How To Customize Soccer Cleats: A Step-by-Step Guide

Professional soccer players love wearing personalized soccer cleats, and soccer fans are also into creating their own cleats.

When MiAdidas was shut down in 2019, many soccer fans were upset, but now many new alternatives are available.

There are many options and methods to make cleats unique based on your preferences. So, how can you personalize your cleats?

The best way to customize your cleats is by painting them. This involves creating a design, gathering art tools, and setting aside time to unleash your creativity on a pair of cleats. An alternative method is to use professional services and product stores available online. Popular sports brands like Puma, Nike, and Adidas offer options to customize cleats. 

In this article, you’ll find a guide to personalizing your own cleats.

Don’t worry if you’re not a good painter or skilled at creativity because I have other options for you.

To find your alternatives, keep reading till the end.

Post title over image of soccer cleats

How To Customize Your Cleats in 7 Simple Steps

Personalizing your cleats is surprisingly easy, even if you’re not a painter or artistic.

Just follow these simple steps and use them as a draft to bring out the Picasso in you. 

1. Use Acetone to Clean the Surface of Your Cleats

For your paint to effectively bind with the surface of the cleats and not peel or crack, you must remove the original polish from the shoes if you want perfect-looking cleats. 

First, get some gloves and dip a few cotton swabs in acetone.

Acetone is commonly found at hardware stores. Check your nearest store or order acetone online on Amazon if you don’t have it at home.

Using cotton swabs dipped in acetone, wipe the polish off your cleats until all of it comes off. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to do this.

The material of your cleats will become a gray tint, and the polish may appear a little pasty as it comes off.

Don’t worry about it. This is just step one!

2. Create a Design Concept List

You may already have ideas for words or images promoting a particular subject based on the soccer cleats of your favorite players.

Alternatively, you may just decide to create a geometric pattern using a couple of different colors.

Whatever design you choose for your cleats, now is the time to commit to that idea.

Here are a few custom design ideas for your soccer cleats you may want to check out for inspiration.

Create a design concept
Create a design concept

3. Block off Sections Using Masking Tape

Once you think you’ve mapped out the perfect design for you in your head, map it out in sections on your cleats using masking tape or any other similar tape.

You may want to draw on the cleats’ surface to mark your design.

Just be careful while drawing the design over the surface of your cleats (try using a blunt pencil so it can be easier to remove it if you make a mistake).

Now, you can put the masking tape along the edges of the design. 

The masking tape might sound unnecessary, but trust me, it’s very effective to get the cleanest lines between colors.

Image showing tape for clean edges on cleats
Use tape for clean edges on cleats

However, if you still have difficulty using it, feel free to omit the tape and use a free-hand painting style.

However, your lines may not be as crisp or smooth this way.

Alternatively, I have found using a stencil to be helpful.

But this only works if you can find a stencil with the specific design you are looking for.

4. Mix up Colors to Start Painting

I recommend using leather paints (such as Angelus) and mixing them up in an extra container to achieve the vibrant shade you want on your cleats.

Before directly painting over your cleats, paint the color on a piece of paper to confirm it’s the exact color you want. 

paint options for your cleats
Paint options for your cleats

The best tip for painting your cleats is to paint them in layers to get an intense color.

Paint light, thin layers using your brush in areas not covered with masking tape. 

To acquire the color you desire, you might need to apply several coats. 

Tip: Leave the paint to dry thoroughly between coats for some time, and don’t rush it!

For most of your paintwork, ensure you use small paintbrushes and use tiny brushes to get the little details right.

It’s critical to let each coat dry thoroughly to prevent paint flaking and cracking if you decide to put your cleats on later.

5. Use a Hair Dryer in Between Paint Applications

Use a hairdryer after each layer of paint is finished to hasten the drying process.

Before beginning a fresh coat, position the dryer a few inches away from the cleat and wait for the air to dry the coat you just painted completely.

6. Utilize the Masking Tape to Change Colors

Cut extra strips of tape for painting new colors to your cleat if you want to create crisp lines.

Ensure cleats are totally dry before adding additional tape and colors, specifically if you didn’t use the masking tape before.

