Sports shoe cleats release torque

Case study
Customised Vortex-i cleat release torque fixture
Customised Vortex-i cleat release torque fixture
Golf shoe cleat release torque graph and specimen
Golf shoe cleat release torque graph and specimen

Interchangeable sports shoe cleats must be easy to remove and replace, but remain securely locked into the sole when in use.


Release torque is measured by a software-controlled Vortex-i test system fitted with custom fixtures to precisely locate the sole specimen and engage with the cleat teeth.

Axial load is provided by masses applied by a pneumatic actuator.


  • Repeatable bespoke testing
  • Fully automated system for reliability and confidence


A leading golf shoe supplier needed to measure the release torque of the interchangeable cleats in its range of sports footwear.

The individual cleats are produced with between six and eight teeth, but all locate into the shoe sole with the same PINS insert system.

The cleat removal wrench uses two pins to engage into matching holes to enable the user to unscrew the cleat.

The manufacturer wanted an immediate indication of a pass/fail condition based on their test procedure - to ensure the user is able to easily remove the cleats as required, but be confident they will not become loose as the spikes penetrate the ground in normal use.


Mecmesin supplied a Vortex-i computer-controlled test stand with modifications to provide space for clearance of all shoe sizes to rotate during the removal torque test.

Customised fixtures were critical in ensuring the necessary repeatability and ease-of-use.

The inserted cleat to be removed is precisely aligned by a gimbal coupled to an X-Y motion table.

The upper fixture incorporates two pins to engage with the shallow cleat holes, while a specified axial load is applied to keep the pins located during torque application.

For added speed and convenience the load is pneumatically lifted after the test.

Emperor Torque software controls the stand and displays the real-time torque to turn vs. angle graph.

It measures the recorded peak torque value then compares against acceptable criteria to instantly display the result as pass/fail.

Test equipment

  • Vortex-i software-controlled torque tester
  • Custom gripping fixture
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Mecmesin/PPT Group, UK