Bought some new brand new cleats? They aren’t as comfortable as the old ones, are they? What now?
If you wear them to a game before they are properly broken into, you’re going to develop painful blisters on your heels or toes that will keep you from playing at all.
So remember to break in your cleats well before a game so that you’re feet are comfortable.
Method 1: Use Them
The best way to break in your baseball or softball cleats is simply to use them. When I bought my first pair of metal cleats, the first thing I did was to run around in them.
So wear your cleats around the house, in the back or front yard, or during practice. Do this without fastening the laces too much, or with a pair of socks on. That way, your foot loosens the cleat around the areas that need it the most.
Sprint, squats, jumps should help flex the shoe and speed up the break-in process. During practice, bring your old cleats along so that you can change into them in case your feet begin to hurt.
Your new pair of cleats need to fit you correctly before you pay for them. They should fit snugly, but shouldn’t be too tight.
Method 2: Do It The Old Fashioned Way!
Usually, I take my new pair of cleats and bend them into a “V” – Heel in one palm and toe in the other, bending at the soles longitudinally & latitudinally. Do this when you’re watching TV… Heck, take them to the car with you and do this while sitting at a red light!
Using this method to break in your cleats could take a week or two – It boils down to the material your cleats are made out of, how often you do it, and how much effort you put into it.
The method that I like best has been in use for years because it works. I did this with my football cleats and have seen friends that played soccer and baseball do the same with theirs. Just don’t overdo it.
Alternatively, you could take some string or rope and tie up your cleats (the same way you’d tie up your baseball glove when breaking it in) by bending the toe of the shoe back towards the laces. Leave it like this for a day or two.
Make sure to stuff your cleats with newspaper during the break-in period to keep the leather from losing its shape.
Method 3: The Wet Method
You’ve probably heard of this method before. There are dozens of articles online passing off this method as one of the best ways to break in your cleats.
I personally wouldn’t soak my brand new $50 pair of cleats in a bucket of water. Some of the other methods I’ve heard are popping your cleats into a microwave and nuking them for several seconds, then putting them on and using them.
Some say the wet method is the fastest way to break in your cleats fast, so if you’re out of time and don’t mind the risk, give it a shot.
- Fill the bucket with warm water, then lace your shoes up and wear them with your game day socks.
- Place feet in the bucket of water, and keep them submerged for about 20 minutes.
- Once 20 minutes are up, take your feet out of the water, pat them dry on the outside then rub petroleum jelly on the outside and on the instep of the shoes to make the leather more pliable.
- Go outside and walk around in them (if you can get used to the sloshing & feeling of warm wet feet). Start slow, jog, and continue this for the rest of the day until your feet feel sort of dry.
- Stuff them with newspaper to help keep their shape, then store them in a cool, dry place. Do not put them out in the sun since this will dry out the leather and may ruin them.
- Once dry, apply leather conditioner on them afterwards and every few weeks so thereafter. Repeat this every time you clean them to keep the leather in good shape.
Finally, depending on the brand you get, some shoes have terrible, stiff, flimsy styrofoam insoles that offer little to no support. If they aren’t stitched in, take out the inserts and buy a good pair of insoles from a reputable retailer. Good insoles provide proper support to your heel and arches, keeping the foot pain away. Nike baseball cleats are the best quality to keep your feet from pain/blistering.
Congratulations! Your new cleats are now broken in and ready for use! Sprint in them, and do some hard cuts to soften the leather on the sides. To keep them in great shape, apply leather cleaner and conditioner to keep them in tip-top shape for the entire season (or until you grow out of them.)