If you played soccer as a kid, you probably remember banging your cleats against the wall to dislodge mud from the bottoms. While that may not be the gentlest way to keep them clean, you can still put that energy into keeping your cleats fresh.
No. 10 - Avoid Myths
Many pros use the "shower technique" or "hot water trick" as a means of breaking in their new pair of cleats. The thought here is that wearing them in hot water lets the leather loosen and expand, giving the stretch for a perfect fit. But it actually ruins your shoe. So unless you're Cristiano Ronaldo and pulling out a new pair for every game, we advise again soaking your cleats in water.
No. 9 - It's All About That Polish
If you do have leather cleat, polish it with cream so it won't dry out. This only applies to natural leather shoes, which need this conditioning to keep them soft. After cleaning and drying, rub the cream in to avoid cracks and a hard cleat.
No. 8 - Watch the Heat
Another way to keep that leather supple is to avoid the heat (except for on the field of course). Try not to place your cleats near a heating vent, dryer, or even direct sunlight after cleaning. The heat can dry out the leather, putting all your hard work to waste.
No. 7 - Peel Out When the Game is Done
Make sure you take your cleats off soon after stepping off the field. You don't want to use them anywhere except for the grass of the pitch. Asphalt, concrete, or basically any hard surface, can wear down the spikes, rendering the cleat useless and you likely to slip up.
No. 6 - Let Your Boots Breathe
Players know how a well-worn pair of cleats can smell after a hard workout. Don't trap all that smelliness in a bag, make sure your shoes can air out. This allows bacteria and the smell of your hard work to get off of your cleats.
No. 5 - Clean Every Inch
A lot of the time, the upper can be totally clean... except for those pesky areas where the stitching creates a dent for dirt to trap in. This can cause the whole cleat to look a little dingy, which is no bueno. Avoid the embarrassment by making sure you scrub over all stitching. Twice.
No. 4 - Don't Let This Sit
Another way to avoid dirty cleats...is to clean them. If you clean your cleats right after you step off the field, the dirt and grime doesn't have a chance to sink into the leather and do much damage. So after the final whistle, head to the nearest sink.
No. 3 - Stuff Them With Newspaper
After a wash, newspaper can be used to soak up extra moisture. By crumpling some up and stuffing the cleats, their shape is held better as they dry too.
No. 2 - Be Gentle
For the most part, cleaning cleats with simply warm, almost hot, water is the best method. That makes it pretty easy, all you need is a rag. Avoid cleaning products and soap, which can effect the shoe and breathe-ability. So use Snuggie the Bear's approach, not his product.
No. 1 - Call On Mr. Clean
The Magic Eraser is the exception to the rule. It does great getting out scuffs and smudges on leather and synthetics alike. Just dip the Magic Eraser in warm water to dampen, then go to work making your cleats look brand new over and over again. You are welcome.