How to Care For Soccer Cleats I

After spending money on your soccer cleats, it would be  a shame if they were to break down or lose their color.  These tips will help keep you cleats strong and clean for years.

  1. Immediately after use remove as much material (namely dirt and mud) from the cleat as possible.  Clapping the cleats together is an effective way to do so.  
  2. After playing on artificial turf it is especialy important to remove all rubber pellets as these can rip the cleats apart from the inside if not taken care of. A good tip for this is to use a toothbrush. A toothbrush is also effective in removing scuffs and dirt from the cleat.
  3. Never machine wash the cleats as it will break down the materials.  It is best to hand wash the cleats in warm, soapy water.  It is important to do this because the salt from your sweat is able to break down the cleat.
  4. Do not machine dry the cleats as it will dry out the leather.  Likewise do not dry in direct sunlight, because it also leads to the break down of the materials.  It is best to dry the cleats in front of a humidifier or in a dark warm area.
  5. Some people wish to apply leather softener, also known as leather food, to their cleats after use.  This replenishes the oils in the leather and also brings out the original color. (This is only for leather cleats)
  6. When not in use fill the shoes with newspaper to help keep the shape of your foot.
  7. When transporting shoes use a breathable bag so that the cleats do not dry out.
  8. Refrain from wearing the cleats on hard surfaces such as pavement and concrete, this wears down the studs.  
  9. Store cleats in a moist dark area when not in use.

Hopefully these tips will help keep your cleats in use for years to come.

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Chelsea Leather Food -Black

Leather Lube – $5.99
Sof Sole Leather Lube

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13 Responses to “How to Care For Soccer Cleats I”

  1. Adriano Perugino March 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    I have heard that clapping the cleats together can wear down the studs. Is this true?

  2. Max (Article Author) March 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    Clapping cleats together may or may not wear down the studs. On some less expensive cleats the studs are made by molding the upper portion of the studs directly into the chassis. Below this is usually a rubber part which is what directly comes into contact with the ground. Clapping these cleats together may indeed begin to wear down the rubber part but the plastic will not be worn down. More expensive cleats are made of all plastic or in some cases even stronger lighter materials. These cleats will not be affected by clapping them together. The choice is up to you, clapping is a very simple yet effective method for removing dirt but if you really do not want to wear down the studs try cleaning the dirt out with running water or a cloth.

    Hope this helps,

  3. david June 7, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    i know this article is over a year old
    but i have a question about leather food
    what happens if you apply it to synthetic leather cleats?
    will it damage the synthetic leather?

  4. Andy June 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    Hi David –

    Leather food probably won’t damage synthetic leather cleats. However, it will make them slippery, which will reduce traction and make your touch worse.

    Hope that helps!


  5. david June 9, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    hi again
    and thanks for the reply

    so how do you recommend taking care of synthetic leather cleats to make the leather last longer?

  6. jeremy April 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm #


    What about care for soft ground cleats (screw in studs) – should studs be removed after every game?

    Is it bad to screw in the studs TOO tight?

  7. Andy May 5, 2011 at 5:28 am #

    David –

    There’s not a whole lot you can do – they’re generally very durable anyway.

    jeremy –

    You can leave the studs in, but I would be careful of screwing them in too tight! That can cause damage to the cleat.

    Thanks for the comments!

  8. sam June 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Hi so for the wash with soapy water part,we cannot use detergent right?because from what i know,the detergent contains enzyme. Also,do we soak the shoe in the soapy water or just wash it and rinse immediately?

  9. Andy June 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    sam -

    You could use detergent if you don’t use very much in it. I would soak it for a short period of time and then rinse.

    Thanks for the comment!

  10. Roshan June 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    Hi, I have a pair of nike mercurial vapors:

    I play for a men’s league team, and we play on turf 100 % of the time, the type of turf with black rubber balls in it. After one game on this turf, my cleats now have black scuffs and marks all along the length of the boot, as well as on the studs. I have tried to take these marks off with an old toothbrush dipped in a diluted detergent solution, but to no avail. A friend recommended a steel toothbrush or steel wool, and I also have an axe detail scrubber: as well as the mr clean magic eraser:

    Could you please suggest the safest way to thorougly clean my synthetic cleats, using the products I have, and those that i might need to buy? Thanks in advance

  11. Andy July 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Hi Roshan –

    I would just go with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser – tell me how that goes!

    Thanks for the comment!

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