How Should Football Cleats Fit? (Full Cleat Guide Included)
Cleats are one of the most important items for football players because they allow great traction, fast direction changes, and a good overall movement. They are tailored to the specific needs of football and vary when compared to other cleats. The thing is, it can be difficult to size up football cleats right as the fitting can be difficult to do just right.
That said, how should football cleats fit?
Overall, football cleats should fit snug and secure. Too tight cleats would be very uncomfortable, whereas too loose cleats would make it nearly impossible to perform well. There should be enough room to wiggle your toes freely.
When you fit new football cleats, walk around with them, jump around, and wiggle your toes in all directions to ensure a good fit. I recommend using the same sports socks you would use to play football for the same experience, and breaking in your football cleats is a smart thing to do as well.
However, if you’re more of an online shopper than a brick-and-mortar shopper, the order shouldn’t be left to chance. The good news is that you can ensure a good fit even then. Check out the cleat sizing guide below.
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If you’re unsure about your feet size, get yourself a soft tape measurement ruler and refer to the table above. You can measure your feet’ length and choose the right cleat size.
However, there are other things to consider too, and that’s what you will learn next in my full football cleat buying guide.
How to Choose Football Cleats?
Choosing the right pair of football cleats is important to maximize comfort, performance, and your personal preference. To choose right, you need knowledge about the features and things to consider. Check out my recommended football cleats if you already know how to choose!
The first thing to consider is the upper length. There are three upper lengths for football cleats: low, mid, and high tops. These shoes vary in mobility, support, stability, protection, weight, and looks.
- Low-top cleats are the best for fast players that want to maximize their speed and change direction fast as is needed in football.
- Mid-top cleats are great for most positions, and they can be a good alternative to low tops as well, depending on personal preference. Mid-top cleats are versatile and a good middle road between low-top and high-top shoes.
- High-top cleats are the heaviest yet the most supportive and stable. The high top length provides great support and security.
Below you can find an infographic about the right football cleats by football position.
The outsole is another major thing to consider as it affects many things, such as traction amount, comfort, field type, and price. Let’s learn more about each outsole type.
- Rubber molded cleats are large, thick, and permanently molded to the bottom of the shoe. This outsole or cleat type is best for beginners and youngers because they are great all-around soles, comfortable, and the cheapest out of all the options.
- Hard molded cleats are the most popular type of shoe type for football. These cleats are lighter than rubber cleats and offer better traction, yet they are pricier and not as comfortable, yet definitely not uncomfortable. The hard cleats are made from hardened plastic and are smaller and thinner than rubber cleats. They are also permanently attached to the bottom.
- Turf shoes are the most unusual for football as they aren’t practically cleats. You can find many tiny rubber nubs on the outsole, giving them less traction than deep penetrating cleats. As their name suggests, they are best used for artificial turf, especially when it’s prohibited to use cleats on synthetic fields. These shoes are best for versatile practice, coaching, and turf field games.
I like turf shoes the best as they can be used in most sports, and I’m a casual athlete of many sports. However, if you’re looking for football-specific cleats, then the rubber cleats are good if you’re a beginner, hard cleats if you’re at least intermediate, and turf shoes if you prefer them or play on turf fields.
Other things to consider
The upper and outsole are, without a doubt, the most important things to consider when deciding on football cleats. However, there are other factors to consider too. Let’s take a quick look at the most significant ones.
- Personal requirements: Do you have wide feet and require a wide build for your shoes, or do you have plantar fasciitis and require an extra cushioned heel? Do you want something unique on your shoes? What about personalization? These and more things can be personal needs that you should think about.
- Cosmetics: Design is also worth considering, especially with football cleats known to be more dashing and cosmetic rich than any other sports cleat. Do you have specific team colors, do you have a favorite color, what about design patterns and cool looks. Think about your desires and choose accordingly.
- Brand: Numerous brands offer high-quality cleats, such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, etc. I would trust any of these brands among other well-known brands, but I wouldn’t recommend buying from a low-quality brand that is never heard of unless you’re convinced of the quality.
