Boots, blisters, and break-in pain. While you’ve invested good money for the first of these, the other two come free of charge and they’re the cost of your new digs. But, fear not. There’s no denying or short-cutting the time it takes to break-in new boots, but these tips and tricks can help make the process as easy and as painless as possible.
Keep a Spare Pair
New boots can take around 80 to 100 hours to break in. That being said, don’t subject yourself to wearing your boots for 4 days straight and expect your feet to be happy with you. Instead, space this time out to about 2 to 3 hours a day and keep a second pair of boots to change into. You could try to do this multiple days in a row, but it might be best if you space these days out too. Your feet need time to both adapt to the arch of the boots as well as rest from it and your boots need time to dry from the sweat accumulated from you wearing them. By taking breaks in between, both your feet and the leather on your boots have time to breathe.
Wear It Down Without Wearing Your Boots Out
You may love your boots because they’re new, but it’s because they’re new that they hurt. To break your boots in more while giving your feet a break, use your hands. The heels are the stiffest part of the boots and by crushing them with your hands, you’re helping to soften that rigid area. By doing this, don’t feel as if you’re destroying or ruining your new boots. What you’re doing is simply fast forwarding to what will eventually happen to your boots if you wear them over time, minus the pain. But keep in mind, while this method is helpful, it’s still important to bear through the pain and break in your new boots by mainly wearing them. While mashing the heels with your hands helps with breaking in, your feet and your boots still need time to get used to each other.
Rock Thick Socks in Boots
One way to both protect your feet and to start to slowly, but softly and surely, stretch the leather on your boots is to wear thick socks. Thick socks give you more protection by adding extra padding for your feet against blisters and hotspots. Thick socks also help to mold your men’s or boots to your feet. By using the gradual pressure as well as the heat and warmth that comes from wearing thicker socks, the leather gently stretches more. This, in turn, helps speed up the breaking in process. If you want to invest in thicker socks you can, but wearing a pair (or two) of your thickest socks can be just as effective.
Size Does Matter
You probably already know your boot size may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, it’s still important to emphasize getting the right fit. Buying a pair that’s too small and hoping it’ll stretch out over time isn’t always a guaranteed fix. Buying a pair that’s too big, you’ll never make it out of the break on stage. Some suggest getting boots that are half a size larger or half a size smaller. The best way to avoid getting an ill-fitting size is to buy in person and buy directly from the manufacturer. If you can’t go in person, at least by contacting the manufacturer you’ll be able to get the actual sizing information directly from the source.
Be Kind and Keep in Mind Your Leather
Just like skin and hair, the leather on your boots needs to be treated and taken care of too. Investing in leather softener, leather conditioner, or leather oil will help both break in your new boots faster as well as prolong your boots’ lifespan over time. These treatments help to soften and moisturize the leather on your boots, which in turn helps the leather to stretch and mold to your feet. Overusing these, however, may lead to the leather becoming floppy. Use these leather treatments regularly while you’re still in the break in stage, then space out usage to help promote the longevity of your boots.
Home is Where the Break In is
While you may be eager to showcase your new boots to the world, you might want to take it slow and start at home. If you decide to immediately start wearing your new boots to work or to various social outings, you won’t be on your feet for long as you still need time to adjust. By wearing your new boots in your household, you give your feet more time to rest while you move about, rather than constantly being on your feet for a prolonged amount of time. An additional perk to breaking your new boots in at home is that you’ll be able to wear and enjoy them while they’re still in their fresh, clean, and pristine condition.
Just like most good things in life, breaking in boots takes time. It’s a long process, but that process is a short amount of time compared to when your boots finally become comfortable enough for everyday use for years to come. You’ve spent good money on these shoes, so do both your boots and your feet a favor and take it nice and slow.
Bonus Breaking In Quick Tips
- To prevent blisters before they come or to treat the ones already there, stock up on bandaids.
- Try skipping eyelets and trying different lacing combinations to give your feet a little more space while adjusting to new boots.
- If you’ve been breaking in your boots, but they’re still a little tight, try using a shoe stretcher.
- If you’re apprehensive about doing it yourself, seek a cobbler’s help.
- To minimize blisters caused by friction, try using petroleum jelly on your feet or cornstarch on your boots and socks.
- Don’t use heat or water to try to speed up the break in process. Water can rot, warp, shrink, dry out, and cause cracks and tears in leather. Heat can suck out all of the natural moisture from leather leading to the same results. Stick to the products designed for softening.
Style meets utility with the sleek Weldor work boot. A perfect addition to any wardrobe, the moc toe Weldor is our best pick for a breathable work shoe that will be a mainstay in your closet for years to come.
If you're looking for boots with a no break-in period, please check out our video on “No Break in Period of Weldor”.