So you have bought your new amazing shoes but every time you try them on it hurts? There are various ways to avoid getting painful blisters on your feet and feeling desperate about your recent purchase. Follow our tips on how to break in shoes and you will want to wear them forever!
1. Make sure you have the right size
Do you feel like the shoes sit too tight? You might have gotten a wrong size. To find out if this is your case, try to stick a finger between your heel and the shoe heel. There should be around one finger width’s space. Do not forget that if you stand up, the weight of your body flattens the foot, so make sure you still have enough space in the shoe for it. Generally, it is the best idea to try this and walking a few laps at home, in case you need to return the shoes later.
2. Take it slowly
Do you ask how long it takes to break in shoes? It is a process, which can take up to four weeks. Slowly introducing your shoes to your feet is a good idea. Strive to wear the new shoes often, however only for short periods in case that you would get blisters. No one wants to be on a long walk at the other end of the city when the blisters start to form. Unless you want to be carrying another pair of shoes with you.
3. Try rotating your footwear
Of course, we get that you are excited about your new footwear, but please be careful. Swap the new shoes for some of your older pairs that fit you well, so you prevent any feet pain or blisters. By giving your feet a break, they can heal, relax, and be ready for the next round of breaking in your shoes when the time comes.
4. Try thicker socks
Try wearing a very thick or fluffy pair of socks and then put on your new shoes. The socks will prevent blisters from forming and your shoes will start stretching if you walk in them. There are some softening foams on the market that you could try, too, but be very careful with leather shoes to not to damage them.
5. Lace them up properly
If you are aiming to break in any type of shoes with laces, lace them up properly before trying anything. The shoes need to start forming around your feet in the way that they will be actually worn.
Usually, it is easier to break in your suede leather shoes because of its soft leather structure. Our loafers are especially comfortable and do not need a long time to adjust to your feet.
Beware of some common advice to freeze or heat your shoes to stretch them easily. Leather is a natural material and it can certainly be damaged in this way. On the other hand, high quality leather is sturdy and needs some break in time but once it is formed to your feet, it becomes very comfortable. These shoes might then go on to become your favorite pair easily.
But, what if that is not enough?
What else can I do to break in Shoes?
1. If the shoes pinch, then the safest way is definitely to go to a cobbler. A specialist can always best assess how and where the shoe should be widened. Here, the right tools are used directly, which minimizes the risk of damaging the material. A shoe stretching by the cobbler costs very little.
Second, something which seems to be forgotten, but it's still valid:
2. A shoe stretcher is a worthwhile purchase if you are often confronted with the problem of too tight shoes. Depending on the model, individual areas of the shoe can be specifically widened. This is done by attachments that are placed, for example, at the position of the little toe and provide a selective stretch in this area.
Basically, a shoe stretcher can build up tension in two directions. Similar to a shoe tree, the shoe can first be stretched in length. Through an additional screw thread, the aid can also be fanned out in width. In this way, lateral pressure points can also be widened well. Once the shoe stretcher has been fixed in the shoe, it should remain there overnight so that an effect can be achieved.
Third the oldest trick in the world:
3. Shoes can also be widened with the help of the heat of a hair dryer:
Put on one or two very thick socks and then slip into the shoe that is too tight.
Gently heat the shoe with a hairdryer in the areas that pinch. The material should never get too hot.
Now move the foot back and forth to put pressure on the tight areas. This process can be further supported by gently stretching and bending with the hands.
Hopefully, these pieces of advice will help you with your process to break in shoes. It is time to design your custom dress shoes at Hockerty.