- Price: The price range of football cleats is wide, ranging from $50 to $200. Hence, you should examine different options and adjust the best choice to your budget! If you have more money, consider purchasing cleats with all the treats! If you have a low amount of money to spend, try finding a great cleat with good value.
By following these tips and best practices, you will multiply the chances of being satisfied with your cleat choice, even when buying online!
Should You Size Up or Down for Football Cleats?
If you have found a dream pair of football cleats for your needs but feel that you are between sizes, how should you proceed? This can be confusing as you don’t know what to do, but you still need to select a size. That said, should you size up or down for football cleats?
As a rule of thumb, you should size up your cleats if you are between sizes because you can fill the space with another pair of socks and grow into them. Also, slightly bigger cleats are more comfortable than too tight, which will squeeze your feet, cause blisters, and make playing uncomfortable.
This is true with football cleats, suit shoes, and your everyday kicks! There aren’t many things that can be more uncomfortable than too tight shoes when looking at things you can wear.
One of the worst things about tight cleats is that they easily produce blisters. Although, they can be caused by new cleats that haven’t been broken in, sensitive skin, or just an unfitting shoe. If you aren’t a stranger to blisters, you should read my resource about 11 useful ways to prevent blisters.
Do Football Cleats Run Big or Small?
When talking about clothing or shoes, I think we all know that the same size from a different manufacturer can vary drastically. This begs the question, what’s the case with football cleats?
Generally, football cleats are true-to-size, so you should succeed by selecting the same size you always wear. However, there are differences between manufacturers, models, and brands, as in most products. Hence, football cleats can run big, small, or true-to-size.
I know that’s a vague answer, but that’s the truth. Still, I would and am sizing my new cleats, shoes, and all items to my true size, and the success rate is around 90%, so I’m happy with that.
If you are unsure of the cleat’s size when purchasing a pair, make sure that you can return it in case it isn’t the right size. Also, keep all materials that come with the cleats, don’t break anything, and keep the labels intact. This way, you aren’t refused a return either.
Do You Wear Socks With Football Cleats?
I recently saw an online discussion about whether you should wear socks with football cleats, and it got me wondering how that can even be a question. Yet, it isn’t clear to everybody, so I will clarify it next.
You should wear socks with football cleats. The best socks to wear are long and thick sports socks made from wool. However, you shouldn’t wear low-cut everyday socks with football cleats because they would be too low for the back of the shoe, resulting in rough abrasion, discomfort, and blisters.
That said, wear socks when playing football and ensure you’re wearing the right kind of socks for your benefit and comfort.
So what is a good sock to wear when playing football or any sport for that matter? My absolute favorite choice for the task is Adidas Trefoil Quarter Socks. They are thick for abrasion resistance, cushioned for maximum comfort, and included with arch compression for more support. The best part is that it’s made with Aeroready technology, meaning that they are moisture-repellant and dry very fast!
Try them or similar sports socks and see the difference compared to poor quality low-cut socks. It’s amazing!
My Favorite Football Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value you can implement in your life. Finally, below you can find my favorite football equipment that I think would serve you well on the field!
- Football: I like to get quality things at once, so I don’t need to replace everything after a short while. And for that reason, Wilson “The Duke” Football is the only choice for that. You can get this authentic NFL football as an official game ball or a cheaper metallic edition version. Whichever you might choose, The Duke is the only official football in the league’s history, making it the best choice.
- Cleats: Cleats play an important role in football as they are the traction between you and the field. There is no better than the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, and for a good reason. The cleats feature a lightweight, short upper, supporting lacing system and a wide stud layout for fast speed and reliable traction. Oh, and all the various designs are beyond stunning!
- Gloves: No matter whether you throw or receive the ball, you can say goodbye to your performance if you don’t have proper gloves. Enter Seibetron Receiver Gloves equipped with various benefits, such as excellent grip on the fingers and palms, great durability, and a green light for machine washing!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.