After Labor Day weekend is the official start to the football season! Preseason games began in early August, but September 4 will see the first game of the regular NFL season. Fall also starts school football. Kids everywhere, from pee-wee players to college starters, will lace up their cleats and take to the field. Football cleats are a necessary part of players’ equipment. Breaking in cleats correctly so they support your feet when you play is an important part of preparing for the season at any level.
First, make sure your cleats fit correctly. The wrong size could lead to blisters, ingrown toenails, and other lower limb injuries. Any pair should be fairly comfortable when you first try it on. Your feet should fit snugly without feeling cramped. The toe box should be long enough, too—you need roughly half an inch of space between your toe tips and the front of the shoe.
When you have the right size, you can begin breaking in the shoes. Put on the new cleats and wear them around your house and yard for several days before bringing the pair to practice. When your feet are used to them, you can begin swapping them out with an older pair at practices.
Wear the new pair for the first part of practice, switching to the older pair to rest your feet partway through. Gradually increase the amount of time you use the new cleats until you wear them all practice long. When you take off the footwear, pack it full of newspaper to help soak up moisture and maintain your foot shape inside the shoe. If the leather or synthetic material is particularly stiff, regularly rub the outside with a layer of petroleum jelly to help soften it.
Breaking in cleats takes time, so don’t rush it. You want a pair of shoes that will properly support your feet and handle the strain of the game when you head out onto the field. Let Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. know if you need help taking care of your feet or shoes during sports seasons. Send us an online request or call us to make an appointment: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.