What are Soccer Cleats Made Of?
Over the years the construction of quality soccer cleats has changed. From the heavy leather work boot that had nail studs on the bottom to the modern, lightweight cleats of today. Soccer cleats can be made with a variety of materials from leather to synthetics, but the ultimate prize is a lightweight, comfortable cleat that offers support and great traction.
What is the Difference Between Soccer and Baseball Cleats?
There is a distinct difference between a soccer cleat and a baseball cleat. A baseball cleat is a toe cleat that is designed to dig into the dirt and assist the player to make quick and explosive push-offs and to accelerate as they run. As baseball is not a contact sport, they are not designed to be for contact with other players.
Football cleats are designed to dig into the pitch. They provide the traction needed on grass pitches to be able to turn quickly, as well as to make cuts and pivots. They are usually made from leather and are heavier than other cleats. These cleats are designed to protect the foot from when they are stepped on as soccer is a contact sport.
How to Prevent Blisters from Soccer Cleats?
First of all it is important to understand what a blister is. It is an accumulation of liquid between layers of skin and is usually caused by friction. Blisters develop when you are wearing cleats that are too tight for you, or new cleats that have not been broken in yet. You will recognise the symptoms of a blister before it develops. The area will become warm and red and if you continue to wear your boots it will develop into a blister.
If the blister is un-ruptured, or has not burst yet, then you can treat it by cleaning your foot properly with soapy water or disinfectant such as Savlon or Dettol. Next you would have to “pop” the blister with a sterile needle. Use a sterile gauze pad to remove the fluid that drains from the blister. If you have a blood blister, then you need it to be drained by a doctor. Be sure that you protect your blister with a plaster or other covering.
The covering you choose should be larger than the area of the blister to ensure that you do not pull the skin off when you remove the plaster. Secure the plaster in place properly or it will slip and can then further irritate the skin leading to another blister developing. If you do not have blisters there are steps you can take to prevent them from developing.
First apply some form of Vaseline or other lubricant to your skin before you put your sock on. This will prevent friction and therefore prevent blisters from developing. Keep your feet dry, wear socks that wick away moisture. This reduces the chance of friction and therefore the risk of developing blisters.
How to Repair Soccer Cleats?
So your soccer cleat is come apart and you do not want to spend a fortune buying a new pair. That is understandable so let’s have a look at how you can repair your cleats quickly and effectively. First you must determine which part of your cleats need repairs, is it the spikes or studs underfoot, the sole of the shoe, the laces, heel or the insole of your cleats that need attention. The following steps will help you to manage each separate repair to your cleats.
To repair the damage to your spikes or studs you will need to remove the old one using a cleat wrench and replace with new ones. Ensure that you tighten the studs into the shoe as tightly as possible to prevent them from breaking or falling out during play.
To repair your sole you will need specialised glue. Shoe Goo is a great option here. You must ensure that whatever glue you use you follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Apply the glue to the damaged area and allow to dry and cure properly before you start using your cleats again. Each manufacturer will have a different curing time.
If you find that your shoe laces are torn or worn out you need to replace them as soon as possible. Damaged shoe laces can lead to injury on the pitch as your shoe will not be properly secured to your foot. You also run the risk of tripping over damaged shoe laces.
To repair damaged heels takes a little more work. You will need to get nice, durable piece of material that matches the color of your shoe. The patch must be larger than the area that is damaged. Always remove the insole of your shoe when repairing the heel area. Once you have removed the insole, you will place the patch over the area that is damaged. Apply adhesive to the patch and press it against the bottom of the shoe until it is affixed. Replace the insole.
When your insoles become damaged there are a number of different options. If you are wearing a pair of cleats that have removable and replaceable insoles you can simply go to your local shoe shop and purchase new ones and replace the old. If you are wearing orthotics, you will get also simply get a new one and replace the old. If however you are wearing cleats with insoles that are not removable it is not so simple.
Having a damaged insole can cause problems when playing as your foot will feel all the pressure from your studs and have not padding or protection. Always remember that prevention is better than cure. This is why it is very important to look after and maintain your cleats properly. Ensure they are clean and dry after each practice or game. Store them in the correct manner.
If you take care of your cleats they will last you a long time and will reduce the need for frequent repairs or replacement. A word of warning when attempting to repair your cleats. Remember when working with any kind of glue, you should avoid any contact with your skin or eyes and always follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
Caring for and maintaining your soccer cleats will not only save you money in repairs and replacements, it will also prevent the development of blisters or other injuries from ill-fitting or damaged cleats. Always ensure your cleats are not damaged before taking to the pitch and choose the correct size and fit you need.