However, getting there is not an easy task, and just like getting back in shape, it requires patience and consistency.
So before we dive right into the different ways, you can break in a pair of boots, let’s first look at how it all works.
The Mechanics of Breaking-in a New Pair of Boots
You see, what most manufacturers consider important during the initial layout of a shoe is the size. Rightly so, once the boot fits the ball curve of your foot, you have the right size.
Still, most people have unique issues with their feet. Some have high arches, while others have wide heels. That difference is what dictates your first experience wearing a new set of boots.
In essence, a new pair of boots comes completely flat. There are no creases or bends whatsoever, and most of them are stiff and thick, depending on the brand.
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So the first thing you should do is look at the key areas where your foot pivots. Naturally, it’s the region right above your toes and heel. These two areas are where you’ll start to notice some creasing and bending once you begin walking.
Why Size Matters
That said, the first step of breaking in a new pair of boots is in the fit process. So, if you find that your toes jammed up against the front, or your shoes aren’t wide enough chances are you’ll never be able to break in.
Never leave anything to chance when it comes to size. Make sure you visit a physical store and get the right measurements. More so, if you plan to buy your boots online.
If not, then go custom, because really, there’s nothing better than a custom-made boot. It’s slightly expensive but still worth it in the end.
Now that you own new boots, which are the perfect size and you’re thinking of the cool things you’ll get to do in them, here are some of the best ways you can begin to break them in:
The Best Ways to Break in Boots
Stretch the Boots around the House
Before you go out with your new pair of breathable boots, you should first test them out at home. You can start by wearing a thick pair of socks and put on your boots to exaggerate your foot size.
That way, you’ll be able to stretch out the outer fabric. If you feel you need more room inside, try taking out the insoles.
Once you have them on try walking around your house for a couple of hours to get an idea of what it’ll be like when you’re outside.
Feel how they mold with your feet, and take note of any pinching points or hotspots. Also, check on important things like your heel lift or if your toes are comfortable enough against the front.
At the end of it, you’ll have a picture of how your boots will feel like and as such, decide whether you are ready to wear them outside.
Bring another set of Boots with you
Have you ever tried to work with boots that are excruciatingly tight or pinching? It’s the worst feeling ever. See, when you buy a pair of Knicks, they are usually hard to break in because they are so robust and tight.
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So, once you’ve decided to go out with your new pair of boots, always have a backup plan. Carry with you another set of work shoes so that you can have the option of changing them out.
Ideally, you should switch up your boots around midday for a couple of weeks, alternating back and forth.
That way, your feet will have a taste of what the new boots feel like, and your boots will start to adjust. In time the pressure will ease off, and you’ll be able to break in seamlessly.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way, and the truth is most times, you’ll likely have discomfort wearing a new pair of boots. So here are some of the ways you can alleviate some of the problems you might run into.
High Arch Problem
One problem that you’ll likely face is the top of your arch pushing against the top of your boot. So how do you break-in?
Skip some Eyelids
Here’s what that means. When you run your laces go over the area, which is pushing it to the boot, this way, you’ll avoid the laces pressing down on your arch.
After all, you’re trying to break in the boot, not the laces. So skip some eyelids to ease the pressure on your arch.
Pressure outside your big Toe or pinky Toe
At some point, you may feel pressure on the adjacent ends of your toes. That shows that your boot is slightly narrow compared to the size of your foot. So what do you solve this minor problem?
Use a Conditioner or Boot stretchers
You can use a product that helps soften the stress regions on your boot, and with time, relaxes the pain points, just enough to loosen your boot. Stretchers, on the other hand, gradually expand the material, especially in the toe sections.
Use Alcohol and Water
For a more conservative approach, you can mix up alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply it on any tight areas on your leather boots to help ease up. The only thing you need to watch out for is alcohol may remove some dyes and stains.
So if you have a pair of boots with some paint job, it’s better to avoid alcohol.
At times your heel might move up and down at the back of your boot. Some companies solve this by putting a piece of suede or leather to prevent that from happening.
So what can you do if your boot doesn’t have that?
Use Sandpaper to Scuff up the Heels
Here’s how you can use sandpaper to stop your heel from slipping. Just sand lightly the area where your heel comes into contact with the leather. The idea is to add little grip so that it can grab the sock you’re wearing and prevent your heel from slipping out.
Lock your Heel down with the Laces
Have you ever seen one of those hiking boots where the eyelids are back by the heel? Well, it helps pull the heel toward the boot, and you can also apply the same technique on your regular boots.
Use something we call the surgeons’ knot. Do this by winning two laces together a couple of times right above your heel area on the boot. That way, you’ll lock your foot in and prevent friction that causes blisters.
Now that you have an idea of what it takes to break in a pair of boots get ready to go out and test out your boots. You’ll love it.