Cleaning Your Football Boots
Keeping your boots fresh throughout the season
Putting on your football boots and discovering they're covered in mud from last week's game is one of the most frustrating things for any footballer.
From stiff laces that are impossible to tie to cracked leather that's ready to split, the unpredictable UK weather has the potential to cause significant damage to your football boots.
We show you how to protect your football boots by cleaning and treating them regularly.
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What to do straight after a match
Banging out your boots
Make your boot cleaning much easier by getting started as soon as possible after the final whistle. Don't leave it until you get home or until after lunch with the team, get cleaning immediately.
Bang them out – The clatter of metal studs on concrete is your first cue. Begin by stamping hard to release any loose mud from the soles of your boots before removing them completely. Now bang your boots together or against a wall to help loosen any remaining clumps of dirt.
Wipe with a wet cloth – With your boots still match-fresh, use a damp cloth to help remove already wet mud. If you're not yet home, place your boots in a plastic bag inside of your main sports bag to protect them on your journey. Remove your boots as soon as you're back and let them stand at room temperature to dry.
Back at home
Removing dried-on dirt
Whether your boots are made from traditional leather or modern synthetic materials, the process of cleaning dried-on mud is the same. You only ever need water, a cloth, a soft brush - and a toothbrush.
Remove the laces – Before you start on the sole, remove the laces and leave them to soak in warm soapy water for a few hours. This will keep them soft and easy to tie for when you next play - just remember to put them back in first.
Wipe (again) with a wet cloth - Hopefully by this point, you should be able to see the actual colour of your football boots through the dirt. Use a new wet cloth to wipe all remaining mud from each boot and sole. An old toothbrush is perfect for cleaning around studs (moulded or metal) and for removing dirt from any stitching.
Leave them to dry - Quickly dry the surface moisture from your boots using a cloth or kitchen towel. Place them on an old newspaper and leave them to dry in a warm room. Never place your boots next to or on top of a radiator as the heat can damage the sole and warp any plastic.
Looking after leather
Keeping your boots soft and waterproof
Now that your boots are clean, it's time to protect them for next time. Wax and oil based products such as dubbin and mink oil are perfect for softening, conditioning and water-proofing leather to keep your boots feeling fresh and comfortable.
To apply, work the product into your boots using folded cloth in a circular motion. Apply to each part of your boot (excluding the sole) until a slight wet-shine appears. Leave your boots to absorb the product overnight for maximum effectiveness.
Traditional black leather boots are a rarity in modern football, but if you're one of the few players refusing a pair of neon Nike Mercurial Vapors, you might want to consider adding shoe polish.
Polish is a great way of restoring older leather to its former glory and will add yet another layer of protection against the elements.
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