But wearing them around the house is going to obviously allow you to get used to how the shoes feel because they're on your feet. Your feet are naturally going to heat up which is going to soften up the upper and you're avoiding discomfort just because you’re not doing any kind of high intensity activity while in your house.
I'm not saying put your cleats on and start doing laps around your kitchen. I'm just saying that you can walk around, you can wear them while you're doing your homework. If you're watching TV, you're playing video games, if you're cooking dinner, just get used to the weight of the shoes feel on your feet. And over time, wear them for 2-3 hours, you're going to notice that they're going to start to feel a lot more familiar, a lot more comfortable for you. You're not going to get blisters if you're just wearing them around the house.
Some people even go as far as to try and sleep in their soccer cleats which I have personally tried before. I don’t find it all that comfortable. I just never felt the need to actually do that. But I'm sure some of you guys in the comment section will tell you stories of how you slept in your brand new soccer cleats and that's perfectly fine to do as well.
Just as a side note in regards to the best way to break in your soccer cleats, I think a really good method if you absolutely must wear them the second that you get them, is to go to a field or go to an area where you have just enough space to juggle the soccer ball. Juggling the ball is really intensive activity. That's not going to cause you any kind of discomfort. You're not going to get blisters from juggling plus you're getting to wear the shoes, you're getting used to the way they feel both on feet as well on the ball. Plus you're heating them up a little bit which is in turn going to soften everything up. And again, you're slowly easing in to the break in process which in turn is going to make it much more easy for you once you actually have to do more high intensity movements such as sprinting, running, striking the ball, that is something that I definitely would recommend. Just easy juggling is a great way to break in your shoes.
5. Get the Right Size Soccer Cleats
You could say that number 5 is the most important tip here. If this is wrong, everything else is going to be wrong as well and that is - Get shoes that fit properly.
Now, this is something that so many people ask me about in regards to why they're having issues with discomfort and their shoes fit and feel in general. I bought these shoes, they're too big. How can I make them fit better? Or I bought these shoes, they're too small. How can I make them a little bit bigger?
The simple answer to this question is you can. They make different sizes in order to get the right fit. And if the fit is off, the comfort is going to be off, the performance is going to be off, the stability is off, everything is off if the shoes don’t fit properly. Obviously if they're too small, there's going to be discomfort for the sake of your foot in a shoe that is too small for your foot.
Here's a guide on how to get the right size soccer cleats.
And if the shoes are too big, there's going to be complications in regards to slippage, lack of stability, and slippage on the inside of your shoe is going to result in discomfort, usually a blister from excessive rubbing. So having chosen the right size is so important in regards to having the most comfortable fit.
If your feet are wide, then search for wide soccer cleats and not for a bigger size. Going for +0,5 or +1 sizes just to fit wider foot is not going to help. Yor feet will feel loose and injury propability will increase greatly.
Again, if the shoes aren't fitting properly, no sock, no insole, no lacing method, no break-in process is going to make your shoes feel more comfortable for you. So it's super, super important that when you're buying shoes, whether it's buying them in a store or ordering them online. Get the right size because that is super, super important and something that you absolutely cannot change after the fact.