You’ve got a new pair of boots, now what? You might need to break them in. When you buy a new pair of boots, they may not be broken in yet and come with their own set of challenges. Some methods can help get your boots open up faster, but these are only temporary fixes until your shoes open up on their own.
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8 Ways to Break In Your New Boots
When you buy new boots, they might be stiff and tight. They might also need to be broken in. How do you do this? Here are ways to break in your new boots, a handy how-to guide that will help you with many common tasks such as breaking in athletic shoes and breaking the heel off a pair of shoes. You can check out these 8 ways to break in your new boots here!
Waterproof your new boots.
Waterproof your new boots. You can spray the new boots with a product like Nikwax, to help waterproof them faster. This method doesn’t last long on its own so don’t expect it to drastically change the wear and consistency of your boots over time. Using this method, you want to make sure you’ve got a waterproof membrane in place or the leather will soak up all of the water and swell up, making the boots more uncomfortable for you than usual.
Smear on some petroleum jelly.
Smear on some petroleum jelly. The boots should be broken in around the end of the day when there’s less pressure on your feet, and there’s an area to sit down and relax for a bit if you need to. Put on some thick black socks, then smeared the petroleum jelly over every part of your new shoes, especially near the laces and ankle areas where they might rub together throughout the day.
Put on your new boots the “right way”.
Put on your new boots the “right way”. Ideally, you want your feet to sink into the boots so they mold to the shape of your leg, but that might not always be possible with a performance boot like an MTP or ACU Boot. To get them really broken in quick, you can stick a few pairs of socks in them – wool socks are best – and wear them without any laces.
Massage your boots.
Massage your boots. It sounds a bit odd, but professional masseuses can actually help the leather break in on some boots. The most preferred method of breaking in a pair of boots is to rub the leather along your calf muscles and the bottom of your foot, as well as through the straps, lacing holes and any other parts that are rubbing together throughout the day.
Do some squats.
Do some squats. While your boot will not be broken in at this point, doing squats can help loosen up the leather so it will flex more as you walk and become more comfortable over time. There are a lot of different types of squats, if you’re feeling a bit lost about doing something to your boots, try using dumbbells or each other’s backs for some stability while you squat down and back up again without bending over much.
Apply a boot conditioner.
Apply a boot conditioner. This method will help break in your leather boots faster, but it won’t work for every pair of boots out there on the market so try to test it out on an old pair of boots first before applying it to your new ones. You can also just let time do most of the work so you don’t have to break out any products to help soften up the leather inside.
Punch your new boots.
Punch your new boots. Wear them for about a half hour and then stick them in the freezer overnight with a pair of heavy-duty boot socks on to keep your feet warm and protected. By morning, you should start stomping around with your new boots while they’re still cold to help break them in quicker.
Add in some moisture.
Add in some moisture. If you’ve got a pair of leather boots that are dry inside from shipping or sitting on a shelf for a while, adding in some water will help get them more comfortable over time but it’s not going to give you the instant gratification as the other methods mentioned above can provide. You can either spray your boots with water, dip them in water, or stick them in a tub full of water and leave them to soak for several hours before breaking them in.
Boots are one of the most important pieces of gear you’ll possess, so it’s important to make them as comfortable as possible. These tips and tricks can help you get the boots broken in faster so you’re not constantly thinking about how uncomfortable they make your feet.
To break in your new boots, here are a few things you can do:
- Wear them for 30-60 minutes each day while sitting down and walking around gently with them on (not running or throwing yourself into situations). This will stretch the leather out a bit and make it more comfortable to wear.
- Massage the boot with your hands or rub petroleum jelly onto the inside of the boot to break up any tight spots near your foot area – this is especially important for ankle boots, where rubbing can reduce blisters that might result from rubbing together throughout the day. Be careful not to rub too hard! Patience is key!
- Heat up your boots before wearing them for 20-30 minutes by bringing them inside and setting them on the top of your oven or in some hot water for a few hours.
Here are some quick questions and answers about breaking in your boots:
Can you use a pair of socks to break in your boots?
It’s best if you don’t use socks as they’re going to make the boots tight and uncomfortable, but it’s still possible. If you wear them without any socks at all, they’ll get more comfortable over time. Just make sure whatever kind of tying method you use for your laces is snug enough to protect and support the foot, otherwise, they’ll start to come undone over time.
Do I have to break my boots in?
No, you don’t have to break your boots in. You can just wear them for a while and they’ll adjust and conform to the shape of your feet over time. However, if you’re planning on giving them a workout or wearing them when they’re still pretty stiff as new, it’s best to break them in beforehand.
Will breaking boots in be uncomfortable?
It’s possible to make the process of breaking in your boots a bit uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be terrible. Oftentimes, the most painful part is breaking in new combat boots, as they’re more like sneakers and don’t give your feet a ton of support until you do some squats.
How long does it take for my boots to break in?
It depends a lot on the pair of boots you’ve got and what you’re using to break them in with, but overall it can take up to two months of consistent use before they conform to the shape of your feet.
Should I break in the toe box?
You can, but it’s not necessary. The best thing to do is just wear them around for a while before you decide if there’s any rubbing that needs to be addressed or not.
When should I start breaking in my new work boots?
Most performance boots shouldn’t be worn right out of the box, so it’s best to wait before wearing your new pair until you’re comfortable wearing them. For MTP-series combat boots, it’s ideal to wear them around for a few hours every day for 2-3 days while sitting down if you’ve got a full break-in period scheduled.
What’s the best way to break in work boots?
The method that works best for some boots or people may not be ideal for you, so there are a few ways to break in your new boots. You can use petroleum jelly, do some squats or wear them around the house with heavy socks.
How should I take care of my new work boots?
The best way to care for your boots is to keep them clean and free of stains so they keep wearing in the right way. To take care of your work boots, make sure you use a boot-care product on the leather like Nikwax and use some foot cream or petroleum jelly on the cuffs and seams to help protect it from rubbing on other parts of the boot.
Do these methods really help with breaking in work boots?
Yes, if you’re not willing to wear your new work boots for a couple of weeks straight, then one of the above methods should help you break them in faster without limping around during that time.
Should I use a boot conditioner if my boots are brand new?
It’s not recommended to apply oil or grease to your new black leather work boots because it will make the leather darker and encourage it to crack.
How can I speed up the break-in process for my work boots?
Using a boot stretcher can help speed up the breaking in process for your new boots, but you’ll need to be careful when using one because they do stretch out after a few months of regular use.
How often should I break in my work boots?
The best time frame to break in your new work boots is to wear them for a couple of hours every day for 2-3 days while sitting down if you’ve got a full break-in period scheduled. If you’re not sure, contact the manufacturer and ask them to provide you with information on how long you should be wearing them before switching back to a full-time duty boot.
How can I soften up my new work boots?
If they’re too stiff and inflexible to wear on the job, then you might want to consider using a boot stretcher before wearing them.