How To Care and Clean Football Boots?

Updated: Jul 11

So you've bought a new pair of football boots that you have had to save for or given to as a present, the big question is how can you keep the boots looking good and last you as long as possible.

Here you'll find some advice plus some commonly answered questions on how to best look after them and save yourself some money buying another pair down the line.


The good news is that it's not that difficult is you can spare just a few minutes after play.


Firstly you'll need some essential items to hand so help you get them boots looking as good as new that can be found about the home, these are:

  • a cloth

  • bucket of water

  • an old toothbrush

  • bicarbonate of soda (optional) or soap

  • leather restorer or shoe conditioning cream

Instructions On How To Care For, Wash And Clean Football Boots


How to Clean Leather Boots:

  1. Clean boots outdoors! Really important you don't create another cleaning exercise.

  2. Just knock the boots together or gently against a hard surface to remove loose bit like dried mud and grass.

  3. Brush off any remaining dirt, mud and grass with the toothbrush

  4. Remove the laces

  5. Damp the cloth and using one side start gently wiping away the remained residual dirt and muck.

  6. Once you're happy that all dirt has been removed, you'll need to dry them out naturally. Avoid placing them next to radiators as this can crack the leather material.

  7. Once they have dried out, you can rub some leather restorer or shoe cream on them. Just follow the instructions and leave them alone until you need them next.

How to Clean Synthetic Boots:

  1. Just follow the above steps except you don't need the leather restorer or shoe conditioning cream.

Other Frequently Asked Questions:


Will leather football boots stretch?

Leather shoes will eventually stretch out over time as they soften and get worn depending on how much you wear them, so you may want to avoid the initial discomfort pre-stretch new football shoes.

How do you break in leather football boots?

  1. Firstly, make sure you get the right size and avoid that initial discomfort of tight football boots. You should to go a size or two up that to allow room for thick socks and expanding feet if they are still growing.

  2. Once you get them, walk around with them for an afternoon or evening around the house and see how they feel. If they still don't feel right send them back.

  3. Shoe Stretchers: using stretchers can expand them by half an inch and can be repeated to keep them looser and with wear will mould them to your feet.

  4. Lower Boot: If they still don't feel comfortable then you could try slowly stretching them out in warm water. Take off the laces and pour water in a bucket and place the boots to the point where the laces start. Place them in there for about 10-15 mins. Then take them out and wear them for about 30 mins, they should start to feel more comfortable and mould better to your foot. If they are still too tight just repeat. WARNING: do not pour hot water on them otherwise the leather will crack and start falling apart!

  5. Upper Boot: To expand the upper part of the boot you could try this neat trick. Get a plastic sealed bag and place inside the boot. Pour water into the bag until it looks full. Seal the bag! Now place the boots in the freezer overnight. The science behind this is that the water water will expand as it freezer and at the same time stretch out the boot - genius! WARNING: do not keep re-freezing them as the boots will get damaged

Will synthetic football boots stretch?

  1. Generally, synthetic material do not stretch as much as leather, but it can be done. The No1 best way is to wear them over a few hours at a time with thick socks and to aid this use a hair dryer to shape them to your foot - be careful not to burn your foot or the shoe! Try doing this during the morning when you're feet are at their most rested.

  2. Repeat (1) over a few days

Can football boots go in the washing machine?

The simple answer is Yes you can put certain shoes in a washing machine. BUT only certain materials survive the onslaught - cotton, nylon, polyester and canvas will be fine, but, natural materials such as some leather will not fair so well as water will damage animal based fabrics.


Therefore, it is recommended that you DO NOT put leather football boots in washing machines.

How do you clean smelly football boots?

At some point after wearing boots, they will start to smell a little (unless you're just actually playing). There are some things you can do to help keeping them fresh. So follow these simple steps. Some of these are obvious and some are not. Try them out and maybe mix them up. The main issue is removing sweaty odour from your insoles.

  1. Change the insole. This is really simple. Just do the sniff test and if they smell bad then just buy new insole that have integrated "odour eaters".

  2. Air your shoes outdoors on a washing line so they get the fresh air circulating in them and also dry them out.

  3. Buy a decent spray of deodoriser. Specialist sport shoes will have specific ones for sports shoes. Leave overnight.

  4. Maybe add a drop or two of essential oils after ever wear and leave to air overnight.

  5. Ensure that you wear fresh socks every time

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