His secret? Self-sacrifice.
As Forbath explained in an interview with Sports Evolution Radio, he wears a kicking cleat three times smaller than his regular shoe (size 10.5).
“I go through a little process with it,” he said, via the Washington Post. “We have this shoe oven. I think it’s initially made for hockey skates. You put the shoe in the oven for about 10 minutes, take it out, put it on real quick while it’s still burning hot. And I have to jam my foot in and wear it around for about 10 minutes. I do it again the next day. And then I kick in it for about 10 minutes a day for two weeks until it’s finally somewhat comfortable. So it’s about a two week process to break in each shoe.”
Forbath, who typically goes through three shoes per season, detailed how uncomfortable game days can be.
“The surface it creates when you squeeze [your foot into the shoe], it’s a real hard surface which obviously makes the pop on the ball a lot stronger,” he said. “You know, you’re trying to get every yard you can get. People have been doing it for a long time now. It’s horrible. I shave the inside cleats off, so my foot is slanted as I walk on it too. When I look down, I still can’t believe how it fits in there.”
For comparison, Forbath tweeted a side-by-side comparison of both shoes, which I’ve included above.
One word: ouch.
(Photo courtesy of Forbath/DC Sports Bog)