The great thing about leather shoes is that over time they mould to the shape of your feet. This means that they can be incredibly comfortable and supportive to wear.
Of course, this breaking in process can sometimes take time and can involve some discomfort. Because of this, you’ll find all manner of odd suggestions online about how to break in your shoes as quickly as possible. These methods often include hairdryers, ice packs, potatoes and buckets of water.
Though these methods may be effective at stretching out your shoes, they’re likely to do additional damage in the process. Instead, our advice is to opt for more traditional breaking in methods that are as kind to your feet - and your shoes - as possible!
Here are our four traditional tips for breaking in your shoes.
1. Start with a good fit
It’s important to start with a pair of shoes that are already a good fit. No matter how much time you spend wearing shoes that are too big, too small, or just simply the wrong shape: they’re unlikely to become any comfier. Everyone’s feet are different, so it’s important to experiment with different brands and fits to find a shoe that’s as close as possible to the shape of your foot.
2. Wear them around the house for ten minutes at a time
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to wear your shoes for short ten minute bursts during the initial breaking in process. Pop them on for ten minutes a couple of times a day while you potter around the house. After three or four days of this, you should have no trouble wearing them for longer periods.
3. Wear them at your desk
If you have an office based job, you may want to take your new shoes with you to work and put them on while you’re sitting at your desk. This will give the leather time to start adjusting to your foot shape, but because you’re not walking around in them they shouldn’t be uncomfortable.
4. Wear extra thick socks
During the breaking in process it can be helpful to wear extra thick socks. This will help to speed things up so that when you step out for real (in normal socks) your shoes will feel more comfortable.
If you really struggle with the breaking in stage of a new pair of shoes, it may be that you’re not wearing shoes that are the right shape for your foot. Why not consider a pair of bespoke shoes instead?