Solutions for Hot feet on Artificial Turf | Keep Your Soccer Cleats Cool

Athletes playing on artificial turf experience some of the worst conditions of hot feet. The turf can easily be 10-20 degrees hotter than current air temperatures and this can cause pain, blisters and injury.

So, what’s the best way to keep feet cool on artificial turf?

There’s no magic bullet here, but I’ll make some recommendations that will definitely help.

Natural Leather Cleats made for Artificial Turfs

Natural materials breathe better, so consider this as a first step in cooling down players feet. The Copa Mundial shoes are a perfect example, made of natural Kangaroo leather, which will breathe and release heat better than synthetic materials. The shoes are also top notch and extremely popular so you can’t go wrong grabbing a pair.

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Lacing and lace fitting to reduce the heat


These shoes are too narrow for these feet. The space is too wide between the top of the shoe.


Shoes too large

These shoes are too wide for these feet. There should be a space for two fingers between the top of the shoe .

When you bought your last pair of turf shoes, did you pay attention to how tight you had to lace them?  How much space is there between the lace loops?  You should be able to put two fingers between them when laced up properly. If you can’t fit two fingers, then your shoes are probably too narrow for your feet, too small or simply too tight. Find a better fitting pair and that will help ease the tension on your foot and lower the temperature. If you can fit more than two fingers between the laces, then your shoes are either too loose or too big. If they’re too big, then you’re probably experiencing shift-friction, where the foot slides around in the shoe while you run.  That’s going to create a ton of heat.

Alternative methods of lacing your shoes.

Alternative methods of lacing your shoes.

Not only can the distance between the laces make a big difference, but you can also change how your shoes are laced.  Check out the diagram below for lacing alternatives depending on how your shoes fit and the shape of your foot.

Supportive High Quality Insoles / Orthotics for Hot Feet

Insoles with metatarsal and arch support.

Insoles with metatarsal and arch support.

Most cleats are neutral, meaning their foot bed and insoles do not provide any arch support. Really, the insoles that come with cleats are just there to fill the space. All players should consider getting full length high quality insoles that will provide the right amount of arch support and metatarsal support.

“Meta.. what?”, you say?

Metatarsal support is basically a little bump under the forefoot and it helps align your toes and arch. This is a relatively new feature of insoles and orthotics. They take a few days to get used to, but you’ll really appreciate it later and wonder how to got by without it.

Check out the tips in the video above. You can find out what type of arch you have at home using your bare feet with water (see our page on determining your foot arch).  When installing your new insoles, make sure to remove the old ones and trim the new ones to the correct length. A good reference is the old insoles laid on top of the new ones (heel to heel). Draw a line on your new insoles following the toe curve of the old insoles. Cut and done. You can also take some sandpaper and sand down the bottom of the toe portion if it’s too thick. Having the right supportive insoles will let you stand on your feet in your shoes for longer periods of time without creating strain or pain.

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Socks and foot wraps

Anything wrapped around your foot is going to raise the temperature. There are more water wicking and breathing socks out there than you can shake a stick at. Some people get hot feet just from synthetic fabrics, so give both synthetic and cotton a try to see how it feels. Cotton socks will stay wet whereas synthetic will have better wicking and drying ability. I’d recommend starting by looking at the Nike Park IV Cushioned Sock. It’s very highly rated and made by a good quality manufacturer and uses their “Dri-Fit” design. They’re thin and not very absorbent.  There are some foot wraps that players wear to achieve different purposes such as providing foot compression. Avoid this if you can, especially anything wrapping over the top of your foot. You need that heat to escape, not get trapped inside.

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Chilled Insoles

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Along with getting the right arch support, check out gel insoles for the player(s) experiencing hot feet in their cleats. In fact, you’ll want two pairs of full -length insoles. This is a little tricky but we have the answers for you, go here to find the best soccer cleats for you.

Get yourself a well insulated rolling cooler and fill it with ice. Put one pair of insoles into a bag and into the cooler and start using the other pair right away. Once their feet start to get hot, switch insoles by putting the hot insoles into a bag in the cooler and put the cooled ones into the shoes. Careful not to freeze them solid as it could burst or damage the insoles – not to mention making them impossible to walk on.

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Cold Water Spray

It’s a very simply solution, but sometimes simple is best. Pick up a large garden sprayer with a wide lid and fill it with lots of ice and water. When the players come off the field complaining of hot feet, give their feet a spray with the cool water. You’ll probably need 5-6 trays of ice cubes available. Keep the sprayer in the shade when it’s not in use. You can use a smaller sprayer if you don’t want to mount this one on your back, but the hand lever is super handy for maintaining the water pressure. Give the player a spray all over if they like, it’ll feel great!

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Spray the field to cool down

One way to cool down artificial turf.

One way to cool down artificial turf.

Many artificial turf fields have sprinklers which can be used to cool down the field. Turn the sprinklers on for 15 minutes before the game and it should help cool down the turf for 30-45 minutes.

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