Now that you got yourself a good pair of turf soccer shoes, one can only assume that you want to take good care of them too. You don’t buy soccer shoes too often (you shouldn’t anyway), so you need to protect your footwear investment, especially if you’re feeling great in them.
Turf soccer shoes play a big part in your soccer experience, and even they cannot make you the perfect soccer player, they can help you improve your game. You need to keep them in tip-top shape so that you can rely on your shoes next time you’re shooting the ball.
Why do turf soccer shoes need maintenance?
Even though turf ensures an also and streamlined playing surface, the leather upper of the soccer shoes presents a high risk for scuffs and marks. You should take care of the turf soccer shoes, from removing the turf marks to keeping the shoes nice and dandy throughout the whole soccer season.
There are several ways to remove scuffs from the leather uppers of your shoes. It may take you some time until you discover the best method for you and your turf soccer shoes.
What should you do before and during your soccer practice/game?
When you’re preparing your soccer bag, you should also pack some items for cleaning the turf soccer shoes later on. You may clean your shoes during the games/practice, especially if the turf surface isn’t the best quality. A toothbrush and a towel may come in handy as well.
It’s wise not to wear soccer shoes before you go out in the field. When you wear your turf soccer shoes on other surfaces than the field, you may cause unwanted tear and wear, and it’s better that you have a second pair of shoes to wear en route, putting the turf soccer shoes right before the game.
What to do right after the game/practice?
Some marks are going to be easier to clean, whereas others are going to require you some effort and a bit more time.
- Removing the turf marks with a cloth
First thing first, you should have a dry and clean white cloth in your soccer bag.
Use it for wiping off all scuffs, right after the game/practice. Not all turf marks are difficult to clean; some are superficial and light, coming off effortlessly. Once you cleaned your turf soccer shoes, you can store them in a mesh bag when heading back home. You want to be a mesh bag since mesh ensures ventilation. And proper ventilation is always going to help any moisture left in the shoes not to build up and turn into mold.
Should your shoes present dark or more difficult turf marks, you’re going to have to deal with the problem the moment you get home. You don’t want to put the cleaning process on hold. The longer you wait, the bigger the chance for the dirt and turf to set into the leather. Removing this kind of marks is going to be a drag later on.
- Cleaning the marks with a pencil eraser
You can use a pencil eraser/artist eraser for getting rid of the rubber turf marks. It’s an excellent method to use for cleaning the light/superficial marks. You rub the marks gently since you don’t want to remove a layer of material on your shoes.
Continue with dampening a clean cloth in some warm water. Rub the wet cloth over the scuffs on your shoes, until you can no longer notice the marks. Should the marks still be visible, look for the toothbrush (remember we’ve mentioned it!)
You should scrub the scores with a toothbrush and a bit of non-gel toothpaste for cleaning your turf soccer shoes. Use a circular motion and rub the spot carefully, until all the marks aren’t noticeable anymore. Don’t forget to wipe the toothpaste off the shoes using a wet and clean cloth.
- The ultimate trick
If none of the above methods works, you should try the final trick. Use some shoe polish or refinishing spray for covering the marks. It’s not removing the marks, but rather hiding the marks. It’s better that you fill the shoes with some newspapers so that they keep their shape and stay dry. Apply the spray or polish according to the instructions from the manufacturer. Take your time and apply thin coats of polish/spray so that you obtain a smooth finish.
Let your shoes dry between coats. Patience is the secret with this method.
How to deep clean your turf soccer shoes? What not to do?
Cleaning the soccer shoes any now and then is necessary, as it’s going to expand their lifespan. You don’t want to do it carelessly, so some things are to be avoided.
- You should begin by removing the insole (in case you can do it) and the laces. You may very well wash them separately, with some soap and water. Make sure that they dry before you put them back.
- Combine some lukewarm water and a bit of dish/hand soap. Use a soft-bristled brush for scrubbing the shoes with the soapy water. Use a damp cloth for removing any residual soap before cleaning the bottoms of the shoes.
- Put some newspapers inside the shoes and let them dry overnight. Paper is going to absorb any moisture and maintain the shape of your shoes too.
Here’s what you should avoid when cleaning your soccer shoes:
- Never submerge the cleats in water, since you can make the leather crack when dry
- Never wash the turf soccer shoes in a dryer/washer (unless the manufacturer mentions otherwise). You may damage your turf soccer shoes.
- Don’t use hot water, since it’s terrible for leather cleats
- Always dry the cleats with a good towel.
- Never place your wet shoes in direct sunlight or near direct heat (hairdryer, for instance). It may ruin the build for good.
Some other tips for the road
Finding the best turf soccer shoes for you and your game is challenging enough, which is why you should take good care of them when you see them.
Here are some other tips to help you make your soccer shoes last longer:
- Get a second pair of shoes, so that you can spare the “good” ones any now and then.
- Don’t take the shoes off by stepping on the back of the heel. Always untie the laces first (if it’s a laced model).
- Store the shoes in a breathable mesh bag, away from sunlight, during offseason
- Don’t wear the shoes right out of the box at a game. It’s better that you break them in during some practice sessions.