Breaking in new shoes can be a thrilling experience, especially when you have been waiting for a long time to get them. However, it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you don't break them in properly. Uncomfortable shoes can cause blisters, sores, and even lead to injuries. Fortunately, there are ways to break in new shoes without pain. In this article, we will discuss some of the best techniques to help you break in your new shoes comfortably.
Why Do New Shoes Hurt?
Before we dive into the techniques, it's essential to understand why new shoes hurt in the first place. When you wear new shoes, the materials used to make them are stiff and inflexible. This means that they don't conform to the shape of your feet, leading to pressure points and discomfort. Additionally, new shoes can cause friction between your feet and the shoe's interior, leading to blisters and sores.
Techniques for Breaking in New Shoes
Wear Them at Home
One of the best ways to break in new shoes is to wear them around the house. This allows you to get used to the feel of the shoes without putting too much pressure on your feet. Start by wearing them for short periods, such as 15-30 minutes, and gradually increase the time as your feet get used to them. This technique works well for shoes that are not too tight or uncomfortable.
Use a Shoe Stretcher
If your shoes are too tight, you can use a shoe stretcher to stretch them out. A shoe stretcher is a device that expands the width and length of the shoe, making it more comfortable to wear. You can buy a shoe stretcher online or at a shoe store. Insert the stretcher into the shoe and turn the knob to expand it gradually. Leave it in the shoe for a few hours or overnight, depending on how much stretch you need.
Heat can help soften the materials in the shoe, making them more flexible and easier to wear. You can use a hairdryer to apply heat to the shoe's interior, focusing on the areas that are tight or uncomfortable. Hold the hairdryer about 6 inches away from the shoe and move it around for a few minutes. After heating the shoe, wear it for a few minutes to help it conform to the shape of your feet.
Use Moleskin or Band-Aids
If you have a specific area of your foot that is prone to blisters or sores, you can use moleskin or band-aids to protect it. Apply the moleskin or band-aid to the affected area before wearing the shoes. This will help reduce friction between your foot and the shoe's interior, preventing blisters and sores.
Stretch Them with Ice
Another way to stretch your shoes is by using ice. Fill a ziplock bag with water, and place it inside the shoe. Put the shoe in the freezer and leave it overnight. As the water freezes, it expands, stretching the shoe's interior. Take the shoe out of the freezer and let it thaw for a few minutes before removing the bag. Wear the shoe for a few minutes to help it conform to your feet.
Tips for Breaking in New Shoes
- Start by wearing your new shoes for short periods, gradually increasing the time as your feet get used to them.
- Wear socks that are similar to the ones you plan to wear with the shoes.
- Use a shoe horn to help you put on the shoes, especially if they are tight.
- Avoid wearing your new shoes for extended periods until they are fully broken in.
- Don't wear your new shoes in wet conditions, as this can damage the materials and make them harder to break in.
Other Techniques to Break in New Shoes
Use a Blow Dryer
In addition to applying heat to the shoe's interior, you can also use a blow dryer to soften the exterior of the shoe. This technique works well for leather shoes. Hold the blow dryer about 6 inches away from the shoe and move it around for a few minutes. After heating the shoe, wear it for a few minutes to help it conform to the shape of your feet.
Wear Them with Thick Socks
If your shoes are too tight, you can wear them with thick socks to stretch them out. This technique works well for shoes that are not too uncomfortable. Wear the shoes with thick socks for a few hours each day until they are fully broken in.
Use a Leather Softener
If you have leather shoes that are too stiff, you can use a leather softener to make them more pliable. Apply the leather softener to the exterior of the shoe and rub it in with a cloth. Wear the shoes for a few minutes to help the softener penetrate the leather.
Breaking in new shoes can be a pain, but it doesn't have to be. By following the techniques and tips outlined in this article, you can make the process more comfortable and less painful. Remember to take your time and be patient, as rushing the process can lead to injuries and discomfort. With a little effort and perseverance, you can enjoy your new shoes without any pain or discomfort.