How to Break in Leather Boots: Efficient Tips From Experts
So you have bought a brand new pair of boots but are anticipating the pain of stretching out the leather before your feet get used to them. The break-in pain is an unavoidable paradox of having new boots. You know that one day they will fit, but for now, you can almost feel the pain and the accompanying blisters even before you slide them in.
This realization can make you dread wearing the new boots despite knowing that you need to overcome this once and for all. You may also have had a bad experience in the past, breaking in leather boots or shoes.
Never fear because there are a few things you can do to break in the boots almost painlessly. This means that you should not shun buying the highest quality leather because of the anticipated pain. As you are going to read below, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make this process pleasant. So read on.
1. Get the Right Size
Just because it is usual to experience some pain when wearing new leather boots, it does not mean that any blisters you get are justified. There are some situations where you will be trying to squeeze yourself into tiny boots that are just not you. You need to know that there is not much that you can do if your boots do not fit.
Your toes should not be cramped, and the width of your foot should not hang over the foot-bed if you got the right size. This may not be a major problem for people with narrow feet, but if you have wide feet, you have to be extra careful.
If any of these two problems are present, no amount of breaking in is going to fix the problem. On the other hand, if the boots are too big, you can expect blisters every time you wear them regardless of the break-in technique that you have used.
With any of these two problems, breaking in will not help, and you are better off returning the boots and getting a fitting pair. Most stores will allow you to replace if a certain period has not elapsed.
It is possible that you do not know your size. If that is the case, ask your local shoe dealer if they have a Brannock device for taking measurements. It would help if you did this because simply reading the boot number indicated on the shoe may not be enough, as many manufacturers are not true-to-size. If it is possible, try on the boots personally before you buy them.
It is advisable to try boots that are a half-size larger as well as those which are smaller than your actual size to get a feel of the brand's fit.
If you're making a purchase online, ensure that you read as many reviews as possible, especially from people who have ordered and returned them due to size complaints. You may discover that a particular brand sells smaller shoes despite indicating specific numbers on them.
2. Wear Them With a Pair of Thick Socks
Once you are satisfied that you have the right size, you can think about breaking in comfortably. It is advisable first to try the largest socks that you have. If you don't have any thick ones, put two on.
Wear the boots and walk around the house for a few hours. I would recommend Clarks Men's Bushacre 2 Chukka Boot if you want a comfortable boot that you can wear every day to work or for other functions. The boots are durable, comfortable, and stylish.
This exercise will help you determine whether your boots are the actual size that you need without getting them dirty for the actual daily use. Moreover, it will be the first step in stretching out the leather for the day when you need to wear the boots. You have to remember that an out-of-the-box leather is always stiff and needs to be soft and before any use.
Wearing bulky socks will create the effect of warming up your feet while using the heat generated to soften the leather. This will also allow the shoe to take the shape of your foot. For these reasons, it is best to break in your leather boots in the summer as opposed to winter. This will perfectly work even for those with sweaty feet.
3. Use Band-aids
Once you have a new pair of leather boots, you already know where the blister will form of your feet, especially if you take part in vigorous activities such as hiking or aerobics.
Mostly, blisters form at the parts where there will be lots of friction while walking. Once you have identified all the places, all you need to do is slap a band-aid several times when wearing the new boots.
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If you can, ensure to get large fabric band-aids because they work best for this exercise. Avoid plastic ones because they tend to get slippery and will hardly stay in place well enough. Band-aids will also go a long way in shaping your leather boots in accordance with your foot.
4. Do Not Leave Your Old Boots at Home
Regardless of the breaking techniques that you have up your sleeves, carry an extra pair of old comfortable shoes to work or school. It would help if you did not commit to more than a few hours in your new boots. You may feel that they are comfortable in the morning once you wear them. However, it is common for your arches to require a break every few hours.
It is advisable to wear new boots early in the morning since your feet are fresh. Feet expand throughout the day; the more your body weight continues presses against them. This is why you should take off the new boots every 2 or 3 hours. You can let your feet remain free for a few minutes if you work a desk job. Use this technique for everyday shoes and stay comfortable.
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On the other hand, if you move around a lot, have your old boots ready under the desk or the trunk of your car. All you need to do is swap them out when the discomfort starts. You will only need two to do this for about 1 week until your new boots are comfortable for long-distance wear.
5. Blow Dry the Shoes
The type of shoe that you wear matters a lot when you're trying to break in. Leather shoes are usually some of the trickiest options to break in since they are structurally tough. It is worth noting that genuine leather shoes are durable. However, they are less delicate than synthetic materials and will handle most breaking approaches without being damaged.
With leather boots, it is common to feel some tightness in certain spots, such as the joint of the big toe, especially for people with wide feet. What you need to do is grab the hairdryer as well as the thick socks discussed earlier. Put on the socks and shoes and proceed to blow-dry over the spot for about 30 seconds. Ensure that you do it far away from the foot so that you don't burn yourself.
Stroll around the room to ensure that their shoe material loosens while hot and flexible. Repeat this exercise a few times until you've achieved some decent stretch. Once you feel that it is enough, remove the socks and test the boot again. This exercise will help avoid sweaty feet as well.
6. Use a Boot Stretcher
There are some situations where break-in will not work as intended. This is where a boot stretcher comes into play. It is one of the few investments that will be highly rewarding in the short-term. A boot stretcher allows you to skip all the work involved in breaking in boots by yourself.
You use a stretcher by sliding it into the front of your boot and cranking the bar at the opposite end. Once it's in place, you should go ahead and adjust it accordingly, which naturally expands the shoe.
It is important to remember that a shoe stretcher is different from a boot stretcher. Boot stretchers will work on all kinds of shoes, but shoe stretches with hardly work with boots.
7. Try a Professional
If everything fails, you should consider taking your boots to a cobbler. If you don't know any around your area, a simple Google search may be all you need. You have to remember that cobblers are rare nowadays, and the few that still occupy this line of work may be a bit expensive. Depending on how badly you need your boots broken in, they could be your only option.
Cobblers will usually break in your boots faster and will do it right. These professionals are masters at what they do; they may come up with solutions that eliminate any discomfort quickly. You may have to leave your pair of boots with the experts for a few days if they are too busy with other clients' work. You need to be patient if you want the job done right.
There you have it, a few tips that you can use to break in your new leather boots painlessly. The most important thing to remember is that almost any pair of leather boots can be broken in as long as it is the right size for your feet. If that is not the case, you need to get the pair replaced as soon as you can.
Regardless of the pain may have experienced trying to fit in a new pair of leather boots, following the tips described above will ensure that they are comfortable to wear in a few days.