Break In New Boots with Ease
There’s nothing like finding out the hard way that your brand new shoes rub. It takes the shine of your new shoes and puts a downer on the whole day. You were imagining yourself walking tall looking from top to toe, instead you spend your time hobbling around apologizing for feet and not being at your best. Only the very lucky avoid learning first hand how painful and distracting a blister can be. The rest of us mere mortals need help to break in our shoes so they match up with our feet. Here are a few handy tips.
Do the Basics to Prevent Blisters
It’s usual for new shoes to be tough on feet and cause blisters. Some spots on your feet are more vulnerable than others and are known as hotspots. Most people are not aware of where their hotspots are although they can get an idea by going on a test walk for an hour or so.
The common hotspots are on the heels, toes, and sides of the feet. These areas are in direct contact with the edges of the shoe and are more prone to friction which results in blisters. To avoid them always keep your feet well hydrated by applying lotions or petroleum jelly before putting your socks and shoes on.
Sweating is another major cause of foot blisters. You can prevent blisters by applying antiperspirant directly onto your feet. This will inhibit the excretion of sweat and keep your feet dry especially in hot humid weather.
Loosen the Difficult Spots
Some shoes are tight in particular spots only and do not fit properly which results in uncomfortable movement. If your shoes are tight in a particular area say, around the toe joint, you can fix it with the help of blow dryer. Simply put on your shoes with appropriate socks and blow dry the tight part of the shoe for half a minute. This will make the shoe material a little more flexible and moldable. Now, walk around for a few minutes while your shoe is still hot. You will feel your shoe adjusting to the features of your foot and feel comfortable walking around.
Apart from using a shoe stretcher, blow drying or heating the difficult spots, ice bags are also useful for stretching shoes. Although the blow drying trick is quick and takes only a few seconds, the freezing trick is time-consuming and requires overnight to work. Simply fill a plastic bag with water and place it into the toe of the shoe. Now place the shoe in the freezer and let the water freeze to do its magic. As water expands on freezing, it will stretch out the shoe toes. In the morning simply remove the freeze water bag from shoes and you are good to go. This is a great way of stretching shoes but it only works with flexible materials. It also requires careful estimation since too much water will result in overstretching of shoe toes.
Tips for Breaking into Leather Boots
Leather work boots are more difficult to break in than any other type of shoes due to their reduced flexibility. We recommend you to allow your new leather shoes two weeks adjustment time before putting them on for full fledge working day. Follow these tips for softening and adjusting the leather boots naturally.
- Wear a thick pair of socks every morning and put on your new leather shoes. Walk around the house with the shoes on until you start feeling uncomfortable. Now remove the shoes and wear again the next morning. Usually, your feet are at its full size in the morning hours and this little test walk will make them adjust to your foot contours gradually. Never opt for a trial walk in new shoes in the afternoon as during these hours your feet are more swollen and more prone to blisters and wounds.
- If your new leather shoes are not comfortable on your feet and feel a bit tight then place a ziplock bag in your shoe and fill it with water until the shoes are completely full of water. Now, seal the ziplock bag and place your shoes overnight in the freezer. In the morning slowly and gently remove the ice from the shoes and check them out. Repeat the process for several consecutive days until your shoes become comfortable to put on and walk around.
- Twist, wring and bend your shoes every day especially on problematic areas. This will loosen the leather and help make them comfortable. Remember to be gentle or you may damage your new pair of leather boots.
Tips for Breaking into Hiking Boots
You spend good money on buying those Timberland boots for hiking, and those boots are usually very comfortable and adjust naturally to your foot contours but some hiking shoes require a bit of prior adjustment or molding. Here are some useful tips for breaking into your new hiking boots.
- Put on your new hiking boots with the insoles, gear, and compression socks that you are planning to wear on your hiking trail. Tie the shoe so it’s comfortable and walk around the house to see how well they adjust to your feet.
- New boots are usually a bit stiff in the beginning but with time comfort to your foot. Therefore, it’s better to go for a walk around the home and climb up and down the stairs until they are ready rather than climb hills or hike tough terrain on a trail.
Each shoe has a different material and construction and sometimes requires exceptional care. Always read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to get the best from your new shoes – it becomes even more important when you talk about caring for waterproof boots.
New shoes are a big deal and it can be disappointing when they don’t quite fit. But you can help yourself help your feet with a good moisturizer and socks and walking around the house on a practice run is easy. Breaking new shoes needn’t be a slow painful business when you get the blow dryer on them. And, if they still won’t conform and bend to your will and stretch out you can still hit them hard with a blast from the freezer. Give it time and one way or another you’ll be cool sporting your comfortable new footwear.