Ensure that the paint is dry when you finish all the layers that require masking tape and only want to write or sketch over the primary colors.

7. Apply a Matte Sealer to Your Dried Cleats.

Spray your cleats gently with a matte finisher, like Krylon Matte Finisher, once they are entirely finished and dried with no remaining wet paint visible.

Your shoes will look polished and much more like they were manufactured as a result of this sealing in color.

Note: The matte finishing spray should only be used in a well-ventilated environment since it emits fumes!

Now, simply let your cleats dry before you show them off, and you can congratulate yourself on bringing your creativity out!

Warning: Avoid painting the bottom of your shoes. The paint won’t adhere, will flake off, and will chip, giving your shoes a sloppy appearance.

Check out this video below for more insight into how to paint your cleats.

5 Simple Steps to Painting Better Cleats
How to paint soccer cleats

3 Online Alternatives For Cleat Customization

Having explained the best and most straightforward way of customizing your cleats, you may decide this option isn’t for you.

No problem!

Several businesses provide the services of skilled designers.

1. Adidas Online Platform

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, MiAdidas was a well-liked service, but its developers ultimately decided to cease operation.

Instead, since 2000, the Adidas website has offered a personalized soccer cleats option.

An extensive range of colors is available for you to customize your shoes.

The outlines of Superstar, Ultra Boost, and Stan Smith are optional additions.

Furthermore, you may design your own cleats utilizing the website’s themes.

2. Private Online Services and Websites 

If you’re not worried about high-end brands, there are a variety of different services you may utilize. The websites made especially for this reason allow anyone to create their own soccer cleats. 

Most amateur athletes and sports teams choose these services since they often allow full personalization of sports clothing.

The most common orders are for athletes’ names and jersey numbers. Soccer cleats with modern designs often include flags and logos on them. 

Players occasionally request artwork featuring their preferred sports stars. Simply select the soccer cleats you wish to personalize, and the company will do the rest. 

3. Social Media Artists

You’ll find many artists on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest if you search for the right keywords. 

Many home-based artists provide custom designing services.

You can also check out the options on Etsy.

I recommend exploring all the possibilities before beginning customization on one of the online platforms.

Have a look around and see what you can find.

Which Types of Cleats Should You Customize?

It’s also important to decide what type of cleat you want to use for your canvas.

Soccer cleats laid on grass
Selection of soccer cleats

Choose the soccer cleat style that you wish to customize:

Types of CleatsDetail/Use
Firm-ground cleatsThe finest boots for surfaces with natural grass are solid ground boots. They may be painted easily and have cone-shaped, bladed studs.
Soft ground cleatsRainy days are ideal for wearing soft ground cleats. They may have detachable studs. These cleats must be protected with numerous coats of paint and a unique water-resistant sealer.
Futsal cleatsFutsal or indoor soccer cleats are designed indoors, but you can also wear them on the street. 
Artificial ground cleatsArtificial ground cleats are constructed with studs for the grass. 
Types of soccer cleats and their uses

Check out my article – 5 Types of Soccer Cleats and what they are used for – to learn more about each type of cleat.

FAQs Regarding Customizing Cleats

What Are Some of The Customizable Cleats Brands?

Now that shoe customization is widespread, several well-known manufacturers give clients additional options.

Many manufacturers, such as New BalanceVansNikePuma, and others, will personalize your soccer cleats. Mostly, white and black cleats are available for customization. 

What Type of Paint to Use For Your Cleats?

Use paints that offer durability and smoothness for painting cleats.

If you want to color the fabric section of the cleats with latex paint, dilute it first so that it absorbs in as you apply it.

The color will remain if you use one or two additional coats since it is absorbed into the cloth.

Final Thoughts

Unique cleats are the ideal technique to emphasize your individuality and make it clear to other competitors who you are.

If you are a talented painter, you might want to bring out the brushes and create your own design.

However, if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, professional artists can be used to help you achieve your dreams!

For more helpful info about soccer cleats, check out one of my other articles below.

Ben Clayfield

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Find out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

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