Why Football Players Spat & Tape Their Cleats

Football Players will spat their ankles for many different reasons. We’re going to cover why and also how to spat an ankle.  

Football players spat their cleats to add ankle support, reducing the risk of injury. The added layer of tape provides protection against contact from other players.

In this article we’re going to show you why football players spat & tape their cleats.

How To Spat An Ankle For Football

In order to properly spat or tape your cleats, you’ll need:

  1. Pre-Wrap
  2. Athletic Tape

Start by wrapping the pre-wrap around the ankle for added support. This will also help add as an adhesive for the tape, rather than it sticking directly to your cleats/socks.  

Once the pre-wrap has been applied to the ankle, it’s time to add base strips to the high ankle and horseshoe of the cleat. This requires adding one strip at a time, ripping off a piece, and adding another.  

Next, add the “stirrups” to the medial side of the ankle. This requires taking a long piece of tape, and sticking it one high ankle side, all the way around under the foot, to the other side of the ankle.  

Last, add the “heel-lock” and the figure-8’s of tape to the ankle with one continuous motion. This support piece of tape will add support along the heel and lower ankle.  

Once the heel lock and figure 8 are complete, continue to the high ankle and cut the piece of tape. It’s important to not crinkle any tape and to make sure all the edges are laid flat.

Reference the video above to understand these techniques.

Slip On Spats & Cleat Covers For Football Players

Spat covers serve the same purpose as a tape spat does, however they use a cover that slips right over the cleat, instead of wasting tape. For those that don’t have direct access to athletic tape, spat covers are a better alternative.

cleat spats

Slip-on spats, or also known as cleat covers, adds minimal ankle support but provides a cool look.  

Growing companies such as Sleefs, Elitetek & Battle have built custom cleat covers with custom designs. These designs are much more popular than your traditional tape. They’re used for more of a fashion look than ankle support.

Slip On Spats/Cleat Covers

If you’re looking to purchase a Slip-on Spat or cleat cover, here are the best ones that are currently on the market.


sleefs spat

 Sleefs has a wide variety of custom and traditional cleat covers. Their unique designs ensure that your custom cleat cover will rarely be worn by someone else.

They also have solid color cleat covers that can be work to match your teams colors.  

See A Full List Of Sleef Products Here

EliteTek Custom Spats

elitetek custom spats

EliteTek, known for their football equipment, offers a cleat cover that is great for matching team colors.  

They also offer a low price point ($10), which is affordable is the cleat cover happens to rip.  

  • Comes in a Pair (2 covers)
  • Keeps turf rubber/debris out of your cleats
  • Helps stop shoe laces from coming untied. Used in all cleated sports, Football, Rugby, Baseball and Soccer
  • Machine wash and air dry or dry on low heat. (83% nylon – 17% spandex)
  • Small (Y10-4), Medium (4.5 – 8), and Large (8.5 – 14)

Suggested Application: Prior to putting on the shoes, pull the cleat cover over your foot and up above to your ankle area. Then put on the shoe and pull the cleat cover back down and over the shoe.  

Check Out Different Colors & Options Here

Battle Cleat Cover

battle cleat cover

Already have a Battle Back plate?

Match the back plate with these battle cleat covers to keep the look in sync. Here are the benefits of the battle cleat spats:

  • Sold in pairs
  • Keeps laces tight while helping to support the ankle
  • Prevents turf from sticking to cleats
  • Smooth polyester material feels great and washes easily
  • Comfortably fits over the Battle XFAST ankle brace

Buy The Battle Cleat Cover Here

Related Questions

Why Do Football Players Tape Their Ankles?

Football players tape their ankles to support and prevent any injuries that include sprains or breaks. The tape restricts a bit of movement but provides stability throughout the ankle.  

Does Ankle Taping Or Spatting An Ankle Prevent Injury?

Adding support with tape or a spat to the ankle can help prevent injury. However, football is a contact sport where players may get hit on the ankle which can bend or twist the wrong way.  

What’s your favorite way of spatting cleats? Do you use tape or cleat covers? Let us know in the comment section!

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