New shoes are a joy for everybody, even though men are less prone to displaying public enthusiasm about that. The fun is short-lived if you start developing blisters and have a hard time getting back home with your shoes on, though.
Sometimes you have to rush back to the store and pick a different size. But even when you find a snug fit, it could take a while until the shoes adjust to your feet. That’s why you should know how to break in shoes before wearing them daily. You can do this by yourself, so here is our advice on it.
Take Short Walks
This simple advice is the most common when people ask how to make new shoes more comfortable. It doesn’t require any special skills or supplementary items and special techniques.
It works great most of the times, especially if you have leather shoes.
Trying to break in shoes one day at a time is a slow-paced method, so if you really want to speed things up, this is not what you’re looking for.
However, you shouldn’t skip this step altogether: wearing the shoes for a day could make you understand what you need to work on exactly.
How To Do It
Here’s the easy way to do the walk method:
Put your shoes on and take them for a walk at the park or through your home. Just pretend you misplaced your bunny slippers.
It would be best if you kept them on for at least half an hour and gradually increase this amount of time until you feel comfortable enough to keep them on for the whole day.
You can use some tips on how to soften new shoes if you want to speed up the process:
- Use insoles so that you can wear them for longer
- Wear thick padded socks to prevent soreness and pain
- Try shoe stretch spray for your leather uppers
- Use a hair drier to soften the uppers
- Use oils on the uppers and on your shoes’ soles to stretch the materials
- Try soap rubbing to make the shoes more flexible
There is no precise time limit regarding how long you should be doing this. It also depends on the style, type of material, insoles or personal preference for a certain feel. That’s why you should be ready to do this in two to four weeks, so an alternative pair of shoes is mandatory.
Stretch Them By Using Socks Or Paper
Whenever you think you need to speed up the break-in process, this method is one of the tried and tested ones. It’s a no brainer, so you can adjust it as you see fit.
Stretching the shoes by stuffing them with old newspapers or pairs of socks doesn’t make them fit overnight, but it’s a helping hand when you’re impatient or don’t have enough time to walk and wait.
How To Do It
You need to pay attention to how you fill them. Certain spots have more to do with rubbing your toes and ankles and cause blisters and wounds, so placing more pressure in those areas will improve comfort.
Once you stuffed the shoes with various materials, you should leave them like that until your next walk. Repeat the procedure every time you place them in the footlocker.
Use Water Bags To Speed Things Up
If there would be a manual on how to make shoes comfortable when new, this method would always be in the first chapter. As you can imagine, you’ll need some Ziploc bags to put some water in.
How To Do It
The water level in the bag should be adjusted, depending on where you want to place it. The toe area is a bit narrow, so you’ll only need about one-quarter of the bag volume filled.
You can put up to one third when you want to expand the instep volume as well. Trying to stretch the whole shoe, including the ankle area, requires the bag to be half full. That is often the case with new shoes.
Place the bag in the shoe after you’ve checked it thoroughly. Any leaks could mean significant damage to your shoes, the kind that is hard to remedy. Leave the shoes in a freezer for at least 24 hours. That should be long enough for the water to freeze and the shoes to stretch. In most cases, 48 hours is best.
After this period, wait a bit before you can extract the bag. Give the shoes a bit more so that they recover from the cold and become wearable. Most people using this method had good results, which is why you should try it.
Use Conditioners And Stretchers
Finding the right fit or breaking into shoes is not very dramatic. That is until you need to find out how to break in shoes that rub your heels.
Suppose the problem persists even though you applied the techniques mentioned above. In that case, you can try other tips that include using shoe stretcher sprays, leather conditioners, alcohol and oils such as glycerin or castor oil.
How To Do It
You have to apply the preferred substance on the surface. Use a small area to ensure the type of solution you are using isn’t damaging the shoe. If everything is ok, rub it gently on to the section that gives you trouble.
You can even find videos that show you how to soften the back of new shoes. If the shoe design allows it, spray some of it inside to make it even softer.
Once you notice the stiffness is gone, put the shoes on wearing thick socks or use a shoe stretcher to expand the material. Wearing them usually works, plus you’ll know precisely when they give in.