Does Water Ruin Soccer Cleats? (Keep them Dry!)

We’ve all been there: you get home from practice or a game and leave your soccer cleats outside to air out. The rain eventually rolls in, and you forget about your soccer equipment that’s sitting on the porch.

What happens when your equipment gets wet, and does water ruin soccer cleats?

In general, water does not ruin soccer cleats. Prolonged exposure to excess water does, however, damage the cleats’ material which can ruin them. Cleats can get wet during training or practice but should be dried after. Synthetic cleats work best in rain, but you can break in leather cleats faster by wearing them in a hot shower.

Read on for more information regarding soccer cleats and if you should avoid getting them wet at all.

Related: How to Fix a Waterlogged Soccer Ball in 4 Steps

Does water ruin soccer cleats?

You’d think you’re soccer cleats are entirely safe from water, but what happens if they get wet? Does the water damage, or worse, ruin, them?

In general, water does not ruin soccer cleats. Modern soccer cleats are water-resistant and safe to use in the rain during games or practice. However, exposure to excess water can damage soccer cleats. For example, soccer cleat material erodes if left in the rain and then left out to dry, especially in sunlight.

To avoid damage to your soccer cleats from water, don’t leave them in the rain.

Water that gets inside your cleats can eat away at the material. The upper or outer material will also start to crack if the cleats get wet and are left out to dry naturally.

A pair of soccer cleats with a caption reading, "Cleats that get wet and then dry rapidly on their own crack, as seen here."

This can happen with leather or synthetic soccer cleats.

Overall, all soccer cleats can get wet from using them during games or practice in the rain.

Rainwater doesn’t get into the cleats as when you wear them and won’t damage them as opposed to letting them sit in the rain where the delicate inner will soak up water.

Synthetic cleats are the best option for cleats to wear in the rain because of the material. The water will slide off and won’t get absorbed, whereas traditional leather cleats soak up water from either the leather or the stitching used to hold the upper together.

Related: How Long do Soccer Cleats Last? 6 Long-Lasting Tips

Leather cleats are more likely to become damaged after getting wet. However, modern leather cleats are manufactured to be just as water-resistant as synthetic ones, so it’s a new pair of leather cleats is safe to use in the rain.

On the other hand, you can use water to break in leather cleats. Use the shower method to break in your new pair of leather cleats faster.

Jump into a hot shower while wearing your new leather cleats to break them in faster.

Because they’re new, the stitching is intact, and you don’t risk water getting inside the shoe.

At the same time, the heat and steam from the water will effectively stretch the leather material to fit your foot better, breaking it in before you wear them for your first training or game.

As for cleaning your cleats with water, don’t use too much, and avoid harsh cleaning chemicals.

Stick to the outer material, too — don’t try to clean the inside of your soccer cleats with anything other than a tiny amount of water.

Can soccer cleats get wet?

Soccer is played in the rain, so it’s only natural that soccer cleats get wet. But is it safe?

Soccer cleats can get wet while playing in the rain. In general, rainwater is safe for the outside of the cleats but can damage the inside. To properly dry soccer cleats, use a towel on the outside and place newspaper inside to absorb water and retain the cleat’s shape. Never use a drying machine or hair dryer to dry cleats.

Although it might seem like a good idea, don’t put your soccer cleats in the dryer or washer; the temperatures can melt the glue on the sole or damage the other materials.

Related: Can a Soccer Ball Get Wet?

Soccer cleats are meant to be used in all conditions, including rain and snow. It’s inevitable that they’ll take on water.

Just be sure to dry them off if they do get wet.

Does water damage soccer cleats?

Modern soccer cleats are excellent at repelling water because of how they’re made. A bit of water won’t cause any harm.

In general, water does not damage soccer cleats, which means it’s safe to play in the rain. However, if soccer cleats are wet for too long, the material will erode and damage them. Avoid water damage by storing cleats inside, away from rainwater, and drying them off if they get wet.

To avoid water damage, dry your wet cleats with a towel and put newspaper inside to soak up excess moisture. Alternatively, a cooling fan will help dry them off.

Playing soccer in the rain is safe for your cleats; dry them off properly after the game or practice to avoid potentially damaging them.

Can you use soccer cleats in the rain?

Playing soccer in the rain is safe, as long as there’s no lightning! Is it safe for your cleats, though? Can you use them in the rain?

You can use soccer cleats in the rain without damaging or ruining them. Cleats are manufactured to be water-resistant but not waterproof. Therefore, you should always dry them off after using them in the rain.

It’s completely safe for your soccer cleats to take on a bit of rainwater during training or a game.

These days, most cleats are water-resistant, including leather ones. Most materials will shed the water off and won’t soak it up.

If you notice your feet are getting wet from rainwater, you might have a hole in your shoe’s stitching or sole. In that case, it might be time to buy a new pair.

Which soccer cleats work best in the rain?

Some cleats work better in the rain than others. Which soccer cleats work best in the rain?

Synthetic soccer cleats work best in the rain because the upper is more water-resistant than leather. Furthermore, cleats with soft-ground stud patterns work best on grass fields in the rain because of the added traction. Avoid wearing soft ground cleats on turf or artificial grass, even in the rain.

Lower-tier cleats with plastic souls and studs will struggle in the rain. You’ll frequently slip when running or planting your foot to turn or shoot.

Related: Synthetic vs. Leather Soccer Cleats – The Key Differences

I recommend buying separate soccer cleats for rainy training sessions and wet matchdays. Additionally, if you only play on grass, it’s worth looking into soft-ground cleats for games.

Nike’s patented ACC (all conditions control) material is a lifesaver for rainy matches and training days. Does showering in your cleats break them in?

Does showering in your cleats break them in?

Does this method actually work? Turns out, the “wearing leather cleats in the shower myth” is an authentic way to break in a new pair of boots.

Showering in your cleats breaks them in, but only if they’re made of leather. Wearing leather cleats while taking a hot shower expands the shoe’s material to fit the shape of your foot better, breaking them in faster than usual. Water does not break in synthetic cleats because the material does not stretch.

I only recommend this method if your leather cleats are too tight. Otherwise, you risk expanding the leather too much to where the shoe becomes too big for your foot.

If you decide to wear your cleats in the shower, dry them off properly afterward. As I mentioned before, use a towel to dry the outside, and put newspaper inside to soak up water that may have gotten into the shoe.

You can air dry them next to a cooling fan or vent but do not use a heat source to dry them. The heat will crack the material and can reduce the lifespan of cleats, especially leather ones.

Likewise, don’t let your cleats sit out in the sun, as direct sunlight will cause them to dry out too quickly and ruin the material.

Sean Tinney

I’m Sean Tinney, a lifetime soccer player and Ball At Your Feet owner. This website is a hub for practical soccer advice, information, and insights from one player to another.

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