Everyone, at some point in their lives, has hated breaking into those new shoes. Regardless of whether they are fancy, expensive, or affordable, everyday footwear, our feet have had a love-hate relationship with those new-difficult-to-wear shoes. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that can save you from the agony in the future. Below are five simple tips on how to break in new footwear!
1. Check if you have the right-sized shoes?
According to a 2020 news article, one in five people could be wearing the wrong-sized footwear. The research also suggests that about 30 million people in the UK have damaged their feet with ill-fitting footwear, making it challenging for them to walk afterwards. The main reason for ill-fitting footwear for most people is that they haven’t really had their feet measured for over a decade. They often buy the same size shoes they have been wearing ever since they were teenagers. However, did you know that like our bodies, our feet too change sizes—maybe not dramatically, but they do! Hence, it is important to regularly measure your feet like you do your body.
Ill-fitting footwear can give you bunions, corns, and even calluses. It is also one of many reasons for shoe bites and blisters when it comes to new shoes. Therefore, as you break in the shoes, it is important to ensure you first have the right-sized footwear for your feet.
2. Give time and slow down.
Contrary to popular belief, wearing new shoes for longer helps one break them in faster. However, it is not true. Having said that, imagine you have an important event coming up and you’ve got new shoes that need breaking in. You’re going to risk wearing footwear that may possibly be uncomfortable to wear for long hours or may even give you pesky blisters by the end of the day.
It is ideal to wear your new shoes frequently for short periods of time rather than wearing them occasionally for long periods as soon as you’ve bought them. Wearing them frequently for short periods lets your new shoes get used to the shape of your feet. Thereby making it easier to break into them.
3. Flaunt them at home!
Continuing with the previous recommendation, it is understandable if you do not want to use your new pair of shoes outside for shorter periods of time. Therefore, the tip is that you break in your shoes by wearing them for short periods at home. This has various benefits. Firstly, your new shoes stay brand new, and you will still be able to mould them as per your foot shape. Secondly, if they start hurting you, you can always take a break and switch them for your Roy's Boys slipper socks or regular slippers.
Once you have become comfortable and have broken into your new pair, flaunt those beautiful pairs of shoes or sandals to the world outside. A win-win for you and your feet!
4. Wear thick socks or use heat to loosen your footwear.
Put on a warm, thick pair of socks and blast a hair dryer on its highest heat setting all over the footwear for about a minute, or until soft and warm. Keep a distance of about 6-8 inches between the hair dryer and the shoe, as keeping it too close may melt the rubber or harm the material.
Once the shoe is warm, put it on your feet with some thick socks. Repeat the process with the other pair of shoes. It is recommended that once you’ve done the above, you do some movement to allow the footwear to cool. Repeat this a few times, and later try them on without the socks. If they feel comfortable to wear for about 20-30 minutes, then your shoes are now broken in.
However, please be cautious and mindful, as this method may damage the shoes or the material if not done correctly. Some materials/shoes may be delicate; the reader's discretion is advised.
5. Prevent potential blisters.
If you’re someone like me who often gets blisters due to shoe bites, make plasters your best friend! Plasters are useful for more than just injuries. They are also great at preventing blistering.
If you are aware of a particular spot on your feet that is often prone to blistering, wrap that spot on your foot with a moleskin or plaster. As a result, your shoes will not press up against your skin. You could also use shoe gel or heel inserts for extra padding. By including this additional preventive layer, you will be able to wear your new shoes pretty comfortably as you break them in.
Alternatively, apply petroleum jelly to common areas on your feet that are prone to blistering, like the sides of your toes or the back of your heels, to prevent friction between your shoe and your skin.
We hope the above tips help and let you wear your favourite new pair of shoes without any discomfort or blistering.
If you have a tip or tips you use to break in your new pair of shoes, why not share them with others through the comment section below?