how to clean football boots

How to Clean Football Boots (Expert Tips & Tricks)

No one likes having to clean their football boots, (cleats) especially since they are so hard to clean, but this is important for maintaining their performance and lifespan. After all, you don’t want to have to buy a new pair of football boots after just a couple of games. Whether you play on grass, turf or indoor surfaces, keeping the boots in top condition is essential if you want to perform at your best. Let’s explore how to clean football boots.

Soccer Cleats vs. Football Cleats

There are 2 main differences between soccer cleats and football cleats.

  • Stud/Spike Layout
  • Soccer = lightweight, flexible
  • Football = more padding, protection

Is it “cleats” or “boots” ?

According to Wikipedia, the term “cleat” is more common in American English when referring to shoes with protrusions while “boots” is often more favored in Commonwealth English.

Here, at Sports Monetize, the focus is American GridIron football with a predominant interest in the business of the NFL. I wanted to include this particular article as a useful resource for football athletes and folks in the shoe reselling space who could benefit from understanding football boot/cleat maintenance.

*For the sake of the article, consider boots and cleats as interchangeable terms meaning the same thing.

How to Clean Football Boots

Tips for Athletes and Shoe Resellers

If you love playing football but hate cleaning your equipment, then this guide is exactly what you need. With these tips, you will get more longevity and durability out of your football boots. . Let’s get into it:

  1. Remove Loose Dirt:

Start by tapping the boots together to knock off any loose dirt and debris. This will help prevent excess dirt from getting into the cleaning process.

  1. Take Out the Laces and Insoles:

Remove the laces and insoles from your boots. Washing these separately ensures a thorough clean and prevents dirt from being trapped in the laces or insoles.

  1. Brush Away Remaining Dirt:

Use a soft brush to gently scrub away any remaining dirt on the boots. Pay special attention to the sole and any grooves where dirt might be lodged.

how to clean football boots
Boot Buddy is a highly reviewed product if you’re interested…. but not necessary.
  1. Prepare Cleaning Solution:

Fill a bowl with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. This solution will help clean the boots without causing any damage.

  1. Wipe Down the Boots:

Dip a cloth or sponge into the soapy water and use it to wipe down the exterior and interior of the boots. Be gentle to avoid damaging the material. Make sure to clean all areas, including the tongue and seams.

  1. Rinse and Remove Soap Residue:

Rinse the cloth or sponge with clean water and use it to wipe away any soap residue from the boots. This step is crucial to prevent any detergent from affecting the boots’ material.

  1. Dry the Boots:

Let your boots air dry at room temperature. Avoid placing them near direct heat sources like radiators or sunlight, as this can cause the material to crack or become brittle.

Stuff the boots with newspaper to help them retain their shape and absorb excess moisture. Replace the newspaper if it becomes too damp.

  1. Clean the Laces and Insoles:

Wash the laces and insoles separately in warm soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry completely before reinserting them into the boots.

  1. Condition the Boots (Optional):

If you have leather boots, apply a leather conditioner once they are dry. This keeps the leather supple and prevents cracking. For synthetic boots, use a protective spray to repel water and dirt.

For the visual folks, here’s some visual demonstration.

Do Football Boots Need Special Maintenance?

Football boots do require a bit of special care to keep them in the best condition. This includes regular cleaning after each use and proper storage. After cleaning, always allow your boots to dry naturally. Stuffing them with newspaper can help absorb excess moisture and maintain their shape.

It’s also important to check for any damage after each game. Look for loose stitching or worn-out soles and address these issues promptly. Applying a leather conditioner to leather boots can help keep them supple and prevent cracking. Synthetic boots can benefit from a protective spray to repel water and dirt.

Can You Change the Shoelaces?

Yes, you can change the shoelaces on your football boots. In fact, replacing old or damaged laces is an easy way to extend the life of your boots and ensure a snug fit. When selecting new laces, choose ones that match the length and type of your original laces for the best results.

For those who prefer convenience, no-tie shoelaces are a great option. These elastic laces allow you to slip your boots on and off without having to tie and untie them each time. They provide a secure fit and are available in various colors to match your boots.